« ForrigeFortsett »
The grand effect: acknowledges with joy
His manner, and with rapture taftes his ftyle.
But never yet did philosophic tube,
That brings the planets home into the eye
Of observation, and discovers, else
Not vifible, his family of worlds,
Discover him that rules them; fuch a veil
Hangs over mortal eyes, blind from the birth,
And dark in things divine. Full often too
Our wayward intellect, the more we learn
Of nature, overlooks her author more,
From inftrumental caufes proud to draw
Conclufions retrograde, and mad mistake.
But if his word once teach us, shoot a ray
Through all the heart's dark chambers, and reveal
Truths undifcern'd, but by that holy light,
Then all is plain. Philofophy baptiz'd
pure fountain of eternal love
Has eyes indeed; and viewing all the fees,
As meant to indicate a God to man,
Gives him his praise, and forfeits not her own.
Learning has borne fuch fruit in other days
On all her branches: piety has found
Friends in the friends of science, and true pray'r
Has flow'd from lips wet with Caftalian dews.
Such was thy wisdom, Newton, childlike fage!
Sagacious reader of the works of God,
And in his word fagacious. Such too thine,
Milton, whofe genius had angelic wings,
And fed on manna. And fuch thine, in whom
Our British Themis gloried with juft caufe,
Immortal Hale! for deep difcernment prais'd,
And found integrity not more, than fam'd
For fanctity of manners undefil'd.
All flesh is grafs, and all its glory fades Like the fair flow'r difhevell'd in the wind; Riches have wings, and grandeur is a dream: The man we celebrate muft find a tomb, And we that worship him, ignoble graves.
Nothing is proof against the general curfe
Of vanity, that feizes all below.
The only amaranthine flow'r on earth
Is virtue; th' only lafting treasure, truth.
But what is truth? 'twas Pilate's question put
To Truth itself, that deign'd him no reply.
And wherefore? will not God impart his light
To them that afk it ?-Freely-'tis his joy,
His glory, and his nature to impart,
But to the proud, uncandid, infincere,
Or negligent enquirer, not a spark.
What's that which brings contempt upon a book,
And him who writes it, though the style be neat,
The method clear, and argument exact?
That makes a minister in holy things
The joy of many, and the dread of more,
His name a theme for praise and for reproach ?-
That while it gives us worth in God's account,
Depreciates and undoes us in our own?
What pearl is it that rich men cannot buy,
That learning is too proud to gather up,
But which the poor, and the defpis'd of all,
Seek and obtain, and often find unfought?
Tell me, and I will tell thee, what is truth.
O friendly to the beft pursuits of man,
Friendly to thought, to virtue, and to peace,
Domestic life in rural leisure pafs'd!
Few know thy value, and few taste thy sweets,
Though many boast thy favours, and affect
To understand and chufe thee for their own.
But foolish man foregoes his proper bliss,
Ev'n as his firft progenitor, and quits,
Though placed in paradife (for earth has still
Some traces of her youthful beauty left)
Substantial happiness for tranfient joy.
Scenes form'd for contemplation, and to nurse
The growing feeds of wisdom; that fuggeft,
By ev'ry pleafing image they prefent,
Reflections fuch as meliorate the heart,
Compose the paffions, and exalt the mind;
Scenes fuch as thefe, 'tis his fupreme delight
To fill with riot, and defile with blood.
Should fome contagion, kind to the poor brutes
We perfecute, annihilate the tribes
That draw the sportsman over hill and dale
from all his cares;
Should never game-fowl hatch her eggs again,
Nor baited hook deceive the fishes eye;
Could pageantry and dance, and feast and song,
Be quell'd in all our fummer-months retreat;
How many felf-deluded nymphs and fwains,
Who dream they have a taste for fields and groves,
Would find them hideous nurs'ries of the fpleen,
And crowd the roads, impatient for the town!
They love the country, and none else, who seek
For their own fake its filence and its fhade.
Delights which who would leave, that has a heart
Sufceptible of pity, or a mind
Cultur'd and capable of fober thought,