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238. True Greatness.
THAT prince, and that alone, is truly great, Who draws the fword reluctant, gladly theathis;
Superior wonders in himself forgot,
His admiration waste on objects round,
When heaven makes him the foul of all h
Abfurd! not rare! fo great, fo mean, is
What wealth in fentes fuch as thefe!
In fancy, fir'd to form a fairer fcene
Than fente furveys! in memory's firm re
Which, thould it perith, could this world
pro-From the dark fhadows of o'erwhelming y
In colours fresh, originally bright
On empire builds what empire far outweighs,
And makes his throne a fcaffold to the skies.
Why this fo rare? becaufe forgot of all
The day of death; that venerable day, [nounce
Which fits as judge: that day which thall
On all our days, abfolve them, or condemn.
Lorenzo! never fhut thy thought against it;
Be levees ne'er fo full, afford it room,
And give it audience in the cabinet.
That friend confulted, flatteries apart,
Will tell thee fair, if thou art great, or mean.
To doat on aught may leave us, or be left,
Is that ambition? then let flames defcend,
Point to the centre their inverted fpires :
When blind ambition quite mistakes her road,
And downward pores, for that which thines
Subftantial happinets, and true renown; [above,
Then, like an idiot gazing on the brook,
We leap at ftars, and faften in the mud;
At glory grafp, and fink in infamy.
$239. The Terment of Ambition. AMBITION! powerful fource of good and ill! Thy ftrength in man, like length of wing in
When difengaged from earth, with greater eafe
And fwifter flight, tranfports us to the skies.
By toys entangled, or in guilt berair'd,
It turns a curfe; it is our chain, and fcourge,
In this dark dungeon, where confin'd we lie,
Clofe grated by the fordid bars of fenfe;
All prospect of eternity fhut out;
And but for execution ne'er fet free.
WITH error in ambition, juitly chare`d,
Find we Lorenzo witer in his wealth?
Where thy true treature; Gold fays, "not in
And, "not in me," the diamond. Gold is poor;
India's infolvent: feek it in thyfelf;
Seek in thy naked felf, and find it there:
In being fo defcended, form'd, endow'd;
Sky-bo, iky-guided, iky-returning race!
Erect, immortal, rational, divine!
Proferve its portrait, and report its fate!
What wealth in intellect, that fovereign
Which fente, and fancy, fummons to the
Interrogates, approves, or reprchends:
And from the nafs thofe underlings impo
From their materials fifted, and refin'd,
Forms art, and fcience, government, and
What wealth in fouls that foar, dive,
Difdaining limit, or from place, or time,
And bear at once, in thought extensive,
Th' almighty fiat, and the trumpet's fou
Bold, on creation's outfide walk, and view
What was, and is, and more than e'er fha
Commanding, with omnipotence of thon
Creations new, in fancy's field to rife!
Souls,that can grafp whate'er th`Almighty
And wander wild through things impot
What wealth, in faculties of endless grow
In liberty to choofe, in power to reach,
And in duration (how thy riches rife!)
Duration to perpetuate-houndless blits1
$241. The Vanity of Wealth. HIGH-BUILT abundance, heap on heap what?
To breed new wants, and beggar us the
Then make a richer fcramble for the thr
Soon as this feeble pulfe, which leaps fo
Almoft by miracles is tir'd with phy,
Like rubbish, from difploding engines thr
Our magazines of hoarded trifles fly;
Fly diverte; fly to foreigners, to foes;
New mafters court, and call the former fo
(How juitly?) for dependance on their f
Wide featter firit, our play-things, then our
Much learning fhews how little mortals k
Much wealth, how little worldlings can en
At belt it babies us with endless toys;
And keeps us children till we drop to d
As monkies at a mirror ftand amaz'd,
They fail to find what they fo plainly fee
Thus men in fhining riches fee the face
Of happiness, nor know it is a fhade;
But gaze, and touch, and peep, and perpa
And with, and wonder it is abfent fill.
