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Without one rebel murmur, from this hour,
Nor think it misery to be a man;
Who thinks it is, shall never be a God.
Some ills we wish for, when we wish to live.
What spoke proud passion ? -“ Wish my being
lost * ?"
Presumptuous ! blasphemous! absurd ! and false !
The triumph of my soul is - That I am;
And therefore that I may be — what? Lorenzo !
Look, inward, and look deep; and deeper still ;
Unfathomably deep our treasure runs
In golden veins, through all eternity!
Ages, and ages, and succeeding still
New ages, where the phantom of an hour,
Which courts, each night, dull slumber, for repair,
Shall wake, and wonder, and exult, and praise,
And fly through infinite, and all unlock;
And (if deserv'd) by Heaven's redundant love,
Made half-adorable itself, adore ;
And find, in adoration, endless joy!
Where thou, not master of a moment here,
Frail as the flower, and fleeting as the gale,
May'st boast a whole eternity, enrich'd
With all a kind Omnipotence can pouir.
Since Adam fell, no mortal, uninspir'd,
Has ever yet conceiv'd, or ever shall,
How kind is God, how great (if good) is man.
No man too largely from Heaven's love can hope,
If what is hop'd he labours to secure.
Referring to the First Night.
Ills ? there are none: - All-gracious! none
from thee; From man full many! numerous is the race Of blackest ills, and those immortal too, Begot by madness on fair liberty ; Heaven's daughter, Hell-debauch'd! her hand alone Unlocks destruction to the sons of men, First barr’d by thine : high-wall’d with adamant, Guarded with terrours reaching to this world, And cover'd with the thunders of thy law; Whose threats are mercies, whose injunctions, guides, Assisting, not restraining, reason's choice; Whose sanctions, unavoidable results, From Nature's course, indulgently reveal'd; If unreveal'd, more dangerous, nor less sure. Thus, an indulgent father warns his sons, “ Do this; fly that”. - nor always tells the cause ; Pleas'd to reward, as duty to his will, A conduct needful to their own repose. Great God of wonders ! (if, thy love survey'd, Aught else the name of wonderful retains) What rocks are these, on which to build our trust! Thy ways
admit no blemish; none I find; Or this alone “ That none is to be found." Not one, to soften censure's hardy crime; Not one, to palliate peevish grief's complaint, Who like a demon, murmuring from the dust, Dares into judgment call her Judge. - Supreme ! For all I bless thee; most, for the severe , Her * death
- the fiery gulf,
That Aaming bound of wrath omnipotent !
It thunders;- but it thunders to preserve;
It strengthens what it strikes; its wholesome dread
Averts the dreaded pain ; its hideous groans
Join Heaven's sweet hallelujahs in thy praise,
Great source of good alone ! How kind in all !
In vengeance kind! pain, death, gehenna, save.
Thus, in thy world material, Mighty Mind !
Not that alone which solaces, and shines,
The rough and gloomy, challenges our praise.
The winter is as needful as the spring ;
The thunder, as the Sun; a stagnant mass
Of vapours breeds a pestilential air ;
Nor more propitious the Favonian breeze
To Nature's health, than purifying storms;
The dread volcano ministers to good.
Its smother'd flames might undermine the world.
Loud Ætnas fulminate in love to man;
Comets good omens are when duly scann d;
And, in their use, eclipses learn to shine.
Man is responsible for ills receiv'd; Those we call wretched are a chosen band, Compell’d to refuge in the right, for peace. Amid my list of blessings infinite, Stand this the foremost, “ That my heart has bled." 'Tis Heaven's last effort of good will to man; When pain can't bless, Heaven quits us in despair. Who fails to grieve, when just occasion calls, Or grieves too much, deserves not to be blest; Inhuman, or effeminate, his heart; Reason absolves the grief, which reason ends. May Heaven ne'er trust my friend with happiness,
Till it has taught him how to bear it well,
By previous pain ; and made it safe to smile!
Such smiles are mine, and such may they remain ;
Nor hazard their extinctions, from excess.
My change of heart a change of style demands ;
The consolation cancels the complaint,
And makes a convert of my guilty song.
And when o'erlabour'd, and inclin'd to breathe,
A panting traveller some rising ground,
Some small ascent, has gain'd, he turns him round,
And measures with his eye the various vales,
The fields, woods, meads, and rivers, he has past;
And, satiate of his journey, thinks of home,
Endear'd by distance, nor affects more toil ;
Thus I, though small, indeed, is that ascent
The Muse has gain’d, review the paths she trod;
Various, extensive, beaten but by few;
And, conscious of her prudence in repose,
and with pleasure meditate an end,
Though still remote; so fruitful is my theme.
Through many a field of moral, and divine,
The muse has stray'd; and much of sorrow seen
In human ways; and much of false and vain ;
who travel this bad road, can miss.
O'er friends deceas'd full heartily she wept;
Of love divine the wonders she display'd;
Prov'd man immortal ; show'd the source of joy ;
The grand tribunał rais'd; assign’d the bounds
Of human grief : in few, to close the whole,
The moral Muse has shadow'd out a sketch,
Though not in form, nor with a Raphael-stroke,
Of most our weakness needs believe, or do,
In this our land of travel and of hope,
For peace on Earth, or prospect of the skies.
What then remains ? Much! much! a mighty
To be discharg'd: these thoughts, O Night! are
From thee they came, like lovers' secret sighs,
While others slept. So Cynthia (poets feign)
In shadows veil’d, soft sliding from her sphere,
Her shepherd cheer'd; of her enamour'd less,
Than I of thee. - And art thou still unsung,
Beneath whose brow, and by whose aid, I sing?
Immortal silence! where shall I begin ?
Where end? Or how steal music from the spheres,
To soothe their goddess ?
O majestic Night! Nature's great ancestor! day's elder-born! And fated to survive the transient Sun ! By mortals, and immortals, seen with awe! A starry crown thy raven brow adorns, An azure zone, thy waist ; clouds, in Heaven's loom Wrought through varieties of shape and shade, In ample folds of drapery divine, Thy flowing mantle form ; and Heaven throughout, Voluminously pour thy pompous train. Thy gloomy grandeurs (Nature's most august, Inspiring aspect !) claim a grateful verse ; And, like a sable curtain starr'd with gold, Drawn o'er my labours past, shall close the scene.
And what, О man! so worthy to be sung ? What more prepares us for the songs of Heaven ? Creation, of archangels is the theme ! What, to be sung, so needful? What so well