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As in a theatre, furround this scene,
255 Intent on man, and anxious for his fate. Angels look out for thee; for thee, their Lord, To vindicate his glory; and for thee, Creation universal calls aloud, To dif-involve the moral world, and give To nature's renovation brighter charms.
Shall man alone, whose fate, whose final fate, Hangs on that hour, exclude it from his thought ? I think of nothing else; I see! I feel it ! All nature, like an earthquake, trembling round! 265 All Deities, like summer's swarms, on wing! All balking in the full' meridian blaze ! I see the Judge inthron'd! the flaming guard ! The volume open'd! open'd every heart ! A sun-beam pointing out each secret thought ! 270 No patron! intercessor none! now past The sweet, the clement, mediatorial hour! For guilt no plea ! to pain, no pause! no bound ! Inexorable, all! and all, extreme !
Nor man alone; the foe of God and man, 275 From his dark den, blafpheming, drags his chain, And rears his brazen front, with thunder fcarrod : Receives his sentence, and begins his hell. All vengeance paft, now, seems abundant grace : Like meteors in a stormy sky, how roll
280 His baleful eyes! he curses whom he dreads; And deems it the first moment of his fall.
'Tis present to my thought!--and yet where is it? Angels can't tell me ; angels cannot gues
The period'; from created beings lock'd
285 In darkness. But the process, and the place, Are less obfcure; for these may man enquire. Say, thou great close of human hopes and fears ! Greát key of hearts ! great finisher of fates! Great end! and great beginning! say, Where art thou? Art thou in time, or in eternity? Nor in eternity, nor time, I find thee. These, as two monarchs, on their borders meet, (Monarchs of all elaps’d, or unarriv'd !) As in debate, how best their powers ally'd, 295 May fwell the grandeur, or discharge the wrath, Of Him, whom both their monarchies obey.
Time, this fast fabric for him built (and doom'd
Time was ! Eternity now reigns alone !
How often has she knock'd at human hearts ! 315 Rich to
their hospitality, How often call'd! and with the voice of God! Yet bore repulses, excluded as a cheat ! A dream ! while fouleft foes found welcome there! A dream, a cheat, now, all things, but ber smile. 320
For, lo! her twice ten thousand gates thrown wide, As thrice from Indus to the frozen pole, With banners streaming as the comet's blaze, And clarions, louder than the deep in storms, Sonorous as immortal breath can blow,
325 Pour forth their myriads, potentates, and powers, Of light, of darkness; in a middle field, Wide; as creation! populous, as wide ! A neutral region ! there to mark th' event Of that great drama, whose preceding scenes 330 Detain’d them close spectators, through a length Of ages, ripening to this grand result; Ages, as yet unnumber'd, but by God; Who now, pronouncing sentence, vindicates The rights of virtue, and his own renown. 335
Eternity, the various sentence past, Assigns the sever'd throng distinct abodes, Sulphureous, or ambrosial : What ensues ? The deed predominant! the deed of deeds! Which makes a hell of hell, a heaven of heaven. 340 The Goddess, with determin’d aspect, turns Her adamantine key's enormous size Through destiny's inextricable wards, Deep driving every bolt, on both their fates.
Then, from the crystal battlements of heaven, 345
355 To fee creation's godlike aim, and end, So well accomplish'd ! fo divinely clos'd! To see the mighty dramatist's last act (As meet) in glory rifing o'er the rest. No fancy'd God, a God indeed, descends, To solve all knots; to strike the moral home; To throw full day on darkest fcenes of time ; To clear, commend, exalt, and crown the whole. Hence, in one peal of loud, eternal praise, The charm’d fpectators thunder their applause! 365 And the vast void beyond, applause resounds. What then am I?
Amidst applauding worlds,
And who, but God, resum'd the friends He gave ? 375
385 That planted Eden, and high-bloom'd for man, A fairer Eden, endless, in the skies.
Heaven gives us friends to bless the present scene ; Resumes them, to prepare us for the next. All evils natural are moral goods ;
390 All discipline, indulgence, on the whole. None are unhappy : all have cause to smile, But such as to themselves that cause deny. Our faults are at the bottom of our pains ; Error, in acts, or judgment, is the source
395 Of endless sighs: .We fin, or we mistake ; And nature tax, when false opinion stings. Let impious grief be banishd, joy indulg'd; But chiefly then, when grief puts in her claim. foy from the joyous, frequently betrays, Oft lives in vanity, and dies in woe. joy, amidst ills, corroborates, exalts ; 'Tis joy and conquest; joy, and virtue too. A noble fortitude in ills, delights 5