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un-Hence, without hopes to be in life repaid,
We plant slow oaks posterity to shade;
And hence vast pyramids aspiring high
Lift their proud heads aloft and time defy.
Hence is our love of fame; a love so strong
We think no dangers great, or labors long,
By which we hope our beings to extend,
And to remotest times in glory to descend.
Could she thus act unless, some power
From matter quite distinct and all her own,
Supported and impell'd her? She approves
Self conscious, and condemns; she hates and loves,
Mourns and rejoices, hopes and is afraid,
Without the body's unrequested aid:
Her own internal strength her region guides;
By this she now compares things, now divides;
Truth's scatter'd fragments piece by piece collects,
Rejoins, and thence her edifice erects;
Piles arts on arts, effects to causes ties,
And reats the aspiring fabric to the skies;
From whence, as on a distant plain below,
She sees from causes consequences flow,
And the whole chain distinctly comprehends,
Which from the Almighty's throne to earth de-
And lastly, turning inwardly her eyes, [scends:
Perceives how all her own ideas rise:
Contemplates what she is, and whence she came,
And almost comprehends herownamazing frame.
Can mere machines be with such pow'rs endu'd,
Or conscious of those pow'rs, supposethey cou'd?
For body is but a machine alone
Mov'd by external force, and impulse not its own.
Rate not the extension of the human mind
By the plebeian standard of mankind,
But by the size of those gigantic few
Whom Grecce and Rome still offer to our view,
Or Britain, well-deserving equal praise,
Parent of heroes too in better days.
Why should I try her numerous sons to name,
By verse, law, eloquence, consign'd to fame ;
Or who have forc'd fair Science into sight,
Long lost in darkness and afraid of light?
O'er all-superior, like the solar ray,
First Bacon usher'd in the dawning day,
And drove the mists of sophistry away;
Pervaded nature with amazing force,
Following experience still throughout his course;
And finishing at length his destin'd way, [day.
To Newton he bequeath'd the radiant lamp of
Illustrious souls! if any tender cares
Affect angelic breasts for Man's affairs;
If in your present happy heav'nly state,
You're not regardless quite of Britain's fate,
Let this degenerate land again be blest
With that true vigor which she once possess'd;
Compel us to unfold her slumb'ring eyes,
And to her antient dignity to rise.
Such wondrous pow'rs as these must sure be giv'n
For most important purposes by Heav'n;
Who bids these stars as bright examples shine,
Besprinkled thinly by the hand divine,
To form to virtue cach degenerate time,
And point out to the soul its origin sublime.
That there's a self which after death shall live,
All are concern'd about, and all believe;
That something's ours, when we from life depart,
This all conceive, all feel it at the heart;
The wise of learn'd antiquity proclaim
This truth, the public voice declares the same;
No land so rude but looks beyond the tomb
For future prospects in a world to come.
For fame the wretch beneath the gallows lies -
Disowning ev'ry crime for which he dies;
Of life profuse, tenacious of a namie,
Fearless of death, and yet afraid of shame.
Nature has wove into the human mind
This anxious care for names we leave behind,
T'extend our narrow views beyond the tomb,
And give an earnest of a life to come:
For if when dead we are but dust or clay,
Why think of what posterity shall say?
Her praise or censure cannot us concern,
Nor ever penetrate the silent urn.
What mean the nodding plumes, the fun'ral
And marble monument that speaks in vain,
With all those cares which ev'ry nation pays
To their unfeeling dead in diff'rent ways!
Some in the flow'r-strewn grave the corpse have-
And annual obsequies around it paid,
As if to please the poor departed shade;
Others on blazing piles the body burn,
And store their ashes in their faithful urn;
But all on one great principle agree,
To give a fancy'd immortality.
Why should I mention those, whose nozy soil
Is render'd fertile by the o'erflowing Nile?
Their dead they bury not, nor burn with fires,
No graves they dig, erect no fun'ral pires;
But, washing, first th' embowel'd body clean,
Gums, spice, and melted pitch they pour within;
Than with strong fillets bind it round and round,
To make each flaccid part compact and sound;
And lastly paint the varnish'd surface o'er
With these same features which in life it wore:
So strong their presage of a future state,
And that our nobler part survives the body's fate.
