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Perpetual dews, and saddens Nature's scene !
Though blind of heart, still open is thine eye:
ter than a thousand suns : One single ray of thought outshines them all.” And if man hears obedient, soon he 'll soar Superior heights, and on his purple wing, His purple wing bedropt with eyes of gold, Rising, where thought is now denied to rise, Look down triumphant on these dazzling spheres.
Why then persist? - No mortal ever liv'd, But, dying, he pronounc'd (when words are true) The whole that charms thee, absolutely vain ; Vain, and far worse! - Think thou, with dying men; O condescend to think as angels think! O tolerate a chance for happiness ! Our nature such, ill choice ensures ill fate ; And Hell had been, though there had been no God. Dost thou not know, my new astronomer! Earth, turning from the Sun, brings night to man? Man, turning from his God, brings endless night;
Where thou canst read no morals, find no friend,
For think not thou hast heard all this from me ; My song but echoes what great Nature speaks. What has she spoken ? Thus the goddess spoke, Thus speaks for ever :-“ Place, at Nature's head, A sovereign, which o'er all things rolls his
eye, Extends his wing, promulgates his commands, But, above all, diffuses endless good : To whom, for sure redress, the wrong'd may fly; The vile, for mercy; and the pain’d, for peace ; By whom, the various tenants of these spheres, Diversified in fortunes, place, and powers, Rais'd in enjoyment, as in worth they rise, Arrive at length (if worthy such approach) At that blest fountain-head, from which they
stream ; Where conflict past redoubles present joy; And present joy looks forward on increase; And that, on more; no period ! every step A double boon! a promise, and a bliss.” How easy sits this scheme on human hearts ! It suits their make; it soothes their vast desires ; Passion is pleas’d; and reason asks no more ; 'Tis rational ! 't is great!
But what is thine ? It darkens ! shocks! excruciates ! and confounds!
Leaves us quite naked, both of help, and hope, Sinking from bad to worse ; few years, the sport Of fortune; then the morsel of despair.
Say, then, Lorenzo! (for thou knows't it well) What 's vice? – Mere want of compass in our
thought. Religion, what ? — The proof of common-sense. How art thou hooted, where the least prevails! Is it my fault, if these truths call thee fool? And thou shalt never be miscallod by me. Can neither shame, nor terrour, stand thy friend ? And art thou still an insect in the mire ? How, like thy guardian angel, have I flown ; Snatch'd thee from Earth; escorted thee through all Th' ethereal armies ; walk’d thee, like a god, Through splendours of first magnitude, arrang'd On either hand; clouds thrown beneath thy feet ; Close-cruis’d on the bright Paradise of God; And almost introduc'd thee to the throne ! And art thou still carousing, for delight, Rank poison; first fermenting to mere froth, And then subsiding into final gall ? To beings of sublime, immortal make, How shocking is all joy, whose end is sure ! Such joy, more shocking still, the more it charms ! And dost thou choose what ends ere well-begun; And infamous, as short ? And dost thou choose (Thou, to whose palate glory is so sweet) To wade into perdition, through contempt, Not of poor bigots only, but thy own? For I have peep'd into thy cover'd heart, And seen it blush beneath a boastful brow;
For, by strong guilt's most violent assault,
O thou most aweful being; and most vain !
“ By silence, Death's peculiar attribute ; By darkness, guilt's inevitable doom ; By darkness, and by silence, sisters dread! That draw the curtain round Night's ebon throne, And raise ideas, solemn as the scene! By Night, and all of aweful, Night presents To thought or sense (of aweful much, to both, The goddess brings !) By these her trembling fires, Like Vesta's, ever-burning; and, like hers, Sacred to thoughts immaculate, and pure ! By these bright orators, that prove, and praise,
And press thee to revere the Deity;