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Were half so sad, as one benighted mind,
Which gropes for happiness, and meets despair.
How, like a widow in her weeds, the night,
Amid her glimmering tapers, silent sits!
How sorrowful, how desolate, she weeps
Perpetual dews, and saddens Nature's scene!
A scene more sad sin makes the darken'd soul,
All comfort kills, nor leaves one spark alive.
Though blind of heart, still open is thine eye :
Why such magnificence in all thou seest?
Of matter's grandeur, know, one end is this:
To tell the rational, who gazes on it-
"Though that immensely great, still greater he,
Whose breast, capacious, can embrace, and lodge,
Unburthen'd, Nature's universal scheme;
Can grasp creation with a single thought;
Creation grasp; and not exclude its Sire."-
To tell him farther-"It behoves him much
To guard th' important, yet depending, fate
Of being, brighter than a thousand suns:
One single ray of thought outshines them all."
And if man hears obedient, soon he'll soar
Superior heights, and on his purple wing,
His purple wing bedropt with eyes of gold,
Rising, where thought is now denied to rise,
Look down triumphant on these dazzling spheres.
Why then persist -No mortal ever liv'd,
But, dying, he pronounc'd (when words are true)
The whole that charms thee, absolutely vain;
Vain, and far worse!-Think thou, with dying men;
O condescend to think as angels think!
O tolerate a chance for happiness!
Our nature such, ill choice insures ill fate;
And Hell had been, though there had been no God.
Dost thou not know, my new astronomer!
Earth, turning from the Sun, brings night to man?
Man, turning from his God, brings endless night;
Where thou canst read no morals, find no friend,
Amend no manners, and expect no peace.
How deep the darkness! and the groan, how loud!
And far, how far, from lambent are the flames!--
Such is Lorenzo's purchase! such his praise!
The proud, the politic, Lorenzo's praise!
Though in his ear, and level'd at his heart,
I've half read o'er the volume of the skies.
For think not thou hast heard all this from me; My song but echoes what great Nature speaks. What has she spoken? Thus the goddess spoke, Thus speaks for ever:-" Place, at Nature's head, A sovereign, which o'er all things rolls his eye, Extends his wing, promulgates his commands, But, above all, diffuses endless good:
Sinking from bad to worse; few years, the sport
Of fortune; then the morsel of despair.
Say, then, Lorenzo! (for thou know'st it well) What's vice?-Mere want of compass in our
Religion, what?—The proof of common-sense.
How art thou hooted, where the least prevails!
Is it my fault, if these truths call thee fool?
And thou shalt never be miscall'd by me.
Can neither shame, nor terror, stand thy friend?
And art thou still an insect in the mire?
How, like thy guardian angel, have I flown;
Snatch'd thee from Earth; escorted thee through al!
Th' ethereal armies; walk'd thee, like a god,
Through splendors of first magnitude, arrang'd
On either hand; clouds thrown beneath thy feet;
Close-cruis'd on the bright Paradise of God;
And almost introduc'd thee to the throne!
And art thou still carousing, for delight,
Rank poison; first fermenting to mere froth,
And then subsiding into final gall?
To beings of sublime, immortal make,
How shocking is all joy, whose end is sure!
Such joy, more shocking still, the more it charms
And dost thou choose what ends ere well-begun;
And infamous, as short? And dost thou choose
(Thou, to whose palate glory is so sweet)
To wade into perdition, through contempt,
Not of poor bigots only, but thy own?
For I have peep'd into thy cover'd heart,
And seen it blush beneath a boastful brow;
For, by strong guilt's most violent assault,
Conscience is but disabled, not destroy'd.
O thou most awful being; and most vain!
Thy will, how frail! how glorious is thy power!
Though dread eternity has sown her seeds
Of bliss, and woe, in thy despostic breast;
Though Heaven and Hell depend upon thy choice
A butterfly comes 'cross, and both are fled.
Is this the picture of a rational?
This horrid image, shall it be most just?
Lorenzo! No: it cannot,-shall not, be,
If there is force in reason; or, in sounds
Chanted beneath the glimpses of the Moon,
A magic, at this planetary hour,
When slumber locks the general lip, and dreams
Through senseless mazes hunt souls uninspir'd.
