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If, sick of folly, I relent; he writes
O most adorable! most unador'd! My name in Heaven, with that inverted spear Where shall thy praise begin, which ne'er should (A spear deep-dipt in blood !) which pierc'd his side,
end ? And open'd there a font for all mankind,
Where'er I turn, what claim on all applause!
And what is this ?-Survey the wondrous cure : What wisdom shines! what love! this midnight pomp, And at each step, let higher wonder rise!
This gorgeous arch, with golden worlds inlaid !
Built with divine ambition ! nought to thee;
Where art thou ? Shall I dive into the dtep?
For their Creator! Shall I question loud
Or holds he furious storms in straitend reins,
And bids fierce whirlwinds wheel his rapid car? Yet for the foulest of the foul he dies,
What mean these questions? Trembling, I retract; Most joy’d, for the redeem'd from deepest guilt ! My prostrate soul adores the present God : As if our race were held of highest rank;
Praise I a distant deity? He tunes And Godhead dearer, as more kind to man!" My voice (if tun'd;) the nerve, that wriles, sustains :
Bound, every heart! and every bosom, burn! Wrapt in his being, I resound his praise :
But though past all diffusd, without a shore,
The listed from afar:) to fix a point,
A central point, collective of his sons, Praise! flow for ever (if astonishment
Since finite every nature but his own. Will give thee leave :) my praise! for ever flow; The nameless He, whose nod is Nature's birth; Praise ardent, cordial, constant, to high Heaven And Nature's shield, the shadow of his hand ; More fragrant, than Arabia sacrific'd,
Her dissolution, his suspended sinile !
The great First-Last! pavilion'd high he sits,
As that to central horrors; he looks down
On all that soars; and spans immensity. Though black as Hell, that grapples well for gold ? Though night unnumber'd worlds unfolds to view, Oh love of gold! thou meanest of amours ! Boundless creation! what art thou? A beam Shall praise her odors waste on virtues dead, A mere effluvium of his majesty: Embalm the base, perfume the stench of guilt, And shall an atom of this atom-world Earn dirty bread by washing Ethiops fair,
Mutter, in dust and sin, the theme of Hearen ? Removing filth, or sinking it from sight,
Down to the centre should I send my thought A scavenger in scenes, where vacant posts, Through beds of glittering ore, and glowing gems, Like gibbets yet untenanted, expect
Their beggar'd blaze wants lustre for my lay ; Their future ornaments ? From courts and thrones, Goes out in darkness : if, on towering wing. Return, apostate Praise ! thou vagabond !
I send it through the boundless vault of stars! Thou prostitute! to thy first love return,
The stars, though rich, what dross their gold to thee. Thy first, thy greatest, once unrival'd theme. Great! good! wise! wonderful! eternal King!
There flow redundant; like Meander, flow If to those conscious stars thy throne around, Back to thy fountain ; to that Parent Power, Praise ever-pouring, and imbibing bliss; Who gives the tongue to sound, the thought to soar, And ask their strain; they want it, more they want. The soul to be. Men homage pay to men, Poor their abundance, bumble their sublime, Thoughtless beneath whose dreadful eye they bow Languid their energy, their ardor cold, In mutual awe profound of clay to clay,
Indebted still, their highest rapture burns ; Of guilt to guilt; and turn their back on thee, Short of its mark, defective, though divine. Great Sire! whom thrones celestial ceaseless sing : Still more--This theme is man's, and man's alone To prostrate angels, an amazing scene!
Their vast appointments reach it not: they see O the presumption of man's awe for man!
On Earth a bounty not indulg'd on high ; Man's Author! End! Restorer! Law! and Judge! And downward look for Heaven's superior praise ! Thine, all; day thine, and thine this gloom of night, First-born of ether! high in fields of light! With all her wealth, with all her radiant worlds : View man, to see the glory of your God! What, night eternal, but a frown from thee? Could angels envy, they had envied here ; What, Heaven's meridian glory, but thy smile? And some did envy; and the rest, though gods, And shall not praise be thine, not human praise ? Yet still gods unredeemid, (there triumphs man, While Heaven's high host on hallelujahs live? Tempted to weigh the dust against the skies.)
O may I breathe no longer than I breathe They less would feel, though more adorn, my theme. My soul in praise to him, who gave my soul, They sung Creation (for in that they shard :) And all her infinite of prospect fair,
How rose in melody, that child of love! Cut through the shades of Hell, great love! by thee, Creation's great superior, man! is thine ;
Thine is redemption; they just gave the key : Conception unconfin'd wants wings to reach him :
Through all their souls; but not in equal stream,
Their various trials in their various spheres,
Resorbs them all into himself again; What then on Earth? On Earth, which struck the His throne their centre, and his smile their crown. blow?