Nations behold, remote from Reason's beams,
Where Ilian Ganges rolls his sandy streams,
Of life impatient rush into the fire,
And willing victimas to their gods expire!
Persuaded the loos'd soul to regions flies,
Blest with eternal spring, and cloudless skies.
Nor is less fam'd the oriental wife
For stedfast virtue and contempt of life:
These heroines mourn not with lond female eries
Their hushands lost, or with o'erflowing eyes;
But, strange to tell! their funeral piles ascend,
And in the same sad flames their sorrows end;
In hopes with them beneath the shades to rove,
And there renew their interrupted love.
In climes where Boreas breathes eternal cold,
See num'rous nations, warlike, fierce, and bold,
To battle all unanimously run,
Nor fire, nor sword, nor instant death they shur.
Of like materials were they both compos'd,
How comes it that the mind, when sleep has clos'd
Each avenue of sense, expatiates wide,,
Her liberty restor'd, her bonds unty'd ;
And like some bird who from its prison flies,
Clasps her exulting wings, and mounts the skies?
Grant that corporeal is the human mind,
It must have parts in infinitum join'd;
And each of these must will, perceive, design,
And draw confus'dly in a diff'rent line;
Which then can claim dominion o'er the rest,
Or stamp the ruling passion in the breast?
Whence this disdain of life in ev'ry breast,
But from a notion on their minds imprest,
That all who for their country die, are blest ?
Add too to these the once-prevailing dreams
Of sweet Elysian groves, and Stygian streams;
All show with what consent mankind agree
In the firm hope of Immortality.
Grant these inventions of the, crafty-priest,
Yet such inventions never could subsist,
Unless some glimmerings of a future state
Were with the mind coæval, and innate;
For ev'ry fiction which can long persuade,
In truth must have its first foundations laid.
Because we are unable to conceive
How unembody'd souls can act, and live,
The vulgar give them forms, and limbs, and faces,
And habitations in peculiar places :
Hence reas'ners more refin'd, but not more wise,
Struck with the glare of such absurdities,
Their whole existence fabulous suspect,
And truth and falsehood in a lump reject;
Too indolent to learn what may be known,
Or else ton proud that ignorance to own
For hard's the task the daubing to pervade
Folly on Frand on Truth's fair form have laid:
Yet let that task be ours; for great the prize;"
Ner let us Truth's celestial charms despise,
Because that priests or poets may disguise.
Perhaps the mind is form'd by various arts
Of modelling and figuring these parts;
Just as if circles wiser were than squares:
But surely common sense aloud declares
That site and figure are as foreign quite
From mental pow'rs, as colors black or white,
Allow that motion is the cause of thought,
With what strange pow'rs must motion then be
Reason, sense, science, must derive their source,
From the wheel's rapid whirl, or pulley's force;
Tops whipp'd by school-boys sages must com-
That there's a God, from Nature's voice is clear;
And yet what errors to this truth adhere!·
How have the fears and follies of mankind
Now multiply'd their gods, and now subjoin'd
To each the frailties of the human mind!
Nay, superstition spread at length so wide,
Beasts, birds, and onions too, were deify'd.
Their hoops, like them, be cudgel'd into sense,
And boiling pots o'erflow with eloquence.
Whence can this very motion take its birth?
Not sure from matter, from dull clods of earth;
But from a living spirit lodg'd within,
Which governs all the bodily machine:
Just as th' Almighty Universal Soul
Informs, directs, and animates the whole.
Th' Athenian sage, revolving in his mind
This weakness, blindness, madness of mankind,
Foretold, that in maturer days, tho' late,
Cease then to wonder how th' immortal mind
Can live, when from the body quite disjoin'd;
But rather wonder, if she e'er could die,
So fram'd, so fashion'd for eternity :
Self-mov'd, not form'd of parts together ty'd
When Time should ripen the decrees of Fate,Which time can dissipate, and force divide;
Some God would light us, like the rising day, For beings of this make can never die,
Thro' error's maze, and chase these clouds away. Whose pow'rs within themselves and their ow
Long since has Time fulfill'd this great decree,
And brought us aid from this Divinity.
