Imágenes de páginas

the true;

§ 246. Joy.

False joys, indeed, are born from want of thought;, They stand collecting ev'ry beam of thought,
From thoughts full bent, and energy,
Till their hearts kindle with divine delight;
And that demands a mind in equal poise, For all their thoughts like angels seen of old
Remote from gloomy grief, and glaring joy.
In Israel's dreams, come from and go to heav'n:
Much joy not only speaks small happiness,
Hence are they studious of sequester'd scenes,
But happiness that shortly must expire:
While noise and dissipation confort thee.
Can joy, unbottom'd in reflection, stand?
And in a tempest can reflection live?
Can joy like thine secure itself an hour?
Can joy like thine meet accident unshock'd,
Orope the door to honest poverty?
Ortalk with threat'ning death, and not turn pale?
In such a world, and such a nature, these
Are needful fundamentals of delight:
These fundamentals give delight indeed;
Delight, pure, delicate, and durable;
Delight, unshaken, masculine, divine;
A constant, and a sound, but serious joy.
Is joy the daughter of severity?

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It is: yet far my doctrine from severe :
Rejoice for ever," it becomes a man;
Exalts, and sets him nearer to the gods;
Rejoice for ever." Nature cries, " Rejoice;"
And drinks to man, in her neetareous cup,
Mix'd up of delicates for ev'ry sense;
To the great Founder of the bounteous feast
Drinks glory, gratitude, eternal praise:
And he that will not pledge her, is a churl.
Ill firmly to support, good fully taste,
Is the whole science of felicity.
Yet sparing pledge; her bowl is not the best
Mankind can boast: A rational repast;
Exertion, vigilance, a mind in arms,
A military discipline of thought,
To foil temptation in the doubtful field;
An ever-waking ardor for the right,
Tis these first give, then guard a cheerful heart.
Nought that is right, think little; well aware,
What reason bids, God bids: by his command,
How aggrandis'd the smallest thing we do!
Thus nothing is insipid to the wise;
To thee insipid all, but what is mad;

VAIN are all sudden sallies of delight;
Convulsions of a weak, distemper'd joy.
Joy's a fix'd state; a tenor, not a start;
Bliss there is none, but unprecarious bliss:
That is the gem; sell all, and purchase that.
Reason perpetuates joy that reason gives,
And makes it as immortal as herself:
Tomortals, nought immortal, but their worth,

$247. Follies of Imagination.

In this is seen imagination's guilt; [thee,
But who can count her follies? She betrays
To think in grandeur there is something great.
For works of curious art, and antient fame,
Thy genius hungers, elegantly pain'd;
And foreign climes must cater for thy taste.
Hence what disaster!-Tho' the price was paid,
That persecuting priest, the Turk of Rome
Detain'd thy dinner on the Latian shore;
And your magnificence is starv'd to death.
Hence, just resentment, indignation, ire!

§ 248. Pleasure consists in Goodness.
PLEASURE, we both agree, is man's chief good ;
Our only contest, what deserves the name? [pass'd
Give pleasure's name to nought, but what has
Th' authentic seal of reason, which defies
The tooth of time; when past a pleasure still;
Dearer on trial, lovelier for its age,
Our future, while it forms our present joy.
And doubly to be priz'd, as it promotes
Some joys the future overcast; and some
Throw all their beams that way, and gild the
Some joys endear eternity: some give

Joys season'd high, and tasting strong of guilt. Abhorrd annihilation dreadful charms.

$245. Earthly Happiness.
CONSISTENT wisdom ever wills the same;
Thy fickle wish is ever on the wing.
Sick of herself is folly's character;
As wisdom's is a modest self applause.
A change of evils is thy good supreme;
Nor, but in motion, canst thou find thy rest.
Man's greatest strength is shown in standing still:
The first sure symptom of a mind in health,
I rest of heart, and pleasure felt at home.
False pleasure from abroad her joys imports.;
Rich from within, and self-sustain'd, the true:
The true is fix'd, and solid, as a rock;
Slipp'ry the false, and tossing, as the wave:
Tis love o'erflowing makes an angel here;
Such angels all, entitled to repose

