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Beneath her clear discerning eye
The visionary shadows fly
Of Folly's painted show.
She sees, thro' ev'ry fair disguise,
That all but Virtue's solid joys
Is vanity and woe.
$47. On Human Life. Ogilvie. By Time's slow-heavingtide, the works ofman Are whelm'd; how sinks beneath his wasteful sway
Were seen innumerable shapes, whose wing
Wav'd on the wind, or o'er the glittering fie
Who trod in silence. Care with lowering b
Slow stalk'd; and Slander, speckled as the sn
That stings th' unwary traveller, along
The tainted earth trail'd loose, or borne on wi
Blue as the brimstone's gleam, in secret shot
Her poison'd arrows. Pining Envy gnaw'd
A blasted laurel, from the locks of Fame
Snatch'd, as the goddess to her lips applied
Her mighty trump, and swell'd a solemn note
To Homer's venerable name-Not far
Stood Discord foaming. Riot double-tongu'd,
And gleaming Frenzy, and thy yellow wing,
Revenge, fell fiend! shook plagues, and thro'the
Infus'd their venom to the innost soul. [breast
O'er all, Disease her beauty-withering wand
Wav'd high; and, heaving on the heavy air,
Her raven pinions, bloated as she sail'd
The face of Nature. Shapeless was her form,
And void; the owl's ill-omen'd eyes high-rais'd
Speckled her front, her nostrils breath'd a cloud,
Pale Famine's sallow hand had scoop'd her cheek;
And a green viper form'd her forky tongue.
-Slow she mov'd
The pride of empire! Glittering for a while,
The gilded vessels sport along the stream,
Fann'd with propitious gales: the sides are firm,
The hull capacious, and the swelling sails
Float to the breeze of summer. Ah! how soon,
Torn by the tempest's wildly-rushing wing,
And foundering on the deep it lies deform'd,
A shatter'd wreck! Nor less on life descends
The storm impetuous; let thy silver hairs,
Time-hallow'd age, be witness! the dim eye,
The tottering tread, the furrow'd cheek, the hand
Yet trembling from the blast. Tell, ye who tend
The bed of death, how o'er the helpless race
Of human victims strides the harpy foot
Of Misery triumphant! while the veins
Shrink to the Fever's scorching breath, or feel,
Starting, the ficry dart of racking Pain,
That writhes to agony; or loosen'd shake
Before Consumption; when her baleful
Drops its green poison on the springs of life.
Nor these alone pursue the race of man.
Far other ills await; far other woes
Like vultures revel on his canker'd heart.
who nightly languish o'er the tomb,
Where sleeps thy dust, Eugenio! Ye whose hearts
O'er Virtue bleed, when, reeking from the scourge
Of d're Oppression, in some lonely cave
She pines all desolate !-Ye powers that haunt
The valewhere Genius breathes her plaint alone,
Wild to the whistling wind; her voice unheard
As airs that warble o'er the murmuring dale
Remote, to Solitude's inchanting ear!
O tell, why wrapt in Grandeur's floating robe
Vice mounts her throne! while trembling at the
Stands Innocence appall'd! Tell why the hand
Of strutting Impudence, unlicens'd, grasps
The palm of Worth, and his indignant brow
Looks down, whilemeck-ey'dModesty, dismay'd,
Mantles her cheek in crinison, and retires
To blush in silence! why thy purple car,
High-plum'd Ambition, bathes its rolling wheels
In blood, and o'er pale Virtue's streaming corse,
Rapid and madd'ning springs to reach the goal:
§ 48. Diseases are the Consequence of Intempe-
LONG o'er the lilied plain I cast my eye,
Long mark'd the crowd that roam'd delighted
Alternate transport, pity, love, and fear, [on;
Work'd in my
I look'd, and hovering o'er the flowery turf
Along the troubled air; and from a bag
(Wrought deep by Envy in her midnight den)
Scatter'd the seeds of death. The sparkling bow!
Receiv'd them now; and now the enfeebled, corse,
Lank, open, spent, at each unfolding
Suck'd in the poison, as it rose decay'd,
Livid and weak, from Pleasure's loose embrace,
Soon o'er each withering cheek the baleful
Had spread unseen her life-consuming stain:
Nor knew th' exulting youth, who quaff'd elate
The draught delicious, that untimely frost
Lurk'd by the springs of life; and secret chill'd
The florid blood, and mark'd him for the tomb.
