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Inscrib'd the mystic tablet, hung on high To public gaze; and said, Adore, O man, The finger of thy God! From what pure wells Of milky light, what soft o’erflowing urn, Are all these lamps so fill'd ? these friendly lamps, For ever streaming o'er the azure deep, To point our path, and light us to our home. How soft they slide along their lucid spheres ! And, silent as the foot of time, fulfil Their destin'd courses. Nature's self is hush'd, And, but a scatter'd leaf, which rustles thro' The thick-wove foliage, not a sound is heard To break the midnight air ; tho' the rais'd ear, Intensely list’ning, drinks in ev'ry breath. How deep the silence, yet bow loud the praise ! But are they silent all ? or is there not A tongue in ev'ry star that talks with man, And woos him to be wise ? nor woos in vain : This dead of midnight is the noon of thought, And wisdom mounts her zenith with the stars. At this still hour the self-collected soul Turns inward, and beholds a stranger there Of high descent, and more than mortal rank; An embryo God; a spark of fire divine, Which must burn on for ages, when the sun (Fair transitory creature of a day!) Has clos'd his golden eye, and, wrapt in shades ; Forgets his wonted journey thro' the east.
Ye citadels of light, and seats of bliss ! Perhaps my future home, from whence the soul, Revolving periods past, may oft look back, With recollected tenderness, on all The various busy scenes she left below, Its deep-laid projects, and its strange events, As on some fond and doting tale that sooth'd Her infant hours.--O be it lawful now To tread the hallow'd circle of your courts,And, with mute wonder and delighted awe, Approach your burning confines !-Seiz'd in thought, On fancy's wild and roving wing I sail From the green borders of the peopled earth, And the pale moon, her duteous fair attendant:;. From solitary Mars ; from the vast orb Of Jupiter, whose huge gigantic bulk
Dances in ether like the lightest leaf;
To the dim verge, the suburbs of the system,
Where cheerless Saturn, 'midst his wat’ry moons,
Girt with a lucid zone, in gloomy pomp,
Sits like an exil'd monarch. Fearless thence
I launch into the trackless deeps of space,
Where, burning round, ten thousand suns appear,
Of elder beam; which ask no leave to shine
Of our terrestrial star, nor borrow light
From the proud regent of our scanty day :
Sons of the morning, first-born of creation,
And only less than He who marks their track,
And guides their fiery wheels.. Here must I stop
Or is there aúght beyond ? What hand unseen
Impels me onward, thro' the glowing orbs
Of habitable nature, far remote,
To the dread confines of eternal night,
To solitudes of vast unpeopled space,
The deserts of creation, wide and wild,
Where embryo systems and unkindled suns
Sleep in the womb of chaos ? Fancy droops,
And Thought astonish'd stops her bold career.
But, oh, thou mighty MIND! whose pow'rful word
Said, Thus let all things be, and thus they were,
Where shall I seek thy presence ? how, unblam'd,
Invoke thy dread perfection ;
Have the broad eye-lids of the morn beheld thee 9
Or does the beamy shoulder of Orion
Support thy throne ? O look with pity down
On erring, guilty man! not in thy names
Of terror clad ; not with those thunders arm'd
That conscious Sinai felt, when fear appall'd
The scatter'd tribes : thou hast a gentler voice,
That whispers comfort to the swelling heart,
Abash'd, yet longing to behold her Maker.
But now, my soul, unus'd to stretch her pow'rs
In flight so daring, drops her weary wing,
And seeks again the known accustom'd spot,
Drest up with sun, and shade, and lawns, and streams;
A mansion fair and spacious for its guest,
And full replete with wonders. Let me here,
Content and grateful, wait th' appointed time,
And ripen for the skies : the hour will come,
When all these splendouts, bursting on my sight,
Shall stand unveil'd, and to my ravish'd sense
Unlock the glories of the world unknown.-
Fair as the dawning light ! auspicious guest!
Source of all comfort to the human breast !
Depriv'd of thee, in sad despair we moan,
And tedious roll the heavy moments on.
Though beauteous objects all around us risę,
To charm the fancy, and delight the eyes ;
Tho' art's fair works and nature's gifts conspire
To please each sense, and satiate each desire,
'Tis joyless all-till thy enliv'ning ray
Scatters the melancholy gloom away.
Then opens to the soul a heavenly scene,
Gladness and peace, all sprightly, all serene.
Where dost thou deign, say, in what blest retreat..
To choose thy mansion, and to fix thy seat ?
