Изображения страниц


Of universal nature, as a speck,
Like fair Britannia in our little ball;
Exceeding fair, and glorious, for its size, 16оо
But, elsewhere, far out-measur’d, far outfhone?
In fancy (for the fact beyond us lies)
Canst thou not figure it, an Ife, almost
Too small for notice, in the vast of being ;
Sever'd by mighty seas of un-built space

From other realms; from ample continents
Of higher life, where nobler natives dwell;
Less northern, less remote from Deity,
Glowing beneath the line of the Supreme;
Where fouls in excellence make haste, put forth
Luxuriant growths ; nor the late autumn wait
Of human worth, but ripen soon to gods ?

Yet why drown fancy in such depths as these? Return, presumptuous rover ! and confess The bounds of man; nor blame them, as too small. 1615 Enjoy we not full scope in what is seen? Full ample the dominions of the sun! Full glorious to behold! how far, how wide, The matchless monarch, from his flaming throne, Lavish of lustre, throws his beams about him, 1620 Farther, and faster, than a thought can fly, And feeds his planets with eternal fires ! This Heliopolis, by greater far, Than the proud tyrant of the Nile, was built j And He alone, who built it, can destroy. Beyond this city, why strays human thought ? One wonderful, enough for man to know!


One infinite ! enough for man to range!
One firmament, enough for man to read!
O what voluminous instruction here !

What page of wisdom is deny'd him? None;
If learning his chief lesson makes him wise.
Nor is instruction, herę, our only gain;
There dwells a noble pathos in the skies,
Which warms our passions, profelytes our hearts. 1635
How eloquently shines the glowing pole!
With what aụthority it gives its charge,
Remonstrating great truths in style sublime,
Though filent, loud! heard earth around; above,
The planets heard ; and not unheard in hell; 1640
Hell has her wonder, though too proud to praise.
Is earth, then, more infernal ? has she those,
Who neither praise (Lorenzo) nor admire?

Lorenzo's admiration, pre-engag’d, Ne'er ask'd the moon one question; never held 1645 Least correspondence with a single star; Ne'er rear'd an altar to the queen of heaven Walking in brightness; or her train ador'd, Their sublunary rivals have long since Engross’d his whole devotion ; fars malign, 1650 Which made the fond astronomer run mad; Darken his intelle&t, corrupt his heart; Cause him to facrifice his fame and peace. To momentary madness, call’d delight, Idolater, more gross than ever kiss’d. The lifted hand to Luna, or pour'd out The blood to Jove - Thau, to whom belongs


All facrifice ! 0 Thou Great Jove unfeign'd!
Divine Instructor! Thy first volume, this,
For man's perusal; all in Capitals !

In moon, and stars (heaven's golden alphabet !)
Emblaz'd to seize the sight; who runs, may read;
Who reads, can undersiand. 'Tis unconfin'd
To Christian land, or Jewry; fairly writ,,
In language universal, to Mankind :.

166.5 A language, lofty to the learn'd: yet plain To those that feed the flock, or guide the piough, Or, from his hulk, strike out the bounding grain. A language, worthy the Great Mind, that speaks! Preface, and comment, to the sacred page!. 1670 Which oft refers its reader to the skies,. As pre-supposing his first lesson there, And scripture self a fragment, that unreada Stupendous book of wisdom, to the wise ! Stupendous book! and open'd, Night! by Thee.. 1675

By Thee much open'd, I confess, O Night ! Yet more I wish; but how shall I prevail ? Say, gentle Night! whose modest, maiden beams Give us a new creation, and present The world's great picture soften'd to the fight;. 1680 Nay, kinder far, far more indulgent (till, Say, thou, whose mild dominion's filver key: Unlocks our hemisphere, and sets to view Worlds beyond number ; worlds conceal'd by dayBehind the proud, and envious star of noon! 1689 Canst thou not draw a deeper scene ? -And thew The Mighty Potentate, to whom belong


These rich regalia pompously display'd
To kindle that high hope ? Like him of Uz,
I gaze around; I search on every side 1690
O for a glimpse of Him my soul adores !
As the chac'd hart, amid the defart waste,
Pants for the living stream ; for Him who made her,
So pants the thirsty foul, amid the blank
Of sublunary joys. Say, goddess ! where ? 1695
Where blazes His bright court? Where burns His throne?
Thou know'ft; for Thou art near Him; hy Thee, round
His grand pavilion, facred fame reports
The fable curtain drawn. If not, can none
Of thy fair daughter-train, fo fwift of wing, 1700
Who travel far, discover where He dwells ?
A far His dwelling pointed out below.
Ye Pleiades! Arcturus! Mazaroth !
And thou, Orion! of still keener eye !
Say ye, who guide the wilder'd in the waves, 1705
And bring them out of tempest into port!
On which hand must I bend my course to find Him?
These courtiers keep the fecret of their King ;
I wake whole nights, in vain, to steal it from them.

I wake; and, waking, climb night's radiant scale, 1710
From sphere to sphere; the steps by nature fet
For man's ascent; at once to tempt and aid;
To tempt his eye, and aid his towering thought;
Till it arrives at the Great Goal of all,
In ardent contemplation's rapid car,

1715 From earth, as from my barrier, I set out. How swift I mount! diminish'd earth recedes;

I pass


I pass the moon; and, from her farther side,
Pierce heaven's blue curtain ; strike into remote;
Where, with his lifted tube, the subtil fage 1720
His artificial, airy journey takes,
And to celestial lengthens buman fight.
I pause at every planet on my road,
And ask for Him who gives their orbs to roll,
Their foreheads fair to shine. From Saturn's ring, 1725
In which, of earths an army might be lost,
With the bold comet, take my bolder flight,
Amid those sovereign glories of the skies,
Of independent, native lustre, proud ;
The souls of systems ! and the lords of life, 1730
Through their wide empires !-What behold I now?
A wilderness of wonder burning round;
Where larger suns inhabit higher spheres ;
Perhaps the villas of descending gods ;
Nor halt I here; my toil is but begun;

1735 'Tis but the threshold of the Deity; Or, far beneath it, I am groveling still. Nor is it strange; I built on a mistake; The grandeur of his works, whence folly sought For aid, to reason fets his glory higher;

1740 Who built thus high for worms (mere worms to Him) O where, Lorenzo! must the Builder dwell?

Pause, then ; and, for a moment, here respire If human thought can keep its station here. Where am I?-Where is earth?—Nay, where art Thou, O sun ? --Is the fun turn'd recluse ?--And are His boasted expeditions thort to mine ?


« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »