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SHALL Sons of Æther, shall the Blood of Heav'n, Set up their Hopes on Earth, and stable here, With brutal Acquiescence in the Mire ? LORENZO! no, they shall be nobly pain'd; The glorious Foreigners diftrest, shall figh On Thrones ; and Thou congratulate the Sigh: Man's Misery declares him born for Bliss ; His anxious Heart asserts the Truth I fing, And gives the Sceptic in his Head the Lye.
Our Heads, our Hearts, our Pasions, and our Pow'rs,
Speak the fame Language ; call us to the Skies ;
Unripen'd These in this inclement Clime,
Scarce rise above Conjecture, and Miftake ;
And for this Land of Trifles, Those too strong,
Tumultuous rise, and tempest human Life;
What Prize on Earth can pay us for the Storm ? !
Meet Objects for our Passions Heav'n ordain'd,
Objects that challenge all their Fire, and leave
No Fault, but in Defect : Bleft Heav'n! Avert. I
A bounded Ardor for unbounded Bliss ;
O for a Bliss unbounded! Far beneath
A Soul immortal, is a mortal Joy.
Nor are our Pow'rs to perish immature ; ;
But, after feeble Effort, here, beneath
A brighter Sun, and in a nobler. Soil,
Transplanted from this sublunary Bed,
Shall Aourish fair, and put forth all their Bloom.,
REASON progressive, Instinct is complete ;
Swift Instinät leaps ; flow Reafon feebly climbs. •
Byutes soon their Zenith reach ; their little All i
Flows in at once ; in Ages they no more
Could know, or do, or covet, or enjoy.
Was Man to live co-eval with the Sun,
The Patriarch.pupil would be learning still ; ;
Yet, dying, leave his Lesson half unlearnt.
Men perifh in Advance, as if the Sun -
Should set ere Noon, in Easern Oceans drown'd;
If fit, with Dim, Illustrious to compare,
The Sun's Meridian, with the Soul of Man.
To Man, why, Stepdame Nature ! so severe ?
Why thrown aside thy Mafter-piece half-wrought,
While meaner Efforts thy last Hand enjoy ?
Or, if abortively poor Man must die,
Nor reach, what reach he might, why die in Dread?
Why curft with Forefight? Wife to Misery?
Why of his proud Prerogative the Prey?
Why less pre-eminent in Rank than Pain?
His Immortality alone can tell,
Full ample Fund to ballance all amiss,
And turn the Scale in favour of the Juft.
His Immortality alone can solve
That darkest of Ænigmas, húman Hope ;
Of all the darkest, if at Death we die.
Hope, eager Hope, th' Affaffin of our Joy,
All present Blessings treading under foot,
Is scarce a milder Tyrant than Despair.
With no paft Toils content, still planning new,
Hope turns us o'er to Death alone for Ease.
Poleffion, why, more tasteless than Pursuit ?
Why is a Wish far dearer than a Crown?
That Wish accomplish'd, why, the Grave of Bliss ?
Because in the great Future bury'd deep,
Beyond our Plans of Empire, and Renown,
Lies all that Man with Ardor fhould pursue;
And He who made him, bent bim to the Right.
Man's Heart th' AlMIGHTY to the Future sets,
By secret, and inviolable, Springs ;
And makes his Hope his sublunary Joy.
Man's Heart eats all Things, and is hungry ftill ;
“ More, more," the Glutton cries: For something New
So rages Appetite, if Man can't Mount,
He will Descend. He farves on the Polleft.
Hence, the World's Master, from Ambition's Spire,
In Caprea plung'd; and div'd beneath the Brute.
In that rank Sty why wallow'd Empire's Son
Supreme ? Because he could no higher fly;
His Riot was Ambition in Despair.
Old Rome consulted Birds ; LORENZO ! thou,
With more Success, the Flight of Hope survey ;
Of restless Hope, for ever on the Wing.
High-perch'd o'er ev'ry Thought that Falcon fits,
To fly at all that rises in her Sight ;
And never stooping, but to mount again
Next Moment, she betrays her Aim's Miftake,
And owns her Quarry lodg'd beyond the Grave.
There should it fail us, (it must fail us there,
If Being fails) more mournful Riddles rise,
And Virtue vies with Hope in Mystery.
Why Virtue ? Where its Praise, its Being, fled?
Virtue is true Self-interest pursu'd ;
What, true Self-int’rest of quite-mortal Man?