Attend-The sacred mysteries begin-
My solemn night-born adjuration hear;
Hear, and I'll raise thy spirit from the dust;
While the stars gaze on this enchantment new,
Enchantment, not infernal, but divine!
To whom, for sure redress, the wrong'd may fly;
The vile, for mercy; and the pain'd, for peace;
By whom, the various tenants of these spheres,
Diversified in fortunes, place, and powers,
Rais'd in enjoyment, as in worth they rise,
Arrive at length (if worthy such approach)
"By silence, Death's peculiar attribute ;
By darkness, guilt's inevitable doom;
By darkness, and by silence, sisters dread!
That draw the curtain round Night's ebon throne,
And raise ideas, solemn as the scene!
By Night, and ail of awful, Night presents
At that blest fountain-head, from which they To thought or sense (of awful much, to both,
Where conflict past redoubles present joy;
And present joy looks forward on increase;
And that, on more; no period! every step
A double boon! a promise, and a bliss.”
How easy sits this scheme on human hearts!
It suits their make; it soothes their vast desires;
Passion is pleas'd; and reason asks no more;
"Tis rational! 'tis great!-But what is thine?
It darkens! shocks! excruciates! and confounds!
Leaves us quite naked, both of help, and hope,
The goddess brings!) By these her trembling fires
Like Vesta's, ever-burning; and, like hers,
Sacred to thoughts immaculate, and pure!
By these bright orators, that
prove, and praise,
And press thee to revere the Deity;
Perhaps, too, aid thee, when rever'd awhile,
To reach his throne; as stages of the soul,
Through which, at different periods, she shall pass,
Refining gradual, for her final height,
And purging off some dross at every sphere!
By this dark pall thrown o'er the silent world!
By the world's kings, and kingdoms, most renown'd,
From short ambition's zenith set for ever,
Sad presage to vain boasters, now in bloom!
By the long list of swift mortality,
From Adam downward to this evening knell,
Which midnight waves in fancy's startled eye,
And shocks her with an hundred centuries;
Round Death's black banner throng'd, in human
The ship-boy's hammock, or the soldier's straw,
Whence sorrow never chas'd thee; with thee bring
Not hideous visions, as of late; but draughts
Delicious of well-tasted, cordial, rest;
Man's rich restorative; his balmy bath,
That supples, lubricates, and keeps in play
The various movements of this nice machine,
Which asks such frequent periods of repair.
When tir'd with vain rotations of the day,
Sleep winds us up for the succeeding dawn;
Fresh we spin on, till sickness clogs our wheels,
Or Death quite breaks the spring, and motion ends.
When will it end with me?
By thousands, now, resigning their last breath,
And calling thee-wert thou so wise to hear!
By tombs o'er tombs arising; human earth
Ejected, to make room for-human earth;
The monarch's terror! and the sexton's trade!
By pompous obsequies that shun the day,
The torch funereal, and the nodding plume,
Which makes poor man's humiliation proud;
Boast of our ruin! triumph of our dust!
By the damp vault that weeps o'er royal bones;
And the pale lamp that shows the ghastly dead,
More ghastly through the thick incumbent gloom!
By visits (if there are) from darker scenes,
The gliding spectre! and the groaning grave!
By groans, and graves, and miseries that groan
For the grave's shelter! By desponding men,
Senseless to pains of death, from pangs of guilt!
By guilt's last audit! By yon Moon in blood,
The rocking firmament, the falling stars,
(Those puny vouchers of Omnipotence!)
To the first thought, that asks, From whence!"
And thunder's last discharge, great Nature's knell! Their common source. Thou fountain, running o'er
By second chaos and eternal night."—
Be wise-Nor let Philander blame my charm;
But own not ill-discharg'd my double debt,
Love to the living; duty to the dead!
For know I'm but executor; he left
This moral legacy; I make it o'er
By his command; Philander hear in me;
And Heaven in both.-If deaf to these, O! hear
Florello's tender voice: his weal depends
On thy resolve; it trembles at thy choice,
For his sake-love thyself: example strikes
All human hearts; a bad example more;
More still a father's; that insures his ruin.