On him who governs fate. Tho' tempest frowns,
Tho'nature shakes, how soft to lean on heav'n!
To lean on Him on whom archangels lean!
With inward eyes, and silent as the grave;


Are rival joys contending for thy choice?
Consult thy whole existence, and be safe;
That oracle will put all doubt to flight:
Be good, and let heav'n answer for the rest.
Yet, with a sigh o'er all mankind, I grant,
In this our day of proof, our land of hope,
The good man has his clouds that intervene ;
Clouds that obscure his sublunary day,
But never conquer. Ev'n the best must own,
Patience and resignation are the pillars
Of human peace on earth: remote from thee;
Till this heroic lesson thou hast learn'd;
To frown at pleasure, and to smile in pain,
Fir'd at the prospect of unclouded bliss.
Heav'n in reversion, like the sun as yet
Beneath the th' horizon, cheers us in this world;
It sheds, on souls susceptible of light,
The glorious dawn of our eternal day.

Now see the man immortal; him. I mean,
Who lives as such; whose heart, full bent on

Leans all that way his bias to the stars.
The world's dark shades, in contrast set, shall


His lustre more; tho' bright, without a soil.
Observe his awful portrait, and adinire
Nor stop at fronder; imitate and live.

$249. Picture of a Good Man.
WITH aspect mild, and elevated eye,
Behold him seated on a mount serene,
Above the fogs of sense, and passion's storm;
All the black cares and tumults of this life,
Like harmless thunders, breaking at his feet,
Earth's genuine sons, the sceptred and the slave,
A mingled mob! a wand'ring herd! he sees
Bewilder'd in the vale; in all unlike!
His full reverse in all; what higher praise?
What stronger demonstration of the right?

The present all their care; the future, his:
When public welfare calls, or private want,
They give to fame; his bounty he conceals:
Their virtues varnish nature; his exalt:
Theirs, their wild chace of false felicities;
His, the compos'd possession of the true :
Alike throughout is his consistent peace,
All of one color, and an even thread;
While party-color'd shreds of happiness,
With hideous gaps between, patch up for them
A madinan's robe; each puff of fortune blows
The tatters by, and shows their nakedness.
He sees with other eyes than theirs; where they
Behold a sun, he spies a Deity;
What makes them only smile, makes him adore;
Where they see mountains, he but atoms sees;
An empire, in his balance, weighs a grain :
They things terrestrial worship, as divine;
His hopes immortal blow them by, as dust,
That dims his sight, and shortens his survey,
Which longs, in infinite, to lose all bound:
Titles and honors (if they prove his fate)
He lays aside to find his dignity:
They triumph in externals (which conceal
Man's real glory) proud of an eclipse;
He nothing thinks so great in man, as man ;
Too dear he holds his interest, to neglect;
Another's welfare, or his right invade;
Their intrest, like a lion's, lives on prey:
They kindle at the shadow of a wrong;
Wrong he sustains with temper, looks on heav'n,
Nor stoops to think his injurer his foe;
Nought, but what wounds his virtue, wounds his

A cover'd heart their character defends;
A cover'd heart denies him half his praise:
With nakedness his innocence agrees;
While their broad foliage testifies their fall:
Their no joys end, where his full feast begins;
His joys create, theirs murder, future bliss:
To triumph in existence, his alone;
And his alone, triumphantly to think
His true existence is not yet begun:
His glorious course was, yesterday, complete;
Death then was welcoine, yet life still is sweet.

$250. The Fall of the Good Man.

BUT nothing charms, Lorenzo, like the firm,
Undaunted breast:-And whose is that high

They yield to pleasure, tho' they danger brave,
And show no fortitude, but in the field;
If there they show it, 'tis for glory shown :
Nor will that cordial always man their hearts:
A cordial his sustains, that cannot fail:
By pleasure unsubdu'd, unbroke by pain,
He shares in that omnipotence he trusts:
All-bearing, all-attempting, till he falls,
And, when he falls, writes VICI on his shield;
From magnanimity, all fear above:
From nobler recompence, above applause

§ 251. Wit and Wisdom.