Well worth our search discoveries may be made
By Nature, void of this celestial aid :
Let's try what her conjectures then can reach,
Nor scorn plain Reason, when she deigns to teach.
That mind and body often sympathise,
Is plain; such is this union Nature tics:
But then as often too they disagree,
Which proves the soul's superior progeny.
Sometimes the body in full strength we find,
Whilst various ails debilitate the mind;
At others, whilst the mind its force retains,
The body sinks with sickness and with pains:
Now did one common fate their beings end,
Alike they'd sicken, and alike they 'd mend.
But sure experience, on the slightest view,
Shows us, that the reverse of this is true;
For when the body oft expiring lies,
Its limbs quite senseless, and half clos'd its eyes,
The mind new force and eloquence acquires,
And with prophetic voice the dying lips in-
If to conceive how any thing can be
From shape extracted and locality
Is hard; what think you of the Deity?
His Being not the least relation bears,
As far as to the human mind appears,
To shape or size, similitude or place,
Cloth'd in no form, and bounded by no space.
Such then is God, a Spirit pure, refin'd
From all material dross; and such the human
For in what part of essence can we see
More certain marks of Immortality?
Ev'n from this dark confinement with delight
She looks abroad, and prunes herself for flight;
Like an unwilling inmate longs to roam
From this dull earth, and seek her native
Go then, forgetful of its toil and strife,
Pursue the joys of this fallacious life;
Like some poor fly, who lives but for a day,
Sip the fresh dews, and in the sunshine play,
And into nothing then dissolve away.
Are these our great pursuits? Is this to live?
These all the hopes this much-lov'd world can
How much more worthy envy is their fate,
Who search for truth in a superior state!
Not groping step by step, as we pursue,
And following Reason's much entangled clue,
But with one great and instantaneous vi
But how can sense remain, perhaps you'll say.
Corporeal organs if we take away?
Since it from them proceeds, and with them
The wretched privilege daily to deplore
The fun'rals of our friends, who go before;
Diseases, pains, anxieties, and cares,
And age surrounded with a thousand snares.
But whither, hurry'd by a gen'rous scorn
Of this vain world, ah whither am I borne?
Let's not unbid th' Almighty's standard quit,
Howe'er severe our post, we must submit.
Inquire you how these pow'rs we shall attain,
"Tis not for us to know; our search is vain :
Can any new remember or relate
How he existed in the embryo state!
Or one from birth insensible of day
Conceive ideas of the solar rav?
That after death no being would remain ;
Could I a firm persuasion once attain,
To those dark shades I'd willingly descend,
Where all must sleep, this drama at an end,
Nor life accept, altho' renew'd by Fate
Ev'n from its earliest and its happiest state.
Why not? or why may not the soul receive
New organs, since evn art can these retrieve?
The silver trumpet aids th' obstructed ear,
And optic glasses the dim eye can clear;
These in mankind new faculties create,
And lift him far above his native state,
Call down revolving planets from the sky,
Earth's secret treasures open to his eye,
The whole minute creation make his own,
With all the wonders of a world" unknown.
Might I from Fortune's bounteous hand receive
Each boon, each blessing in her pow'r to give,
Genius and science, morals and good sense,,
Unenvy'd honors, wit, and eloquence;
A num'rous offspring to the world well known
Both for paternal virtues, and their own;
Ev'n at this mighty price I'd not be bound
To tread the same dull circle round and round;
By space unbounded, undestroy'd by time.
How could the mind, did she alone dependThe soul requires enjoyments more sublime, On sense, the errors of those senses mend? Yet oft, we see, those senses she corrects, And oft their information quite rejects, In distances of things, their shapes, and size, Our reason judges better than our eyes. Declares not this the soul's pre-eminence Superior to, and quite distinct from sense? For sure 'tis likely, that, since now so high Clogg'd and unfledg'd she dares her wings to try, Loos'd and mature she shall her strength display, And soar at length to Truth's refulgent ray.
