« הקודםהמשך »
And in that space, which we call air and sky,
Myriads of earths, and moons, and suns may
lie Unmeasur’d, and unknown to human eye.
In vain we measure this amazing sphere,
And find and fix its centre here or there,
Whilst its circumference scorning to be brought
Even in fancy'd space, illudes our vanquish'd thought.
Where then are all the radiant Monsters driven,
With which your guesses fill'd the frighten'd heaven?
Where will their fictious images remain?
paper schemes, and the Chaldean's brain.
This problem yet, this offspring of a guess,
Let us for once a child of truth confess;
That these fair stars, these objects of delight
And terror, to our searching dazzled fight,
Are worlds immense, unnumber'd, infinite:
But do these worlds display their beams, or guide
Their orbs, to serve thy use, to please thy pride?
Thy self but duft; 'thy ftature but a span
A moment thy duration; foolish man !
As well may the minuteit emmet say,
That Caucasus was rais’d to pave
The snail, that Lebanon's extended wood
Was destin'd only for his walk and food ;
The vileft cockle gaping on the coast
That rounds the ample seas as well may boaft,
The craggy rock projects above the sky,
That he in safety at his foot may lie;
And the whole ocean's confluent waters (well,
Only to quench histhirit, or move and blanch his shell.
A higher fight the venturous Goddess tries, Leaving material worlds, and local skies; Enquires, what are the beings, where the space, That form’d and held the Angels ancient race? For rebel Lucifer with Michael fought (I offer only what tradition taught) Embattl'd cherub against cherub rose, Did shield to shield, and power to power oppose; Heaven rung with triumph: Hell was fill'd with
What were those forms of which your volumes tell,
How some fought great, and others recreant fell:
These bound to bear an everlasting load,
Durance of chain, and banishment of God:
By fatal turns their wretched strength to tire;'
To swim in sulphurous lakes, or land on solid fire:
Whilst those exalted to primæval light,
Excess of blessing, and supreme delight,
Only perceive some little pause of joys
In those great moments when their God employs
Their ministry, to pour his threaten'd hate
On the proud king, or the rebellious state;
Or to reverse Jehovah's high command,
And speak the thunder falling from his hand,
When to his duty the proud king returns,
And the rebellious state in alhes mourns.
How can good angels be in Heaven confin’d,
Or view that presence which no space can bind?
Is God above, beneath,
He who made all, is he not every where?
Oh how can wicked angels find a night
So dark to hide them from that piercing light,
Which form’d the
power of fight?
What mean I now of angel, when I hear
Firm body, spirit pure, or fuid air?
Spirits to actions fpiritual confin'd,
Friends to our thought, and kindred to our mind,
Should only act and prompt us from within,
Nor by external eye be ever seen.
Was it not therefore to our fathers known,
That these had appetite, and limb, and bone ?
Else how could Abraham wash their weary'd feet:
-Or Sarah please their taste with favoury meat ?
Whence should they fear? or why did Lot engage
To save their bodies from abusive rage,
And how could Jacob, in a real fight,
Feel or resist the wrestling angel's might?
How could a form its strength with matter try?
Or how a spirit touch a mortal's thigh?
Now are they air condens’d, or gather'd rays ?
How guide they then our prayer, or keep our ways,
By stronger blasts still subject to be tost,
By tempefts scatter'd, and in whirlwinds loft ?
Have they again (as sacred song proclaims)
Substances real, and existing frames?
How comes it since with them we jointly share
The great effect of one Creator's care;
That, whilst our bodies ficken and decay,
Their's are for ever healthy, young, and gay?
Why, whilst we struggle in this vale beneath,
With, want and sorrow, with disease and death;
Do they, more bless’d perpetual life employ
On songs of pleasure, and in scenes of joy?
Now when my mind has all this world survey'd,
And found that nothing by itself was made;
When thought has rais’d it self by juit degrees
From vallies crown'd with flowers, and hills with trees;
From smoaking minerals, and from rising streams;
From fattening Nilus, or victorious Thames;
From all the living that four-footed move
Along the shoar, the meadow, or the grove;
From all that can with fins, or feathers fly,
Through the aërial, or the watery sky;
From the poor reptile with a reasoning foul,
That miserable master of the whole;
From this great object of the body's eye,
This fair half-round, this ample azure sky,
Terribly large, and wonderfully bright
With stars unnumber'd, and unmeasur'd light;
From essences unseen, celestial names,
Enlightening spirits, and ministerial Alames,
Angels, dominions, potentates, and thrones,
All that in each degree the name of creature owns:
Lift we our reason to that sovereign cause,
Who bleft the whole with life, and bounded it with
laws: Who forth from nothing call'd this comely frame, His will and act, his word and work the same;
To whom a thousand years are but a day;
Who bad the light her genial beams display ;
And set the moon, and taught the sun his way:
Who, waking time, his creature, from the source
Primæval, order'd his predestined course:
Himself, as in the hollow of his hand,
Holding, obedient to his high command,
The deep abyss, the long continu'd store,
Where months, and days, and hours, and minutes
Their floating parts, and thenceforth are no more.
This Alpha and Omega, first and last
Who, like a potter in a mold has cast
The world's great fame, commanding it to be
Such as the eyes of sense and reason fee :
Yet if he wills, may change or spoil the whole;
May take yon' beauteous, mystic, starry roll,
And burn it, like an useless parchment scroll:
May from its Basis in one moment pour
This melted earth
Like liquid metal, and like burning ore :
Who fole in power, at the beginning said;
Let Sea and Air, and Earth and Heaven be made:
And it was fo -and when he shall ordain
In other fort, has but to speak again,
And they shall be no more: of this great theme,
This glorious hallow'd, everlasting name,
This God I would discourse.-
The learned Elders fat appallid, amaz'd;
And each with mutual look on other gaz'd,