Why doubt we, then, the glorious truth to sing, Who struck it? Who ?-0 how is man enlarg'd Though yet unsung, as deemn’d, perhaps, too bold ? Seen through this medium! how the pigmy towers! Angels are men of a superior kind; How counterpois'd his origin from dust!
Angels are men in lighter habit clad, How counterpoist, to dust his sad return! High o'er celestial mountains wing'd in flight; How voided his vast distance from the skies! And men are angels loaded for an hour, How near he presses on the seraph's wing! Who wade this miry vale, and climb with pain, Which is the seraph ? Which the born of clay? And slippery step, the bottom of the sleep. How this demonstrates, through the thickest cloud Angels their failings, mortals have their praise ; Of guilt, and clay condens'd, the son of He ven! While here, of corps ethereal, such enrollid, The double son ; the made, and the re-ma e! And summond to the glorious standard soon, And shall Heaven's double property be l ist? Which flames eternal crimson through the shies. Man's double madness only can destroy.
Nor are our brothers thoughtless of their kin, To man the bleeding cross has promis'd all; Yet absent; but not absent from their love. The bleeding cross has sworn eternal grace; Michael has fought our battles ; Raphael sung Who gave his life, what grace shall he deny? Our triumphs; Gabriel on our errands flown, ye! who, from this rock of ages, leap,
Sent by the Sovereign: and are these, O man ! A postates, plunging headlong in the deep! Thy friends, thy warm allies? and thou (shame burn What cordial joy, what consolation strong, The cheek to cinder!) rival to the brute ? Whatever winds arise, or billows roll,
Religion's All. Descending from the skies Our interest in the master of the storm!
To wretched man, the goddess, in her left, Cling there, and in wreck'd Nature's ruin smile ; Holds out this world, and, in her right, the next; While vile apostates tremble in a calm.
Religion! the sole voucher man is man; Man! know thyself. All wisdom centres there; Supporter sole of man above himself; To none man seems ignoble, but to man;
E'en in this night of frailty, change, and death, Angels that grandeur, men o'erlook, admire: She gives the soul a soul that acts a god. How long shall human nature be their book, Religion! Providence ! an after-state ! Degenerate mortal! and unread by thee?
Here is firm footing; here is solid rock! The beam dim reason sheds shows wonders there; This can support us; all is sea besides ; What high contents ! Illustrious faculties!
Sinks under us ; bestorms, and then devours. But the grand comment, which displays at full His hand the good man fastens on the skies, Our human height, scarce sever'd from divine, And bids Earth roll, nor feels her idle whirl. By Heaven compos’d, was publish'd on the cross. As when a wretch, from thick, polluted air,
Who looks on that, and sees not in himself Darkness and stench, and suffocation-damps, An awful stranger, a terrestrial god ?
And dungeon-horrors, by kind fate, discharg'd, A glorious partner with the Deity
Climbs some fair eminence, where elher pure In that high attribute, immortal life?
Surrounds him, and Elysian prospects rise, If a god bleeds, he bleeds not for a worm : His heart exults, his spirits cast their load ; I gaze, and, as I gaze, my mounting soul
As if new-born, he triumphs in the change ; Catches strange fire, Eternity! at thee;
So joys the soul, when, from inglorious aims, And drops the world—or rather, more enjoys : And sordid sweets, from feculence and froth How chang'd the face of Nature ! how improv'd! Of ties terrestrial, set at large, she mounts What seem'd a chaos, shines a glorious world, To reason's region, her own element, Or, what a world, an Eden; heighten'd all! Breathes hopes immortal, and affects the skies. It is another scene! another self!
Religion! thou the soul of happiness; And still another, as time rolls along;
And, groaning Calvary, of thee! There shine And that a self far more illustrious still.
The noblest truths; there strongest motives sting; Beyond long ages, yet rollid up in shades There sacred violence assaults the soul; Unpierc'd by bold conjecture's keenest ray, There, nothing but compulsion is forborne. What evolutions of surprising fate!
Can love allure us? or can terror awe? How Nature opens, and receives my soul He weeps the falling drop puts out the Sun; In boundless walks of raptur'd thought! where gods He sighs—the sigh Earth's deep foundation shakes. Encounter and embrace me! What new births If in his love so terrible, what then Of strange adventure, foreign to the Sun;
His wrath inflam'd ? his tenderness on fire ? Where what now charms, perhaps, whate'er exists, Like soft, smooth oil, ouiblazing other fires ? Old time, and fair creation, are forgot!
