« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
With nothing less th' aspiring soul's content,
For nothing less her genʼrous flame was meant;
Th' unerring rule, which all our steps should guide,
The certain test, by which true good is try'd.
Blest when we reach it, wretched while we miss,
Our joys, our sorrows prove, there must be bliss.
Nor can this be some visionary dream,
Where heated fancy forms the flatt'ring scheme.
There sure is bliss-else, why by all desir'd?
What guileful pow'r has the mad search inspir'd ?
Could accident produce in all the same,
Or a vain shadow raise a real flame?
When nature in the world's distended space,
Or fill'd, or almost fill'd each smaller place;
Careful in meanest matter to produce
Each single motion for some certain use;
Hard was the lot of her first fav'rite, man,
Faulty the scheme of his contracted span,
If that alone must know an useless void,
And he feel longings ne'er to be enjoy'd.
That only can produce consummate joy,
Which equals all the pow'rs it would employ ;
Such fitting object to each talent giv❜n,
Earth cannot fit what was design'd for heav'n.
Why then is man with gifts sublimest fraught,
And active will, and comprehensive thought?
For what is all this waste of mental force?
What! for a house, a coach, a dog, a horse?
Has nature's Lord inverted nature's plan ?
Is man now made for what was made for man?
There must be pleasures past the reach of sense, Some nobler source must happiness dispense: Reason, arise! and vindicate thy claim, Flash on our minds the joy-infusing flame; Pour forth the fount of light, whose endless store Thought drinks insatiate, while it thirsts for more. And thou, seraphic flame! who could'st inspire The prophet's voice, and wrap his soul in fire; Ray of th' eternal beam! who canst pervade The distant past, and future's gloomy shade: While trembling reason tempts heav'n's dazzling
Sublime her force, and guide her dubious flight; Strengthen'd by thee, she bears the streaming blaze, And drinks new light from truth's immortal rays. Great, only evidence of things divine!
By thee reveal'd, the mystic wonders shine!
What puzzled sophists vainly would explore,
What humbled pride in silence must adore,
What plainly mark'd in heav'n's deliver'd page,
Makes the taught hind more wise than Greece's sage.
Yet reason proves thee in her low degree,
And owns thy truths, from their necessity,
Conspicuous now is happiness display'd, Possessing Him for whom alone we're made.
For He alone all human bliss compleats,
To him alone th' expanding bosom beats;
Who fills each faculty, each pow'r can move,
Exerts all thought, and deep absorbs all love;
Whose ceaseless being years would tell in vain,
Whose attributes immense all bounds disdain.
No sickly taste the heav'nly rapture cloys,
Nor wearied senses sink in whelming joys;
While, rais'd above low matter's grosser frame,
Pure spirit blazes in His purer flame.
Such are th' immortal blessings that attend
The just and good, the patriot and the friend.
Nor such alone in distant prospect cheer,
They taste heav'n's joys anticipated here.
These in the smiling cups of pleasure flow,
Or, mingling, sooth the bitter stream of woe;
These pay the loss of honors, and of place,
And teach that guilt alone is true disgrace;
These with the glorious exile cheerful rove,
And, far from courts, fresh bloom in Curio's grove.
Long may such bliss, by such enjoy'd, attest, The greatly virtuous are the greatly blest! Enough there are amidst yon gorgeous train, Who, wretched, prove all other joys are vain.
So shines the truth these humble lines unfold, "Fair virtue ever is unwisely sold."
Too mean a price sublimest fortune brings,
Too mean the wealth, the smiles, the crowns of kings:
For rais'd o'er these, she makes our bliss secure,
The present pleasing, and the future sure.
While prosp❜rous guilt a sad reverse appears,
And in the tasteless now, the future fears.
HEAVEN in the human breast implants
Fit appetites for all our wants;
With hunger prompts to strength'ning food,
With love of praise to public good;
These to their objects strait convey,
While reason winds her tardy way.
Yet in one centre should unite,
Faith, instinct, reason, appetite;
One perfect plan ordain'd to trace,
And nature dignify with grace;
In one great system meant to roll,
To move, support, and guide the whole.
But some there are who rigid blame The mind that thirsts for righteous fame;