« הקודםהמשך »
• 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 coating boats from next adjacent shore ; • Would thofe, from whom we will suppose they spring,
Slaughter to harmless lands and poison bring? • Would they on board, or bears or lynxes take, • Feed the fhe-adder and the brooding snake ? « Or could they think the new-discover'd ifle • Pleas’d to receive a pregnant crocodile ?
• And since the savage 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 sow the glebe, to plant the gen'rous vine, . And load with grateful flames the holy shrine?
While the great fire's unhappy fons are found, Unpress'd their vintage, and untillid their ground;
Straggling o'er dale and hill in quest of food, " And rude of arts, of virtue, and of God.
• How fall we next o’er earth and seas pursue • The vary'd forms of ev'ry thing we view;
That all is chang'd, tho' all is still the same, • Fluid the parts, yet durable the frame ? • Of those materials which have been confess’d • The pristine springs and parents of the rest, • Each becomes other. Water stopp'd gives birth • To grass and plants, and thickens into earth; • Difus'd, it rises in a higher sphere, s Dilates it's 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 womb • Alters it's particles; is fire no more, • But lies resplendent dust and shining ore;
• Or, running thro' the mighty mother's veins,
Disparted streams shall from their channels fly, • And, deep surcharg'd, by sandy mountains lie
Obscurely fepulcher'd. By eating rain • And furious wind, down to the distant plain, • The hill that hides his head above the skies, • Shall fall: the plain, by flow degrees, thall rise • Higher than erst had stood the summit hill; • For Time must Nature's great beheit 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 Egypts pyramids refine to air; • Thus later age shall ask for Pison's food, • And travellers inquire where Babel stood.
• Now where we see these changes often fall, « Selate we pass them by as natural ; • Where to our eye more rarely they appear, • 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 at a word pronounc'd revive and bud;
Is this more strange than that the mountain's brow,
Stripp'd by December's frost and white with snow, • Should push in spring ten thousand thousand buds, • And boast returning leaves and blooming woods? • That each successive night from op’ning heav'n • The food of angels should to man be giv'n ; • Is this more strange than that with common bread ? Our fainting bodies ev'ry day are fed?
• Than that each grain and seed, consum'd in earth, • Raises it's store, and multiplies it's birth?
And from the handful which the tiller fows, • The labour'd fields rejoice, and future harvest flows ?
• Then from whate'er we can to fense produce, • Common and plain, or wondrous and abstruse; • From Nature's constant or excentrick laws • The thoughtful soul this gen’ral influence draws, • That an Effect mult pre-suppose a Cause :
And while she does her upward flight fuftain, « Touching each link of the continu'd chain, • At length she is oblig'd and forc'd to see • A First, a Source, a Life, a Deity ; • What has for ever been, and must for ever be.
• This Great Existence, thus by Reason found, • Bless’d 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 coaft? • Or has that God, who gave our world it's birth, • Sever'd those waters by some other earth? • Countries by future plough-thares to be torn, • And cities rais’d by nations yet
unborn ? • Ere the progressive course of restless age • Performs three thousand times it's annual stage, . May not our pow'r and learning be suppress'd, • And arts and empire learn to travel welt?
• Where, by the strength of this idea charm'd, ? Lighten'd with glory, and with rapture warm’d, « Ascends
soul? what sees she white and great Amidst subjected feas ? An isle, the feat
Of pow'r and plenty ; her imperial throne • For justice and for mercy fought and known : • Virtues sublime, great attributes of Heav'n, • From thence to this distinguish'd nation giv'n.
Yet farther welt the western isle extends
Her happy fame; her armed fleets the sends < 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 conqueft, and preside in fame;
Long shall her favour'd monarchy engage • The teeth of Envy, and the force of Age: * Rever'd and happy, she shall long remain, . Of human things, least changeable, leaft vain ;
Yet all must with the gen'ral doom comply, • And this great glorious pow'r, tho’ last, muft 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; s Anon at noon in flaming yellow bright,
And chusing fable for the peaceful night. Ak Reason, now, whence light and shade were giv'n, . And whence this great variety of heav'n? • Reason our guide, what can fhe more reply,
Than that the sun illuminates the sky ? • Than that night rises from his absent ray, ' And his returning lustre kindles day?
* But we expect the morning red in vain ;
'Tis hid in vapours, or obscur'd by rain : * The noon-tide yellow we in vain require ;
'Tis black in storm, or red in lightning fire.
• Send forth, ye wise, send forth your lab’ring thought ;
Lo! as a giant strong, the luity sun
Again, when his descending orb retires, • And earth perceives the absence of his fires, • The moon affords us her alternate ray, • And with kind beams distributes fainter day, • Yet keeps the stages of her monthly race ; • Various her beams, and changeable her face : • Each planet, shining in his proper sphere, • Does with just speed his radiant voyage steer; • Each sees his lamp with diff'rent lustre crown'd;
Each knows his course with diff'rent periods bound;
And in his pafinge thro' the liquid fpace, « Nor hastens nor retards his neighbour's race. • Now, shine these planets with substantial rays? • Does innate lustre gild their measur'd days? • Or do they (as your schemes, I think, have shown) • Dart furtive beams and glory not their own ; • All servants to that source of light, the sun?
Again! I see ten thousand thousand stars, • Nor cast in lines, in circles, nor in squares,
(Poor rules, with which our bounded mind is fill'd
When we would plant, or cultivate, or build !) • But shining with such vaft, such various light, • As speaks the Hand that form’d them infinite.