In fenfes, which inherit earth and heavens;
Enjoy the various riches nature yields:
Far nobler! give the riches they enjoy;
Give tafte to fruits; and harmony to groves;
Their radiant beams to gold, and gold's bright
Take in at once the landfcape of the world, [fire;
At a fmall inlet, which a grain might clofe,
And half create the wond'rous world they fee.
Our fenfes, as our reafon, are divine.
But for the magic orean's powerful charm,
Earth were a rude, uncolour'd chaos till.
Our is the cloth, the pencil, and the paint,
With beautifies creation's ample dome.
Say then, fill man, his thugoht's all fent abroad,Of fuch inherent ftrength and majesty,
How few can refcue opulence from want Who lives to nature, rarely can be poor; Who lives to fancy, never can be rich. Poor is the man in debt; the man of gold In debt to fortune, trembles at her pow'r The man of reason files at her, and deat O what a patrimony, this! a being
Not words poffeft can raise it; worlds destroy'd | Till stumbling at a straw, in their career,
Latine; which hold on its glorious courfe, Headlong they plunge, where end both dance
Wen, O nature, ends; too bleft to mourn
Aarblequies. What treasure, this!
earch is a beggar to the man.
§ 242 immortality. ORTAL! ages paft, yet nothing gone! Mrs that eve¡ a race without a goal! I'd by progreffion infinite! 1st ever future! life
l, where computation ends!
ription of a Deity!
cription of the meanest flave.
'what can ftrike the fenfe fo ftrong,
the boul? it thunders to the thought;
zes; gratitude o'erwhelms;
we fumber on the brink of fate;
at the found, th' exulting foul afcends,
prothes her native air; an air that feeds
aigh, and fans ethereal fires;
*kits al that is divine within us;
ast one loitering thought beneath the
was but one immortal, how [ftars.]
senvy! how would thrones adore!
common, is the bleffing loft?
Hap the bounteous hand of Heaven!
(vain all elfe: eternity!
and a needful refuge that,
ronment in abject views.
ty, 'tis that alone,
spas, abafements, emptiness,
an comfort, elevate, and fill.
pending covers all;
nce, cafts her into fhades;
bractions; abrogates her pow'rs;
vity, joyous, and fevere,
Make one promicuous, and neglected heap,
frowns, and fafcinating fmiles,
The beer, if I may call him man,
arity's full force infpires.
Ming trial touches his high thought;
aten, and thunders roll unheard,
te confcious of their high defcent,
at province, and their future prize;
darting upward every wish,
the wing, in glorious abfence loft.
you this truth? why labours your be-
whole orb by fome due distanc'd eye
ce, her tow ring alps would fink,
Atlas leave an even sphere.
and all that earthly minds admire,
Lin eternity's vaft round.
Tendous view when fouls awake,
de, fo mountainous to man,
Tubfide; and equal all below.
§ 243. Ym ignorant of his real Greatness.
the truths the mufe has fung,
there wrap the world fo clofe about
ro farther than the clouds; and dance
vanity's fantastic toe,
Are there on earth (let me not call them men)
Who lodge a foul immortal in their breasts;
Unconscious as the mountain of its ore,
Or rock, of its ineftimable gem? [thefe
When rocks fhali melt, and mountains vanish,
Shall know their treasure; treasure, then, no
§ 244. Disbelief of a Future State.
ARE there (ftill more amazing!) who resist
The rifing thought? who fmother in its
The glorious truth? who ftruggle to be brutes?
Who thro' this bofom-barrier burst their way,
And, with rever'd ambition, strive to sink?
Wholabour downwards thro'th'oppofing pow'rs,
of inftinct, reafon, and the world against them,
To difmal hopes, and fhelter in the fhock
Of endless night? night darker than the grave's?
Who fight the proofs of immortality?
To contradict them fee all nature rife!
What object, what event, the moon beneath,
To reafon proves, or weds it to defire?
