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That Poverty efcapes?-The wretch who dragg'd | Whofe Word from nothing call'd this beauteous
His fire relentless to the tomb-Say, rofe
No boiling paffion in his rankled heart?
Felt not his tortur'd breast the venom fting
Of keen Impatience? Flam'd not to his eve
Gold, titles, honour; all the tinfel-fhow,
That on the fullen front of Avarice wakes
A gloomy fmile, and bids his little thought
Receive a gleam of joy? From these fecure
Lives not untutor'd Indigence at ease?
And feals unfeen along the vale of life,
Calm, peaceful, fhelter'd from the stormy blaft
That shakes Ambition's plume; that wrecks the
The quiet of mankind-What though to thefe
are fcanty -O'er the roughen'd
Health fheds her bloom; their finews knit by toil,
Rebuft and firm, fupport th' allotted weight;
And gradual loofed by long revolving years,
Refign their charge, untainted by the feeds
Of lurking Death, flow through the form diffus'd
From meals that Nature naufeates, from the cup
Where the wine laughs, and on the mantling cheek
Kindles a tranfient blush, but works difeafe,
And shades the temples with untimely fnow.
Unde nil majus generatur Ipfo,
Nec vizet quidquam fimile aut fecundum.
FROM earth's low profpects and deceitful aims,
From wealth's allurements, and ambition's
The lover's raptures, and the herp's views,
All the falfe joys miftaken man purfues;
The fchemes of fcience, the delights of wine,
Or the more pleafing follies of the Nine!
Recal, fond Bard, thy long-enchanted fight,
Deluded with the vifionary light!
A nobler theme demands thy facred fong,
A theme beyond or man's or angel's tongue!
But oh, alas! unhallow'd and profane,
How shalt thou dare to raise the heav'nly ftrain:
Do thou, who from the altar's living fire
Ifaiah's tuneful lips didft once inspire,
Come to my aid, celeftial Wisdom, come;
From my dark mind difpel the doubtful gloom:
My paffions ftill, my purer breast inflame,
To fing that God from whom existence came;
Till heav'n and nature in the concert join,
And own the Author of their birth divine.
Whence fprung this glorious frame! or whence
The various forms the univerfe compofe? [arofe
From what Almighty Cause, what myftic fprings
Shall we derive the origin of things?
Sing, heav'nly Guide! whofe all-efficient light
Drew dawning planets from the womb of night!
Since reafon, by thy facred dictates taught,
Adores a pow'r beyond the reach of thought.
First Cause of caufes! Sire fupreme of birth!
Sole light of heav'n! acknowledg'd life of earth!
This wide expanded All from pole to pole!
Who fhall prefcribe the boundary to Thee,
Or fix the æra of eternity?
Should we, deceiv'd by error's fceptic glafs,
Admit the thought abfurd-that Nothing was!
Thence would this wild, this falfe conclufion flow,
That Nothing rais'd this beauteous All below!
When from difclofing darknets fplendour breaks,
Affociate atoms move, and matter ipeaks,
When non-existence bursts its clofe difguife,
How blind are mortals-not to own the fkies!
If one vaft void eternal held its place,
Whence started time? or whence expanded space?
What gave the flumb'ring mafs to feel a change,
Or bid confenting worlds harmonious range?
Could Nothing link the univerfal chain?
No, 'tis impoffible, abfurd, and vain !
Here reafon its eternal Author finds,
The whole who regulates, unites, and binds,
Enlivens matter, and produces minds!
Inactive Chaos fleeps in dull repofe,
Nor knowledge thence, nor free volition, flows!
A nobler fource thofe powers ethereal fhow,
By which we think, design, reflect, and know;
Thefe from a caufe fuperior date their rife,
Abstract in effence from material ties."
An origin immortal, as fupreme,
From whofe pure day, celeftial rays! they came:
In whom all poffible perfections shine,
Eternal, felf-exiftent, and divine!
From this great fpring of uncreated might!
This all-refplendent orb of vital light;
Whence all created beings take their rife,
Which beautify the earth, or paint the skies!
Profufely wide the boundless bleffings flow,
Which heav'n enrich, and gladden worlds below!
Which are no lefs, when properly defin'd,
Than emanations of th' Eternal Mind!
