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With the same folly sure, man vaunts his fway; If the brute beast refuses to obey. For tell me, when the empty boaster's word ' Proclaims himself the universal lord; Does he not tremble, lest the Lion's paw Should join his plea against the fancy'd law? Would not the learned coward leave the chair; If in the schools or porches should appear The fierce Hyæna, or the foaming Bear?
The combatant too late the field declines,
When now the sword is girded to his loins.
When the swift veffel flies before the wind;
Too late the sailor views the land behind.
And 'tis too late now back again to bring
Enquiry, rais'd and towering on the wing:
Forward she strives, averse to be withheld
From nobler objects, and a larger field.
Consider with me thls ætherial space,
Yielding to earth and sea the middle place.
Anxious I ask ye, how the penfile ball
Should never strive to rise, nor never fear to fall.
When I reflect, how the revolving fun
Does round our globe his crooked journies run;
I doubt of many lands, if they contain
Or herd of beast, or colony of man :
If any nations pass their destin'd days:
Beneath the neighb'ring sun's directer rays:
If any suffer on the polar coast,
The rage of Arctos, and eternal frost.
May not the pleasure of omnipotence To each of these some secret good dispense? Those who amidst the torrid regions live, May they not gales unknown to us receive; See daily showers rejoice the thirsty earth, And bless the flowery buds' fucceeding birth? May they not pity Us, condemn’d to bear The various heaven of an obliquer sphere; While by fix'd laws, and with a just return, They feel twelve hours that shade, fortwelve that burn, And praise the neighb'ring fun, whose constant flame Enlightens them with seasons still the fame? And may not those, whose distant lot is caft North beyond Tartary's extended waste; Where through the plains of one continual day, Six shining months pursue their even way; And fix succeeding urge their dusky flight; Obscur'd in vapours, and o’erwhelm'd in night: May not, I ak the natives of these climes (As annals may inform succeeding times) To our quotidian change of heaven prefer Their own vicissitude, and equal share Of day and night, difparted through the year? May they not scorn our sun's repeated race, To narrow bounds prescrib’d, and little space, Hastening from morn, and headlong driven from noong Half of our daily toil yet scarcely done? May they not justly to our climes upbraid Shortness of night, and penury of shade;
That, e'er our wearied limbs are justly blest
With wholesome sleep, and necessary rest;
Another fun demands return of care,
The remnant toil of yesterday to bear?
Whilst, when the solar beams salute the sight,
Bold and fecure in half a year of light,
Uninterrupted voyages they take
To the remotest wood, and farthest lake;
Manage the fifhing, and pursue the course
With more extended nerves, and more continu'd force,
And when declining day forsakes their sky;
When gathering clouds speak gloomy winter nigh ;
With plenty for the coming season bleit,
Six folid 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 listening fair,
And rais'd in pleasure, or repos'd in ease
(Grateful alternates of substantial peace)
They bless the long nocturnal influence shed
On the crown'd goblet, and the genial bed.
In foreign isles which our discoverers find,
Far from this length of continent disjoin'd,
The rugged Bears, or spotted Lynx's brood
Frighten the vallies, and infeft the wood;
The hungry Crocodile, and hissing Snake
Lurk in the troubled stream and fenny brake :
And man, untaught and ravenous as the beast, Does valley, wood, and brake, and stream infeft. Deriv'd these men and animals their birth From trunk of oak, or 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 take, Feed the She-Adder, and the brooding Snake? Or could they think the new discover'd isle, Pleas'd to receive a pregnant
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 generous vine,
And load with grateful flames the holy shrine?
While the great fire's unhappy fons are found,
Unpress’d their vintage, and untilld their ground
Straggling o'er dale aad hill in quest of food,
And rude of arts, of virtue, and of God.
How shall we next o’er earth and seas 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 confefs'd
The pristine springs, and parents of the rest,
Each becomes other. Water stopp'd gives birth
To grass and plants, and thickens in the earth:
Diffus'd, it rises in a higher sphere;
Dilates its drops, and softens into air:
Those finer parts of air again afpire,
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 its particles; is fire no more ;
But lies resplendent dust, and shining ore:
Or, running through the mighty mother's veins,
Changes its shape; puts off its old remains;
With watry parts its lefsen'd force divides;
Flows into waves, and rises into tides..
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 slow degrees shall rise
Higher than erít had stood the summit hill:
For time muft nature's great behests fulfil.
Thus, by a length of years, and change of fate, All things are light and heavye small or great: Thus Jordan's waves shall future clouds appear; And Egypt's Pyramids 'refine to air. Thus later
shall ask for Pison's flood : And travellers enquire, where Babel stood.
Now where we see these changes often fall, Sedate we pass them by as natural;