GOD then thro' all creation gives, we find,
Sufficient marks of an indulgent mind,
Excepting in ourselves; ourselves of all
His works the chief on this terrestrial ball,
His own bright image, who alone unblest
Feel ills perpetual, happy all the rest.
But hold, presumptuous! charge not Heav'n's
With such injustice, such partiality.
Yet true it is, survey we life around,
Whole hosts of ills on ev'ry side are found;
Who wound not here and there by chance a foe,
But at the species meditate the blow.
What millions perish by each other's hands
In War's fierce rage! or by the dread commands
Of tyrants languish out their lives in chains,
Or lose them in variety of pains!
What numbers pinch'd by want and hunger die,
In spite of Nature's liberality!
(Those, still more num'rous, I to name disdain,
By lewdness and intemperance justly slain)
What numbers guiltless of their own discase,
Are snatch'd by sudden death, or waste by slow
That light's deny'd to him, which others see,
He knows, perhaps you'll say, and so do we.
The mind contemplative finds nothing here
On earth that's worthy of a wish or fear:
He whose sublime pursuit is God and truth,
Burns, like some absent and impatient youth,
To join the object of his warm desires;
Thence to sequester'd shades and streams retires,
And there delights his passion to rehearse
In Wisdom's sacred voice, or in harmonious verse.
To me nost happy therefore he appears,
Who having once, unmov'd by hopes or fears,
Survey'd this sun, earth, ocean, clouds, and flame,
Well satisfy'd returns from whence he came.
Is life an hundred years, or e'er so few,
"Tis repetition all, and nothing new;
A fair, where thousands meet, but none can stay;
An inn, where travellers bait, then post away;That oft her friends peculiar ills endure:
A sea, where man perpetually is tost,
Where vice prevails severest is their fate,
Now plung'd in business, now in trifles lost: Tyrants pursue them with a three-fold hate:
Who leave it first, the peaceful port first gain; How many struggling in their country's cause,
Hold then! nor farther launch into the main! And from their country meriting applause,
Contract your sails; life nothing can bestow Have fall'n by wretches foud to be enslav'd,
By long continuance, but continued woe; And perish'd by the hands themselves had sov'd!
Where then is Virtue's well-deserv'd reward?
Let's pay to Virtue ev'ry due regard;
That she enables man, let us confess,
To bear those evils which she can't redress,
Gives hope and conscious peace, and can assuage
Th' impetuous tempests both of lust and rage;
Yet she's a guard so far from being sure,
Soon as superior worth appears in view,
See knaves and fools united to pursue!
The man so form'd they all conspire to blame,
And envy's pois'nous tooth attacks his fame :
Should he at length, so truly good and great,
Prevail, and rule with honest views the state,
Then must he toil for an ungrateful race,
Submit to clamor, libels, and disgrace,
Threaten'd, oppos'd, defeated in his ends,
By foes seditious, and aspiring friends.
Hear this, and tremble! all who would be great,
Yet know not what attends that dang'rous
Is private life from all these evils free?
Vice of all kinds, rage, envy, there we see,
Deceit, that friendship's mask insidious wears,
Quarrels, and feuds, and laws entangling snares
But there are pleasures still in human life,
Domestic ease, a tender loving wife,
Children whose dawning smiles your heart en-
Roast him, or flay him, break him on the wheel,
Retract he will not, tho' he can't but feel:
Pain 's not an ill, he utters with a groan;
What then? An inconvenience 'tis, he'll own
What vigor, health, and beauty? are these good?
No; they may be accepted, not pursued :
Absurd to squabble thus about a name, [same.
Quibbling with diff'rent words that mean the
Stoic, were you not fram'd of flesh and blood,
You might be blest without external good;
But know, be self sufficient as you can,
You are not spirit quite, but frailand mortal man.
But since these sages, so absurdly wise,
Vainly pretend enjoyments to despise,
Because externals, and in Fortune's pow'r,
Now mine, now thine, the blessings of an hour;
Why value, then, that strength of mind they boast,
As often varying, and as quickly lost?
A head-ach hurts it, or a rainy day,
'And a slow fever wipes it quite away. [hand
Seeone whose councils, one whose conqu'ring
Once sav'd Britannia's almost sinking land,
Examples of the mind's extensive pow'r;
Examples too how quickly fades that flow'r.
