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Manage the fishing, and pursue the course
With more extended nerves, and more continu'd force.
And when declining day forsakes their fiky ;
When gath'ring clouds speak gloomy winter nigh ;
With plenty for the coming season blest,
Six solid months (an age) they live, releas'd
From all the labour, process, clamour, woe,
Which our fad scenes of daily action know:
They light the shining lamp, prepare the feast;
And with full mirth receive the welcome guest :
Or tell their tender loves (the only care
Which now they suffer) to the lifl’ning fair ;
And rais'd in pleasure, or repos’d in case
(Grateful alternates of substantial peace)
They bless the long nocturnal influence shed:
On the crown'd goblet, and the genial bed.
In foreign illes which our discov'rers find,
Far from this length of continent disjoin'd,
The rugged bear's, or spotted lynx's brood,
Frighten ihe vallies, and infelt the wood :
The hungry crocodile, and hilling snake
Lurk in the troubled stream and fenny brake :
And man untaught, and ray'nous as the beast,
Does valley, wood, and brake,, and stream infeft.
Deriv'd these men and animals their birth
From trunk of oak, and pregnant womb of earth?
Whence then the old belief that all began
In Eden's shade, and one created man?
Or grant, this progeny was wafted o'er
By coasting boats, from next adjacent shore:-
Would those, from whom we will suppose they spring,
Slaughter to harmless lands, and poison bring?
Would they' on board or bears, or lynxes takej
Feed the she-adder, and the brooding snake ?
Or could they think the new discover'd ille
Pleas'd to receive a pregnant crocodile ?
And since the favage lineage we must trace
From Noah fav’d, and his distinguish'd race;
How should their fathers happen to forget
The arts which Noah taught, the rules he fet,
To fow the glebe, to plant the generous vine,
And load with grateful flames the holy shrine ?
While the great fire's unhappy fons are found,
Unpress'd their vintage, and uniilld their groundi
Struggling o'er dale and hil'in quest of food,
And rude of arts, of virtue, and of God.
How shall we next o'er earth and feas pursue
The varied forms of every thing we view ;
That all is chang'd, though all is still the same,
Fluid the parts; yet durable the frame ?
Of those materials, which have been confest
The pristine springs, and parents of the rest,
Each becomes other. Water stop'd gives birth
To grass and plants, and thickens into earth:
Diffus'd it rises in a higher sphere ;
Dilates its drops, and softens into air ;
Those finer parts of air again aspire :
Move into warmth, and brighten into fire :
That fire once more by thicker air o'ercome,
And downward forc'd, in earth's capacious woma.
Alters its particles ; is fire no more ;
But lies resplendent dust, and shining ore ;
Or running through the mighty mother's veins
Changes its thape ; puts off its old remains;
With wairy parts its lefsen'd force divides ;
Flows into waves, and rises into tides.
Disparted streams shall from their channels ffy;
And deep surcharg’d by fandy mountains lie,
Obscurely fepulchred. By beating rain,
And furious wind down to the distant plain
The hill, that hides his head abore che ikies,
Shall fall : the plain by flow degrees shall rise-
Higher than erst had stood the summit-hill :
For time must nature's great behests fulfil.
Thus by a length of years, and change of fate,
All things are light or heavy, small or great :
Thus Jordan's waves shall future clouds appear ;-
And Egypt's pyramids refine to air.
Thus later age shall ask for Pison's flood :
And travellers enquire, where Babel ftood.
Now where we see those changes often fall,
Sedate we pass them by as natural :
Where to our eye more rarely they appear g-
The pompous name of prodigy they bear :
Let active thought these close meanders trace:
Let human wit their dubious bound'ries place.
Are all things miracle ; or nothing such?
And prove we not too little, or too much ?
For that a branch cut off, a wither'd rod
Should ac a word pronounc'd revive and bud;
Is this more strange, than that the mountain's brow;
Strip'd by December's frost, and white with snow,
Shou'd push, in spring, ten thousand blooming buds;
And boast returning leaves, and blooming woods?
That each succellive night from opening heav'n
The food of angels Mhould to man be giv'n ;
Is this more ftrange, than that with common bread
Our fainting bodies every day are fed ;
Than that each grain and leed confum'd in earth,
Raises its store, and multiplies its birth;
And from the handful which the tiller sows,
The labour'd fields rejoice, and future harvest flows ?
Then from whate'er we can to sense produce
Common and plain, or wond'rous and abftrufe,
From nature's constant or eccentric laws,
The thoughtful foul this gen'ral influence draws,
That an effect muft presuppose a cause.
And while she does her upward flight sustain,
Touching each link of the continu'd chain,
At length she is obligd and fore'd to fee
A first, a source, a lifea Deity;
What has for ever been, and must for ever be.
This great existence thus by reason found,
Bleft by all pow'r, with all perfection crown’d:-
How can we bind or limit his decree,
By what our ear has heard, or eye may see ?
Say then : is all in heaps of water loft,
Beyond the islands, and the mid-land coast?
Or has that God, who gave our world its birth,
Sever'd those waters by some other earth,-
Countries by future plow-fhares to be torn,
And cities rais'd by nations yet unborn!
Ere the progressive course of restless age
Performs three thoufand times its annual stage ;
May not our power and learning be supprests
And arts and empire learn to travel weft?
Where, by the strength of this idea charm'd,
Lighten'd with glory, and with rapture warm'd,
Ascends my foul ? what sees the white and great
Amidst subjected seas? an Ille the seat
Of pow'r and plenty, her imperial throne,
For justice and for mercy fought and known:
Virtues fublime, great attributes of Heav'n,
From thence to this distinguish'd nation giv’n:
Yet farther west the western Ille extends
Her happy fame; her armed fleet the fends
To climates folded yet from human eye ;
And lands, which we imagine wave and sky,
From pole to pole she hears her acts resound,
And rules an empire by no ocean bound;
Knows her ships anchor'd, and her fails unfurl'd
In other Indies, and a second world.
Long shall Britannia (that must be her name)
Be first in conquest, and preîde in fame:
Long Ihall her favour's monarchy engage
The teeth of envy, and the force of
Rever'd and happy the shall long remain,
Of human things least changeable, least vain,
Yet all must with the gen'ral doom comply;
And this great glorious pow'r, tho' last, must die.
Now let us leave this earth, and lift our eye
To the large convex of yon'azure sky;
Behold it like an ample curtain spread,
Now streak’d, and glowing with the morning red;
Anon at noon in flaming yellow bright,
And chusing fable for the peaceful night.
Ask reason now, whence light and shade were giv’n,
And whence this great variety of heav'n :
Reason our guide, what can the more reply,
Than that the sun illuminates the sky;