Atlast with weak stepcame the trembling Sage,
Haggard, and shrinking from the breeze; his voice
Was deep, and hollow; and the loose nerves shook
His silver-sprinkled head. He thus began:
O yet, while Heav'n suspends your doom, be
My sons! O cense to listen to the lure [wise,
Of Pleasure! Death attends her forward step,
sure, tho' secret snare.
And Peril lays the
Hear, then, the words of age. Yet Fate bestows
One hour; yet Virtue, with indulgent voice,
By me invites to shun the devious maze
Of Error:- Yet to crown with length of days,
With joy, with happiness, your bold career
She hopes! Osnatch the proffer'd boon! be rous'd;
Ere her strong arm tremendous at your heads
Shall launch th'avenging thunder; ere dismay'd,
Perplex'd, bewilder'd, wild, you seek the haunt
Of Peace, when darkness veils her lowly cot:
And mourn her gentle smile for ever gone."
§ 49. Wishes obtained often make Men miserable.
YET warn'd, behold what danger marks the
Of high-brow'd Opulence! Intemperance,
The fruitful parent of Disease, behind
Reels loose, and silent plants th' entangling snare.
Oft when, tovengeance rous'd th' Eternal dooms
Some wretch to misery extreme, he grants
The fervent wish; he gives th' insatiate eye
To rove transported o'er its golden store;
The heart to swell like Xerxes', when he view'd
His hosts that wrapt th' immeasurable plain,
And triumph'd in his pow'r. Thus fares the
That poverty escapes?--The wretch who dragg'd
His sire relentless to the tomb-say rose
No boiling passion in his rankled heart?
Felt not his tortur'd breast the venom sting
Of keen Impatience? Flam'd not to his eye
Gold, titles, honor; all the tinsel-show,
That on the sullen front of Avarice wakes
A gloomy smile, and bids his little thought
Receive a glean of joy? From these secure
Lives not untutor❜d Indigence at ease?
And steals unseen along the vale of Life,
Calm, peaceful, shelter'd from the stormy blast
That shakes Ambition's plume: that wrecks the
As, whirl'd by Passion, thro' life's dusty field
He bursts exulting. On the drooping head
Of Merit, shy to censure, and represt
By decent Pride from murmuring; his rude hand
Arrests the palm. He gains it;
By Folly's wond'ring train, presumptuous shapes
His course; till like a canker at the root,
That secret riots on the vital stream,
Slow, but sure-wasting Fate in silence takes
Th' inevitable aim; and spare the hand.
Of hoary Time his silver and his scythe.
The quiet of mankind ?--What though to these
The means are scanty?-O'er the roughen'd
Health sheds her bloom; their sinews knit by toil,
Robust and firm, support th' allotted weight.
And gradual loosed by long revolving years,
Resign their charge, untainted by the seeds
Of lurking Death, slow thro' the form diflus'd
From meals that Nature nauseates, from the cup
Where the wine laughs, and on the mantlingcheek
Kindles a transient blush, but works disease,
O weak! thro' Passion's erring glass to view
What cooler thought condemns! Think'st thou
By birth exalted, by the lavish hand [hoursAnd shades the temples with untimely snow.
Of Fortune crown'd with honor, whose
Dance to the melting lute's melodious lay,
Ishappy?-Know, thy wandering search mistakes
The shade for substance. Could thy thought
The mind within, what real ills excite [explore
The mental tumult; to the trembling gaze
Of Fear what phantoms of imagin'd woes
Swim thro' the dark night's solemn noon, when
Shakes not her poppies o'er his longing eyes,
That roll in vain; what inward-eating care
Preyson his pamper'd blood; what wishes wild;
What dread of future misery; what dreams
Of horror gleam athwart the sable scroll [scene
Where Memory prints her records: would the
Wake thee to envy? Would thy wishing soul
Pant for the boon that glitters to the eye,
But stings the heart, and poisons all its joy?