Can prayer, can praise, avert it?—Thou, my AU ! Is this extravagant? Of man we form
My theme! my inspiration! and my crown! Extravagant conception, to be just :
My strength in age! my rise in low estate !
My soul's ambition, pleasure, wealth my world! This mouldering, old, partition-wall throw down!
Great future! glorious patron of the past,
And present! when shall I thy shrine adore ?
From Nature's continent, immensely wide,
Divides us. Happy day! that breaks our chain; Knew I the name devout archangels use,
That manumits; that calls from exile home; Devout archangels should the name enjoy, That leads 10 Nature's great metropolis, By me unrivall'd; thousands more sublime, And readmits us, through the guardian hand None half so dear, as that, which, though unspoke, Of elder brothers, to our Father's throne; Still glows at heart: 0 how omnipotence Who hears our Advocate, and, through his wounds Is lost in love! Thou great philanthropist!
Beholding man, allows that tender name. Father of angels! but the friend of man!
'Tis this makes Christian triumph a command : Like Jacob, fondest of the younger born! "Tis this makes joy a duty to the wise; Thou, who didst save him, snatch the smoking brand 'Tis impious in a good man to be sad. From out the flames, and quench il in thy blood ! See thou, Lorenzo! where hangs all our hope! How art thou pleas'd, by bounty to distress! Touch'd by the cross, we live; or, more than die; To make us groan beneath our gratitude,
That touch which touch'd not angels; more divine Too big for birth! to favor, and confound!
Than that which touch'd confusion into form, To challenge, and to distance all return!
And darkness into glory : partial touch! Of lavish love stupendous heights to soar,
Ineffably pre-eminent regard ! And leave praise panting in the distant vale! Sacred to man, and sovereign through the whole Thy right, too great, defrauds thee of thy due; Long golden chain of miracles, which hangs And sacrilegious our sublimest song.
From Heaven through all duration, and supports But since the naked will obtains thy smile, In one illustrious and amazing plan, Beneath this monument of praise unpaid, Thy welfare, Nature ! and thy God's renown; And future life symphonious to my strain,
That louch, with charm celestial, heals the soul (That noblest hymn to Heaven!) for ever lie Diseas'd, drives pain from guilt, lights life in death, Intomb'd my fear of death! and every fear, Turns Earth to Heaven, to heavenly thrones transThe dread of every evil, but thy frown.
forms Whom see I, yonder, so demurely smile? The ghastly ruins of the mouldering tomb. Laughter a labor, and might break their rest. Dost ask me when? When he who died returns; Ye quietists, in homage to the skies!
Returns, how chang'd! Where then the man of Serene! of soft address! who mildly make
woe ? An unobtrusive tender of your hearts,
In glory's sterrors all the Godhead burns;
And all his courts, exhausted by the tide
Of pomp, and multitude; a radiant band
And bids dead matter aid us in our creed. Oh ye cold-hearted, frozen formalists !
Hast thou ne'er seen the comel's flaming fight? On such a theme, 'tis impious to be calm;
Th’ illustrious stranger, passing, terror sheds Passion is reason, transport temper, here.
On gazing nations ; from his fiery train Shall Heaven, which gave us ardor, and has shown Of length enormous, takes his ample round Her own for man so strongly, not disdain
Through depths of ether; coasts unnumber'd worlds, What smooth emollients in theology,
Of more than solar glory; doubles wide Recumbent virtue's downy doctors, preach; Heaven's mighty cape: and then revisits Earth, That prose of piety, a lukewarm praise ?
From the long travel of a thousand years. Rise odors sweet from incense uninflam'd? Thus, at the destin'd period, shall return Devotion, when lukewarm, is undevout;
He, once on Earth, who bids the comet blaze : But when it glows, its heat is struck to Heaven; And, with him, all our triumph o'er the tomb. To human hearts her golden harps are strung;
Nature is dumb on this important point; High Heaven's orchestra chants amen to man. Or hope precarious in low whisper breathes ;
Hear I, or dream I hear, their distant strain, Faith speaks aloud, distinct; e'en adders hear: Sweet to the soul, and tasting strong of Heaven, But turn, and dart into the dark again. Soft-wafted on celestial pity's plume,
Faith builds a bridge across the gulf of Death, Through the vast spaces of the universe,
To break the shock blind Nature cannot shun, To cheer me in this melancholy gloom?
And lands thought smoothly on the further shore. Oh when will Death (now stingless,) like a friend, Death's ferror is the mountain faith removes ; Admit me of their choir? O when will Death! That mountain barrior between man and peace.
