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Why this exertion? Why this strange regard | There 's nothing to support him in the rght. From Heaven's Omnipotent indulg'd to man? Faith in the future wanting is, at least Because, in man, the glorious dreadful power, In embryo, every weakness, every guilt; Extremely to be pain'd, or blest, for ever.
And strong temptation ripens it to birth. Duration gives importance; swells the price, If this life's gain invites him to the deed, An angel, if a creature of a day,
Why not his country sold, his father slain ? What would he be? A trifle of no weight; ”T is virtue to pursue our good supreme; Or stand, or fall; no matter which; he 's gone. And his supreme, his only good is here. Because immortal, therefore is indulg'd
Ambition, avarice, by the wise disdain'd, This strange regard of deities to dust.
Is perfect wisdom, while mankind are fools, Hence, Heaven looks down on Earth with all her eyes : 1 And think a turf, or tomb-stone, covers all : Hence, the soul's mighty moment in her sight: These find employment, and provide for sense Hence, every soul has partisans above,
A richer pasture, and a larger range ; And every thought a critic in the skies :
| And sense by right divine ascends the throne, Hence, clay, vile clay ! has angels for its guard, | When virtue's prize and prospect are no more; And every guard a passion for his charge :
Virtue no more we think the will of Heaven. Hence, from all age, the cabinet divine
Would Heaven quite beggar virtue, if belov'd ? Has held high counsel o'er the fate of man.
“ Has virtue charms ?” – I grant her heavenly Nor have the clouds those gracious counsels hid : fair; Angels undrew the curtain of the throne,
But if unportion'd, all will interest wed; And Providence came forth to meet mankind: | Though that our admiration, this our choice. In various modes of emphasis and awe,
The virtues grow on immortality; He spoke his will, and trembling Nature heard ; That root destroy'd, they wither and expire. He spoke it loud, in thunder and in storm. | A deity believ'd, will nought avail ; Witness, thou Sinai ! whose cloud-cover'd height, Rewards and punishments make God ador'd; And shaken basis, own'd the present God;
And hopes and fears give conscience all her power. Witness, ye billows ! whose returning tide,
As in the dying parent dies the child, Breaking the chain that fasten'd it in air,
Virtue, with immortality, expires. Swept Egypt, and her menaces, to Hell :
Who tells me he denies his soul immortal, Witness, ye flames ! th' Assyrian tyrant blew Whate'er his boast, has told me, he 's a knave. To sevenfold rage, as impotent, as strong :
His duty 't is, to love himself alone ; And thou, Earth! witness, whose expanding jaws Nor care though mankind perish, if he smiles. Clos'd o'er presumption's sacrilegious sons * : Who thinks ere long the man shall wholly die, Has not each element, in turn, subscribed
Is dead already ; nought but brute survives. The soul's high price, and sworn it to the wise ? And are there such ?-Such candidates there are Has not flame, ocean, ether, earthquake, strove For more than death ; for utter loss of being, To strike this truth through adamantine man? Being, the basis of the Deity!. If not all adamant, Lorenzo ! hear;
Ask you the cause ? — The cause they will not tell : All is delusion; Nature is wrapt up
Nor need they : 0) the sorceries of sense! In tenfold night, from reason's keenest eye :
They work this transformation on the soul, There's no consistence, meaning, plan, or end, Dismount her, like the serpent at the fall, In all beneath the Sun, in all above
Dismount her from her native wing, (which soar'd (As far as man can penetrate), or Heaven
Ere-while ethereal heights,) and throw her down, Is an immense, inestimable prize;
To lick the dust, and crawl in such a thought. Or all is nothing, or that prize is all.
Is it in words to paint you? O ye fall’n! And shall each toy be still a match for Heaven, Fall’n from the wings of reason, and of hope ! And full equivalent for groans below?
Erect in stature, prone in appetite! Who would not give a trifle to prevent
Patrons of pleasure, posting into pain ! What he would give a thousand worlds to cure ? Lovers of argument, averse to sense! Lorenzo! thou hast seen (if thine to see)
Boasters of liberty, fast bound in chains ! All Nature, and her God (by Nature's course, Lords of the wide creation, and the shame! Ånd Nature's course controll'd) declare for me: More senseless than th' irrationals you scorn! [pity, The skies above proclaim, “ immortal man!" More base than those you rule! Than those you And, “ man immortal !” all below resounds. Far more undone ! Oye most infamous The world 's a system of theology,
Of beings, from superior dignity! Read by the greatest strangers to the schools; Deepest in woe from means of boundless bliss! If honest, learn'd; and sages o'er a plough. Ye curst by blessings infinite ! because Is not, Lorenzo! then, impos’d on thee
Most highly favour'd, most profoundly lost ! This hard alternative ; or, to renounce
Ye motley mass of contradiction strong! Thy reason, or thy sense; or, to believe ?