WIT, how delicious to man's dainty taste!-
"Tis precious, as the vehicle of sense;
But, as its substitute, a dire disease:
Pernicious talent! flatter'd by mankind,
Yet hated too; they think the talent rare.
Wisdom is rare, Lorenzo! wit abounds;
Passion can give it; sometimes win inspires
The lucky flash; and madness rarely fails.
Whatever cause the spirit strongly stirs,
Confers the bays, and rivals thy renown;
Chance often hits it; and, to pique thee more,
See dullness blund'ring on vivacities.
But wisdom, awful wisdom! which inspects,
Discerns, compares, weighs, separates, infers,
Seises the right, and holds it to the last!
How rare! In senates, synods, sought in vain;
Or, if there found, 'tis sacred to the few.
While a loud prostitute to multitudes,
Frequent as fatal, wit. In civil life,
Wit makes an enterpriser; sense, a man:
Sense is our helmet, wit is but the plume;
The plume exposes, 'tis our helmet saves:
Sense is the diamond, weighty, solid, sound;
When cut by wit, it casts a brighter beam;
Yet, wit apart, it is a diamond still:
Wit, widow'd of good sense, is worse than
It hoists more sail to run against a rock. [nought;
How ruinons the rock I warn thee shun,
Where syrens sit, to sing thee to the fate!
Let not the cooings of the world allure thee;
Which of her lovers ever found her true?

Happy! of this bad world how little know;
She gives but little; nor that little, long.
There is, I grant, a triumph of the pulse;
A dance of spirits, a merc froth of joy,
That mantles high, that sparkles and expires,
Leaving the soul more vapid than before;
An animal ovation! such as holds

No commerce with our reason, but șubsists
On juices thro'the well-tun'd tubes, well-strain'd;
A nice machine! scarce ever tun'd aright;
But when it jars, the syrens sing no more,
The demi-god is thrown beneath the man;
In coward gloom immers'd, or fell despair.

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Hard either task! The most abandon'd own,
That others, if abandon'd, are undone :
Then, for themselves, the moment reason wakes,
O how laborious is their gaiety!

They scarce can muster patience for the farce;
And pump sad laughter, till the curtain falls :
Scarce, did I say? Some cannot sit it out;
Oft their own daring hands the curtain draw,
And show us what their joy, by their despair.
The clotted hair! gor'd breast! blaspheming
Its impious fury still alive in death! [eye!
Saut,shut the shocking scene.-But heav'ndenies
A cover to such guilt; and so should man.
Look round, Lorenzo! see the reeking blade;
Th' envenom'd phial, and the fatal ball;
The strangling cord, and suffocating stream;
The loathsome rottenness and foul decays
From raging riot (slower suicides!),
And pride in these, more execrable still!-
How horrid all to thought!- But horrors, these,
That vouch the truth, and aid my feeble song.
$253. NIGHT IX. Reflections on Death.
WHERE the prime actors of the last year's
Their port so proud, their buskin, and their
How many sleep, who kept the world awake
Withlustre, andwith noise? Has Deathproclaim'd
A truce, and hung his sated lance on high?
Tis brandish'd still; nor shall the present year
Be more tenacious of her human leaf,
Or spread of feeble life a thinner fall.


But needless monuments to wake the thought; Life's gayest scenes speak man's mortality, Tho' in a style more florid, full as plain, As mausoleums, pyramids, and tombs. What are our noblest ornaments, but deaths Tarn'd flatterers of life, in paint, or marble, The well-stain'd canvas, or the featur'd stone? Our fathers grace, or rather haunt, the scene; Joy peoples her pavilion from the dead. "Profest diversions! cannot these escape?" Far from it; these present us with a shroud, And talk of death, like garlands o'er the grave. As some bold plunderers, for buried wealth, We ransack tombs for pastime; from the dust Call up the sleeping hero; bid him tread The scene for our amusement: how like gods We sit; and, wrapt in immortality, Shed gen'rous tears on wretches born to die; Their fate deploring, to forget our own!

$254. The World a Grave. WHAT is the world itself? thy world?-a grave?