But argues, or endears, an after-scene?
All things proclaim it needful; fome advance
One precious ftep beyond, and prove it fure.
A thoufand arguments fwarm round my pen,
From heaven, and earth, and man. Indulge a
By nature, as her common habit worn. [few,
Thou! whofe all-providential eye surveys,
Whofe hand directs, whofe Spirit fills, and warms
Eternity's inhabitant auguft!
Creation, and holds empire far beyond!
Of two eternities amazing Lord!
One paft, ere man's, or angel's, had begun;
Aid, while I refcue from the foe's afïault
Thy glorious immortality in man.
§ 245. Man's Immortality proved by Nature.
NATURE, thy daughter, ever-changing birth
Of thee the great Immutable, to man
Speaks wifdom; is his oracle fupreme;
And he who most confults her, is moft wife.
Look nature through, 'tis revolution all. [night
All change, no death. Day follows night; and
The dying day; ftars rife, and fet, and rife;
Earth takes th' example. See the fummer gay,
With her green chaplet, and ambrofial flow'rs,
Droops into pallid autumn; winter
Horrid with froft, and turbulent with ftorm,
Blows autumn, and his golden fruits away,
Then melts into the fpring; foft fpring, with
Favonian, from warm chambers of the south,
Recalls the firft. All, to re-flourish, fades:
As in a wheel, all finks, to re-afcend:
Emblems of man, who paffes, not expires.
With this minute diftinction, emblems juft,
Nature revolves, but man advances; both
Eternal, that a circle, this a line.
That gravitates, this foars. Th' afpiring foul
Ardent, and tremulous, like flame afcends;
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 vaft mafs, and fhall for ever roll.
No fingle atom, once in being, loft,
With change of counfel charges the Moft High.
Matter, immortal? and fhall fpirit die?
Above the nobler, fhall lefs noble rife?
Shall man alone, for whom all elfe revives,
No refurrection know? fhall man alone,
Imperial man! he fown in barren ground,
Lefs privileg'd than grain, on which he feeds?
Is man, in whom alone is power to prize
The blifs of being, or with previous pain
Deplore its period, by the fpleen of fate
Severely doom'd death's fingle unredeem'd?
Brutes foon their zenith reach; their littl
Flows in at once; in ages they no more
Could know, or do, or covet, or enjoy.
Was man to live coëval with the fun,
The patriarch-pupil would be learning ftil
Yet, dying, leave his leffon half unlearnt.
Men perith in advance, as if the fun
Should fet ere noon, in eaftern oceans drov
To man, why, ftepdame nature, fo fevere?
Whythrownafide thymafter-piece half-wrou
While meaner efforts thy laft hand enjoy?
Or, if abortively poor man muft die,
Nor reach, what reach he might, why d
Why curft with forefight? wife to mitery
Why of his proud prerogative the prey'
Why lefs pre-eminent in rank than pain
His immortality alone can tell,
eafe,Full ample fund to balance all amifs,
And turn the fcale in favour of the juft.
$246. NIGHT VII. Difcontent.
WHY difcontent for ever harbour'd there?
Incurable confumption of our peace!
Refolve me, why, the cottager, and king,
He whom fea-fever'd realms obey, and he
Who fteals his whole dominion from the wafte,
Repelling winter's blaft, with mud and itraw,
Difquieted alike, draw tigh for figh,
In fate fo diftant, in complaint fo near.
Is it, that things terreftrial can't content?
Deep in rich pafture, will thy flocks complain?
Not fo; but to their mafter is deny'd
To fhare their fweet forene. Man, ill at
In this, not his own place, this foreign field,
Where nature fodders him with other food
Than was ordain'd his cravings to fuffice,
Poor in abundance, famith'd at a fealt,
Sighs on for foraething more, when moft enjoy 'd.
Is heaven then kinder to thy flocks, than thee?