"Tis faith disarms destruction; and absolves Know ye how wise your choice, how great your gain? From every clamorous charge, tlre guiltless tomb. Behold the picture of Earth's happiest man:
Why disbelieve? Lorenzo —" Reason bids, He calls his wish, it comes; he sends it back, All-sacred Reason."--Hold her sacred still; And says, he callid another; that arrives, Nor shalt thou want a rival in thy flame:
Meets the same welcome ; yet he still calls on; All-sacred reason! source, and soul, of all
Till one calls him, who varies not his call, Demanding praise, on Earth, or Earth above! But holds him fast, in chains of darkness bound, My heart is thine : deep in its inmost folds, Till Nature dies, and judgment sets bim free; Live thou with life; live dearer of the two. A freedom far less welcome than his chain." Wear I the blessed cross, by fortune stanıp'd
But grant man happy; grant him happy long : On passive Nature, before thought was born ? Add to life's highest prize her latest hour; My birth's blind bigot! fir'd with local zeal! That hour, so late, is nimble in approach, No! Reason re-baptiz'd me when adult;
That, like a post, comes on in full career : Weigh'd true and false, in her impartial scale; How swift the shuttle flies, that weaves thy shroud! My heart became the convert of my head,
Where is the fable of thy former years ? And made that choice, which once was but my fate. Thrown down the gulf of time; as far from thee “ On argument alone my faith is built;"
As they had ne'er been thine; the day in hand, Reason pursu'd is faith ; and unpursued
Like a bird struggling to get loose, is going;
Fond as we are, and justly fond, of faith, Bathing for ever in the font of bliss !
Lorenzo! who ?– Thy concience shall reply.
O give it leave to speak; 'twill speak ere long. The fading flower shall die; but reason lives Thy leave unask'd: Lorenzo! hear it now, Immortal, as her father in the skies.
While useful its advice, its accent mild. When faith is virtue, reason makes it so.
By the great edict, the divine decree, Wrong not the Christian; think not reason yours : Truth is deposited with man's last hour ; 'Tis reason our great Master holds so dear; An honest hour, and faithful to her trust. *Tis reason's injur'd rights his wrath resents ; Truth, eldest daughter of the Deity; "Tis reason's voice obey'd his glories crown; Truth, of his council, when he made the worlds ; To give lost rcason life, he pour'd his own : Nor less, when he shall judge the worlds he made ; Believe, and show the reason of a man;
Though silent long, and sleeping ne'er so sound, Believe, and taste the pleasure of a God! Smother'd with errors, and opprest with joys, Believe, and look with triumph on the tomb: That Heaven-commission'd hour no sooner calls Through reason's wounds alone thy faith can die; But, from her cavern in the soul's abyss, Which dying, tenfold terror gives to death, Like him they fable under Ætna whelm'd, And dips in venom his twice-mortal sting.
The goddess bursts, in thunder, and in flame; Learn hence what honors, what loud pæans, due Loudly convinces, and severely pains. To those, who push our antidole aside;
Dark demons I discharge, and hydra stings ; Those boasted friends to reason and to man, The keen vibration of bright truth-is Hell: Whose fatal love stabs every joy, and leaves Just definition! though by schools untaught. Death's terror heighten'd, gnawing on his heart. Ye deaf to truth! peruse this parson'd page, These pompous sons of reason idoliz'd
And trust, for once, a prophet, and a priest ; And vilified at once; of reason dead,
Men may live fools, but fools they cannot die.” Then deified, as monarchs were of old; What conduct plants proud laurels on their brow? While love of truth through all their camp resounds, They draw Pride's curtain o'er the noontide ray,
NIGHT THE FIFTH. Spike up their inch of reason, on the point
THE RELAPSE. of philosophic wit, calld argument; And then, exulting in their taper, cry,
TO THE RIGHT HON. THE EARL OF LITCHFIELD. · Behold the Sun:” and, Indian-like, adore.
Talk they of morals ? O thou bleeding Love ! Lorenzo! to recriminate is just. Thou maker of new morals to mankind !
Fondness for fame is avarice of air. The grand morality is love of thee.
I grant the man is vain who writes for praise, As wise as Socrates, if such they were,
Praise man e'er deserv'd, who sought no more. (Nor will they 'bate of that sublime renown)
As just thy second charge. I grant the Muse As wise as Socrates, might justly stand
Has often blush'd at her degenerate sons, The definition of a modern fool.