Where is the dust that has not been alive?
The spade, the plough, disturb our ancestors;
From human mould we reap our daily bread:
The globe around earth's hollow surface shakes,

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$255. The Triumphs of Death. NOR man alone; his breathing bust expires; His tomb is mortal; empires die; Where now The Roman? Greek? They stalk, an empty name! Yet few regard them in this useful light; Tho' halfour learning is their epitaph. [thought, When down thy vale, unlock'd by midnight That loves to wander in thy sunless realms, O Death! I stretch my view; what visions rise! What triumphs! toils imperial! arts divine! In wither'd laurels, glide before my sight! What lengths of far-fam'd ages, billow'd high With human agitation, roll along In unsubstantial images of air! The melancholy ghosts of dead renown, Whisp'ring faint echoes of the world's applause, With penitential aspect, as they pass, All point at earth, and hiss at hunan pride.

§ 256. Deluge and Conflagration. BUT, O Lorenzo! far the rest above, Of ghastly nature, and enormous size, One form assaults my sight, and chills my blood, And shakes my frame: of one departed world I see the mighty shadow; oozy wreath And dismal sea-weed crown her; o'er her urn Reclin'd, she weeps her desolated realms, Aud bloated sons; and, weeping, prophesies Another's dissolution, soon, in flames.

Deluge and Conflagration, dreadful pow'rs! Prime ministers of vengeance! chain'd in caves Distinct, apart the giant-furies roar ; Apart; or, such their horrid rage for ruin, In mutual conflict would they rise, and wage Eternal war, till one was quite devour'd: But not for this ordain'd their boundless rage; When heaven's inferior instruments of wrath, War, famine, pestilence, are found too weak These are let loose, alternate: down they rush, scourge a world for her enormous crimes; Swift and tempestous, from th' eternal throne, With irresistible commission arm'd, The world, in vain corrected, to destroy, And ease creation of the shocking scene.


§ 257. The Last Day. SEEST thou, Lorenzo! what depends on man? The fate of nature; as, for man, her birth: Earth's actors change earth's transitory scenes, And make creation groan with human guilt: How must it groan, in a new deluge whelm'd; But not of waters ? at the destin'd hour, By the loud trumpet summon'd to the charge, See, all the formidable sons of fire, L Eruptions,

Eruptions, earthquakes, comets, lightnings, play Their various engines; all at once disgorge Their blazing magazines; and take by storm This poor terrestrial citadel of man. Amazingperiod: when each mountain-height Out-burns Vesuvius; rocks eternal pour Their melted mass, as rivers once they pour'd; Stars rush; and final Ruin fiercely drives Her ploughshare o'er creation !—while aloft More than astonishment! if more can be! Far other firmament than e'er was seen, Than e'er was thought by man! far other stars! Stars animate, that govern these of fire: Far other sun!-A sun, O how unlike The babe at Bethlem! How unlike the man That groan'd on Calvary! - Yet, He it is; That man of sorrows! O how chang'd! What In grandeur terrible, all heaven descend! [pomp! A swift archangel, with his Golden wing, As blots and clouds, that darken, and disgrace The scene divine, sweeps stars and suus aside: And now, all dross remov'd, heav'ns own pure day, Full on the confines of our ether, flames. While (dreadful contrast?) far, how far beneath! Hell bursting, belches forth her blazing seas, And storms sulphureous: her voracious jaws Expanding wide, and roaring for her prey. [peace, At midnight, when mankind is wrapp'd in And workdily fancy feeds on golden dreams, Man, starting from his couch, shall sleep no more, Above, around, beneath, amazement all! Terror and glory join'd in their extremes! Our God in grandeur, and our world on fire! All nature struggling in the pangs of death! Dost thou not hear her? dost thou not deplore Her strong convulsions, and her final groan? Where are we now? Ah me! the ground is gone, On which we stood! Lorenzo! while thou mayst, Provide more firm support, or sink for ever! Where? how? from whence? Vain hope! it

too late!


