« הקודםהמשך »
Siquis Deus mihi largiatur, ut ex hac ætate repuerafcam, et in canis vagiam, vaide recusem.
CIC. DE SENECT.
The bewailing of man's miseries hath been elegantly and copiously set forth by
many, in the writings as well of philosophers as divines, and it is both a pleasant and a profitable contemplation.
LORD BACON'S ADVANCEMENT OF LEARNING.
Solomon, seeking happinefs from knowledge, convenes the Icarned men of his
kingdom; requires them to explain to him the various operations and effects of Nature; discourses of vegetables, animals, and man; proposes fome questions concerning the origin and fituation of the habitable earth; proceeds to examine the fyftem of the visible heaven ; doubts if there may not be a plurality of worlds ; inquires into the nature of spirits and angels; and wishes to be more fully informed as to the attributes of the Supreme Being. He is imperfectly antwered by the Rabbins and Doctors; blames his own curiosity; and concludes that, as to human science, ALL IS VÀNITY.
E sons of men, with just regard attend;
Observe the Preacher, and believe the friend:
That from the womb we take our fatal shares
Happiness ! object of that waking dream
But, O! .ere yet orig'nal man was made,
Born, as I was, great David's fav’rite son,
Arise,' I commun’d with myself, " arise !
I said, and sent my ediêt thro' the land: Around
throne the letter'd Rabbins stand; Historick leaves revolve, long volumes spread, The old discoursing as the younger read ; Attent I heard, propos'd my doubts, and said
· The vegetable world, each plant and tree,
Yet, just and conscious to myself, I find
• I know not why the beech delights the glade,
Unchang'd his branch, and permament his green.
Why does the cypress flourish in the shade ?
Why does the fond carnation love to shoot
The twining jasmine, and the blushing rofe,
• The smelling tub'rose and jonquil declare,
Why should one earth, one clime, one stream, one breath, • Raise this to strength, and ficken 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 funny bank or wat’ry mead, • Ten thousand stalks their various blossoms spread ; • Peaceful and lowly, in their native soil, • 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 Aows. • Take but the humbleft lily of the field; • And, if our pride will to our reason yield, • It must, by sure comparison, be shown, · That, on the regal seat, great David's son,
Array'd in all his robes and types of pow'r, • Shines with less glory than that simple flow'r.
• Of fishes next, my friends, I would inquire : • 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 tempeit plays ? • How they in warlike bands march greatly furth, • From freezing waters and the colder north,
« To southern climes directing their career,
• 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 the callow child her parent's song? " Why these frequent the plain, and those the wood ?
Why ev'ry land has her fpecifick brood? " Where the tall crane or winding swallow goes, • Fearful of gathering winds, and falling inows :
If into rocks or hollow trees they creep, • In temporary death confin’d to sleep; • Or, conscious of the coming evil, fly • To milder regions, and a southern sky?
Of beasts and creeping insects shall we trace - The wondrous 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 itudious! who pretend to see
Far into Nature's bofom, whence the bee · Was first inform’d her vent'rous flight to steer · Thro’ tractless paths, and an abyss of air ? • Whence she avoids the ilimy marsh, and knows • The fertile hills, where sweeter herbage grows,
And honey-making flow'rs their op’ning buds disclose?
How, from the thicken'd mist and setting fun, • Finds the the labour of her day is done ? • Who taught her against winds and rains to strive, • To bring her burden to the certain hive ; « And thro' the liquid fields again to pass, s Duteous, and hark’ning to the founding brafs ?