As parent of his being, wouldst thou prove
Th' unnatural parent of his miseries,
And make him curse the being which thou gavest?
Is this the blessing of so fond a father?
If careless of Lorenzo! spare, Oh! spare
Florello's father, and Philander's friend!
Florello's father ruin'd, ruins him;
And from Philander's friend the world expects
A conduct no dishonor to the dead.
Let passion do, what nobler motive should;
Let love, and emulation, rise in aid
To reason and persuade thee to be
This seems not a request to be denied ;
Yet (such the infatuation of mankind!)
"Tis the most hopeless, man can make to man.
Shall I then rise in argument, and warmth?
And urge Philander's posthumous advice,
From topics yet unbroach'd-
But, Oh! I faint! My spirits fail!-Nor strange!
So long on wing, and in no middle clime!
To which my great Creator's glory call'd;
And calls-but, now, in vain. Sleep's dewy wand
Has strok'd my drooping lips, and promises
My long arrear of rest; the downy god
(Wont to return with our returning peace)
Will pay, ere long, and bless me with repose.
Haste, haste, sweet stranger! from the peasant's
“THOU only know's, Thou, whose broad eye the future, and the past, Joins to the present; making one of three To mortal thought! Thou know'st, and thou alone, All-knowing!-all-unknown!—and yet well-known Near, though remote! and, though unfathom felt!
And, though invisible, for ever seen!
And seen in all! the great and the minute:
Each globe above with its gigantic race,
Each flower, each leaf, with its small people
In rivers of communicated joy!
Who gav'st us speech for far, far humbler themes!
Say, by what name shall I presume to call
Him I see burning in these countless suns,
As Moses, in the bush? Illustrious Mind!
The whole creation, less, far less, to thee,
Than that to the creation's ample round.
How shall I name thee?-How my laboring soul
Heaves underneath the thought, too big for birth!
"Great system of perfections! mighty cause
Of causes mighty! cause uncaus'd! sole root
Of Nature, that luxuriant growth of God!
First Father of effects! that progeny
Of endless series; where the golden chain's
Last link admits a period, who can tell?
Father of all that is or heard, or hears!
Father of all that is or seen, or sees! ●
Father of all that is, or shall arise!
Father of this immeasurable mass
Of matter multiform; or dense, or rare;
Opaque, or lucid; rapid, or at rest;
Minute, or passing bound! in each extreme
Of like amaze, and mystery, to man.
Father of these bright millions of the night!
Of which the least full godhead had proclaim'd,
And thrown the gazer on his knee-Or, say,
Is appellation higher still, thy choice?
Father of matter's temporary lord!
Father of spirits! nobler offspring! sparks
Of high paternal glory; rich endow'd
With various measures, and with various modes
Of instinct, reason, intuition; beams
More pale, or bright from day divine, to break
The darker matter organiz'd (the ware
Of all created spirit); beams, that rise
Each over other in superior light,
Till the last ripens into lustre strong,
Of next approach to godhead. Father fond
(Far fonder than e'er bore that name on Earth)
Of intellectual beings! beings blest
With powers to please thee! not of passive ply
To laws they know not; beings lodg'd in seats
Of well-adapted joys, in different domes
Of this imperial palace for thy sons;
Of this proud, populous, well-policied,
Though boundless habitation, plann'd by thee:
Whose several clans their several climates suit;
And transposition, doubtless, would destroy.
Or, Oh! indulge, immortal King, indulge
A title less august indeed, but more
Endearing; ah! how sweet in human ears,
Sweet in our ears, and triumph in our hearts!
Father of immortality to man!
A theme that lately* set my soul on fire-
And thou the next! yet equal! thou, by whom
That blessing was convey'd ; far more! was bought:
Ineffable the price! by whom all worlds
Were made; and one redeem'd! illustrious light
From light illustrious! Thou, whose regal power,
Finite in time, but infinite in space,
On more than adamantine basis fix'd,
O'er more, far more, than diadems and thrones,
Inviolably reigns; the dread of gods!