Hence triumphs truth beyond objection clear
(Let unbelief attend and shrink with fear!)
That what for ever was-muft furely be
Beyond commencement, and from period free;
Drawn from himfelf his native excellence,
His date eternal, and his space immenfe!
And all of whom that man can comprehend,
Is, that he ne'er began, nor e'er thall end.
In him from whom existence boundless flows,
Let humble faith its facred truft repose:
Affur'd, on his eternity depend,
"Eternal Father! and eternal Friend !"*
Within that myftic circle fafety feek,
No time can leffen, and no force can break;
And, loft in adoration, breathe his praise,
High Rock of ages, ancient Sire of days!
Blefs'd in himself, had from his forming hand
No creatures fprung to hail his wide command;
Blefs'd, had the facred fountain ne'er run o'er,
A boundless fea of blifs that knows no fhore!
Nor fenfe can two prime origins conceive,
Nor reafon two eternal Gods believe!
Could the wild Manichæan own that guide,
The good would triumph, and the ill fubfide!
Again would vanquifh'd Arimanius bleed,
And darkness from prevailing light recede!
In diff'rent individuals we find
An evident difparity of mind;
Hence ductile thought a thoufand changes gains,
And actions vary as the will ordains;
But fhould two Beings, equally fupreme,
Divided pow'r and parted empire claim;
How foon would univerfal order cease!
How foon would difcord harmony difplace!
Eternal schemes maintain eternal fight,
Nor yield, fupported by eternal might;
Where each would uncontroul'd his aim purfue,
The links diffever, or the chain renew!
Matter from motion crofs impreffions take,
As ferv'd each pow'r his rival's pow'r to break,
While neutral Chaos, from his deep recefs,
Would view the never-ending ftrife increase,
And blefs the contest that fecur'd his peace!
While new creations would oppofing rife,
And elemental war deform the skies!
Around wild uproar and confufion hurl'd,
Eclipfe the heav'ns, and wafte the ruin'd world.
Two independent caufes to admit,
Destroys religion, and debafes wit;
The first by fuch an anarchy undone,
The laft acknowledges its fource but one.
As from the main the mountain ills are drawn,
That wind irriguous thro' the flow'ry lawn;
So, mindful of their fpring, one courfe they
Exploring, till they find their native deep!
Exalted Pow'r invifible, fupreme,
Thou fov'reign, fole unutterable Name!
As round thy throne thy flaming feraphs ftand,
And touch the golden lyre with trembling hand;
Too weak thy pure effulgence to behold,
With their rich plumes their dazzled eyes infold;
Tranfported with the ardors of thy praife,
The holy holy holy anthem raife!
To them refponfive, let creation fing,
Thce, indivifible eternal King!
O fay, celeftial Mufe! whofe purer birth Difdains the low material ties of earth By what bright images fhall be defin'd The myftic nature of th' eternal Mind? Or how fhall thought the dazzling height explore, Where all that reafon can-is to adore!
That God 's an immaterial effence pure, Whom figure can't defcribe, nor parts immure; Incapable of paflions, impulfe, fear, In good pre-eminent, in truth fevere: Unmix'd his nature, and sublim'd his pow'rs From all the grofs allay that tempers ours;
In whofe clear eye the bright angelic train
Appear fuffus'd with imperfection's stain !
Impervious to the man's or feraph's eye,
Beyond the ken of each exalted high;
Him would in vain material femblance feign,
Or figur'd thrines the boundlefs God contain;
Object of faith!-he thuns the view of fenfe,
Loft in the blaze of fightlefs excellence!
Moft perfect, moft intelligent, moft wife,
In whom the fanctity of purenefs lies;
In whofe adjufting mind the whole is wrought,
Whofe form is fpirit! and whofe effence thought!
Are truths infcrib'd by Wifdom's brighteft ray,
In characters that gild the face of day!
Reafon confefs'd (howe'er we may difpute),
Fix'd boundary! difcovers man from brute;
But, dim to us, exerts its fainter ray,
Deprefs'd in matter, and allied to clay!