I read thy secret doubt: "Tis Guilt that
The brow of Grandeur: 'tis the solemn peal
Of Conscience, thundering in the mental car,
That wakes to quick sensation. To the dream
Of harmless Innocence, no Demon shakes
His front terrific: all is calm within,
And tun'd to perfect harmony.-Yet Peace
May dwell with Opulence; one happy mind
May eye rejoicing it extended pow'r
To work for man; exulting as it views
A smiling tribe around, snatch'd from the grasp
Of ruthless want, and basking in the beam
Of joy, to transport kindling, and to love.”
Tis just-The noble mind by Fortune rais'd,
And warm'd by strong benevolence to spread
Its happiness to all, displays to man
His Maker's image. To a godlike few
Heav'n gives at once the virtue and the power;
Yet plants not. Opulçace for these a snare,
$ 50. DEITY. Boyse. Unde nil majus generatur Ipso,
Nee viget quidquam simile aut secundum. HoR. FROM earth's low prospects and deceitful aims, From wealth's allurements, and ambition's dreams,
The lover's raptures, and the hero's views,
All the false joys mistaken man pursnes;
The schemes of science, the delights of wine,
Or the more pleasing follies of the Nine!
Recal, fond Bard, thy long-enchanted sight
Deluded with the visionary light!
A nobler theme demands thy sacred song,
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 strain?
Do Thou, who from the altar's living fire
Isaiah's tuneful lips didst once inspire,
Come to my aid, celestial Wisdom, come;
dark mind dispel the doubtful gloom:
My passions still, my purer breast inflame,
To sing that God from whom existence came;
Till heav'n and nature in the concert join,
And own the Author of their birth divine.
Whence sprang this glorious frame! or whence
The various forms the universe compose? [arose
From what Almighty Cause, what mystic springs
Shall we derive the origin of things?
Sing, heav'nly Guide! whose all-efficient light
Drew dawning planets from the womb of night!
Since reason, by the sacred dictates taught,
Adores a pow'r beyond the reach of thought.
First Cause of causes! Sire supreme of birth!
Sole light of heav'n! acknowledg'd life of earth!
Whose Word from nothing call'd this beauteous | Bless'd in himself, had from his forming hand whole,
No creatures sprung to hail his wide command
Bless'd, had the sacred fountain ne'er run o'er,
A boundless sea of bliss that knows no shore!
Nor sense can two prime origins conceive,
Nor reason two eternal Gods believe!
Could the wild Manichæan own that guide,
The good would triumph, and the ill subside!
Again would vanquish'd Aramanius bleed,
And darkness from prevailing light recede!
In dif'rent individuals we find
An evident disparity of mind;
Hence ductile thought a thousand changes gains,
And actions vary as the will ordains;
But should two Beings, equally supreme,
Divided pow'r and parted empire claim;
How soon would universal order cease!
How soon would discord harmony displace!
Eternal schemes maintain eternal fight,
Nor yield, supported by eternal night;
Where each would uncontrol'd his aim pursue,
The links dissever, or the chain renew!
Matter from notion cross impressions take,
As serv'd each pow'r his rival's pow'r to break,
While neutral Chaos from his deep recess,
Would view the never-ending strife increase,
And bless the contest that secur'd his peace!
While new creations would opposing rise,
And elemental war deform the skies!
Around wild uproar and confusion huri'd,
Eclipse the heav'ns, and waste the ruin'd world.
Two independent causes to admit,
Destroys religion, and debases wit;
The first by such an anarchy undone,
The last acknowledges its source but one.
As from the main the mountain rills are drawn,
So, mindful of their spring, one course they
That wind irriguous thro' the flow'ry lawn ;
This wide expanded All from pole to pole!
Who shall prescribe the boundary to Thee,
Or fix the æra of Eternity?
Should we, deceived by error's sceptic glass,
Admit the thought absurd--That Nothing was!
Thencewould this wild, this false conclusionflow,
That Nothing rais'd this beauteous All below!
When from disclosing darkness splendor breaks,
Associate atoms move, and matter speaks,
When non-existence burts its close disguise,
How blind are mortals—not to own the skies!
If one vast void eternal held its place,
Whence started time? or whence expanded space?