And Oh! the friend of man! beneath whose foot,
And by the mandate of whose awful nod,
All regions, revolutions, fortunes, fates,
Of high, of low, of mind, and matter, roll
Through the short channels of expiring time,
Or shoreless ocean of eternity,
Calm, or tempestuous (as thy spirit breathes),
In absolute subjection!-And, O thou
The glorious third! distinct, not separate!
Beaming from both! with both incorporate;
And (strange to tell!) incorporate with dust!
By condescension, as thy glory, great,
Enshrin'd in man! of human hearts, if pure,
Divine inhabitant! the tie divine
Of Heaven with distant Earth! by whom I trust, (If not inspir'd) uncensur'd this address
To thee, to them-to whom!-Mysterious power!
Reveal'd-yet unreveal'd! darkness in light!
Number in unity! our joy! our dread!
The triple bolt that lays all wrong in ruin!
That animates all right, the triple sun!
Sun of the soul! her never-setting sun!
Triune, unutterable, unconceiv'd,
Absconding, yet demonstrable, great God!
Greater than greatest! Better than the best!
Kinder than kindest! with soft pity's eye,
Or (stronger still to speak it) with thine own,
From thy bright home, from that high firmament,
Where thou, from all eternity, hast dwelt ;
Beyond archangel's unassisted ken;
From far above what mortals highest call;
From elevation's pinnacle; look down,
Through-What? confounding interval! through
And more than laboring fancy can conceive;
Through radiant ranks of essences unknown;
Through hierarchies from hierarchies detach'd
Round various banners of omnipotence,
With endless change of rapturous duties fir'd;
Through wondrous beings interposing swarms,
All clustering at the call, to dwell in thee;
Through this wide waste of worlds! this vista vast,
All sanded o'er with suns; suns turn'd to night
Before thy feeblest beam-Look down-down
* Nights the Sixth and Seventh.
Then, farewell night! of darkness, now, no
LOVE OF FAME,
Joy breaks; shines; triumphs ; 'tis eternal day.
Shall that which rises out of nought complain
Of a few evils, paid with endless joys?
My soul! henceforth, in sweetest union, join
The two supporas of human happiness,
IN SEVEN CHARACTERISTICAL SATIRES.
Which some, erroneous, think can never meet;
True taste of life, and constant thought of death!
-Fulgente trahit constrictos gloria curru
Non minus ignotos generosis.
The thought of death, sole victor of its dread!
Hope, be thy joy; and probity, thy skill ;
Thy patron he, whose diadem has dropp'd
Yon gems of Heaven; eternity, thy prize :
TO HIS GRACE THE DUKE OF DORSET.
And leave the racers of the world their own,
Their feather, and their froth, for endless toils :
-Tanto major Famæ sitis est, quam
They part with all for that which is not bread;
Jud. Sat. ..
They mortify, they starve, on wealth, fame, power : My verse is Satire ; Dorset, lend your ear,
And laugh to scorn the fools that aim at more.
How must a spirit, late escap'd from Earth,
And patronize a Muse you cannot fear.
Suppose Philander's, Lucia's, or Narcissa's,
To poets sacred is a Dorset's name; The truth of things new-blazing in its eye,
Their wonted passport through the gates of Fame; Look back, astonishid, on the ways
It bribes the partial reader into praise, Whose lives' whole drift is to forget their graves !
And throws a glory round the shelter'd lays : And when our present privilege is past,
The dazzled judgment fewer faults can see, To scourge us with due sense of its abuse,
And gives applause to Blackmore, or to me. The same astonishment will seize us all.
But you decline the mistress we pursue : What then must pain us, would preserve us now.
Others are fond of Fame, but Fame of you. Lorenzo! 'tis not yet too late ; Lorenzo!
Instructive Satire, true to virtue's cause! Seize wisdom, ere 'tis torment to be wise ;
Thou shining supplement of public laws! That is, seize wisdom, ere she seizes thee.
When flatter'd crimes of a licentious age
For what, my small philosopher, is Hell?
Reproach our silence, and demand our rage;
"Tis nothing but full knowledge of the truth, When purchas'd follies, from each distant land,
When truth, resisted long, is sworn our foe : Like arts, improve in Britain's skilful hand;
And calls eternity to do her right.
