« 上一頁繼續 »
Not worlds possest can raise it; worlds destroy'd)Till stumbling at a straw, in their career,
Who lodge a soul immortal in their breasts;
Unconscious as the mountain of its ore, $ 212. Immortality.
Or rock, of its inestimable gem? [these IMMORTAL! ages past, yet nothing gone! When rocks shall melt, and mountains vanish, , Vom without eve! a race without a goal ! Shall know their treasure; treasure, thes, do Unshorten'd by progression infinite !
more. Futurity for ever future! life Beginning still, where computation ends!
$ 214. Disbelief of a Future State.. ' "Tis the description of a Deity! 'Tis the description of the meanest slave.
Are there (still more amazing!) who resist Immortal! what can strike the sense so strong,
The rising thought? who smother in its . As this the soul? it thunders to the thought;
birth Reason amazes , gratitude o'erwhelins;
The glorious truth? who struggle to be brutes? No more we slumber on the brink of fate;
Who thro' this bosom-barrier burst their way, Rous'd at the sound, thi' exulting soulascends,
| And, with rever'd ainbition, strive to sink? And breathes her native air; an air that fecds
Who labor downwards thro'th'opposing pow'rs, Ambition high, and fans ethereal fires;
of instinct, reason, and the world against them, Quick-kindles all that is divine within us;
To dismal hopes, and slıelter in the shock. Nor leaves one loitering thought beneath the
Of endless night? night darker than the grave's? Iminortal! was but one immortal, how (stars. J Who fight ihe proofs of immortality? Would others envy! how would thrones adore!
1 To contradict them see all nature rise ! Because 'uis common, is the blessing lost?
What object, what event, the moon beneatli, How this ties up the bounteous hand of Heaven! But argues, or endears, an after-scene? : , O vain, vain, vain ! all else: eternity!,
To reason prove's, or weds it to desire ? A glonous, and a needful refuge that,
All things proclaim it neceiful; šonie advance From vile imprisonment in abject views.
One precious step beyond, and prove it sure: no.. "Tisiinportality, 'tis that alone,
A thousand arguments swarm round my pen,, Amidst life's pains, abasements, emptiness,
Froin heaven, and carth, and man. Indulgen The soul can comfort, clevate, and fill. Eternity depending covers all ;
Thou! wliose all-providential cve surveys, Sets earth at distance, casts her into shades;
Whose hand directs, whose Spirit fills, and warms Blends her distinctions; abrogates her pow'rs ;
Creation, and holds empire far beyond! . .. The low, the lofty, joyous, and severe,
| Eternity's' inhabitant august! ... ? Fortune's dread frowns, and fascinating smiles,
Of two eternities amazing Lord! Make one promiscuous, aud neglected heap,
One past, ere man's, or angel's, had heguri; The man beneath; if I may call him mau,
Aid, while I rescue from the foc's assault Whoun immortality's full force inspires.
| Thy glorious immortality in man. Nothing'terrestrial touches his high thought ; Suns shine unseen, and thunders roll unheard, 5215. Man's Immortality proved ly Nature, .. By minds quite conscious of their high descent, Nature, thy daughter, ever-changing birth * Their present province, and their future prize ; Tof thee the great Immutable, to man . Divinely darting upward every wish,
Speaks wisdom; iş his oracle supreme; in War on the wing, in glorious absence lost.
And he who most consults her, is most wise. Doubt you this truth? why labors your be-Look nature through, 'tis revolution all. [night
All change, no death, Day follows night; and If earth's whole orb by some due distanc'd ove The dring day ; stars rise, and set, and rise; Was seen at once, her tow'ring alps would sink, Farth takes thexample. See the suminer gay,. And ieveld Atlas leare un even sphere. With her green chaplet, and ambrosial.flow'rs, . Thus carth, and all that earthly. ininds'aclinire, Droops into pallid autunn; winter grey, Is swallow'd in eternity's vast round.