What gave the slumb'ring mass to feel a change,
Or bid consenting worlds harmonious range?
Could Nothing link the universal chain?
No, 'tis impossible, absurd, and vain!
Here reason its eternal Author finds,
The whole who regulates, unites, and binds,
Enlivens matter, and produces minds!
Inactive Chaos sleeps in dull repose,
Nor knowledge thence, nor free volition flows!
A nobler source those powers ethereal show,
By which we think, design, reflect, and know;
These from a cause superior date their rise,
"Abstract in essence from material ties."
An origin immortal, as supreine,
From whose pure day, celestial rays! they came:
In whom all possible perfections shine,
Eternal, self-existent, and divine!
From this great spring of uncreated might!
This all-resplendent orb of vital light;
Whence all-created beings take their rise,
Which beautify the earth, or paint the skies!
Profusely wide the boundless blessings flow,
Which heav'nenrich and gladden worlds below!
Which are no less, 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-must surely be
Beyond commencement, and from period free;
Drawn from himself his native excellence,
His date eternal, and his space immense!
And all of whom that man can comprehend,
Is, that he ne'er began, nor e'er shall end.
In him from whom existence boundless flows,
Let humble faith its sacred trust repose:
Assur'd on his eternity depend,
"Eternal Father! and eternal Friend!" "
Within that mystic circle safety seek,
No time can lessen, and no force can break!
And, lost in adoration, breathe his praise,
High Rock of ages, antient Sire of days!
Thusrecogniz'd, the spring of lifeand thought!
Eternal, self-deriv'd, and unbegot
Approach, celestial Muse, th' empyreal throne,
And awfully adore th' exalted One!
In nature pure, in place supremely free,
And happy in essential unity!
Exploring, till they find their native deep!
Exalted Power, invisible, supreme,
Thou sov'reign, sole unutterable Name!
And touch the golden lyre with trembling hand;
As round thy throne thy flaming seraphs stand,
Too weak thy pure effulgence to behold,
With their rich plumes their dazzled eyes in fold ;
Transported with the ardors of thy praise,
To them responsive, fet creation sing,
The holy! holy! holy! anthem raise!
Thee, indivisible eternal King!
O say, celestial Muse! whose purer birth
Disdains the low material ties of earth;
By what bright images shall be defin'd
The mystic nature of th' eternal Mind!
Or how shall thought the dazzling height explore,
Where all that reason can-is to adore!
That God's an immaterial essence pure,
Incapable of passions, impulse, fear,
Whom figure can't describe, nor parts immure;
In good pre-eminent, in truth severe :
Unmix'd his nature, and sublim'd his pow'rs
From all the
gross allay that tempers ours;
In whose clear eye the bright angelic train,
Appear suffus'd with imperfection's stain!
Impervious to the man's or seraph's eye,
Beyond the ken of each exalted high.
Him would in vain material semblance feign,
Or figur'd shrines the boundless God contain;
Object of faith! he shuns the view of sense,
Lost in the blaze of sightless excellence!
Most perfect, most intelligent, most wise,
In whom the sanctity of pureness lies;
In whose adjusting mind the whole is wrought,
Whose form is spirit, and whose essence thought!
Are truths inscrib'd by Wisdom's brightest ray,
In characters that gild the face of day!
Reason confess'd (howe'er we may dispute),
Fix'd boundary! discovers man from brute;
But, dim to us, exerts its fainter ray,
Depress'd in matter, and allied to clay!
In forms superior kindles less confin'd,
Whose dress is æther, and whose substance mind;
Yet all from Him, supreme of causes flow,
To Him their pow'rs and their existence owe;
From the bright cherub of the noblest birth,
To the poor reasoning glow-wormplac'd on earth;
From inatter then to spirit still ascend,
Thro' spirit s'ill refining, higher tend;
Pursue, on knowledge bent, the pathless road,
Pierce thro' infinitude in quest of God!
Still from thy search, the centre still shall fly,
Approaching still-thou never shalt come nigh!
So its bright orb th' aspiring flame would join,
But the vast distance mocks the fond design.