In forms fuperior kindles lefs confin'd,
Whofe drefs is æther, and whofe fubftance mind;
Yet all from Him, fupreme of Caufes, flow,
To him their pow'rs and their existence owe;
From the bright cherub of the noblest birth,
To the poor reafoning glow-worm plac'don earth;
From matter then to spirit ftill afcend,
Thro' fpirit ftill refining, higher tend;
Purfue, on knowledge bent, the pathless road,
Pierce thro' infinitude in queft of God!
Still from thy fearch, the centre ftill fhall fly, Approaching ftill-thou never fhalt come nigh! So its bright orb th' afpiring flame would join, But the vaft diftance mocks the fond defign.
If he, Almighty! whofe decree is fate,
Could, to difplay his pow'r, fubvert his ftate;
Bid from his plastic hand a greater rise,
Produce a mafter! and refign his skies;
Impart his incommunicable flame,
The mystic number of th' Eternal Name
Then might revolting reafon's feeble ray
Afpire to queftion God's all-perfect day!
Vain tafk! the clay in the directing hand
The reafon of its form might fo demand,
As man prefume to queftion his difpofe,
From whom the pow'r he thus abuses flows.
Here point, fair Mufe! the worship God requires,
The foul inflam'd with chafte and holy fires !
Where love celeftial warms the happy breaft,
And from fincerity the thought's exprefs'd;
Where genuine piety and truth refin'd
Re-confecrate the temple of the mind;
With grateful flames the living altars glow,
And God defcends to vifit man below!
There should his brighter prefence shine confeft,
There his almighty arm thy course arrest !
Couldst thou the thickeft veil of night affume,
Or think to hide thee in the central gloom!
Yet there, all patent to his piercing fight,
Darkness itself would kindle into light:
Not the black manfions of the filent grave,
Nor darker hell, from her perception fave;
What pow'r, alas! thy footsteps can convey
Beyond the reach of omniprefent day?
In his wide grasp, and comprehenfive eve,
Immediate, worlds on worlds unnumber'd lie:
Syftems inclos'd in his perception roll,
Whote ali-informing mind directs the whole:
Lodg'd in his grafp, their certain ways they know;
Plac'd in that fight from whence can nothing go.
On earth his footftool fix'd, in heav'n his feat;
Enthron'd he dictates, and his word is fate.
Nor want his shining images below, In ftreams that murmur, or in winds that blow; His fpirit broods along the boundless flood, Smiles in the plain, and whispers in the wood; Warms in the genial fun's enliv'ning ray, Breathes in the air, and beautifies the day! Should man his great immenfity deny, Man might as well ufurp the vacant sky: For were he limited in date, or view, Thence were his attributes imperfect too; His knowledge, pow'r, his goodnefs all confin'd, And loft th' idea of a ruling Mind! Feeble the truft, and comfortless the sense, Of a defective partial Providence! Boldly might then his arm injuftice brave, Or innocence in vain his mercy crave; Dejected virtue lift its hopelefs eye; And heavy forrow vent the heartless figh! An abfent God no abler to defend, Protect, or punish, than an abfent friend; Distant alike our wants or griefs to know, To cafe the anguish, or prevent the blow! If he, fupreme Director, were not near, Vain were our hope, and empty were our fear; Unpunith'd vice would o'er the world prevail, And unrewarded virtue toil-to fail! The moral world a fecond chaos lie, And nature ficken to the thoughtful eye!
Even the weak embryo, ere to life it breaks, From his high pow'r its flender texture takes; While in his book the various parts inroll'd, Increafing, own eternal Wifdom's mould.
Nor views he only the material whole,
But pierces thought, and penetrates the foul!
Ere from the lips the vocal accents part,
Or the faint purpose dawns within the heart,
His fteady eye the mental birth perceives,
Ere yet to us the new idea lives!
Knows what we fay, ere yet the words proceed,
And, ere we form th' intention, marks the deed!
But Confcience, fair vicegerent-light within,
Afferts its Author, and restores the scene!
Points out the beauty of the govern'd plan,
And vindicates the ways of God to man."
Then, facred Mufe, by the vaft profpect fir'd,
From heav'n defcended, as by Heav'n inspir'd;
| His all-enlight'ning Omniprefence own, [known; Whence first thou feel'ft thy dwindling prefence His wide Omnifcience, juftly grateful, fing, Whence thy weak fcience prunes its callow wing! Andblefs th' Eternal, All-informing Soul, [whole! Whofe fight pervades, whofe knowledge fills the V. IMMUTABILITY.