Horrid with frost, and turbulent with storin, To that stupendous view when souls awake,
| Blows autumn, and his golden fruits away, So large of late, so mountainous to man,
| Then melts into the spring; soft spring, with Time's toys subside; and equal all below,
| Favonian, from warm chambers of the south, $213. Man ignorant of his real Greatness. . Recalls the first. All, to re-flourish, fades : I: spite of all the truths the Muase has sung, As in a wheel, all sinks, to re-ascend : Are there who wrap the world so close about Emblems of man, who passes, not expires. thent,
With this minute distinction, emblems just, They see no farther than the clouds; and dance Nature revolves, but inan advances ; both On heedless vanity's fantastie tot,
Eternal, that a circle, this a'line,
That gravitates, this soars. Th' aspiring soul No fault, but in defect : blest Hear'n! avert
A brighter sun, and in a nobler soil,
Matter, immortal? and shall spirit die ? Shall flourish fair, and put forth all their bloom. Above the nobler, shall less noble rise? Shall inan alone, for whoin all else revives, No resurrection know? shall man alorie,
: $ 217. Reason and Instinct. Imperial man! be sown in barren ground, Reason progressive, instinct is complete ; Less privileg'd than grain, on which he feeds ? Swift instinci leapis; slow reason feebly Is man, whom alone is power to prize
I climbs. The bliss of being, or with previous pain
Brutes soon their zenith reach ; their little all Peplore its period, by the spleen of tite
Flows in at once; in ages they no more . Sęyerely doon'd death's single unredeem'd ? Could know, or do, or covet, or enjoy.
Was man to live cooral with ihe sun,
The patriarch-pupil would be learning still ; § 216. NIGHT VII. Discontent.
Yet, dying, leave his lesson half unlearnt, Why discontent for ever harlord there; Men perish in advance, as if the sun Incurable consumption of our peace!
Should set ere noon, in eastern oceans drown'd. Resolve me, why, the cottager, and king, To man, why, stepdame nature, so severe? He whom sea-sever'd realms obey, and he Ilhythrown asideihymaster-piece half-wrought, Who steals his whole dominion from the waste. Vbile meaner efforts thy last hand enjoy? Repelling winter's blast, with mud and stras, Or, if abortively poor man inust die, [ilread? Disquietude alike, draw sigh for sigh,
Nor reach, what reach he might, why die in In fare so distant, in complaint so near. Why cuirst with foresight? wise to misery?
Is it, that things terrestrial can't content? Why of his proud prerogative the prey?
Ilis immortality alone can tell,
$ 218.' Iluman Hope...
| Hope, eager hope, th' assassin at our joy,
Possession, why inore tasteless than pursuit ? Shall sons of æther, shall the blood of heav'n, Why is a wish far dearer than a crown? Set up their hopes on earth, and stable here, Thai wish accomplish'd, why the grave of bliss? With brutal acquiescence in the mire?
Because in the great future bury'd deep, No, no, my friend : they shall be nobly pain'd; Beyond our plans of empire, and renown, The glorious foreigners distrest, shall sigh Lies all that man with ardor should pursue ; On thrones; and thou congratulate the sigh: 1 And he who made him, bent him to the right. Man's misery declares him born for bliss; Man's heart th' Almighty to the future sets His anxious heart asserts the truth I sing.' By secret and inviolable springs; Our heads, our hearts, our passions, and our And makes his hope his sublunary joy. pow'rs,
Man's heart eats all things, and is liungry still; Speak the same language ; call us to the skies. More, more, the glutton cries :" for something Unripen'd these, in this inclement clime, So rages appetite, if man can't inount, (new Scarce rise above conjecture, and mistake; He will descend. He starves on the possest. And for this land of trifles, those too strong, Hence the world's master, from ambition's spire, Tumultuous rise, and tempest human life; In Caprea plung'd ; and div'd beneath the brite, What prize on earth can pay us for the storm? In that rank sty why wallow'd empire's son Meet objects for our passions Heav'n ordain'd, Supreme? Because he could no higher fly; Objects that chahenge all their fire, and leave His riot was ambition in despair.
See restless hope, for ever on the wing! And strennous to tránscribe, in human life, . High perch'd o'er ev'ry thought that falcon sits, The mind alınighty? could it be, that fate, To fly at all that rises in her sight; . Just when the lineaments began to shine, sever? And never stooping, but to mount again! Should suaich the draught, and blot it out for Next inoment, 'she betrays hier aim' mistake, Shall we, this moment, gaze on God in man? Arowns her quarry lodgid beyond the grase. The next, lose man for ever in the dust?
There should it fail as (it must fail us there, From dust we disengage, or man inistakes ; If being fails) more mournful riddles rise, And there, where least his judgement fears a flaw!. And virtue vics with hope in mystery.
Wisdon), and worth, how bolile de comunends Sliy virtue? Where its pruise, its being, fled? Wisdom and worth are sacred naines ; rerer'd; Virtue is triae self-interest pursued;
Where not embrac'd; applauded! drify'd! ; lai, true self-int'rest of quite mortal man? Why not conipassion'd too? If spirits die, To close with all that makes him happy tiere, Both are calamities, intlicted both, Ii vice (as sometimes) is our friend on earth, To make us but more wretched; wisdom's ye. Thea vice is virtue, 'tis our soy'reign good. Acute, for what? To spy inore miseries ;
The rigid guardian of a blameless heart, And worth, so recoinpensd, new points their So long rever'd, so long reputed wise,
stings: Is sreak; with rank kniglit-errantries o'errun. Or man the grave surmounts, or gain is loss, Why beats thy boson with iilustrious dreams and worth exalted humbles us the more. Of gallant enterprise, and glorious death? Were then capacities divine conferr'd, Die for thy country! - thou romantic fool! As a rock diadem, in savage-sport, Seie, seise thc plank thyself; and let her sink! Rank insult of our pompous poverty, ffair? Thy couirry! what to thee? (I speak with awe) Which reaps but pain, from secming claims so The godhead, what? tho' he should bid thee In future age lies vo redress ? aurt shuts Is, with thy blood, thy final hope is splie, [bloed? Eternity the door on our complaint? Nor car Omnipotence reward the blow, If so, for what strange ends were mortals made Be deaf; preserve thy being; disobey.
The worst to wallow, and the best to weep.
Can we conceive a disregard in heaven, $ 219. The Madness of Infidelity. What the worst perpetrate, or best endure : SINCE virtue's recompense is doubtful, here,
1 This cannot be. To love, and know, in man If man dies wholly, well may wc demand,
Is boundless appetite, and boundless pow'r; Why is man sutler'd to be good in vain ?
And these demonstrate boundless objects too. Why to be good in vain, is man enjoin'd? Oljects, pow'rs, appetites, heav'n suits in all; Why to be good in vain, is man betray'd ? Nor, nature thro', e'er violates this sweet, Betray'd by traitors lodg'd in his own breast, Eternal concord, on her tuneful string. By sweet complacencies from virtue felt?
Is man the sole exception from her laws ? Why whispers nature lies on virtue's parts? Eternity struck off from human hope, Or if blind instinct (which assumes the name Vlan is a monster, the reproach of heav'n, Of sacred couscience) plays the fool in mall, A stain, a dark impenetrable cloud Why reason made accomplice in the cheat? On nature's beauteous aspect; and deforms, Why are the wisest, loudest in her praise ? (Amazing blot!) deforins her with her lord. Can man by reason's beam be led astray?
Or own the soul immortal, or invert Or, at his peril, imitate bis God?
All order. Go, mock-majesty! go, man, Siace virtue so:netimes ruins us on earth, And bow to thy superiors of the stall ; Or, both are true, or man survives the grave. Thro' every scene of sense superior far: (stream
Or inan survives the grave, or own, Lorenzo, | They graze the turf untilld ; they drink the Thy boast supreme, a wild absurdity.
| Unbrew'd, and ever full, and unimbitter'd Dauntless thy spirit; cowards are thy scorn.
With doubts, fears, fruitless hopes, regrets, deGrant man immortal, and thy scorn is just.
spairs, The man imirortal, rationally brave,
Mankind's peculiar! reason's precious dow'r! Dares rash on death, - because he cannot die. No foreign clime they ransack for their robes, But if man loses all, when life is lost;
Nor brothers cite to the litigious bar: lie lives a coward, or a fool expires.
[Their good is good enuire, unwixt, unmarr'd;" A daring infidel (and such there are,
| They find a paradise in ev'ry field, . From pride, example, lucre, rage, revenge,
On boughs forbidden, where no curses hang; Or pure treroical defect of thought),
l'Their ill no more than 'strikes the sense, un.. Of all earth's madmen, most deserves a chain. 1. stretcht
When, to the grave, we follow the renown'd By previous dread or murmur in the rear; For valor, virtue, science, all we love, [beumi When the worst comes, it comes uufear'd; one And all we pra'e; for worth, whose noontide 1 stroke Jends oar ideas of ethereal pow'rs;
Begins and ends their woe : they die but once ; Dream we, that lustre of the moral world Blest, incommunicable privilege! stars, Gres out in stench, and rottenness the close? For which who rules the globe, and reads the Why was he wise to know, and warm to praise, Philosopher, or here, sigbs in vain...