If Le, Almighty! whose decree is fate,
Could, to display his pow'r, subvert his state;
Bid from his plastic hand, a greater rise,
Produce a master, and resign his skies;
Impart his incommunicable flame,
The mystic number of th' Eternal Name;
Then might revolting reason's feeble ray
Aspire to question God's all-perfect day!
Vain task! the clay in the directing hand,
The reason of its form might so demand,
As man presume to question his dispose
From whom the power he thus abuses flows.
Here point, fair Muse! the worship God re-
There should his brighter presence shine confest,
There his almighty arm thy course arrest!
Could'st thou the thickest veil of night assume,
Or think to hide thee in the central gloom!
Yet there, all patent to his piercing sight,
Darkness itself would kindle into light
Not the dark mansions of the silent grave,
Nor darker hell, from his perception save;
What pow'r, alas! thy footsteps can convey
Beyond the reach of omnipresent day?
In his wide grasp, and comprehensive eye,
Immediate worlds on worlds unnumber'd lie;
Systems inclos'd in his perception roll,
Whose all-informing mind directs the whole:
Lodg'd in his grasp, their certain ways they know;
Plac'd in that sight from whence can nothing go.
On earth his footstool fix'd, in heav'n his scat;
Enthron'd he dictates, and his word is fate.
The soul inflam'd with chaste and holy fires?
Where love celestial warms the happy breast,
And from sincerity the thought's express'd;
Where genuine piety, and truth refin'd,
Re-consecrate the temple of the mind;
With grateful flames the living altars glow,
And God descends to visit man below!
Thro' th' unmeasurable tracts of space Go, Muse divine! and present Godhead trace! See where, by place uncircumscrib'd as time, He reigns extended; and he shines sublime! Shouldst thou above the heav'n of heav'ns ascend,
Couldst thou below the depth of depths descend, Could thy fond flight beyond the starry sphere The radiant morning's lucid pinions bear!
Nor want his shining images below; In streams that murmur, or in winds that blow; His spirit broods along the boundless flood, Smiles in the plain, and whispers in the wood; Warms in the genial sun's enliv'ning ray, Breathes in the air, and beautifies the day!
Should man his great immensity deny, Man might as well usurp the vacant sky: For were he limited in date, or view, Thence were his attributes imperfect too; His knowledge, power, his goodness all confin'd, And lost th' idea of a ruling Mind! Feeble the trust, and comfortless the sense Of a defective partial Providence! Boldly might then his arm injustice brave, Or innocence in vain his mercy crave; Dejected virtue lift it's hopeless cye: And heavy sorrow vent the heartless sigh! An absent God no abler to defend, Protect, or punish, than an absent friend; Distant alike our wants and griefs to know, To ease the anguish, or prevent the blow, If he, Supreme Director, were not near, Vain were our hope, and empty were our fear; Unpunish'd vice would o'er the world prevail, And unrewarded virtue toil-to fail! The moral world a second chaos lie, And nature sicken to the thoughtful eye!
Even the weak embryo, ere to life it breaks, From his high pow'r its slender texture takes; While in his book the various parts inroll'd, Increasing, own eternal Wisdom's mould.
Nor views he only the material whole, But pierces thought, and penetrates the soul! Ere from the lips the vocal accents part, Or the faint purpose dawns within the heart, His steady eye the mental birth perceives, yet to us the new idea lives! Knows what we say, ere yet the words proceed, And ere we form th' intention, marks the deed!
But Conscience, fair vicegerent-light within, Asserts its Author, and restores the scene! Points out the beauty of the govern'd plan,
And vindicates the ways of God to man." Then, sacred Muse, by the vast prospect fir'd, From heaven descended, as by heaven inspir'd;
Hisall-enlightning Omnipresenceown,[known; | Immortal He, amidst the wreck secure,
Whence first thou feel'st thy dwindling presence Shall sit exalted, permanently pure!
As in the sacred Bush, shall shine the same,
His wide Omniscience, justly, grateful, sing,
Whence thy weak science prunes its callow wing! And from the ruin raise a fairer frame!
And bless th' Eternal, All-informing Soul,
Whose sight pervades, whose knowledge fills the
As the Eternal and Omniscient Mind,
By laws not limited, nor bounds contin'd,
Far hence, ye visionary charming maids,
Ye fanciedny niphs that haunt theGrecianshades!