Not fo; thy pafture richer, but remote;
In part, remote; for that remoter part
Man bleats from inftinét,tho',perhaps,debauch'd
By fenfe, his reafon fleeps, nor dreams the caufe.
The caufe how obvious, when his reafon wakes!
His grief is but his grandeur in difguife;
And difcontent is immortality.
Shall fons of ather, shall the blood of heav'n,
Set up their hopes on earth, and ftable here,
With brutal acquiefcence in the mire?
No, no, my friend: they shall be nobly pain'd;
The glorious foreigners diftreft, fhall figh
On thrones, and thou congratulate the figh:
Man's mifery declares him born for blifs;
His anxious heart afferts the truth I fing.
Our heads, our hearts, our paffions, and our
Speak the fame language; call us to the skies.
Unripen'd thefe in this inclement clime,
Scarce rife above conjecture, and mistake;
And for this land of trifles, thofe too ftrong,
Tumultuous rife, and tempeft human life;
What prize on earth can pay us for the ftorm?
Meet objects for our paffions Heav'n ordain'd,
Objects that challenge all their fire, and leave
His immortality alone can folve
That darkeft of enigmas, human hope;
Of all the darkest if at death we die.
Hope, eager hope, th' aflaffin of our joy,
All prefent bleifings treading under foot,
Is fcarce a milder tyrant than defpair.
With no paft toils content, ftill planning n
Hope turns us o'er to death alone for eate.
Poffeffion, why more talteless than purfut
Why is a with far dearer than a crown?
That with accomplish'd, why the grave of b
Becaufe in the great future bury'd deep,
Beyond our plans of empire, and renown,
Lies all that man with ardour thould purit
And he who made him, bent him to the ri
Man's heart th' Almighty to the future
By fecret and inviolable iprings;
And makes his hope his fublunary joy.
Man's heart eats all things, and is hungry
"More, more, the glutton cries:" for fomet
So rages appetite, if man can't mount,
He will defcend. He ftarves on the poff
Hence the world's mafter, from ambition's
In Caprea plung'd; and div'd beneath the b
In that rank fty why wallow'd empire's for
Supreme. Because he could.no higher fly;
His riot was ambition in defpair.
See nii hope, for ever on the wing! Het pedo'er ev'ry thought that falcon fits, za that rifes in her fight;
And ftrenuous to transcribe, in human life,
The mind almighty? could it be, that fate,
Juft when the lineaments began to fhine,[ever?
Should fnatch the draught, and blot it out for
Shall we, this moment, gaze on God in man?
The next, lofe man for ever in the duft?
From duft we difengage, or man mistakes;
And there, where leaft his judgment fears a flaw.
Wifdom, and worth, how boldly he commends!
Wisdom and worth are facred names; rever'd;
Where not embrac'd; applauded! deify'd!
Why not compaflion'd too? If fpirits die,
Both are calamities, inflicted both,
An aver hoping, but to mount again!
ment, she betrays her aim's mistake,
her quarry lodg'd beyond the grave.
old it fail us (it muft fail us there,
) more mournful riddles rife,
And tre vies with hope in mystery.
We? Where its praife, its being, fied?
Viste felf-intereft pursu'd;
Wheelf-int rest of quite mortal man?
Towth all that makes him happy here,
(fometimes) is our friend on earth,To
The ct is virtue, 'tis our fov'reign good.
The guardian of a blameless heart,
eved, fo long reputed wife,
*, with rank knight-errantries o'errun.
eats the bofom with illuftrious dreams
at enterprize, and glorious death?
y country-thou romantic fool!
te plank thyself; and let her fink!
y' what to thee? (I speak with awe)
what? tho' he should bid thee
od, thy final hope is fplit, [bleed?
potence reward the blow,
ve thy being; disobey.