Where, where, for shelter, shall the guilty fly,
When consternation turns the good man pale?
Great day! for which all other days were made;
For which earth rose from chaos; man from earth;
And an Eternity, the date of Gods,
Descended on poor-earth created man!
Great day of dread, decision, and despair!
At thought of thee, cach sublunary wish
Lets go its eager grasp, and drops the world;
And catches at cach reed of hope in heav'n.
Already is begun the grand assize,
In us, in all: deputed conscience scales

The dread tribunal, and forestalls our doom;
Forestalls; and by forestalling, proves it sure.
Why on himself should man void judgement pass?
Is idle nature laughing at her sons?
Who conscience sent, her sentence will support,
And God above assert that God in man.

$258. Thoughtlessness of the last Day. THRICE happy they, that enter now the court Heav'n opens in their bosoms: but, how rare? Ah me! that magnanimity; how rare !.

What hero, like the raan who stands himself,

Who dares to meet his naked heart alone?
Who hears intrepid the full charge it brings,
Resolv'd to silence future murmers there?
The coward flies; and, flying, is undone,

Shall all, but man, look out with ardent eye,
For that great day, which was ordain'd for mau?
O day of consunimation! mark supreme
(If nien are wise) of human thought! nor least,
Or in the sight of angels, or their King!
Angels, whose radiant circles, height o'er height,
As in a theatre surround this scene
Intent on man and anxious for his fate,
Angels look out for thee; for thee, their Lord,
To vindicate his glory; and for thee,
Creation universal calls aloud,
To disinvolve the moral world, and give
To nature's renovation brighter charms.

Shall man alone, whose fate, whose final fate,
Hangs on that hour, exclude it from his thought?
I think of nothing else; I see! I feel it!
All nature, like an earthquake, trembling round!
I see the Judge enthron'd! the flaming guard!
The volume open'd! open'd ev'ry heart!
A sun-beam pointing out each secret thought!
No patron! intercessor none! now past
The sweet, the clement, mediatorial hour!
For guilt no plea! to pain no pause! no bound!
Inexorable, all! and all extreme!
Nor man alone; the foe of God and man,
From his dark den, blaspheming, drags his chain,
And rears his brazen front, with thunder scarr'd;
Like meteors in a stormy sky, how roll
His baleful eyes! he curses whom he dreads,
And deems it the first moment of his fall,

Tis present to my thought!
$259. Eternity and Time.

where is it?

And, yet,

Say, Thou great close of human hopes and fears!
Great key of hearts! great finisher of fates!
Great end! and great beginning! say, where art
Nor in eternity, nor time, I find thee!
Art thou in time, or in eternity?
These, as two monarchs, on their borders meet
(Monarchs of all elaps'd, or un-arriv'd !)
As in debate, how best their pow'rs ally'd,
May swell the grandeur, or discharge the wrath,
Of him, whom both their monarchies obey.

Time, this vast fabric for him built (and doom'd With him to fall) now bursting o'er his head; His lamp, the sun, extinguish'd, calls his sons From their long slumber; from earth's heaving womb

To second birth; upstarting from one bed;
Then (as a king depos'd disdains to live)
He turns them o'er, eternity! to thee:
His greatest foe falls with him; time, and he
He falls on his own scythe; nor falls alone;
Who murder'd all time's offspring, death, expire.

Time was! eternity now reigns alone!
And lo! her twice tenthousand gates thrown wide,
With banners, streaming as the comets blaze
And clarions, louder than the deep in storms,
Pour forth their myriads, potentates, and pow'rs,

Of light, of darkness: in a middle field,
Wide as creation! there to mark th' event
Of that great drama, whose preceeding scenes
Detain'd them close spectators, thro' a length
Of ages, rip'ning to this grand result;
Ages, as yet unnumber'd but by God;
Who, now, pronouncing sentence, vindicates
The rights of virtue, and his own renown.
Eternity, the various sentence past,
Assigns the sever'd throng distinct abodes,
Sulphureous or ambrosial: What ensues?
The goddess, with determin'd aspect, turns
Her adamantine key's enormous size
Thro' destiny's inextricable wards,
Deep-driving ev'ry bolt; on both their fates;
Then from the crystal battlements of heav'n,
Down, down, she hurls it thro' the dark profound,
Ten thousand thousand fathom; there to rust,
And ne'er unlock her resolution more.
The deep resounds, and hell, thro'all her glooms,
Returns, in groans, the melancholy roar.
$260. The unreasonableness of Complaint.
WHAT then am 1?-

