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AS the occasion of this poem was real, not fictitious ; so the method pursued in it, was rather imposed, by what spontaneously arose in the author's mind on that occasion than meditated or designed. Which will appear very probable from the nature of it. For it differs from the common mode of Poetry, which is, from long narrations to draw short morals. Here, on the contrary, the narrative is short, and the morality arising from it makes the bulk of the Poem, The reason of it is, That the facts mentioned did naturally pour these moral reflections on the thought of the writer.
COMPL A IN T.
NIGHT THE FIRST:
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE ARTHUR ONSLOW, ES2.
SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
I IR'D Nature's sweet restorer, balmy Sleep!
From short (as usual) and disturb'd repose,
Ev'n in the zenith of her dark domain,
Night, sable goddess ! from her ebon throne,
Silence and Darkness! solemn sisters ! twins From ancient Night, who nurse the tender thought To Reason, and on Reason build Resolve, (That column of true majesty in man) Assist me: I will thank you in the grave; The grave, your kingdom: There this frame shall fall A victim sacred to your dreary shrine. But what are ye?
THOU, who didst put to flight Primæval Silence, when the morning stars, Exulting, shouted o'er the rising ball; O THOU, whose word from solid darkness struck That spark, the sun ; strike wisdom from my soul; My soul, which flies to Thee, her trust, her treasure, As misers to their gold, while others rest.
Thro’ this opaque of Nature, and of Soul, This double night, transmit one pitying ray, To lighten, and to chear. O lead my mind,
(A mind that fain would wander from its woe)
The bell strikes One. We take no note of time
How poor, how rich, how abject, how august, How complicate, how wonderful, is man! How passing wonder HE, who made him such! Who centred in our make such strange extremes ! From diff'rent natures marvelously mixt, Connerion exquisite of distant worlds! Distinguish'd link in being's endless chain! Midway from Nothing to the Deity!