And are you, too, convinc'd, your souls fly off What then is unbelief? 'T is an exploit ;
In exhalation soft, and die in air, A strenuous enterprise : to gain it, man
From the full flood of evidence against you ? Must burst through every bar of common sense ; In the coarse drudgeries and sinks of sense, Of common shame, magnanimously wrong ; Your souls have quite worn out the make of Heaven, And what rewards the sturdy combatant?
By vice new-cast, and creatures of your own: His prize, repentance; infamy, his crown.
But though you can deform, you can't destroy; Bat wherefore, infamy? - For want of faith, To curse, not uncreate, is all your power. Down the steep precipice of wrong he slides; Lorenzo ! this black brotherhood renounce ;
Renounce St. Evremont, and read St. Paul,
Ere rapt by miracle, hy reason wing'd,
His mounting mind maile long abode in Heaven. | Not man alone, all rationals, Heaven arms
With an illustrious, but tremendous, power
To counteract its own most gracious ends;
But passive engines, void of praise or blame.
A nature rational implies the power Familiar with their wonders ; diving deep; Of being blest, or wretched, as we please ; And, like a prince of boundless interests there, Else idle reason would have nought to do; Still most ambitious of the most remote ;
And he that would be barr'd capacity
Of pain, courts incapacity of bliss.
Invites us ardently, but not compels ;
Why this to thee ? — Thee yet, perhaps, in doubt Who not in fragments writes to human race: | Of second life ? But wherefore doubtful still ? Read his whole volume, sceptic! then reply. | Eternal life is nature's ardent wish:
This, this, is thinking free, a thought that grasps | What ardently we wish, we soon believe : Beyond a grain, and looks beyond an hour. | Thy tardy faith declares that wish destroy'd : Turn up thine eyes, survey this inidnight scene; What has destroy'd it? - Shall I tell thee what? What are Earth's kingdoms, to yon boundless orbs, When fear'd the future, 't is no longer wish'd; Of human souls, one day, the destin'd range ? | And, when unwish'd, we strive to disbelieve. And what yon boundless orbs, to godlike man 1 “ Thus infidelity our guilt betrays." Those numerous worlds that throng the firmament, Nor that the sole detection! Blush, Lorenzo! And ask more space in Heaven, can roll at large | Blush for hypocrisy, if not for guilt. In man's capacious thought, and still leave room The future fear'd? -An infidel, and fear? For ampler orbs, for new creations, there.
Fear what? A dream? A fable? - How thy dread, Can such a soul contract itself, to gripe
Unwilling evidence, and therefore strong,
Affords my cause an undesign'd support!
How small a part of nothing, shall I say ? Surprising ! infidelity turns out
Apostates, thus, are orthodox divines, Lucia, Narcissa fair, Philander, gone!
Lorenzo! with Lorenzo clash no more ; The grave, like fabled Cerberus, has op'd
Nor longer a transparent vizor wear. A triple mouth; and, in an aweful voice,
Think'st thou, religion only has her mask?
Our infidels are Satan's hypocrites,
When visited by thought (thought will intrude),
What detestation, what contempt, their due ! There; there, Lorenzo ! thy Clarissa sails.
And, if unpaid, be thank'd for their escape
Two kinds of life has double-natur'd man, Instead of racking fancy, to refute,
But shall I dare confess the dire result ?
From purer manners, to sublimer faith,
Matur'd to nobler, in the Christian ends. "T is utter darkness ; strictly double death.
When that blest change arrives, e'en cast aside We sink by no judicial stroke of Heaven, | This song superfluous; life immortal strikes But Nature's course; as sure as plummets fall. Conviction, in a food of light divine. Since God, or man, must alter, ere they meet, | A Christian dwells, like Uriel , in the Sun ; (Since light and darkness blend not in one sphere,) Meridian evidence puts doubt to flight; 'T is manifest, Lorenzo ! who must change. And ardent hope anticipates the skies.
If, then, that double death should prove thy lot, of that bright Sun, Lorenzo! scale the sphere; Blame not the bowels of the Deity; Man shall be blest, as far as man permits.