Amidst applauding worlds,
And worlds celestial, is there found on earth,
A peevish, dissonant, rebellious string,
Which jars in the grand chorus, and complains?
All, all is right, by God ordain'd, or done;
And who, but God, resum'd the friends he gave?
And have I been complaining, then, so long?
Complaining of his favors; pain, and death?
Who without pain's advice would e'er be good
Who without death, but would be good in vain
Pain is to save from pain! all punishment,
To make for peace! and death to save from death!
And second death to guard immortal life;
To rouse the careless, the presumptuous awe,
And turn the tide of souls another way;
By the same tenderness divine ordain'd,
That planted Eden, and high-bloom'd for man,
A fairer Eden, endless in the skies.

§ 261. Grief and Joy.

LET impious grief be banish'd, joy indulg'd,
But chiefly then, when grief puts in her claim:
Joy from the joyous, frequently betrays,
Oft lives in vanity, and dies in woe:
Joy amidst ills, corroborates, exalts;
Tis joy and conquest; joy, and virtue too :
A noble fortitude in ills, delights
Heav'n, earth, ourselves; tia duty, glory, peace.
Affliction is the good man's shining scene;
Prosperity conceals his brightest ray:
As night to stars, woe lustre gives to man :
Heroes in battle, pilots in the storm,
And virtue in calamities, admire.
The crown of manhood is a winter joy;
An ever-green, that stands the northern blast,
And blossoms in the rigor of our fate.
§ 262. Night.

Nature's great ancestor! day's elder-born

And fated to survive the transient sun!
A starry cloud thy raven-brow adorns, [loom,
An azure zone, thy waist; clouds, in heav'n's
Wrought thro' varieties of shape and shade,
In ample folds of drapery divine,
Thy flowing mantle form, and, heav'n through-
Voluminously pour thy pompous train
Thy gloomy grandeurs claim a grateful verse,
And, like a sable curtain starr'd with gold,
Drawn o'er my labors past, shall close the scene.

$263. Regularity of the Heavenly Bodies.
NOR think thou seest a wild disorder here;
Thro' this illustrious chaos, to the sight,
Arrangement neat, the chastest order, reign.
The path prescrib'd, inviolably kept,
Upbraids the lawless sallies of mankind:
They rove for ever, without error rove:
Worlds, ever thwarting, never interfere;
Confusion unconfus'd! nor less admire
This tumult untumultuous all on wing,
In motion, all! yet what profound repose!
What fervid action, yet no noise! as aw'd
To silence by the presence of their Lord;
Or hush'd, by his command, in love to man,"
And bid let fall soft beams on human rest,
Restless themselves. On yon cerulean plain,
In exultation to their God and thine,
They dance, they sing eternal jubilee,
Eternal celebration of his praise:

But since their

song arrives not at our ear,
Their dance perplex'd exhibits to the sight
Fair hieroglyphic of his peerless power:
Mark, how, the labyrinthian turns they take,
The circles intricate, and mystic maze,
Weave the grand cypher of Omnipotence;
To Gods, how great! how legible to man !
$264. Miracles.

AND yet Lorenzo calls for miracles,
To give his tott'ring faith a solid base :
Why call for less than is already thine?
Say, which imports more plenitude of power,
Or nature's laws to fix, or to repeal?
To make a sun, or stop his mid-career ?
To countermand his orders, and send back
The flaming courier to the frighted east,
Or bid the moon, as with her journey tir'd,
In Ajalon's soft, flow'ry vale repose?

Great things are these; still greater, to create.
From Adam's bow'r look down thro' the whole
Of miracles ; - resistless is their pow'r? [train
They do not, cannot, more amaze the mind,
Than this, call'd un-miraculous survey.
Say'st thou, "The course of nature governs all ?"
The course of nature is the art of God :
The miracles thou call'st for, this attest;
For, say, could nature nature's course control?

$265. Nature the Foe of Scepticism,
OPEN thy bosom, set thy wishes wide,
And let in manhood; let in happiness;
Admit the boundless theatre of thought
From nothing up to God; which makes a man:
Take God from nature, nothing great is left:


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