As the Eternal and Omnifcient Mind, By laws not limited, nor bounds confin'd, Is always independent, always free, Hence thines confefs'd Immutability! Change, whether the fpontaneous child of will, Or birth of force-is imperfection still. But he, all-perfect, in himself contains Pow'r felf-deriv'd, and from himself he reigns! If, alter'd by constraint, we could suppose, That God his fix'd stability should lofe; How ftartles reafon at a thought so strange! What pow'r can force Omnipotence to change? If from his own divine productive thought, Were the yet stranger alteration wrought; Could excellence fupreme new rays acquire? Or ftrong perfection raife its glories higher? Abfurd his high meridian brightness glows, Never decreafes, never overflows! Knows no addition, yields to no decay, The blaze of incommunicable day!
Below, through different forms does matter And life fubfift from elemental change; [range, Liquids condenfing fhapes terreftrial wear, Earth mounts in fire, and fire diffolves in air; While we, enquiring phantoms of a day, Inconftant as the fhadows we furvey! With them, along time's rapid current pafs, And hafte to mingle with the parent mafs; But Thou, Eternal Lord of life divine! In youth immortal fhalt for ever fhine! No change fhall darken thy exalted names From everlafting ages ftill the fame!
If God, like man, his purpose could renew, His laws could vary, or his plans undo; Defponding Faith would droop its cheerless wing, Religion deaden to a lifelefs thing! Where could we, rational, repofe our truft, But in a Pow'r immutable as just ? How judge of revelation's force divine, If truth unerring gave not the defign? Where, as in nature's fair according plan, All fmiles benevolent and good to man.
Plac'd in this narrow clouded spot below,
We darkly fee around, and darkly know!
Religion lends the falutary beam,
That guides our reafon thro' the dubious gleam;
Till founds the hour, when he who rules the fkics
Shall bid the curtain of Omniscience rife!
Shall diffipate the mifts that veil our fight,
And fhew his creatures-all his ways are right!
Then, when aftonish'd nature feels its fate, And fetter'd time thall know his latest date; When earth fhall in the mighty blaze expire, Heav'n melt with heat, and worlds diffolve in fire! The univerfal fyftem fhrink away,
And ocafing orbs confefs th' almighty fway!
Immortal He, amidst the wreck fecure,
Shall fit exalted, permanently pure!
As in the Sacred Bufh, fhall fhine the fame,
And from the ruin raise a fairer frame!
Far hence, ye vifionary charming maids,
Ye fancied nymphs that haunt the Grecian fhades!
Your birth who from conceiving fiction drew,
Yourfelves producing phantoms as untrue;
But come, fuperior Mufe! divinely bright,
Daughter of heav'n, whofe offspring ftill is light;
Oh condefcend, celeftial facred guest!
To purge my fight, and animate my breast,
While I prefume Omnipotence to trace,
And fing that Pow'r who peopled boundlefs fpace!
Thou present wert, when forth th' Almighty
While Chaos trembled at the voice of God![drew,
Thou faw'ft, when o'er th' immenfe his line he
When Nothing from his Word exiftence knew!
His Word, that wak'd to life the vast profound,
While confcious light was kindled at the found!
Creation fair furpris'd th' angelic eyes,
And fov'reign Wifdom faw that all was wife!
Him, fole almighty, nature's book displays,
Diftin&t the page, and legible the rays!
Let the wild fceptic his attention throw
To the broad horizon, or earth below;
He finds thy foft impreffion touch his breaft,
He feels the God, and owns him unconfeft;
Should the ftray pilgrim, tir'd of fands and fkies,
In Lvbia's wafte behold a palace rife,
Would he believe the charm from atoms wrought?
Go, atheift, hence, and mend thy jufter thought!
What hand, Almighty Architect! but thine,
Could give the model of this vast design?
What hand but thine adjust th' amazing whole?
And bid confenting fyftems beauteous roll!
What hand but thine fupply the folar light?
Ever beftowing, yet for ever bright!
What hand but thine the ftarry train array,
Or give the moon to fhed her borrow'd ray?
What hand but thine the azure convex spread?
What hand but thine compofe the ocean's bed?