Thy sacred presence how shall we explore ?
Can av’rice gain thee with her golden store ?.
Can vain ambition, with her boasted charms,
Tempt thee within her wide extended arms?
No, with Content alone canst thou abide,
Thy sister, ever smiling by thy side.
When boon companions, void of ev'ry care, )
Crown the full bowl, and the rich banquet share,
And give a loose to pleasure-art thou there?
Or when th' assembled great and fair advance..
To celebrate the mask, the play, the dance,
Whilst beauty spreads its sweetest charms around,
And airs ecstatic swell their tuneful sound,
Art thou within the pompous circle found ?
Does not thy influence more sedately shine ?
Can such tumultuous joys as these be thine ?
Surely more mild, more constant in their course,
Thy pleasures issue from a nobler source ;
From sweet discretion ruling in the breast,
From passions temper’d, and from lusts represt;
From thoughts unconscious of a guilty smart,
And the calm transports of an honest heart.
Thy aid, O ever faithful, ever kind ! Thro' life, through death, attends the virtuous mind; Of angry fate wards from us ev'ry blow, Cures ev'ry ill, and softens ev'ry wo. Whatever good our mortal state desires, What wisdom finds, or innocence inspires ; From nature's bounteous hand whatever flows, Whate'er our Maker's providence bestows, By thee mankind enjoys ; by thee repays A grateful tribute of perpetual praise.- FITZGERALD
Lo! now the ways of heaven's eternal King
To man are open!
Review them and adore ! Hear the loud voice
Of Wisdom sounding in her works !-" Attend,
Ye sons of men ! ye children of the dust,
Be wise ! Lo! I was present, when the Sire
Of heav'n pronounc'd his fiat; when his eye
Glanc'd thro' the gulf of darkness, and his hand
Fashion'd the rising universe :- I saw,
O'er the fair lawns, the heaving mountains raise
Their pipe-clad spires ; and down the shaggy cliff
I gave the rill to murmur. The rough mounds
That bound the madd’ning deep; the storm that roan
Along the desert :.the volcano fraught
With burning bringstone ;-) prescribe their ends.
Il rule the rushing winds, and, on their wings
Triumphant, walk the tempest. To my call
Obsequious bellows the red bolt, that tears
The cloud's thin mantle, when the gushing show's
Descending copious bids the desert bloom."
“I gave to man's dark search superior light,
And clear'd dim reason's misty view, to mark
His pow'rs, as through revolving ages tried,
They rose not to his Maker. Thus prepar'a
To know how distant from his narrow ken
The truths by heav'n reveald, my hand display'd
The plan fair op'ning, where each nobler view,
That swells th' expanding heart ; each glorious hoje,
That points ambition to its goal ; each aim,
That stirs, exalts, and animates desire ;
Pours on the mind's rapt sight a noon-tide ray."
“ Nor less in life employ'd, 'tis mine to raise
The desolate of heart; to bend the brow
Of stubborn pride, to bid reluctant ire
Subside ; to tame rude nature to the rein
Of virtue. What tho', screen'd from mortal view,
I walk the deep'ning gloom? What tho' my ways,
Remote from thought's bewilder'd search, are wrapt
In triple darkness ?-Yet I work the springs
Of life, and to the gen'ral good direct
Th' obsequious means to move.-0 ye, who toss'd
On life's tumultuous ocean, eye the shore,
Yet far remov'd ; and wish the bappy hour,
When slumber on her downy couch shall lull
Your cares to sweet repose ; yet bear awhile,
And I will guide you to the balmy climes
Of rest; will lay you by the silver stream
Crown'd with elysian bow'rs, where peace extends
Her blooming olive, and the tempest pours
Its killing blast po more.” Thus Wisdom speaks
To man; thus calls him thro’ the external form
Of nature, thro' Religion's fuller noon,
Thro? life's bewild’ring mazes ; to observe:
A PROVIDENCE IN ALL.
The last day.
! At the destin'd hour,
By the loud trumpet summon'd to the charge,
See, all the formidable sons of fire,
Eruptions, earthquakes, comets, lightnings, play
Their various engines ; all at once disgorge
Their blazing magazines ; and take by storm
This poor terrestrial citadel of man."
Amazing period ! when each mountain-height
Out-burns Vesuvius ; rocks eternal pour
Their melted mass, as rivers once they pour'd;
Stars rush; and final ruin fiercely drives
Her ploughshare o'er creation !--while aloft,
More than astonishment! if more can be !
Far other firmament than e'er was seen,