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Come, ye dependents on those brittle things! The fmiles of minifters, and breath of kings; Learn hence how vain your hope! how frail your truft! That kings are men, and moulder into duft: That fublunary greatness, earthly power, Is the reflected fun-beam of an hour: A glow-worm, that awhile deceives the fight, And then expires in rottenness and night. And that the man alone is truly wife, Who on the fov'reign Lord of all relies; With whom this truth is ever understood, That honor's virtue, and that great is good.
ON SEEING WORKMEN EMPLOYED ON THE SABBATH DAY IN MAKING PREPARATIONS FOR
THE FIRE WORKS TO CELEBRATE THE
REED from the toil of war and long distress, (Her blifs increasing, tho' her merit less) Ingrateful BRITAIN! fcarce the tempeft o'er, But of the hand that ftills it thinks no more. From her once fav'rite ifle RELIGION's fled, And we again in heathen footsteps tread: Like the poor PERSIANS, we no more aspire, Sunk from our GOD-to ferve the GOD of FIRE!
HO' time in hafte for ever glides along,
Nor heeds my fubject, nor attends my fong;
Inceffant ftill beneath my fearches floats,
Wastes in my hands, and fades upon my thoughts;
Yet would I, mufe, the wond'rous theme effay,
And to the fleeting phantom lend my lay.
Thro' all the revolutions, pains, and ftrife,
That or befal, or bufy human life,
Whether we chase our joys, or tempt our woes,
Purfue our toil, or deviate to repofe,
To manhood rife, or verge beyond our prig
One tide transports us, and that is TIME.
Of his comfit our dates, "is commence,
'Tis what admits us here, what bears us hence;
Involves us in an unrelaxing courfe;
And what's exempt from time's imperial force?
Wide as th' extent of nature's fair array,
Th' unweary'd trav'ller spreads his airy way;
By nought controll'd, one rigid motion keeps,
And matter moulders where his pinion fweeps.
For him fierce lightnings cleave the fultry air,
For him the total band of meteors war;
For him fucceffive feafons, as they stray,
Or fcatter genial life, or reap decay.
And as in forefts we promifcuous see
The fhooting fcyon, and the fhiver'd tree;
Or midft a filent fhower, as rife and break
The bubbles various on the level lake;
So births and deaths, an intermingled train,
For ever fwell the records of his reign.
Amongst the stars, or underneath the fun,
Whate'er is suffer'd, or whate'er is done;
Events or actions, all the vast amount
But ftretch his scroll, and add to his account.
Yet while his ftern viciffitudes advance
O'er ev'ry orb, thro' all the vast expanse,
While scenes fucceed to fcenes, and forms to forms,
And other thunders roll, and other storms,
Sedate he triumphs o'er the general frame,
And, changing all things, is himself the fame.
Fain would the learn'd th' ideal power define,
And on the sighty measurer caft their line.
With emulous ardo on the task they wait,
Contrive their circles, and their æra's ftate;
From these compute, by thofe the tale devife,
And vaunt to match our annals with the fkies:
Yet ever devious, mifs the promis'd end,
Tho' METO plan, and tho' CALIPPUS mend;
Tho' ancient periods be reform'd by new,
-And GREG'RY polifh, what HIPPARCHUS drew.
Schemes rais'd on schemes, fee endless error start,
And reg'lar nature mocks the boast of art;
In what regard the works of mortals ftand
To this great fabric of the Almighty's hand,
Is his to view; and fure to him alone
His world, and all its relatives, are known;
And acts and things diftant before him lie,
And time itself retires not from his eye.
But whence, oh muse, celestial voice! rehearse,
That speak'st the theme, and aid'ft the facred verse,
Whence this progreffive now, untaught to stay,
This glimmering shadow of eternal day?
When first th' Almighty from the womb of night,
Bade infant-nature hear, and fpring to light,
Her place he fever'd from the boundless waste,
And, from eternity, her time to laft;
''Twas then it iffu'd on the new-form'd stage,
With her coeval, and itself her age;
Ordain'd o'er ether, air, and earth, to range,
The scope of every life, and every change.
Its progress note; th' illuftrious globes above,
Shine in its shade, and in its shadow move;
With stated pace around their orbits play,
And waste th' impatient moments on their way;
While to a new eternity confign'd,
They hafte from that before, to that behind.
So where some streight its every channel draws,
From main to main th' impetuous waters pafs;
Yet rush but to return from whence they came,
The mighty ocean's diff'rent, and the fame.
See time launch'd forth in folemn pomp proceed,
And man on man advance, and deed on deed!
No pause, no reft, in all the world appears,
Ev'n live-long patriarchs waste their thousand years.
If Babel's tower no more with heaven contends,
In fpiry heights a Nineveh afcends:
See in their fires each future nation stray,
And or defert, or meet the morning ray!
Or vifit Lybia's fands, or Scythia's fnows,
And brethren fcatter that must foon be foes;
See other kings hold other crouds in chains!
And Nimrod but the first of monarch reigns.
These funs behold a Cyrus lord of all;
These view young Ammon triumph o'er the ball:
Now haughty Rome in martial rigor frowns,
And bears down powerful ftates, and treads on crowns;
Bids mighty cities in a flame expire,
Nor dreams of Vandal rage, and Gothic fire.
Mankind and theirs poffefs one common thrall;
And, like the gods that sway them, empires fall.
Some periods void of science, and of fame,
Scarce e'er exift, or leave behind a name;
Mere fluggish rounds to let fucceffion climb;
Obfcure and idle expletives of time.
Lo, earth fmiles wide, and radiant heaven looks down,
All fair, all gay, and urgent to be known!
- Attend, and here are sown delights immense,
For ev'ry intellect and ev'ry sense.
With adoration think, with rapture gaze,
And hear all nature chaunt her Maker's praise.
With reason ftor'd, by love of knowlege fir'd,
By dread awaken'd, and by hope infpir'd,
Can we, the product of another's hand,
Nor whence, nor how, nor why we are, demand?
And, not at all, or not aright, employ'd,
Behold a length of years, and all a void?