Him let me add, whom late we saw excel
In each politer kind of writing well ;
Whether he strove our follies to expose
In easy verse, or droll and hum'rous prose;
Few years, alas! compel his throne to quit
This mighty monarch o'er the realms of wit;
See self-surviving he 's an idiot grown!
A melancholy proof our parts are not our own.
Thy tenets, Stoic, yet we may forgive,
If in a future state we cease to live.
For here the virtuous suffer much, 'tis plain;
If pain is evil, this must God arraign;
And on this principle confess we must,
Pain can no evil be, or God must be unjust.
Blind man! whose reason such strait bounds"
The grace and comfort of soft-stealing age:
If happiness exists, 'tis surely here;
but are these joys exempt from care and fear?
Need I the miseries of that state declare,
When diffrent passions draw the wedded pair?
Or say how hard those passions to discern,
Ere the die 's cast, and 'tis too late to learn?
Who can insure, that what is right, and good,
These children shall pursue? or if they should,
Death comes when least you fear so black a day,
And all your blooming hopes are snatch'd away.
We say not that these ills from Virtue flow;
Did her wise precepts rule the world, we know
The golden ages would again begin;
But 'tis our lot in this to suffer, and to sin.
Observing this, some sages have decreed
That all things from two causes must proceed,
Two principles with equal pow'r endu❜d,
This wholly evil, that supremely good.
From this arise the miseries we endure,
Whilst that administers a friendly cure;
Hence life is chequer'd still with bliss and woe,
Hence tares with golden crops promiscuous grow,
And pois nous serpents make their dread repose
Beneath the covert of the fragrant rose.
Can such a system satisfy the mind?
Are both these gods in equal pow'r conjoin'd,
Or one superior? Equal if you say,
Chaos returns, since neither will obey:
Is one superior? good or ill must reign,
Eternal joy or everlasting pain:
Which e'er is conquer'd must entirely yield,
And the victorious god enjoy the field:
Hence with these fictions of the Magi's brain?
Hence oozy Nile, with all her monstrous train!
Or comes the Stoic nearer to the right ?
He holds, that whatsoever vields delight,
Wealth, fame, externals all, are useless things.
Himself half-starving happier far than kings.
Tis fine indeed to be so wond'rous wise!
By the same reasoning too he pain denies ;
⚫ Lord Somers.
That ere it touches Truth's extremest line,
It stops amaz'd, and quits the great design.
Own you not, Stoic, God is just and true?
Dare to proceed; secure this path pursue:
Twill soon conduct you far beyond the tomb,
To future justice, and a life to come.
This path, you say, is hid in endless night;
Tis self-conceit alone obstructs your sight;
You stop ere half your destin'd course is run,
And triumph when the conquest is not won:
By this the Sophists were of old misled; [bred!
See what a monstrous race from one mistake is
Hear then my argument:-Confess we must,
A God there is, supremely wise and just :`
If so, however things affect our sight,
As sings our bard, whatever is, is right,
But is it right, what here so oft appears,
That Vice should triumph, Virtue sink in tears?
The inference then that closes this debate,
Is, that there must exist a future state.
The wise, extending their inquiries wide,
See how both states are by connexion ty'd ;
Fools view but part, and not the whole survey, So crowd existence all into a day.
Hence are they led to hope, but hope in vain,
That Justice never will resume her reign;
On this vain hope adulterers, thieves rely,
And to this altar vile assasins fly.
"But rules not God by general laws divine:
Man's vice or virtue change not the design :"
What laws are these? Instruct us if you can:-
There's one design'd for brutes, and one for man,
Another guides inactive matter's course,
Attracting, and attracted by its force :
Hence mutual gravity subsists between
Far distant worlds, and ties the vast machine.