'T is easy! it invites thee; it descends : [came: / So weak our reason, and so great our God, From Heaven to woo, and waft thec whence it What most surprises in the sacred page, Read and revere the sacred page; a page
Or full as strange, or stranger, must be true. Where triumphs immortality ; a page
Faith is not reason's labour, but repose. Which not the whole creation could produce;
To faith, and virtue, why so backward, man ? Which not the conflagration shall destroy :
From hence: -- The present strongly strikes us all ; 'T is printed in the mind of gods for ever,
The future, faintly; can we, then, be men ?
If men, Lorenzo! the reverse is right.
The future, reason's empire unconfin'd:
On that expending all her godlike power,
And what is reason ? Be she, thus, defin'd;
Oh ! be a man ; and strive to be a god.
“ For what? (thou say'st) To damp the joys of life?" And drives my dreams, defeated, from the field; No; to give heart and substance to thy joys. If this is all, if Earth a final scene,
That tyrant, hope ; mark how she domineers; Take heed ; stand fast; be sure to be a knave, She bids us quit realities, for dreams; A knave in grain ! ne'er deviate to the right : Safety and peace, for hazard and alarm; Shouldst thou be good — how infinite thy loss ! That tyrant o'er the tyrants of the soul, Guilt only makes annihilation gain.
She bids ambition quit its taken prize, Blest scheme! which life deprives of comfort, death Spurn the luxuriant branch on which it sits, Of hope ; and which vice only recommends, Though bearing crowns, to spring at distant game; If so, where, infidels! your bait, thrown out And plunge in toils and dangers - for repose. To catch weak converts ? where your lofty boast If hope precarious, and of things, when gain'd, Of zeal for virtue, and of love to man?
Of little moment, and as little stay, Annihilation! I confess, in these.
Can sweeten toils and dangers into joys; What can reclaim you? Dare I hope profound What then, that hope, which nothing can defeat, Philosophers the converts of a song ?
Our leave unask’d? Rich hope of boundless bliss ! Yet know, its title * flatters you, not me ;
Bliss, past man's power to paint it; time's to close ! Yours be the praise to make my title good;
This hope is Earth's most estimable prize : Mine, to bless Heaven, and triumph in your praise. This is man's portion, while no more than man : But since so pestilential your disease,
Hope, of all passions, most befriends us here ; Though sovereign is the medicine I prescribe, Passions of prouder name befriend us less. As yet, I'll neither triumph, nor despair :
Joy has her tears; and transport has her death ; But hope, ere long, my midnight dream will wake Hope, like a cordial, innocent, though strong, Your hearts, and teach your wisdom - to be wise : | Man's heart, at once, inspirits, and serenes ; For why should souls immortal, made for bliss, Nor makes him pay his wisdom for his joys; E'er wish, and wish in vain!) that souls could die? 'Tis all our present state can safely bear, What ne'er can die, oh! grant to live; and crown Health to the frame! and vigour to the mind ! The wish, and aim, and labour of the skies;
A joy attemper'd! a chastis'd delight! Increase, and enter on the joys of Heaven :
Like the fair summer evening, mild and sweet! Thus shall my title pass a sacred seal,
'Tis man's full cup; his Paradise below! Receive an imprimatur from above,
A blest hereafter, then, or hop'd, or gain'd, While angels shout - An Infidel Reclaim'd! Is all ; our whole of happiness : full proof,
To close, Lorenzo ! spite of all my pains, [ever? | I chose no trivial or inglorious theme. Still seems it strange, that thou shouldst live for And know, ye foes to song ! (well-meaning men, Is it less strange, that thou shouldst live at all ?
Though quite forgotten half your Bible's praise * !) This is a miracle; and that no more.
Important truths, in spite of verse, may please : Who gave beginning, can exclude an end.
Grave minds you praise ; nor can you praise too Deny thou art : then, doubt if thou shalt be.
much: A miracle with miracles enclos'd,
If there is weight in an eternity,
• The poetical parts of it.
Three demons that divide its realme between thein, Night The Eighth.
With strokes alternate buffet to and fro
Man's restless heart, their sport, their flying ball;
Till, with the giddy circle sick and tir'd,
That glorious promise angels were esteem'd
Too mean to bring; a promise, their Ador'd
Descended to communicate, and press,
By counsel, miracle, life, death, on man.
Such is the world Lorenzo's wisdom wooes,
| And on its thorny pillow seeks repose; with the Wit and Wisdom of the World.
A pillow, which, like opiates ill-prepar'd,
Intoxicates, but not composes; fills
What unfeign'd travel, and what dreams of joy!