The Madness of Infidelity.
recompente is doubtful, here,
sly, well may we demand,
fed to be good in vain? be good in vain, is man enjoin'd? e pad in vain, is man betray'd? Irma dramators lodg`d in his own breaft, cies frorn virtue felt? relies on virtue's part? (which affumes the name a) plays the fool in man,
e accomplice in the cheat? are the weft, loudeft in her praise? traction's beam be led aftray? imitate his God?
*temetimes ruins us on earth, at, or man furvives the grave, vives the grave, or own, Lorenzo, preme, a wild abfurdity. en fpirit, cowards are thy scorn. ortal, and thy scorn is just. tal, rationally brave, death,because he cannot die. all, when life is lost, Herd, or a fool expires. Ax (and fuch there are,
ple, lucre, rage, revenge,
Ca defect of thought),
Cdmen, most deserves a chain.
make us but more wretched, wifdom's eye
Acute, for what? To fpy more miferies;
And worth, fo recompens'd, new points their
Or man the grave furmounts, or gain is loss,
And worth exalted humbles us the more.
Were then capacities divine conferr'd,
As a mock-diadem, in falvage-iport,
Rank infult of our pompous poverty, [fair?
Which reaps but pain, from feeming claims fo
In future age lies no redrefs? and fhuts
Eternity the door on our complaint?
If fo, for what ftrange ends were mortals made?
The worst to wallow, aud the best to weep.
Can we conceive a difregard in heaven,
What the worst perpetrate, or best endure?
This cannot be. To love, and know, in man
Is boundlefs appetite, and boundless pow'r;
And thefe demonftrate boundlefs objects too.
Objects, pow'rs, appetites, heav'n fuits in all;
Nor, nature thro', e'er violates this sweet,
Eternal concord, on her tuneful ftring.
Is man the fole exception from her laws?
Eternity ftruck off from human hope,
Man is a monfter, the reproach of heav'n,
A ftain, a dark impenetrable cloud
On nature's beauteous aípect; and deforms,
(Amazing blot!) deforms her with her lord.
Or own the foul immortal, or invert
All order. Go, mock-majefty! go, man,
And bow to thy fuperiors of the tall,
Thro' ev'ry fcene of fenfe fuperior far: [stream
They graze the turf untill'd; they drink the
Unbrew'd, and ever full, and unimbitter'd
With doubts, fears, fruitless hopes, regrets, de-
Mankind's peculiar! reafon's precious dow'r!
No foreign clime they ranfack for their robes,
Nor brothers cite to the litigious bar:
Their good is good entire, unmixt, unmarr'd;
They find a paradife in ev'ry field,
On boughs forbidden, where no curfes hang;
Their ill no more than strikes the fenfe, un-
We grave, we follow the renown'd By previous dread or murmur in the rear; ,, fcience, all we love, [beam When the worst comes, it comes unfear'd; on Me paie; for worth, whofe noontide
our ideas of ethereal pow'rs;
that luftre of the moral world
Caisteach, and rottenness the close?
Begins and ends their woe: they die but once;
Bleft, incommunicable privilege!
For which who rules the globe, and reads the
wife to know, and warm to praise, Philofopher, or here, fighs in vain.
Of immortality. The firft in fame,
Obferve him near, your envy will abate:
Sham'd at the difproportion vaft between
The paffion, and the purchase, he will fig
At fuch fuccefs, and blush at his renown
And why? because far richer prize invit
His heart; far more illuftrious glory call
And can ambition a fourth proof fupp
It can, and ftronger than the former thre
Tho' difappointments in ambition pain,
And tho' fuccefs difgufts, yet still we
In vain to pluck it from us: man must s
An obftinate activity within,
Account for this prerogative in brutes:
No day, no glimpse of day to folve the knot,
But what beams on it from eternity.
O fole and fweet folution! that unites
The difficult, and foftens the severe;
The cloud on nature's beauteous face difpels;
Reftores bright order; cafts the brute beneath;
And re-inthrones us in fupremacy
Of joy, ev'n here, admit immortal life,
And virtue is knight-errantry no more:
Each virtne brings in hand a golden dow'r,
Far richer in reverfion: hope exults;
And, tho' much bitter in our cup is thrown,
Predominates, and gives the taste of heav'n.