To close with all that makes him Happy here.
If Vice, (as sometimes) is our Friend on Earth,
Then Vice is Virtue, 'tis our sov'reign Good.
In Self-applaufe is Virtue's golden Prize ;
No Self-applause attends it on thy Scheme;
Whence, Self-applause? From Conscience of the Right?
And what is Right, but Means of Happiness?
No Means of Happiness when Virtue yields ;
That Bafis failing, falls the Building too,
And lays in Ruins every virtuous Joy.
The rigid Guardian of a blameless Heart,
So long rever'd, so long reputed wise,
Is weak; with rank Knight-errantries o'er-run.
Why beats thy Bosom with illuftrious Dreams
Of Self-exposure, laudable, and great ?
Of gallant Enterprize, and glorious Death ?
Die for thy Country ? - Thou romantic Fool!
Seize, seize the Plank thyself, and let her fink;
Thy Country! what to Thee? (I speak with Awe)
The God-head, what? tho' he should bid thee bleed ? .
If, with thy Blood, thy final Hope is spilt,
Nor can Omnipotence reward the Blow,
Be deaf; preserve thy Being ; disobey.
Nor is it Disobedience : Know, Lorenzo!
Whate'er th' ALMIGHTY's subsequent command,
His first Command is this,-“ Man, love thyself."
In this alone, Free agents are not free.
Existence is the Basis, Bliss the Prize ;
If Virtue costs Existence, 'tis a Crime ;
Bold Violation of our Law supreme,
Black Suicide! tho' Nations, which consult
Their Gain, at thy Expence, resound Applause.
Since Virtue's Recompence is doubtful, Here,
If Man dies wholly, well may we demand,
Why is Man fuffer'd to be Good in vain ?
Why to be Good in vain, is Man injoin'd ?
Why to be Good in vain, is Man betray'd ?
Betray'd by Traitors lodg'd in his own Breast,
By sweet Complacencies from Virtue felt?
Why whispers Naturc Lyes on Virtue's Part?
Or if blind Inftinet (which affumes the Name
Of facred Conscience) plays the Fool in Man,
Why Reason made Accomplice in the Cheat?
Why are the Wiseft, loudest in her Praise ?
Can Man by Reason's Beam be led aftray ?
Or, at his Peril, imitate his God?
Since Virtue sometimes ruins as on Earth,
Or Both are true; or, Man survives the Grave.
Or Man survives the Grave, or own, Lorenzo!
Thy Boaft fupreme, a wild Absurdity.
Dauntless thy Spirit ; Cowards are thy Scorn.
Grant Man immortal, and thy Scorn is just.
The Man immortal, rationally brave,
Dares rush on Death,-because he cannot die.
But if Man loses all, when Life is lost,
He lives a Coward, or a Fool expires.
A daring Infidel, (and such there are,
From Pride, Example, Lucre, Rage, Revenge,
Or pure heroical Defect of Thought)
Of all Earth's Madmen, most deserves a Chain.
When, to the Grave, we follow the Renown'd
For Valour, Virtue, Science, all we love,
And all we praise; for Worth, whose Noon-tide Beam,
Enabling us to think in higher Stile,
Mends our Ideas of Ethereal Pow'rs ;
Dream we, that Lustre of the moral World
Goes out in Stench, and Rottenness the Close ?
Why was he wise to know, and warm to praise,
And strenuous to transcribe, in human Life,
The Mind ALMIGHTY? Could it be, that Fate,
Juft when the Lineaments began to fhine,
And dawn the Deity, should snatch the Draught,
With Night eternal blot it out, and give
The Skies Alarm, left Angels too might die?
If Human Souls, why not Angelic too Extinguish'd ? and a Solitary God, O'er ghastly Ruin, frowning from his Throne ? Shall we, this Moment, gaze on God in Man ; The next, lose Man for ever in the Duft ? From Duft we disengage, or Man mistakes ; And there, where least his Judgment fears a Flaw. Wisdom, and Worth, how boldly he commends ? Wisdom, and Worth, are facred Names; Rever'd, Where not embrac'd ; Applauded! Deify'd! Why not Compaffion'd too? If Spirits die, Both are Calamities, inflicted both, To make us but more wretched : Wisdom's Eye Acute, for what? To spy more Miseries ; And Worth, so recompens'd, new-points their Stings :