When the Law shows her teeth, but dares not bite Thus, darkness aiding intellectual light,
And South-sea treasures are not brought to light; And sacred silence whispering truths divine,
When churchmen Scripture for the classics quit, And truths divine converting pain to peace,
Polite apostates from God's grace to wit; My song the midnight raven has outwing'd, When men grow great from their revenue spent, And shot, ambitious of unbounded scenes,
And fly from bailiffs into parliament; Beyond the flaming limits of the world,
When dying sinners, to blot out their score, Her gloomy flight. But what avails the flight Bequeath the church the leavings of a whore ; Of fancy, when our hearts remain below?
To chase our spleen, when themes like these increase, Virtue abounds in flatteries and foes;
Shall panegyric reign, and censure cease? 'Tis pride to praise her; penance to perform.
Shall poesy, like law, turn wrong to right, To more than words, to more than worth of And dedication wash an Æthiop white, tongue,
Set up each senseless wretch for nature's boast, Lorenzo! rise, at this auspicious hour;
On whom praise shines, as trophies on a post ? An hour, when Heaven's most intimate with man;
Shall funeral eloquence her colors spread, When, like a falling star, the ray divine
And scatter roses on the wealthy dead? Glides swift into the bosom of the just ;
Shall authors smile on such illustrious days, And just are all, determind to reclaim;
And satirize with nothing—but their praise? Which sets that title high within thy reach.
Why slumbers Pope, who leads the tuneful train Awake, then: thy Philander calls : awake!
Nor hears that virtue, which he loves, complain ? Thou, who shalt wake, when the creation sleeps ;
Donne, Dorset, Dryden, Rochester, are dead, When, like a taper, all these suns expire ;
And guilt's chief foe, in Addison, is fled; When Time, like him of Gaza in his wrath,
Congreve, who, crown'd with laurels, fairly won, Plucking the pillars that support the world,
Sits smiling at the goal, while others run, In Nature's ample ruins lies entomb'd;
He will not write ; and (more provoking still .) And midnight, universal midnight! reigns.
Ye gods! he will not write, and Mævius will.
Doubly distrest, what author shall we find,
Discreetly daring, and severely kind,
The courtly Roman's* shining path to tread,
And sharply smile prevailing folly dead?
Will no superior genius snatch the quill,
And save me, on the brink, from writing ill?
Though vain the strife, I'll strive my voice to raise
What will not men attempt for sacred praise ?
The love of praise, howe'er conceal'd by art,
Reigns, more or less, and glows, in every heart:
The proud, to gain it, toils on toils endure;
The modest shun it, but to make it sure.
`O'er globes, and sceptres, now on thrones it swells;
Now, trims the midnight lamp in college cells:
"Tis Tory, Whig; it plots, prays, preaches, pleads,
Harangues in senates, squeaks in masquerades.
Here, to Steele's humor makes a bold pretence;
There, bolder, aims at Pulteney's eloquence.
It aids the dancer's heel, the writer's head,
And heaps the plain with mountains of the dead;
Nor ends with life; but nods in sable plumes,
Adorns our hearse, and flatters on our tombs.
What is not proud? the pimp is proud to see
So many like himself in high degree:
The whore is proud her beauties are the dread
Of peevish virtue, and the marriage-bed;
And the brib'd cuckold, like crown'd victims born
To slaughter, glories in his gilded horn.
Some go to church, proud humbly to repent,
And come back much more guilty than they went:
One way they look, another way they steer,
Pray to the gods, but would have mortals hear;
And when their sins they set sincerely down,
They'll find that their religion has been one.
Others with wistful eyes on glory look,
When they have got their picture towards a book:
Or pompous title, like a gaudy sign,
Meant to betray dull sots to wretched wine.
If at his title Thad dropp'd his quill,
T- - might have pass'd for a great genius still.
But Talas! (excuse him if you can)
Is now a scribbler, who was once a man.
Imperious, some a classic fame demand,
For heaping up, with a laborious hand,
A wagon-load of meanings for one word,
While A's depos'd, and B with pomp restor❜d.
Some, for renown, on scraps of learning dote,
And think they grow immortal as they quote.