O wherefore is the Deity fo kind?
Heav'n our reward—for heav'n enjoy'd below.
Still unfubdu'd thy stubborn heart? For there
The traitor lurks, who doubts the truth I fing:
Reafon is guiltlefs; will alone rebels.
What, in that ftubborn heart, if I fhould find
New, unexpected witneffes against thee?
Ambition, and the fatelefs love of gain! [foul
Canft thou fufpect that thefe, which make the
The flave of earth, fhould own her heir of The praise of mortals, or the praife of h
Canft thou fufpect, what makes us difbelieve
Our immorality, fhould prove it fure?
$250. Ambition and Fame.
FIRST, then, ambition fummon to the bar:
Ambition's thame, extravagance, difguft,
And inextinguishable nature, fpeak:
Each much depofes; hear them in their turn.
Thy foul how paffionately fond of fame !
How anxious that fond pallion to conceal!
We blush detected in defigns on praise,
Tho' for beft deeds, and from the best of men:
And why? because immortal. Art divine
Has made the body tutor to the foul:
Heav'n kindly gives our blood a moral flow;
Bids its afcend the glowing cheek, and there
Upbraid that little heart's inglorious aim,
Which ftoops to court a character from man;
While o'er is, in tremendous judgment, fit
Far more than man, with endless praife, and
An infuppreffive fpring will tofs him up
In fpite of fortune's load. Not kings al
Each villager has his ambition too:
No Sultan prouder than his fetter'd flave.
Slaves build their little Babylons of ftrav
Echo the proud Affyrian, in their hearts,
And cry,-" Behold the wonders of my m
And why? because immortal as their lo
And fouls immortal muft for ever heave
At something great; the glitter, or the g
§ 251. Avarice.
THUS far ambition. What fays avarice
This her chief maxim, which has long
"The wife and wealthy are the fame." I
To ftore up treafure, with inceffant teil,
This is man's province, this his highet p
To this great end keen inttinct ftings hit
To guide that instinct, reason! is thy ch
'Tis thine to tell us where true treasure
A blunder follows, and blind industry,
But reafon failing to difcharge her trust,
O'erloading, with the cares of diftant ag
The jaded fpirits of the prefent hour,
Providing for eternity below.
Whence inextinguishable thirft of g
From inextinguithable life in man:
Man, if not meant by worth to reach th
Had wanted wing to fly fo far in guilt.
Sour grapes I grant ambition, avarice;
Yet fil their root is immortality.
Thefe its wild growths religion can rec
Refine, exalt, throw down their pois ne
And make them fparkle in the bowl of
Ambition's boundless appetite cut-speaks The verdict of its fhame. When fouls take fire At high prefumptions of their own defert, One age is poor applaufe; the mighty fhout, The thunder by the living few begun, Late time muft echo! worlds unborn refound: We with our names eternally to live: [thought." Wild dream! which ne'er had haunted human Had not our natures been eternal 100. Inftinct points out an int'reft in hereafter; But our blind reafon fees not where it lies; Or, feeing, gives the fubftance for the thade. Fame is the fhade of immortality, And in itself a fhdow; foon as caught, Contemn'd, it flinks to nothing in the grafp. Confult the ambitious; 'tis ambition's cure. "And is this all?" cry'd Cefar at his height,Paflions, which all-on earth but more Digulted. This third proof ambition brings Fierce paffions to mismeasur`d to this
252. Addrefs to Unbelievers. KNOW all; know infidels, unapt to "Tis immortality your nature folves; 'Tis immortality decyphers man, And opens all the myft'ries of his mak Without it half his inftinéts are a ridd Without it, all his virtues are a dreara His very crimes atteft his dignity; His fatelefs appetite of gold, and fame Declares him born for bleflings infinite What, lefs than infinite, makes ungba