Equal in wisdom, differently wise! (wastes, There, stows his treasure; thence, his title draws Through flowery meadows, and through dreary Man of the world (for such wouldst thou be call'd). One bustling, and one dancing, into death. And art thou proud of that inglorious style? There's not a day, but, to the man of thought, Proud of reproach? for a reproach it was,
Betrays some secret, that throws new reproach In ancient days; and CHRISTIAN — in an age On life, and makes him sick of seeing more. When men were men, and not asham'd of Heaven - The scenes of business tell us — “What are men;" Fir'd their ambition, as it crown'd their joy. The scenes of pleasure -- “ What is all beside;" Sprinkled with dews from the Castalian font, There, others we despise; and here, ourselves. Fain would I re--baptize thee, and confer
Amid disgust eternal, dwells delight? A purer spirit, and a nobler name.
'T is approbation strikes the string of joy. Thy fond attachments fatal, and inflam'd,
What wondrous prize has kindled this career, Point out my path, and dictate to my song : Stuns with the din, and chokes us with the dust, To thee, the world how fair ! How strongly strikes On life's gay stage, one inch above the grave ? Ambition ! and gay pleasure stronger still !
The proud run up and down in quest of eyes; Thy triple bane! the triple bolt that lays
The sensual, in pursuit of something worse; Thy virtue dead! Be these my triple theme; The grave, of gold ; the politic, of power; Nor shall thy wit, or wisdom, be forgot.
And all, of other butterflies, as vain ! Common the theme; not so the song; if she As eddies draw things frivolous and light, My song invokes, Urania deigns to smile.
How is man's heart by vanity drawn in; The charm that chains us to the world, her foe, On the swift circle of returning toys, (gulf'd; If she dissolves, the man of earth, at once,
Whirld, straw-like, round and round, and then, inStarts from his trance, and sighs for other scenes; Where gay delusion darkens to despair ! Scenes, where these sparks of night, these stars, « This is a beaten track.”- Is this a track shall shine
Should not be beaten ? never beat enough, Unnumber'd suns (for all things, as they are, Till enough learn'd the truths it would inspire. The blest behold); and, in one glory, pour
Shall truth be silent, because folly frowns ? Their blended blaze on man's astonish'd sight; Turn the world's history; what find we there, A blaze - the least illustrious object there.
But fortune's sports, or nature's cruel claims, Lorenzo! since eternal is at hand,
Or woman's artifice, or man's revenge, To swallow time's ambitions; as the vast
And endless inhumanities on man? Leviathan, the bubbles vain, that ride
Fame's trumpet seldom sounds, but, like the knell, High on the foaming billow; what avail
It brings bad tidings : how it hourly blows High titles, high descent, attainments high, Man's misadventures round the listening world! If unattain'd our highest ? O Lorenzo!
Man is the tale of narrative old time;
Sad tale ; which high as Paradise begins;
From stage to stage, in his eternal round,
The days, his daughters, as they spin our hours Should roll in bosoms, where a spirit burns, On fortune's wheel, where accident unthought, Bound for eternity! In bosoms read
Oft, in a moment, snaps life's strongest thread, By him, who foibles in archangels sees!
Each, in her turn, some tragic story tells, On human hearts he bends a jealous eye,
With, now-and-then, a wretched farce between, And marks, and in Heaven's register enrolls And fills his chronicle with human woes. The rise and progress of each option there ;
Time's daughters, true as those of men, deceive us; Sacred to doomsday! That the page unfolds, Not one, but puts some cheat on all mankind : And spreads us to the gaze of gods and men. While in their father's bosom, not yet ours,
And what an option, O Lorenzo! thine ? They flatter our fond hopes; and promise much This world! and this, unrivall’d by the skies ! | Of amiable; but hold him not o'erwise, A world, where lust of pleasure, grandeur, gold, Who dares to trust them; and laugh round the year. At still-confiding, still-confounded, man, | And tugg'd it into view, 't is won! 'e is lost! Confiding, though confounded; hoping on,
Though strong their oar, still stronger is their fate : Untaught by trial, unconvinc'd by proof,
They strike; and while they triumph, they expire. And ever-looking for the never-seen.
In stress of weather, most; somie sink outright; Life to the last, like harden'd felons, lies;
O'er them, and o'er their names, the billows close ; Nor owns itself a cheat, till it expires.