The laws of life, why need I call to mind, Obey'd by birds and beasts of ev'ry kind; By all the sandy desart's savage brood, And all the num'rous offspring of the flood? Of these, none uncontrol'd and lawless rove, But to some destin'd end spontaneous move; Led by that instinct Heav'n itself inspires, Or so much reason as their state requires : See all with skill acquire their daily food, Or use those arms, which nature has bestow'd; Produce their tender progeny, and feed With care parental, whilst that care they need; In these lov'd offices completely blest, No hopes beyond them, nor vain fears molest,
Man o'er a wilder field extends his views; God thro' the wonders of his works pursues; Exploring thence his attributes, and laws, Adores, loves, imitates th' Eternal Cause; For sure in nothing we approach so nigh The great example of Divinity, As in benevolence: the patriot's soul Knows not self-centred for itself to roll; But warms, enlightens, animates the whole: Its mighty orb embraces first his friends, His country next, then man? nor here it ends, But to the incanest animal descends.
Wise Nature has this social law confirm'd
By forming man so helpless, and unarm'd :
His want of others' aid, and pow'r of speech
T" implore that aid, this lesson daily teach;
Mankind with other animals compare,
Single, how weak and impotent they are!
But view then in the complicated state,
Their pow'rs how wond'rous, and their strength
When social virtue individuals joins,
And in one solid mass, like gravity, combines!
This then's the first great law by Nature giv'n,
Stamp'd on our souls, and ratify'd by Heav'n;
All from utility this law approve,
As ev'ry private bliss must spring frem social
And are we free from errorand distress, Whom Heav'n with clearer light has pleas'd to bless? Whom true Religion leads? (for she but leads By soft persuasion, not by force proceeds ;) Behold how we avoid this radiant sun, This proffer'd guide how obstinately shun, And after Sophistry's vain systems run! For these as for essentials we engage In wars and massacres with holy rage; Brothers by brothers' impious hands are slain, Mistaken Zeal, how savage is thy reign!
Unpunish'd vices here so much abound, All right and wrong, all order they confound; These are the giants who the gods defy, And mountains heap on mountains to the sky: Sees this th' Almighty Judge, or seeing spares, And deems the crimes of Man beneath his cares? He sees; and will at last rewards bestow, And punishments, not less assur'd for being slow.
Nor doubt I, tho' this state confus'd appears, That ev'n in this God sometimes interferes : Sometimes, lestmanshould quitchis pow'rdisown, Hemakes that pow'r to trenibling nationsknown: But rarely this; not for each vulgar end, As Superstition's idle tales pretend, Who thinks all foes to God who are her own, Directs his thunder, and usurps his throne.
Now know I not how much a conscious mind Avails to punish, or reward mankind; Ev'n in this life thou, impious wretch, must feel The Fury's scourges, and th' infernal wheel; From man's tribunal tho' thou hop'st to run, Thyself thou canst not, nor thy conscience shun: What must thon suffer when each dire disease, The of Vice, thy fabric seise; Consumption, fever, and the racking pain Of spasms, and gout, and stone, a frightfultrain! When life new tortures can alone supply, Life thy sole hope thou 'lt hate, yet dread to die.
Should such a wretch to mum'rous years arrive, It can be little worth his while to live: No honors, no regards, his age attend, Companions fly, he ne'er could have a friend; His flatterers leave him, and with wild affright He looks within, and shudders at the sight: When threat'ning Death uplifts his pointed dart, With what impatience he applies to art, Life to prolong amidst disease and pains! Why this, if after it no sense remains? Why should he choose these miseries to endure, If death could grant an everlasting cure? Tis plain, there's something whispers in his ear, (Tho' fain he'd hide it) he has much to fear.
Why deviate then so many from this law? See passions, custom, vice and folly draw! Survey the rolling globe from East to West, How few, alas! how very few are blest! Beneath the frozen Poles, and burning Line, What poverty and indolence combine To cloud with Error's mists the human mind! No trace of man, but in the form we find.
See the reverse: how happy those we find, Who know by merit to engage mankind! Prais'd by each tongue, by ev'ry heart belov'd, For virtues practis'd, and for arts improv❜d: Their easy aspects shine with smile serene, And all is peace and happiness within: Their sleep is ne'er disturb'd by fears or strife, Nor lust, nor wine, impair the springs of life.
Him fortune cannot sink, or much elate, Whose view extend beyond this mortal state,