To patchwork learn'd quotations are allied;
Both strive to make our poverty our pride.
This passion with a pimple have I seen
Retard a cause, and give a judge the spleen.
By this inspir'd (O ne'er to be forgot!)
Some lords have learn'd to spell, and some to knot.
It makes Globose a speaker in the house;
He hems, and is deliver'd of his mouse.
It makes dear self on well-bred tongues prevail,
And I the little hero of each tale.
Sick with the Love of Fame, what throngs pour in,
Unpeople court, and leave the senate thin?
My growing subject seems but just begun,
And, chariot-like, I kindle as I run.
Aid me, great Homer! with thy epic rules,
To take a catalogue of British fools.
Satire! had I thy Dorset's force divine,
A knave or fool should perish in each line;
Though for the first all Westminster should plead,
And for the last all Gresham intercede.
Begin. Who first the catalogue shall grace?
To quality belongs the highest place.
My lord comes forward; forward let him come!
Ye vulgar! at your peril, give him room :
He stands for fame on his forefathers' feet,
By heraldry, prov'd valiant or discreet:
With what a decent pride he throws his eyes
Above the man by three descents less wise!
If virtues at his noble hands you crave,
You bid him raise his father's from the grave.
Men should press forward in Fame's glorious chase;
Nobles look backward, and so lose the race.
Let high-birth triumph! What can be more great?
Nothing-but merit in a low estate.
To virtue's humblest son let none prefer
Vice, though descended from the Conqueror.
Shall men, like figures, pass for high, or base,
Slight, or important, only by their place?
Titles are marks of honest men, and wise;
The fool, or knave, that wears a title, lies.
They that on glorious ancestors enlarge,
Produce their debt, instead of their discharge.
Dorset, let those who proudly boast their line,
Like thee, in worth hereditary, shine.
Vain as false greatness is, the Muse must own
We want not fools to buy that Bristol stone.
Mean sons of earth, who on a South-sea tide
Of full success, swam into wealth and pride,
Knock with a purse of gold at Anstis' gate,
And beg to be descended from the great.
When men of infamy to grandeur soar,
They light a torch to show their shame the more.
Those governments which curb not evils, cause'
And a rich knave's a libel on our laws.
Belus with solid glory will be crown'd;
He buys no phantom, no vain empty sound;
But builds himself a name; and, to be great,
Sinks in a quarry an immense estate!
In cost and grandeur, Chandos he'll outdo;
And Burlington, thy taste is not so true.
The pile is finish'd; every toil is past;
And full perfection is arriv'd at last;
When lo! my lord to some small corner runs,
And leaves state-rooms to strangers and to duns.
The man who builds, and wants wherewith to pay
Provides a home from which to run away.
In Britain, what is many a lordly seat,
But a discharge in full for an estate?
In smaller compass lies Pygmalion's fame;
Not domes, but antique statues, are his flame:
Not Fountaine's self more Parian charms has known,
On glass how witty is a noble peer! Did ever diamond cost a man so dear?
Polite diseases make some idiots vain;
Which, if unfortunately well, they feign.
Of folly, vice, disease, men proud we see;
And (stranger still!) of blockheads' flattery;
Whose praise defames; as if a fool should mean,
By spitting on your face, to make it clean.
Nor is 't enough all hearts are swoln with pride,
Her power is mighty, as her realm is wide.
What can she not perform? The love of Fame
Made bold Alphonsus his Creator blame :
Empedocles hurl'd down the burning steep:
And (stronger still!) made Alexander weep.
Nay, it holds Delia from a second bed,
Though her lov'd lord has four half months been dead. Nor is good Pembroke more in love with stone.
The bailiffs come (rude men, profanely bold!)
And bid him turn his Venus into gold.
"No, sirs," he cries, "I'll sooner rot in jail :
Shall Grecian arts be truck'd for English bail?"
Such heads might make their very bustos laugh:
His daughter starves; but Cleopatra's safe.*
Men, overloaded with a large estate,
May spill their treasure in a nice conceit:
The rich may be polite: but, oh! 'tis sad
To say you're curious, when we swear you're ma?