To the vaft main the fandy barrier throw,
And with the feeble curb restrain the foe!
What hand but thine the wint'ry flood affuage,
Or stop the tempest in its wildest rage!
Thee infinite! what finite can explore?
Imagination finks beneath thy pow'r;
Thee could the ableft of thy creatures know,
Loft were thy Unity, for he were Thou!
Yet prefent to all fenfe thy pow'r remains,
Reveal'd in nature, nature's Author reigns!
In vain would error from conviction fly,
Thou ev'ry where art prefent to the eye!
The fenfe how ftupid, and the fight how
That fails this univerfal truth to find!
Then at our intermediate globe repose,
And view yon lunar fatellite that glows!
Or caft along the azure vault thy eye,
When golden day enlightens all the sky;
Around, behold carth's variegated scene,
The mingling profpects, and the flow'ry green;
The mountain brow, the long-extended wood,
Or the rude rock that threatens o'er the flood!
And fay, are thefe the wild effects of chance ?
Oh, ftrange effect of reas'ning ignorance!
Nor pow'r alone confefs'd in grandeur lies,
The glittering planet, or the painted skies!
Equal, the elephant's or emmet's dress
The wifdom of Omnipotence confefs;
Equal, the cumbrous whale's enormous mass,
With the fmall infect in the crowded grafs;
The mite that gambols in its acid fea,
In fhape a porpus, though a speck to thee!
Ev'n the blue down the purple plum furrounds,
A living world, thy failing fight confounds,
To him a peopled habitation thows,
Where millions tafte the bounty God bestows!
Great Lord of life, whofe all-controuling might
Thro' wide creation beams divinely bright,
Nor only does thy pow'r in forming thine,
But to annihilate, dread King! is thine.
Shouldft thou withdraw thy ftill-supporting
How languid nature would aftonish'd ftand!
Thy frown the ancient realm of night restore,
And raise a blank-where fyftems finil'd before!
See in corruption, all-furprising state,
How ftruggling life eludes the ftroke of fate;
Shock'd at the fcene, tho' fenfe averts its eye,
Nor ftops the wondrous process to defcry;
Yet jufter thought the myftic change purfucs,
And with delight Almighty Wifdom views!
The brute, the vegetable world furveys,
Sees life fubfifting ev'n from life's decays!
Mark there, felf-taught, the penfive reptile come,
Spin his thin fhroud, and living build his tomb!
With confcious care his former pleasures leave,
And drefs him for the bus'nefs of the grave!
Thence, pafs'd the short-liv'd change, renew'd
Admires the fkies, and tries his filken wings!
With airy flight the infect roves abroad,
And fcorns the meaner earth he lately trod!
Thee, potent, let deliver'd Ifrael praise,
And to thy name their grateful homage raise!
Thee, potent God! let Egypt's land declare,
That felt thy juftice, awfully severe !
How did thy frown benight the fhadow'd land!
Nature, revers'd, how own thy high command !
When jarring elements their ufe forgot,
And the fun felt thy overcafting blot!
When earth produc'd the peftilential brood,
And the foul ftream was crimfon'd into blood!
blind,How deep the horrors of that awful night,
Go! all the fightless realms of space survey,
Returning trace the Planetary Way!
The fun, that in his central glory fhines,
While ev'ry planet round his orb inclines;
Obedient ocean to their march divide The wat'ry wall diftinct on either fide; While thro' the deep the long proceffion led, And faw the wonders of the oozy bed! Nor long they march'd, till, black 'ning in the rear, The vengeful tyrant and his hoft appear! Plunge down the fteep, the waves thy nod obey, And whelm the threatn'ing ftorm beneath the fea! Nor yet thy pow'r thy chofen train for fook, When thro' Arabia's fands their way they took; By day thy cloud was prefent to the fight, Thy fiery pillar led the march by night; Thy hand amidst the waste their table fpread, With feather'd viands, and with heav'nly bread: When the dry wildernefs no ftreams fupplied, Guth'd from the yielding rock the vital tide! What limits can Omnipotence confine? What obftacles oppofe thy arm divine? Since ftones and waves their fettled laws forego, Since feas can harden, and fince rocks can flow! On Sinai's top, the Mufe with ardent wing The triumphs of Omnipotence would fing! When o'er its airy brow thy cloud difplay'd Involv'd the nations in its awful shade; When shrunk the earth from thy approaching And the rock trembled to its rooted bafe; [face, Yet where thy majesty divine appear'd, Where fhone thy glory, and thy voice was heard; Ev'n in the blaze of that tremendous day, Idolatry its impious rites could pay! [vade, Oh fhame to thought!-thy facred throne inAnd brave the bolt that linger'd round its head!