Retain’d by sense to plead her filthy cause;
To raise the low, to magnify the mean,
As if to magic numbers' powerful charm
'Twas given, to make a civet of their song
And lifts our swine-enjoyments from the mire. "For such alone the Christian banner fly)
The fact notorious, por obscure the cause,
We wear the chains of pleasure and of pride. And, feeling, give assent; and their assent
Wit dares attempt this arduous enterprise. A Muse that will not pain thee with thy praise;
O thou! Blest Spirit! whether the supreme, Wit hammers out a reason new, that stoops
Great antemundane Father! in whose breast To sordid scenes, and meets them with applause. Embryo creation, unborn being, dwelt, Wit calls the graces the chaste zone to loose ; And all its various revolutions rollid Nor less than a plump god to fill the bowl : Present, though future ; prior to themselves; A thousand phantoms, and a thousand spells, Whose breath can blow it into nought again; A thousand opiates scatters, to delude,
Or, from his throne some delegated power, To fascinate, inebriate, lay asleep,
Who, studious of our peace, dost turn the thought And the fool'd mind delightfully confound. [more; From vain and vile, to solid and sublime! Thus that which shock'd the judgment, shocks no Unseen thou leadist me to delicious draughts That which gave pride offence, no more offends. Of inspiration, from a purer stream, Pleasure and pride, by nature mortal foes, And fuller of the god, than that which burst At war eternal, which in man shall reign, From fam'd Castalia: nor is yet allay'd By wit's address, patch up a fatal peace,
My sacred thirst; though long my soul has rang'd And hand in hand lead on the rank debauch, Through pleasing paths of moral and divine, From rank, refin'd to delicate and gay.
By thee sustain'd, and lighted by the stars. Art, cursed art! wipes off th' indebted blush
By them best lighted are the paths of thought ; From Nature's cheek, and bronzes every shame. Nights are their days, their most illumin'd hours. Man smiles in ruin, glories in his guilt,
By day, the soul, o'erborne by life's career, And infamy stands candidate for praise.
Stunn'd by the din, and giddy with the glare, All writ by man in favor of the soul,
Reels far from reason, jostled by the throng. The sensual ethics far, in bulk, transcend.
By day the soul is passive, all her thoughts The flowers of eloquence, profusely pour'd Impos'd, precarious, broken ere mature. O’er spotted vice, fill half the letter'd world. By night, from objects free, from passion cool, Can powers of genius exorcise their page, Thoughts uncontrolled, and unimpress'd, the births And consecrate enormities with song?
Of pure election, arbitrary range, But let not these inexpiable strains
Not to the limits of one world confin'd;
But from ethereal travels light on Earth,
Let Indians, and the gay, like Indians, fond
Darkness has more divinity for me ; To visit being universal there,
It strikes thought inward ; it drives back the soul And being's Source, that utmost flight of mind! To settle on herself our point supreme ! Yet, spite of this so vast circumference,
There lies our theatre! there sits our judge. Well knows, but what is moral, nought is great. Darkness the curtain drops o'er life's dull scene ; Sing syrens only? Do not angels sing?
"Tis the kind hand of Providence stretch'd out There is in poesy a decent pride,
'Twixt man and vanity ; 'tis reason's reign, Which well becomes her when she speaks to prose, And virtue's too; these tutelary shades Her younger sister; haply, not more wise.
Are man's asylum from the tainted throng. Think'st thou, Lorenzo! to find pastimes here? Night is the good man's friend, and guardian too; No guilty passion blown into a flame,
It no less rescues virtue, than inspires. No foible flatter'd, dignity disgrac'd,
Virtue, for ever frail, as fair, below, No fairy field of fiction, all on flower,
Her tender nature suffers in the crowd, No rainbow colors, here, or silken tale:
Nor touches on the world, without a stain : But solemn counsels, images of awe,
The world 's infectious; few bring back at eve, Truths, which eternity lets fall on man
Immaculate, the manners of the morn. With double weight, through these revolving spheres, Something we thought, is blotted! we resolod, This death-deep silence, and incumbent shade : Is shaken; we renounc'd, returns again. Thoughts, such as shall revisit your last hour; Each salutation may slide in a sin Visit uncall'd, and live when life expires ;
Unthought before, or fix a former flaw. And thy dark pencil, midnight! darker still Nor is it strange: light, motion, concourse, noise
, In melancholy dipt, embrowns the whole.
All, scatter us abroad; though outward bound, Yet this, even this, my laughter-loving friends! Neglectful of our home affairs, flies off Lorenzo! and thy brothers of the smile!
In fume and dissipation, quits her charge, If, what imports you most, can most engage,
And leaves the breast unguarded to the foe. Shall steal your ear, and chain you to my song.
Present example gets within our guard, Or if you fail me, know, the wise shall taste And acts with double force, by few repellid. The truths I sing; the truths I sing shall feel; Ambition fires ambition; love of gain