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This Theatre !-- what Eye can take it in?
By what divine Enchantment was it rais’d,
For Minds of the first Magnitude to launch
In endless Speculation, and adore ?
One Sun by Day ; by Night Ten thousand shine ;
And light us deep into the DEITY,
How boundless in Magnificence and Might?
O what a Confluence of ethereal Fires,
From Urns un-number'd, down the Steep of Heav'n,
Streams to a Point, and centers in my Sight?
Nor tarries there ; I feel it at my Heart ;
My Heart, at once, it humbles, and exalts;
Lays it in Duft, and calls it to the Skies.
Who sees it, unexalted, and unaw'd ?
Who sees it, and can stop at what is seen!
Material Off-fpring of OMNIPOTENCE !
Inanimate, All animating Birth!
Work worthy Him who made it ! Worthy Praise !
All Praise ! Praise more than human ! nor deny?d
Thy Praise Divine ! But tho' Man, drown'd in Sleep,
With-holds his Homage, not alone I wake;
Bright Legions swarm unseen, and fing, unheard
By mortal Ear, the glorious Architect,
In This His universal Temple, hung
With Luftres, with innumerable Lights,
That Ihed Religion on the Soul ; At once,
The Temple, and the Preacher! O how loud
It calls Devotion : genuine Growth of Night!
Devotion! Daughter of Aftronomy!
An undeoput Astronomer is mad.
True; All Things speak a GOD; but, in the Small,
Men trace out Him; in Great, He feizes Man:
Seizes, and elevates, and raps, and fills
With new Inquiries, 'mid Associates new :
Tell me, ye Stars ! ye Planets ! tell me, all
Ye Starr'd, and Planeted, Inhabitants! What is it?
What are these Sons of Wonder ? Say, proud Arch!
(Within whose azure Palaces they dwell)
Built with Divine Ambition ! in Disdain
Of Limit built! built in the Taste of Heav'n!
Vaft Concave ! Ample Dome! Walt thou designd
A meet Apartment for the DEITY?
Not fo; That Thought alone thy State impairs,
Thy Lofty finks, and shallows thy Profound,
And streightens thy Diffufive ; dwarfs the Whole,
And makes an Universe an Orrery.
But when I drop mine Eye, and look on Man,
Thy Right regain'd, thy Grandeur is restor'd,
O Nature ! wide Aies off th’expanding Round:
As when whole Magazines, at once, are fir’d,
The smitten Air is hollow'd by the Blow;
The vast Displofion dissipates the Clouds,
Shock'd Æther's Billows dash the diftant Skies;
Thus (but far more) th’ expanding Round flies off,
And leaves a mighty Void, a spacious Womb,
Might teem with new Creation; Re-inflam'd
Thy Luminaries triumph, and affume
Divinity themselves : Nor was it ftrange,
Matter high wrought to such surprizing Pomp,
Such godlike Glory, stole the Style of Gods,
From Ages dark, obtuse, and steep'd in Sense ;
For, sure, to Sense, they truly are divine,
And half abfolv'd Idolatry from Guilt ;
Nay, turn'd it into Virtue : Such it was
To those, who put forth all they had of Man
Unloft, to lift their Thought, nor mounted higher;
But, weak of Wing, on Planets perch'd ; and thought
What was their Highest, must be their Ador’d.
But They how weak, who could no higher mount? And are there, then, LORENZO! Those, to whom Unseen, and Unexistent, are the Same? And if Incomprehenfible is join'd,
Who dare pronounce it Madness, to believe?
Why has the Mighty BUILDER thrown afide
All Measure in His Work; Aretch'd out His Line
So far,' and spread Amazement o'er the whole
Then (as He took Delight in wide Extremes),
Deep in the Bofom of His Universe,
Dropt down that reasoning Mite, that Insect, Man,
To crawl, and gaze, and wonder at the Scene?
