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Inhabits all things, but the thought of man.
Nor man alone ; his breathing bust expirés, His tomb is mortal ; empires die : where, now, The Roman? Greek? They stalk, an empty name! Yet few regard them in this useful light; Though half our learning is their epitaph. When down thy vale, unlock'd by midnight thought, That loves to wander in thy sunless realms, O death! I stretch my view : what visions rife! What triumphs ! toils imperiall arts divine ! In wither'd laurels glide before my fight! 115 What lengths of far-fam'd ages, billow'd high With human agitation, roll along In unsubftantial images of air! The melancholy ghosts of dead renown, Whispering faint echoes of the world's applause, With penitential aspect, as they pass, All point at earth, and biss at human pride, The wisdom of the wife, and prancings of the great.
But, O. Lorenzo ! far the rest above, Of ghastly nature, and enormous size,
125 One form assaults my sight, and chills my blood, And shakes my frame. Of one departed world I see the mighty shadow : oozy wreath And dismal sea-weed crown her; o'er her urn Reclin’d, she weeps her desolated realms,
130 And bloated fons; and, weeping, prophesies Another's diffolution, foon, in flames. But, like Cassandra, prophesies in vain; In vain, to many; not, I truit, to thee. B 3
For, know'ft thou not, or art thou loth to know, 135 The great decree, the counsel of the skies? Deluge and conflagration, dreadful powers ! Prime ministers of vengeance ! chain'd in caves Distinct, apart the giant furies roar; Apart; or, such their horrid rage for ruin, In mutual conflict would they rise, and wage Eternal war, till one was quite devour'd. But not for this, ordain'd their boundless rage ; When heaven's inferior instruments of wrath, War, famine, peftilence, are found too weak 145 To scourge a world for her enormous crimes, These are let loose, alternate : down they rush, Swift and tempestuous, from th’ eternal throne, With irresistible commission arm’d, The world, in vain corrected, to destroy,
150 And ease creation of the thocking scene.
Seest thou, Lorenzo! what depends on man? The fate of nature ; as for man, her birth. Earth's actors change earth's transitory scenes, And make creation groan with human guilt.
15.5 How must it groan, in a new deluge whelm’d, But not of waters ! at the destin'd hour, By the loud trumpet fummond to the charge, See, all the formidable sons of fire, Eruptions, earthquakes, comets, lightnings, play 166 Their various engines ; all at once disgorge Their blazing magazines ; and take, by storm, This poor terrestrial citadel of man. Amazing period! when each mountain-height
Out-burns Vesuvius; rocks eternal pour
165 Their melted mass, as rivers once they pour'd; Stars rush; and final ruin fiercely drives Her plowshare o'er creation !-while aloft, More than astonishment! if more can be ! Far other firmament than e'er was seen,
170 Than e'er was thought by man ! far other stars ! Stars animate, that govern these of fire; Far other fun !-A sun, O how unlike The Babe at Bethlem ! how unlike the Man, That groan’d'on Calvary !-Yet He it is;
175 That Man of forrows! O how chang’d! what pomp! In grandeur terrible, all heaven descends ! And gods, ambitious, triumph in his train, A swift archangel, with his golden wing, As blots and clouds, that darken and disgrace The scene divine, sweeps stars and suns aside. And now, all dross remov'd, heaven's own pure day, Full on the confines of our æther, Aames. While (dreadful contrast!) far, how far beneath! Hell, bursting, belches forth her blazing feas,
185 And storms fulphureous; her voracious jaws Expanding wide, and roaring for her prey.
Lorenzo!'welcome to this scene; the last In nature's course; the first in wisdom's thought. This strikes, if aught can strike thee; this awakes 190 The most supine ; this snatches man from death. Rouse, rouse, Lorenzo, then, and follow me, Where truth, the most momentous man can hear, Loud calls my soul, and ardour wings her flight. B4
I find my inspiration in my theme;
195 The grandeur of my subject is my
Great day! for which all other days were made;
its eager grasp, and drops the world; And catches at each reed of hope in heaven.
At thought of thee !--and art thou absent then? 225
Shall all, but man, look out with ardent eye, For that great day, which was ordain'd for man? O day of consummation! mark supreme
2 50 (If men are wise) of human thought! nor least, Or in the fight of angels, or their King ! Angels, whose radiant circles, height o'er height, Order o'er order, rising, blaze o’er blaze,