Account for this prerogative in brutes : Of immortality. The first in faine,
Sham'd at the disproportion vast between ( sole and sweet solution! that unites
The passion, and the purchase, he will sigh The dicficult, and softens the severe;
| At such success, and blush at his renown: The cloud on nature's beauteous face dispels And why? because far richer prize invites Restores bright order ;' casts the brute beneath ; His heart; far more illustrious glory calls. And re-inthrones us in supreniaey
And can ambition a fourth proof supply? Of joy, ev'n here, admit immortal life, It can, and stronger than the former three. And virtue is knight-errantry no more · Tho' disappointments in ambition pain, Each virtue brings in hand a golden dow'r, And tho'success disgusts, yet still we strive Far richer in reversion : hopc exults;
la vain to pluck it from us : man inust soar: And, tho' much bitter in our cup is thrown, | An obstinate activity within, Predominates, and gives the taste of heav'n. An insuppressive spring will toss him up, O wherefore is the Deity so kind?
In spite of fortune's load. Not kings alone, Heav'n our reward - for heav'n enjoy'd below. Each villager has his ambition too:
Still ninsubdu'd thy stubborn heart? For there No Sultan prouder than his fetter'd slave : The traitor lurks, who doubts the truth I sing: Slaves build their litile Babylons of straw, Reason is guiltless; will alone rebels.
Echo the proud Ass; rian, in their hearts. What, in that stubborn heart, if I should find And cry,-- Behold the wonders of my might!" New, unexpected witnesses against thee? | And why? because immortal as their lord : Ambition, and the fateless love of gain! [soul And souls immortal must for ever heave Canst thou suspect that these, which make the At something great; the glitter, or the gold ; The slave of carth, should own her heir of The praise of mortals, or the praise of hear'n.
hear'n? Canst thou suspect, what makes us disbelieve
6 221. Avarice. Our immorality, should prove it sure?.
Thus far ambitiou. What says avarice?.. $ 220. Ambition and Fame.
| This her chief maxim, which has long been
thine, First, then, ambition summon to the bar :
" The wise and wealthy are the same." I grant Ambition's shame, extravagance, disgust, And inextinguishable nature, speak :
| To store up treasure, with incessant toil, fit.
| This is man's province, this his highest praise. Each much deposes : hear them in their turn.
| To this great end keen instinct stings him on; Thy soul how passionately fond of fame!
| To guide that instinct, reason! is thy charge ; How anxious that fond passion to conceal!
| 'Tis thine to tell us where true treasure lies: We blush detected in designs on praise,
But reason failing to discharge her trust, Tho' for best deeds, and froin the best of men :
1:A blunder follows, and blind industry, And why? because immortai. Art divine
O'erloading, with the cares of distant age, Has made the body tutor to the soul:
| The jaded spirits of the present hour, Heav'n kindly gives our blood a moral Pow; Bids it ascend the glowing check, and there
Providing för eternity below. . Upbraid that liule heart's inglorious aim,
| Whence inextinguishable thirst of gain? Which stoops to court a character from man;
From inextinguishable life in man:
Man, if not meant by worth to reach the skies, While o'er us, in tremendous judgement, sit Far more than man, with endless praise, and
Had wanted wing to fly so far in guilt.
Sour grapes I grant anibition, avarice; blame.
Yet still their root is immortality. Ambition's boundless appetite out-speaks
| These its wild growths religion can reclaim, The verdict of its shame. When souls take firc
Rcfine, cxalt, throw down their pois' nous lee, At high presumptions of their own desert, One age is poor applause ; the mighty shout,
And make them sparkle in the bowl of bliss. The thunder by the living few begun, Late time must echo! worlds unborn resound : $ 222. Address in Unbelievers. We wish our names eternally to live: (thought. “Kxow all;-know infidels, unapt to know, Wild dream! which ne'er had haunted human 'Tis inmortality your nature solves; Had not our natures been eternal too.
I'Tis immortality decyphers inan, Instinct points out an int'rest in hercafier; And opens all the myst'ries of his make. But our blind reason sces not where it lies; Without it half his instincts are a riddle: Or, seeing, gives the substance for the shade. Without it, all his virtues are a dream : Fame is the shade of immortality,
His very crimes attest his dignity; And in itself a shadow; soon as caught, His fateless appetite of gold, and fame, Contemn'd; it shrinks to nothing in the grasp. Declares him born for blessings infinite. Consult the ambitious; 'tis ainbition's cure. What, less than infinite, makes unabsurd "And is this all?" cry'd Cæsar at his height, | Passions, which all on carth but more inflame! Disgusted. This third proof ambition brings Fierce passions so nisineasur'd to this scene,
Stretch'd out, like eagles' wings, beyond our nest, ļ. Conscience of guilt, is prophecy of pain,
If nothing future paid forbearance here.