To-morrow knows not they were ever born. Its little joy goes out by one and one,
Others a short memorial leave behind, And leaves poor man, at length, in perfect night; | Like a flag floating, when the bark 's ingulf'd; Night darker than what, now, involves the Pole. It floats a moment, and is seen no more:
thou, who dost permit these ills to fall [mourn ! | One Cæsar lives; a thousand are forgot. For gracious ends, and wouldst that man should | How few, beneath auspicious planets born, O thou, whose hands this goodly fabric fram'd, (Darlings of Providence! fond Fate's elect!) Who know'st it best, and wouldst that man should With swelling sails make good the promis'd port, know !
With all their wishes freighted; yet e'en these, What is this sublunary world? A vapour ;
Freighted with all their wishes, soon complain; A vapour all it holds; itself, a vapour;
Free from misfortune, not from nature free, From the damp bed of chaos, by thy beam
They still are men; and when is man secure? Exhal'd, ordain'd to swim its destin'd hour
As fatal time, as storm! the rush of years In ambient air, then melt, and disappear.
Beats down their strength; their numberless escapes Earth's days are number'd, nor remote her doom; | In ruin end: and, now, their proud success As mortal, though less transient, than her sons; But plants new terrours on the victor's brow : Yet they dote on her, as the world and they
What pain to quit the world, just made their own! Were both eternal, solid; thou, a dream.
Their nest so deeply down’d, and built so high! They dote! on what? Immortal views apart, | Too low they build, who build beneath the stars. A region of outsides! a land of shadows !
Woe then apart, (if woe apart can be A fruitful field of flowery promises !
From mortal man,) and fortune at our nod, A wilderness of joy ! perplex'd with doubts, The gay! rich! great, triumphant! and august! And sharp with thorns! a troubled ocean, spread What are they? — The most happy (strange to say!) With bold adventurers, their all on board!
Convince me most of human misery; No second hope, if here their fortune frowns; What are they? Smiling wretches of to-morrow! Frown soon it must. Of various rates they sail, More wretched, then, than e'er their slave can be; Of ensigns various; all alike in this,
Their treacherous blessings, at the day of need, All restless, anxious; tost with hopes, and fears, Like other faithless friends, unmask, and sting : In calmest skies; obnoxious all to storm;
Then, what provoking indigence in wealth! And storiny the most general blast of life:
What aggravated impotence in power!
High titles, then, what insult of their pain !
Takes comfort from their foaming billows' rage, Now lifted by the tide, and now resorb'd,
And makes a welcome harbour of the tomb. And further from their wishes than before :
Is this a sketch of what thy soul admires ? All, inore or less, against each other dash,
“ But here,” thou say'st, “ the miseries of life To mutual hurt, by gusts of passion driven, Are huddled in a group. A more distinct And suffering more from folly, than from fate. Survey, perhaps, might bring thee better news."
Ocean! thou dreadful and tumultuous home Look on life's stages : they speak plainer still; Of dangers, at eternal war with man!
The plainer they, the deeper wilt thou sigh.
Look on thy lovely boy ; in him behold
Is tender, though the man's is made of stone; The melancholy face of human life!
The truth, through such a medium seen, may make The strong resemblance tempts me further still : Impression deep, and fondness prove thy friend. And, haply, Britain may be deeper struck
Florello, lately cast on this rude coast By moral truth, in such a mirror seen,
A helpless infant; now, a heedless child; Which Nature holds for ever at her eye.
To poor Clarissa's throes, thy care succeeds; Self-fatter'd, unexperienc'd, high in hope, Care full of love, and yet severe as hate ! When young, with sanguine cheer and streamers gay, O'er thy soul's joy how oft thy fondness frowns ! We cut our cable, launch into the world,
Needful austerities his will restrain; And fondly dream each wind and star our friend; As thorns fence-in the tender plant from harm.. All, in some darling enterprise embark'd :
As yet, his reason cannot go alone; But where is he can fathom its extent ?
But asks a sterner nurse to lead it on. Amid a multitude of artless hands,
His little heart is often terrified ; Ruin's sure perquisite! her lawful prize!
The blush of morning, in his cheek, turns pale ; Some steer aright; but the black blast blows hard, Its pearly dew-drop trembles in his eye ; And puffs them wide of hope: with hearts of proof, His harmless eye! and drowns an angel there. Full against wind and tide, some win their way; Ah! what avails his innocence ? The task And when strong effort has deserv'd the port, Enjoin'd must discipline his early powers;
He learns to sigh, ere he is known to sin; • Admiral Balchen, &c.
Guiltless, and sad! a wretch before the fall!