Your birth who from conceiving fiction drew,
Yourselves producing phantoms as untrue:
But come, superior Muse! divinely bright,
Is always independent, always free,
Hence slunes confess'd Immutability!
Or birth of force—is imperfection still.
But he, all-perfect, in himself contains
Pow'r self-deriv'd, and from himself he reigns!
If, alter'd by constraint, we could suppose,
That God his fix'd stability should lose;
How startles reason 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 supreme new rays acquire?
Or strong perfection raise its glories higher?
Absurd! his high meridian brightness glows,
Never decreases, never overflows!
Know no addition, yields to no decay,
The blaze of incommunicable day!
Change, whether the spontaneous child of will, Daughter of heav'n, whose offspring still is light;
Oh condescend, celestial sacred guest!
To purge my sight, and animate my breast,
While I presume Omnipotence to trace,
And sing that Pow'r who peopled boundless
Thou present wert, when forth th' Almighty
While Chaos trembled at the voice ofGod![drew,
Thou saw'st, when o'er th' immense his line he
When Nothing from his Word existence knew!
His Word, that wak'd to life the vast profound,
While conscious light was kindled at the sound!
Creation fair surpris'd the angelic eyes,
And sov'reign Wisdom saw that all was wise!
Him, sole Almighty, nature's book displays,
Distinct the page, and legible the rays!
Let the wild sceptic his attention throw
To the broad horizon, or earth below;
He finds thy soft impression touch his breast,
He feels the God, and owns him unconfest:
Should the stray pilgrim, tir'd of sands and skies,
In Lybia's waste behold a palace rise,
Would he believe the charm from atoms wrought?
Go, atheist, hence, and mend thy juster 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 consenting system beauteous roll!
What hand but thine supply the solar light!
Ever bestowing, yet for ever bright!
What hand but thine the starry train array,
Or give the Moon to shed her borrow'd ray?
What hand but thine the azure convex spread?
What hand but thine compose the ocean's bed?
To the vast main the sandy barrier throw,
And with the feeble curb restrain the foe!
What hand but thine the wint'ry flood assuage,
stop the tempest in its wildest rage!
Thee infinite! what finite can explore?
Imagination sinks beneath thy pow'r;
The could the ablest of thy creatures know,
Lost were thy Unity, for lie were Thou!
Yet present to all sense thy pow'r remains,
Reveal'd in nature, nature's Author reigns!
In vain would error from conviction fly,
Thou ev'ry where are present to the eye!
The sense how stupid, and the sight how lind
That fails this universal truth to find!
Below through different forms does matter
And life subsist from elemental change; [range,
Liquids condensing shapes terrestrial wear,
Earth mounts in fire, and fire dissolves in air;
While we, inquiring phantoms of a day,
In constant as the shadows we survey!
With them, along Time's rapid current pass,
And haste to mingle with the parent mass;
But Thou, Eternal Lord of life divine!
In youth immortal shalt for ever shine!
No change shall darken thy exalted naine;
From everlasting ages still the same!
If God, like man, his purpose could renew,
His laws could vary, or his plans undo;
Desponding Faith would droop its cheerless wing,
Religion deaden to a lifeless thing!
Where could we, rational, repose our trust,
But in a Pow'r immutable as just?
How judge of revelation's force divine,
If truth unerring gave not the design?
Where, as in nature's fair according plan,
All smiles benevolent and good to man.
Plac'd in this narrow clouded spot below,
We darkly see around and darkly know!
Religion lends the salutary beam,
That guides our reason thro' the dubious gleam;
Till sounds the hour, when he who rules the skies
Shall bid the curtain of Omniscience rise!
Shall dissipate the mists that veil our sight,
And show his creatures-all his ways are right!
Then, when astonish'd nature feels its fate,
And fetter'd time shall know his latest date;
-hen earth shall in the mighty blaze expire,
Heav'n melt with heat, and worlds dissolve in fire!
The universal system shrink away,
And ceasing orbs confess th' almighty sway!
Go! all the sightless realins of space survey,
Returning trace the Planetary Way!
The sun that in his central glory shines,
While ev'ry planet round his orb inclines;