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E sons of men, with just regard attend,
Observe the preacher, and believe the friend, Whose serious Muse inspires him to explain, That all we act, and all we think, is vain. That in this pilgrimage of seventy years, O'er rocks of perils, and through vales of tears Destin'd' to march, our doubtful steps we tend, Tir'd with the toil, yet fearful of its end. That from the womb we take our facal shares Of follies, paflions, labours, tumults, cares : And at approach of death shall only know
2 Thetruths, which from these pensive numbers flow, That we pursue false joy, and suffer real woe.
Happiness, object of that waking dream,
Which we call life, mistaking : fugitive theme
Of my pursuing verse, ideal shade,
Notional good, by fancy only made,
And by tradition nursid, fallacious fire,
Whose dancing beams miflead our fond desire,
Cause of our care, and error of our mind :
Oh! hadst thou ever been by heav'n design'd
To Adam, and his mortat race, the boon
Entire bad been refery'd for Solomon :
On me the partial lot had been bestow'd, ;
And in my cup the golden draught had flow'd.
But O! ere yet original man was made ;
Ere the foundations of this earth were laid ;
It was opponent to our search, ordain'd,
That joy, still fought, should never be attain'd.
This fad experience cites me to reveal ;
And what I dictate, is from what I feel.
Born as I was, great David's fav'rite son;
Dear to my people, on the Hebrew throne,
Sublime my court with Ophir's treasures bleft,.
My name extended to the fartheft east,
My body cloth'd with ev'ry outward grace,
Strength in my limbs, and beauty in my face,
My shining thought with fruitful notions crown'd,
Quick my invention, and my judgment found.
Arise (1 commun'd with myself) arise :
Think, to be happy ; to be great, be wise :
Content of spirit must from science flow;
For 'tis a godlike attribute, to know.
I said ; and sent my edict through the land :-
Around my throne the letter'd Rabbins stand,
Historic leaves revolve, long volumes spread,
The old discouring, as the younger read :
Attent, I heard, propos'd my doubts, and said :
The vegetable world, each plant and tree,
Its feed, its name, its nature, its degree
I am allow'd, as Fame reports, to know,
From the fair cedar, on the craggy brow
Of Lebanon nodding supremely tall,
To creeping mofs, and hylop on the wall :
Yet just and conscious to myself, I find
A thousand doubts oppose the searching mind.
I know not why the beach delights the glade
With boughs extended, and a rounder shade:;
Whilft tow'ring firs in conic forms arise,
And with a pointed spear divide the skies :
Nor why again the changing oak should thed
The yearly honour of his stately head ;
Whilst the distinguish'd yew is ever seen,
Unchang’d his branch, and permanent his green.
Wanting the fun why does the calt ha fade?
Why does the cypress flourish in the shade?
The fig and date, why love they to remain
In middle station, and an even plain ;
While in the lower marsh the gourd is found.;
And while the hill with olive-fhade is crown'd?
Why does one climate, and one soil endue
The blushing poppy with a crimfon hue ;
Yet leave the kily pale, and tinge the violet blue?
Why does the fond carnation love to shoot
A various colour from one parent root;
While the fantastic tulip strives to break
In two-fold beauty, and a parted ftrcak?
The twining jasmine, and the blufhing rose,
With lavish grace their morning scents disclofe :
The smelling tub'rose and.junquele declare,
The stronger impulse of an evening air.
Whence has the tree (resolve me) or the flower
A various instinct, or a diff'rent power ?
Why should one earth, one clime, one stream, one
breath Raise this to strength, and licken that to death?
Whence does it happen, that the plant which well We name the sensitive should move and feel ? Whence know her leaves to answer her command, And with quick horror fly the neighb'ring hand.?
Along the sunny bank, or wat'ıy mead,
Ten thousand ftalks their various blossoms spread:
Peaceful and lowly in their native foil,
They neither know to spin, nor care to toil ;
Yet with confess'd magnificence deride
Our vile attire, and impotence of pride.
The cowslip smiles, in brighter yellow dress'd,
Than that which veils the nubile virgin's breast.
A fairer red stands blushing in the rose,
Than that which on the bridegroom's vestment flows.
Take but the modest lily of the field;
And if our pride will to our reason yield,
It must by sure comparison be shown
That on the regal feat great David's son,
Array'd in all his robes and types of power
Shines with less glory, than that simple flow'r.
Of fishes next, my friends, I would
I would enquire,
How the mute race engender, or respire ;
From the small fry that glide on Jordan's stream
Unmark'd, a multitude without a name,
To that Leviathan, who o'er the seas
Immense rolls onward his impetuous ways,
And mocks the wind, and in the tempest plays.
How they in warlike bands march gently forth
From freezing waters, and the colder north,
To fouthern climes directing their career,
Their station changing with th' inverted year.
How all with careful knowledge are indu'd,
To chuse their proper bed, and wave, and food :
To guard their spawn, and educate their brood.
Of birds, how each according to her kind
Proper materials for her neft can find;
And build a frame, which deepest thought in man
Would or amend, or imitate in vain.
How in small flights they know to try their young,
And teach her callow child her parent's song.
Why these frequent the plain, and these the wood,
Why ev'ry land has her specific brood,
Where the tall crane, or winding swallow goes,
Fearful of gathering winds, and falling snows;
If into rocks, or hollow trees they creep,
In temporary death confin'd to fleep;
Or conscious of the coming evil, fly
To milder regions, and a southern sky.
Of beasts and creeping insects shall we trace
The wond'rous nature, and the various race ;
Or wild or tame, or friend to man or foe,
Of us what they, or what of them we know?
Tell me, ye studious, who pretend to see
Far into nature's bofom, whence the bee
Was first informd her vent'rous flights to steer
Through trackless paths, and an abyss of air. .
Whence she avoids the flimy marsh, and knows
The fertile hills, where sweeter herbage grows,
And honey, making flow'rs their opening buds dif-
clole. How from the thicken'd milt, and setting fun Finds she the labour of her day is done.?