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Nor wash'd in ocean, as from Rome he pass’d
To Britain's isle ; too, too, conspicuous there !"
But this is all digression : where is he,
That o'er Heaven's battlements the felon hurl'd
To groans, and chains, and darkness? Where is he,
Who sees creation's summit in a vale ?
He, whom, while man is man, he can't but seek;
And if he finds, commences more than man?
O for a telescope his throne to reach !
Tell me, ye learn'd on Earth ! or blest above !
Ye searching, ye Newtonian angels ! tell, (where?
Where, your great Master's orb? His planets,
Those conscious satellites, those morning-stars,
First-born of Deity ! from central love,
By veneration most profound, thrown off ;
By sweet attraction, no less strongly drawn ;
Aw'd, and yet raptur'd; raptur'd, yet serene ;
Past thought illustrious, but with borrow'd beams;
In still approaching circles, still remote,
Revolving round the Sun's eternal Sire ?
Or sent, in lines direct, on embassies
To nations in what latitude ? - Beyond
Terrestrial thought's horizon ! — And on what
High errands sent ? - Here human effort ends;
And leaves me still a stranger to his throne.
Full well it might! I quite mistook my
Born in an age more curious than devout;
More fond to fix the place of Heaven, or Hell,
Than studious this to shun, or that secure.
'Tis not the curious, but the pious path,
That leads me to my point : Lorenzo! know,
Without or star, or angel, for their guide,
Who worship God, shall find him. Humble love,
And not proud reason, keeps the door of Heaven;
Love finds admission, where proud science fails.
Man's science is the culture of his heart;
And not to lose his plummet in the depths
Of Nature, or the more profound of God.
Either to know, is an attempt that sets
The wisest on a level with the fool.
To fathom Nature (ill-attempted here !)
Past doubt is deep philosophy above ;
Higher degrees in bliss archangels take,
As deeper learn'd; the deepest, learning still.
For, what a thunder of Omnipotence
(So might I dare to speak) is seen in all !
In man ! in Earth! in more amazing skies !
Teaching this lesson, pride is loth to learn
“ Not deeply to discern, not much to know,
Mankind was born to wonder, and adore."
And is there cause for higher wonder still,
Than that which struck us from our past surveys ?
Yes ; and for deeper adoration too.
From my late airy travel unconfin'd,
Have I learn'd nothing ? - Yes, Lorenzo ! this ;
Each of these stars is a religious house ;
I saw their altars smoke, their incense rise ;
And heard hosannas ring through every sphere,
A seminary fraught with future gods.
Nature all o'er is consecrated ground,
Teeming with growths immortal and divine.
The great proprietor's all-bounteous hand
Leaves nothing waste ; but sows these fiery fields
With seeds of reason, which to virtues rise
Beneath his genial ray: and, if escap'd
The pestilential blasts of stubborn will,
When grown mature, are gather'd for the skies.
And is devotion thought too much on Earth,
When beings, so superior, homage boast,
And triumph in prostration to the throne ?
But wherefore more of planets, or of stars?
Ethereal journeys, and, discover'd there,
Ten thousand worlds, ten thousand ways devout,
All Nature sending incense to the throne,
Except the bold Lorenzos of our sphere?
Opening the solemn sources of my soul,
Since I have pour'd, like feign’d Eridanus,
My flowing numbers o'er the flaming skies,
Nor see, of fancy, or of fact, what more
Invites the Muse - Here turn we, and review
Our past nocturnal landscape wide: -
Say, then, Lorenzo ! with what burst of heart,
The whole, at once, revolving in his thought,
Must man exclaim, adoring, and aghast ?
“ O what a root! O what a branch, is here!
() what a Father! What a family!
Worlds ! systems ! and creations ! - And creations,
In one agglomerated cluster, hung,
Great Vine! on thee; on thee the cluster hangs;
The filial cluster ! infinitely spread
In glowing globes, with various being fraught ;
And drinks (nectareous draught !) immortal life.
Or, shall I say (for who can say enough ?)
A constellation of ten thousand gems,
(And, O! of what dimension ! of what weight!)
Set in ore signet, flames on the right hand
Of Majesty Divine! The blazing seal,
That deeply stamps, on all created mind,
Indelible, his sovereign attributes,
Omnipotence, and love! That, passing bound;
And this, surpassing that. Nor stop we here,
For want of power in God, but thought in man.
E'en this acknowledg’d, leaves us still in debt :
If greater aught, that greater all is thine,
Dread Sire ! — Accept this miniature of thee;
And pardon an attempt from mortal thought,
In which archangels might have fail'd, unblam'd.”.
How such ideas of th' Almighty's power,
And such ideas of th’ Almighty's plan,
(Ideas not absurd,) distend the thought
Of feeble mortals ! Nor of them alone!
The fulness of the Deity breaks forth
In inconceivables to men, and gods.
Think, then, O think, nor ever drop the thought,
How low must man descend, when gods adore !
Have I not, then, accomplish'd my proud boast ?
Did I not tell thee, “ We would mount, Lorenzo ti
And kindle our devotion at the stars?"
And have I faild ? And did I flatter thee ? And art all adamant? And dost confute All urg'd, with one irrefragable smile ? Lorenzo ! mirth how miserable here! Swear by the stars, by him who made them, swear, Thy heart, henceforth, shall be as pure as they :
Then thou, like them, shalt shine ; like them, shalt
From low to lofty; from obscure to bright;
By due gradation, Nature's sacred law.
The stars, from whence? Ask Chaos
he can tell.
These bright temptations to idolatry,
From darkness and confusion, took their birth ;
Sons of deformity! from fluid dregs
Tartarean, first they rose to masses rude;
And then, to spheres opaque ; then dimly shone ;
Then brighten'd; then blaz’d out in perfect day.
Nature delights in progress; in advance
From worse to better; but, when minds ascend,
Progress, in part, depends upon themselves.
Heaven aids exertion ; greater makes the great ;
The voluntary little lessens more.
O be a man ! and thou shalt be a God!
And half self-made !! Ambition how divine!
O thou, ambitious of disgrace alone! Still undevout ? Unkindled ?— Though high-taught, School'd by the skies, and pupil of the stars ; Rank coward to the fashionable world! Art thou asham'd to bend thy knee to Heaven ? Curst fume of pride, exhald from deepest Hell ! Pride in religion is man's highest praise Bent on destruction ! and in love with death! Not all these luminaries, quench'd at once, Were half so sad, as one benighted mind, Which gropes for happiness, and meets despair. How, like a widow in her weeds, the night, Amid her glimmering tapers, silent sits ! How sorrowful, how desolate, she weeps