صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

Doubt you this truth? Why lahours your belief?
If Earth's whole orb by some due distanc'd eye
Were seen at once, her towering Alps would sink,
And levellid Atlas leave an even sphere.
Thus Earth, and all that earthly minds admire,
Is swallow'd in Eternity's vast round.
To that stupendous view when souls awake,
So large of late, so mountainous to man,
T'ime's toys subside; and equal all below.

Enthusiastic, this? Then all are weak,
But rank enthusiasts. To this godlike height
Some souls have soar'd; or martyrs ne'er had bled.
And all may do, what has by man been done,
Who, beaten by these sublunary storms,
Boundless, interminable joys can weigh,
Unraptur'd, unexalted, uninflam'd ?
What slave unblest, who from to-morrow's dawn
Expects an empire ? He forgets his chain,
And, thron'd in thought, his absent sceptre waves.

And what a sceptre waits us! what a throne !
Her own immense appointments to compute,
Or comprehend her high prerogatives,
In this her dark minority, how toils,
How vainly pants, the human soul divine!
Too great the bounty seems for earthly joy;
What heart but trembles at so strange a bliss ?

In spite of all the truths the Muse has sung,
Ne'er to be priz'd enough! enough revolv'd !
Are there who wrap the world so close about them,
They see no further than the clouds; and dance
On heedless Vanity's fantastic toe,
Till, stumbling at a straw, in their career,

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Headlong they plunge, where end both dance and

song? Are there, Lorenzo? Is it possible ? Are there on Earth (let me not call them men) Who lodge a soul' immortal in their breasts; Unconscious as the mountain of its ore; Or rock, of its inestimable gem ? When rocks shall melt, and mountains vanish, these Shall know their treasure; treasure, then, no more.

Are there (still more amazing!) who resist The rising thought? who smother, in its birth, The glorious truth? who struggle to be brutes ? Who through this bosom-barrier burst their way, And, with revers’d ambition, strive to sink ? Who labour downwards through th' opposing powers Of instinct, reason, and the world against them, To dismal hopes, and shelter in the shock Of endless night; night darker than the grave's? Who fight the proofs of immortality ? With horrid zeal, and execrable arts, Work all their engines, level their black fires, To blot from man this attribute divine, (Than vital blood far dearer to the wise,) Blasphemers, and rank atheists to themselves ?

To contradict them, see all Nature rise ! What object, what event, the Moon beneath, But argues, or endears, an after-scene? To reason proves, or weds it to desire ? All things proclaim it needful ; some advance One precious step beyond, and prove it sure. A thousand arguments swarm round my pen. From Heaven, and Earth, and man. Indulge a few

By Nature, as her common habit, worn;
So pressing Providence a truth to teach,
Which truth untaught, all other truths were vain.

Thou ! whose all-providential eye surveys,
Whose hand directs, whose spirit fills and warms
Creation, and holds empire far beyond !
Eternity's inhabitant august!
Of two eternities amazing Lord!
One past, ere man's or angel's had begun;
Aid! while I rescue from the foe's assault
Thy glorious immortality in man:
A theme for ever, and for all, of weight,
Of moment infinite ! but relish'd most
By those who love thee most, who most adore.

Nature, thy daughter, ever-changing birth Of thee the great Immutable, to man Speaks wisdom : is his oracle supreme; And he who most consults her, is most wise. Lorenzo, to this heavenly Delphos haste; And come back all-immortal ; all-divine: Look Nature through, 't is revolution all ; (night All change; no death. Day follows night, and The dying day; stars rise, and set, and rise; Earth takes th' example.. See, the Summer gay, With her green chaplet, and ambrosial flowers, Droops into pallid Autumn: Winter gray, Horrid with frost, and turbulent with storm, Blows Autumn, and his golden fruits, away: Then melts into the Spring: soft Spring, with breath Favonian, from warm chambers of the south, Recalls the first. All, to re-flourish, fades; As in a wheel, all sinks, to re-ascend: Emblems of man, who passes, not expires.

With this minute distinction, emblems just,
Nature revolves, but man advances ; both
Eternal, that a circle, this a line.
That gravitates, this soars. Th' aspiring soul,
Ardent, and tremulous, like flame, ascends,
Zeal and humility her wings, to Heaven.
The world of matter, with its various forms,
All dies into new life. Life born from death
Rolls the vast mass, and shall for ever roll.
No single atom, once in being, lost,
With change of counsel charges the Most High.

What hence infers Lorenzo ? Can it be?
Matter immortal ? And shall spirit die ?
Above the nobler, shall less noble rise ?
Shall man alone, for whom all else revives,
No resurrection know? Shall man alone,
Imperial man ! be sown in barren ground,
Less privileg'd than grain, on which he feeds ?
Is man, in whom alone is power to prize
The bliss of being, or with previous pain
Deplore its period, by the spleen of fate
Severely doom'd death's single unredeem'd?
If Nature's revolution speaks aloud,
In her gradation, hear her louder still.
Look Nature through, 't is neat gradation all.
By what minute degrees her scale ascends !
Each middle nature join'd at each extreme,
To that above it join'd, to that beneath.
Parts, into parts reciprocally shot,
Abhor divorce : what love of union reigns !
Here, dormant matter waits a call to life ; [sense ;
Half-life, half-death, join'd there ; here life and

There, sense from reason steals a glimmering ray;
Reason shines out in man. But how preserv'd
The chain unbroken upward, to the realms
Of incorporeal life ? those realms of bliss
Where death hath no dominion? Grant a make
Half-mortal, half-immortal ; earthy, part,
And part ethereal ; grant the soul of man
Eternal; or in man the series ends.
Wide yawns the gap ; connection is no more;
Check'd reason halts; her next step wants support;
Striving to climb, she tumbles from her scheme;
A scheme, analogy pronounc'd so true;
Analogy, man's surest guide below.

Thus far, all Nature calls on thy belief.
And will Lorenzo, careless of the call,
False attestation on all Nature charge,
Rather than violate his league with death ?
Renounce his reason, rather than renounce
The dust belov'd, and run the risk of Heaven?
O what indignity to deathless souls !
What treason to the majesty of man !
Of man immortal! Hear the lofty style :
“ If so decreed, thi’ Almighty Will be done.
Let Earth dissolve, yon ponderous orbs descend,
And grind us into dust. The soul is safe ;
The man emerges ; mounts above the wreck,
As towering flame from Nature's funeral pyre;
O'er devastation, as a gainer, smiles ;
His charter, his inviolable rights,
Well pleas'd to learn from thunder's impotence,
Death's pointless darts, and Hell's defeated storms."

But these chimeras touch not thee, Lorenzo !

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