That Man might ne'er presume to plead Amazement
For Disbelief of Wonders in Himself ;
Shall God be less miraculous, than what
His Hand has form'd ? Shall Mysteries descend
From Un-mysterious ? Things more Elevate,
Be more Familiar? Uncreated lie
More obvious than Created, to the Grasp
Of human Thought ? The more of Wonderful
Is heard in Him, the more we should affent :
Could we conceive Him, GOD He could not be ;
Or He not GOD, or we could not be Men :
A GOD-alone can comprehend a GOD;
Man's Distance how immense? On such a Theme,
Know This, LORENZO ! (feem it ne'er so strange,
Nothing can satisfy, but what confounds ;
Nothing, but what astonishes, is true,
The Scene thou seeft attests the Truth I fing,
And ev'ry Star sheds Light upon thy Creed :
These Stars, this Furniture, this Coft, of Heav'ng,
If but reported, thou hadft ne'er believ'd;
But thine Eye tells thee, the Romance is true ::
The Grand of Nature is th? Almighty's Oath,
"In Reason's Court, to-silence Unbelief,
How my Mind, op'ning at this Scene, imbibes
The moral Emanations of the Skies,
While nought, perhaps, LORENZO less admires ?
Has the Great Sou'reign sent Ten thousand Worlds:
To tell us, He resides above them All,
In Glory's unapproachable Recess?
And dare Earth's bold Inhabitants deny
The sumptuous, the magnific Embassy
A Moment's Audience? Turn we? nor will hear
From whom they come, or what they would impart
For Man's Emolument ; sole Cause that stoops
Their Grandeur to Man's Eye? LORENZO ! rouzes
Let Thought, awaken'd, take the Lightning's Wing,
And glance from East to West, from Pole to Pole;
Who sees, but is confounded, or convinc'd,
Renounces Reafon, or a GOD adores?
Mankind was sent into the World to see :
Sight gives the Science needful to their Peace ;
That obvious Science asks fmall Learning's Aid:
Wouldft thou on Metaphyfic Pinions foar ?
Or wound thy Patience amid Logic Thorns ?
Or travel History's enormous Round ?
Nature no such hard Talk injoins : She gave
A Make to Man directive of his Thought ;
A Make set upright, pointing to the Stars,
As who should say, “ Read thy chief Lesson there."
Too late to read this Manuscript of Heav'n,
When, like a Parchment-Scroll, shrunk up by Flames
It folds LORENZO's Leffon from his Sight.
LESSON how various ! Not the God alone,
I fee His Ministers ; I see, diffus'd
In radiant Orders, Essences sublime,
Of various Offices, of various Plume,
In heav'nly Liveries, distinctly, clad,
Azure, Green, Purple, Pearl, or downy Gold,
Or all commix'd; they stand, with Wings outspread,
Liftning to catch the Master's leaft Command,
And fly thro' Nature, e'er the Moment ends ;
Numbers innumerable !-Well conceiv'd
By Pagan, and by Christian ! O'er each Sphere
Presides an Angel, to direct its Course,
And feed, or fan, its Flames ; or to discharge
Other high Trust unknown ; For who can see
Sach Pomp of Matter, and imagine, Mind,
For which alone Inanimate was made,
More sparingly dispens’d? That nobler Son,
Far liker the great SIRE !- 'Tis thus the Skies
Inform us of Superiors numberless,
As much, in Excellence, above Mankind,
As above Earth, in Magnitude, the Spheres :
These, as a Cloud of Witnesses, hang o'er us;
In a throng'd Theatre are all our Deeds ;
Perhaps, a Thousand Demi-gods descend
On ev'ry Beam we see, to walk with Men ;
Awful Reflection ! Strong Restraint from Ill !
Yet, bere, our Virtue finds still stronger Aid
From these ethereal Glories Sense surveys ;
Something, like Magick, strikes from this blue Vault;
With juf Attention is it view'd? We feel
A sudden Succour, un-implor’d, un-thought ;
Nature herself does Half the Work of Man:
Seas, Rivers, Mountains, Forests, Desarts, Rocks,
The Promontory's Height, the Depth profound
Of Subterranean, excavated Grots,
Black-brow'd, and vaulted-high, and yawning wide
From Nature's Structure, or the Scoop of Time ;
If ample of Dimenfion, vaft of Size,
Even These an aggrandizing Impulse give ;
Of folemn Thoughts enthusiastic Heights
Even These infuse. --But what of Vaft in These?
Nothing ;--(or we must own the Skies forgot):
Much less in Art.- Vain Art! Thou Pigmy. Pow'r !
How doft thou swell, and strut, with human Pride,
To shew thy Littleness? What childish Toys,
Thy watry Columns squirted to the Clouds ?
Thy bason'd Rivers, and imprison'd Seas?
Thy Mountains molded into Forms of Men ?