« הקודםהמשך »
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?
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 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 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 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 confess’d
The pristine springs, and parents of the rest,
Each becomes other. Water stopp'd gives birth
To grafs 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 forcd, in earth's capacious womb
Alters its particles; is fire no more;
But lies refplendent dust, and shining ore:
Or, running through the mighty mother's veins,
Changes its fhape; puts off its old remains;
With watry parts its lessen'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 flow degrees shall rise
Higher than erst had ftood 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 and heavye (mall or great:
Thus Jordan's waves shall fature clouds appear;
And Egypt's Pyramids 'refine to air.
Thus later age 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;
Where to our eye more rarely they appear,
The pompous name of prodigy they bear:
Let active thought these close mæanders trace;
Let human wit their dubious boundaries 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 buds,
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 opening heaven
The food of angels should to man be given ;
Is this more strange, than that with common bread
Our fainting bodies every day are fed ?
Than that each grain and fied consum'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 wonderous and abitruse,
From nature's constant or eccentric laws,
The thoughtful soul this general influence draws,
That an effect must presuppose a cause.
And while she does her upward flight sustain,
Touching each link of the continued 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,
Biest by all power, with all perfection crown'd;
How can we bind or limit his decree,
By what our ear has heard, or eyes 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 the world its birth,
Sever'd those waters by some other earth,
Countries by future plow-thares to be torn,
And cities rais’d by nations yet unborn!
Ere the progressive course of restless age
Performs three thousand times its annual stage,
May not our power and learning be supprest,
And arts and empire learn to travel west?
Where, by the strength of this Idea charm’d,
Lightend with glory, and with rapture warm’d,
foul? what sees the white and great Amidst subjected seas? An isle, the feat Of power and plenty; her imperial throne, For justice and for mercy fought and known; Virtues sublime, great attributes of Heaven, From thence to this diftinguish'd nation given: Yet farther west the western isle extends Her happier fame; her armed fleet she sends To climates folded yet from human eye ; And lands, which we imagine wave and ský. From pole to pole she hears her acts resound, And rules an empire by no ocean bound; Knows her thips 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, least vain.
Yet all must with the general doom comply;
And this great glorious power, 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 niglit.
Ak reason now,
whence light and Made were given,
And whence this great variety of Heaven :
Reason, our guide, what can she more reply,
Than that the sun illuminates the sky;
Than that night rises from his absent ray,
And his returning luftre kindles day?
But we expect the morning red in vain : 'Tis hid in vapours, or obseur'd by rain. The noon-tide yellow we in vain require : 'Tis black in storm, or red in light’ning fire. Pitchy and dark the night sometimes appears, Friend to our woe, and parent of
our fears: Our joy and wonder sometimes the excites, With stars unnumber'd, and eternal lights. Send forth, yo wise, send forth your labouring thought: Let it return with empty notions fraught, Vol. II.