Thus on these, and a thousand pleas uncalled, $ 293. The Passions. :
All promise, some insure, a second scene; Yz gentle theologues, of calmer kind!
Which, was it doubtful, would be dearer far Whose constitution dictates to your pen,
Than all things else most certain ; was it false, Who,cold yourselves, think ardor comes fromhell! What truth on earth so precious as the lie? Think not our passions froin corruption sprung,
This world it gives us, let what will ensue; Tho' to corruption now they lend their wings:
This world it gives, in that high cordial, hope; That is their inistress, not their mother. All
The future of the present is the soul : (ind justly) reason deem divine: I see
How this lifegroans, when sever'd from the next I feel a grandeur in the passions too, (end;
Poor, mutilated wretch, that disbelieves ! Which speaks their high descent, and gloriouspy
By dark distrust his being cut in two, Which speaks thein rays of an eternal fire.
lu both part perishes; life void of joy, In paradise itself they burnt as strong,
Sad prelude of eternity in pain! :
COULDst thou persuade me,' the next life Yet still, thro' their disgrace,' no feeble ray
I would fail Of greatriess shines, and tells us whence they fell:
1. Our ardent wishes ; how should I pour out
"My bleeding heart in anguish, new, as deep! But thee, when reason moderates the rein, Shall re-ascend, re-mount their former sphere.
Toh! with what thoughts, thy hope, and my de,
Abhorr'd Annihilation blasts the soul. But ytani their phrenzy lasts; their phrenzy And wide extends the bounds of human woe!
Sspair. To disappoint one providential end; (fails
rasis In this black channel would my ravings run: " Was reason silent, 'boundless passion speaks
“ Grief from the future borrow'd peace, ose A futive seene of boundless objects toni,
while And brings glad tidings of eternal div Eternal day ? 'tis that enlightens all;
The future vanish'd, and the present pain'd!
F., how profound! hurl'd headlong, hurld at and all by that enlighten'd, proves it sure.
. once Consider igan as an immortal being,
To night! to nothing! darker still than night." Intelligible, all; and all is great ;
If 'twas a dreain, why wake me, my worst foe? Consider man as mortal, al is dark, ,
O for delusion ! O for error still! [plant And wretched ; reason weeps at the survey.
Could vengeance strike much stronger than to
A thinking being in a world like this, 6 294. Proofs of Immortality Man's Itappiness Not over-rich before, now beggar'd quite; consists in the Hope of it.
More curst than at the Fall: The sun goes out! Much has been urg'd; and dost thou call for the thorns shoot up! what thorns in ev'ry more?
thought! Call; and with endless questions be distrept, Why sense of better? it imbitters worse : ,' All unresolvable, it earth is all.
Why sense? why life? if but to sigh, then sink “Why life, a moment; infinite, desire ? To what I was? 'twice nothing! and inuch wue! Our wish eternity; our home, the grave? Woe, from heaven's bounties ! woe, froin what Heaven's promise dormant lies in bunan hope, I was wont Who wishes life immortal, proves it too. To fatter most, high intellectual pow'rs. Wliy happiness pursu'd, tho' never found ? " Thought, virtue, knowledge blessings, by Man's thirst of happiness declares it is,
thy scheme, (For nature never gravitates to nought ;) All poison'd into pains. First, knowledge, onde That thirst unquencht declares it is not here, My soul's ambition, now her greatest dread. Why cordial friendship riveted so deep, To know myself, true wisdom?-no, to shun As, hearts to pierce at first, at parting, rend, That shocking science, parent of despair ! If friend and friendship vanish in an hour ? Avert thy mirror; if I see, I die. Is not this torment in the inask of joy? I“ Know my Creator? Climb his blest abode -Why by reflection marr'd the joys of sense! By painful speculation, pierce the veil, Why past and future, preying on our hearts, Dive in his nature, read his attributes, And putting all our present joys to death? And gaze in admiration-on a foe, Why labors reason ? instinct were as well; Obtruding life, withholding happiness ? Instinct far better ; what can choose, can err; From the full rivers that surround his throne, O how infallible the thoughtless brute!
|Not letting fall one drop of joy on man; Reason with inclination why at war?
Man gasping for one drop, that he might ceasc Why sense of guilt? why conscience up in arms?" To curse his birth, nor envy reptiles more!