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Then to the fhallow fhores for safety flies,
While on his back whole groves of lances rife.
Who, to these arts, O mortal! led thy way?
To rule the brutes, made thee more wise than they,
The wild to conquer, while the tame obey?
Or, canst thou doubt, that Nature's golden law
Once kept spontaneous Innocence in awe ;
Though then the rebel beast refus'd thy yoke,
When rebel man to God his fealty broke?
What various life in leffer forms we fee!
Who first instructed the laborious bee,
Not in our rules of architecture kill'd, .
Sexangular her waxen dome to build,
To lodge her brood, and hoard her luscious store?
Mark !—and the great Geometer adore.
Unweary'd fhe collects the flowery bloom,
For man to rise the nectareous comb;
With fragrant herbs to temper in the bowl,
To cool his veins, and chear his fainting soul;
Or dire intestine tortures to allay,
The labouring lungs, and stone's impetuous way.
Nor think thy Maker was in part unkind,
And to minuter objects left thee blind,
When in the microscope thou canft defery
The gnat's sharp fpear, the muscles of a fly:
These might, at random, thy inquiry 'feape ;
But there thou may'st examine all their shape.
There, the gay down of insects too behold,
Or millions crouding in the plurn's blue mold;
Or in the acorn view the branching tree :
Wiser or better doft thou seek to be?
Acknowledge Him, who taught mankind to try
The curious use of that fictitious eye.
Look to yon heaven above: was that design'd
To serve thy wants, or exercise thy mind?
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Though that fair moon, to chear the gloomy night,
Around thy globe conveys her borrow'd light;
Though other stars, each in his proper sphere,
Divide thy days and nights, thy month and year.
Beyond thy ken, remoter. orbits run,
In each a system, which attends a sun.
While we look up, and gaze, and guess, below,
At what we are not privileg'd to know ;
How can thy pride imagine it should be,
- That He who rules above, should look on thee?
Be that confess'd; we own his care the more,
Who taught to find those worlds, unknown before,
Who summons each by name, and numbers all their store.
Nor is it long, fince Reason could invent
An eye to pierce the distant firmament;
A thousand stars disclosing to our view,
Or in appearance or discovery new;
But what from them to mortals can accrue ?
Their influence, in a space fo vaft and void,
Muft all be dissipated and destroy'd.
What are the beings that inhabit there?
Or how their nature suited to their sphere?
Where would that Icarus of fancy rove,
And then drop headlong from his flight above?
Ambition ! never weep for worlds unknown;
But learn to be contented with thy own.
Yet these are thine; as destin'd to conduce,
Connected, to thy necessary use;
As in their turns they rise and disappear,
To point the rural labours of the year.
Led by these lights, for knowledge or for gain,
Launch the strong ship, and plough the spacious main:
And, on whatever spot by tempest toft,
Explore thy distance from thy native coast,
This little world, where we pretend to sway,
One half, for ages, undiscover'd lay:
The failor then (the magnet's aid unknown,
And scar'd by monsters of the torrid zone)
Believ'd the verdant Cape the farthest ground;
And all beyond was lost in sea profound,
Or old Atlantis in oblivion drown'd.
That other pole, that finks beneath our fight,
They doom'd to waters, or eternal night:
Not fo Columbus, (and he judg'd aright.]
Sedate though bold, and resolute though wise,
Distress, and storms, and envy to defpise;
O’er the wide waves he led his dauntless crew,
Fame, wealth, and empire, all at once in view,'
Where other shores arise, and stars appear,
And the fair crosiers light the southern sphere.
Yet man was there; though rude in arts like ours,
The same in all his faculties and powers ;
And with the same inventive wit inspir’d,
To find what his neceflity requir'd.
Irregular to Heaven's more usual laws,
Say, whence his train the fiery comet draws ?
Through what unfathom'd void his course is bound?
'Or how to vanish in the vast profound?
Let Halley this, or Newton this explain,
And fix his period to return again :
While the pale vulgar fees, with wild amaze,
The sword of God, unsheath'd for vengeance, blaze.
Avert that omen, Heaven! avert our guilt:
Enough, alas ! of native blood is spilt.
Yet neither they determine, nor presage:
The Lord of Hosts commands, when war shall rage,
To tame the licence of an impious age,
A mind that grasps the habitable ball,
Aspires to heaven, and strives to measure all,
Whether, at objects so remote from hence,
Shę guess aright, or err with specious sense,
Superior excellence of man proclaims,
Though oft miftaking in his glorious aims.
His boasted science by degrees he gains,
As opening truth rewards his tireiome pains:
For that acquir'd, without the labour try'd,
Would fink it's worth, and elevate his pride.
Labour to man was as his portion given;
How just, and how benevolent, is Heaven!
The soul from stupid indolence to raise ;
To trace the great Creator's mystic ways !
And much, O mortal! to thy curious mind,
Has time reveal'd, and much remains behind ;
Leave that to Heaven, and know thy search confin'd.
Howe'er important thy discoveries are,
Another age demands an equal fare;
Number and weight, and measure to explain ;
Can thy small heart this ample world contain?
Yet there has God infix'd the keen defire;
Excites, and not forbids thee to enquire:
A pleasing talk! though none can comprehend
It's first beginning, or it's latest end.
How well was that advice, " Thyself to know,'
Ascrib'd to Heaven by sages long ago!
Thy very doubt of all these wond'rous things,
From that high monitor within thee fprings.
Daughter of Heaven, my foul! for fuch thou art,
(Not of material elements a part)
On this fair scene thy prefent sense employ,
But raise thy nobler hope to future joy.
Though Heaven shall vanish, and the stars fhall fall,
And rolling flames dissolve this earthly ball;
The just in happy manfions shall remain,
While worlds fhall perish, and revive again.
AIL, roseate Morn! returning light!
To thee the fable Queen of Night
Reluctant yields her fway;
And, as she quits the dappled skies,
On glories greater glories rise,
To greet the dawning day.
O'er tufted meads gay Flora trips;
Arabia's spices scent her lips;
Her head with rose-buds crown'd:
Mild Zephyr hastes to snatch a kiss;
And, Auttering with the transient bliss,
Wafts fragrance all around.
The dew-drops, daughters of the Morn,
With spangles every bush adorn,
And all the broider'd vales;
Their voice to thee the linnets raise,
The lark, foft-trilling in thy praise,
Aurora, rising, hails !
While Nature, now in lively vest
Of gloffy green, has gaily dress'd
Each tributary plain;
While blooming flowers, and bloffom'd trees,
Soft-waving with the vernal breeze,
Exult beneath thy reign;
Shall I, with drowsy poppies crown'd,
By Sleep in filken fetters bound,
The downy god obey?