Othou, who, when th'Almighty form'd this All, Upheld the fcale, and weigh'd each balanc'd ball; And as his hand completed each defign, Number'd the work, and fix'd the feal divine; 0 Wisdom infinite! creation's foul,
Whofe rays diffufe new luftre o'er the whole, What tongue shall make thy charms celestial
What hand, fair Goddess! paint thee but thy own?
What tho' in nature's universal store
Appear the wonders of almighty pow'r;
Pow'r, unattended, terror would inspire,
Aw'd muft we gaze, and comfortless admire.
But when fair wifdom joins in the defign,
The beauty of the whole refult's divine!
Hence life acknowledges its glorious cause,
And matter owns its great difpofer's laws;
Hence in a thousand different models wrought,
Now fix'd to quiet, now allied to thought;
Hence flow the forms and properties of things,
Hence rifes harmony, and order fprings;
Elfe, had the mafs a fhapelefs chaos lay,
Nor ever felt the dawn of Wisdom's day!
See, how affociate round their central fun Their faithful rings the circling planets run; Still equi-diftant, never yet too near, Exactly tracing their appointed fphere. Mark how the moon our flying orb purfues, While from the fun her monthly light renews;
Breathes her wide influence on the world below,
And bids the tides alternate ebb and flow.
View how in course the constant seasons rife,
Deform the earth, or beautify the skies:
First, Spring advancing, with her flow'ry train;
Next, Summer's hand, that spreads the fylvan
Then, Autumn,with her yellow harvests crown'd;
And trembling Winter close the annual round.
The vegetable tribes obfervant trace,
From the tall cedar to the creeping grass:
The chain of animated beings fcale,
From the fmall reptile to th' enormous whale;
From the ftrong eagle ftooping thro' the skies,
To the low infect that efcapes thy cyes!
And fee, if fee thou canft, in ev'ry frame,
Eternal Wisdom fhine confefs'd the fame :
As proper organs to the leaft affign'd,
As proper means to propagate the kind,
As juft the ftructure, and as wife tne plan,
As in this lord of all-debating man!
Hence, rea'sning creature, thy diftinction find,
Nor longer to the ways of Heav'n be blind.
Wifdom in outward beauty ftrikes the mind,
But outward beauty points a charm behind.
What gives the earth, the ambient air, or feas,
The plain, the river, or the wood to please?
Oh fay, in whom does beauty's felf refide,
The Beautifier, or the beautified?
There dwells the Godhead in the bright disguise,
Beyond the ken of all created eyes;
His works our love and our attention steal;
His works (furprising thought!) the Maker veil;
Too weak our fight to pierce the radiant cloud,
Where Wifdom thines, in all her charms avow'd.
O gracious God, omnipotent and wife,
Unerring Lord, and Ruler of the skies!
All-condefcending, to my feeble heart
One beam of thy celeftial light impart;
I feek not fordid wealth, or glitt'ring pow'r;
O grant me Wisdom-and I ask no more!
As from fome level country's fhelter'd ground, With towns replete, with green enclosures bound, Where the eye kept within the verdant maze But gets a tranfient vifta as it ftrays; The pilgrim to fome rifing fummit tends, Whence opens all the fcene as he afcends: So providence the friendly heights fupplies, Where all the charms of Deity furprise; Here Goodnefs, Power, and Wisdom all unite, And dazzling glories whelm the ravish'd fight!
Almighty Caufe! 'tis thy preferving care, That keeps thy works for ever fresh and fair; The fun, from thy fuperior radiance bright, Eternal theds his delegated light; Lends to his fifter orb inferior day, And paints the filver moon's alternate ray : Thy hand the wafte of eating Time renews: Thou fhedd'ft the tepid morning's balmy dews: When raging winds the blacken'd deep deform, Thy (pirit rides commiffion'd in the ftorm;