« הקודםהמשך »
TO THE MOST REVEREND PRELATE
Archbishop of Canterbury,
This Poem, such as it is, upon a Subject of the highest Importance,
Is presented and dedicated by
Isaac Hawkins Browne.
THE following Translation is from a Poem justly admir'd for the Elegance and Purity of its Style, and for comprising in an easy, concise, perspicuous and affecting Manner, the strongest Proofs from Reason, of the most interesting and important Truth that the Mind of Man can contemplate. As it peculiarly excels in the Justness and Propriety of the Language it is wrote in, it must appear to disadvantage in any other. I have however endeavour'd to give at least a faithful and exact Translation of it, and in some Measure to preserve the Spirit of the Originals by keeping as clofe as possible, not only to the Sense of the learned and ingenious Author, but to his Words, and Manner of Expression. The rendering of it into English may possibly contribute towards making the Arguments upon this Subject more generally known and attended to, and consequently more effectually answer the good Intention of the Poem. For it is greatly to be hoped, that if Men were once firmly persuaded of the Immortality of the Soul, upon the Principles of natural Reason, they might not only be prevailed upon to live more consistently with the Dignity of their Nature, and the Expectation of a future State; but also be dispofed the more readily, and thankfully to embrace that Divine Revelation, of which this Doctrine is a fundamental Point, infallibly made known to them, in the clearest and most awful Light.
I have only to add, that I did not hear of Mr. Hay's intending to oblige the World with a Translation of this Poem, till I had finish'd my own. The Performance of so ingenious a Writer would, in all Probability, have superseded this Attempt of mine, if it had not been undertaken in a different Kind of Verse.
IMMORTALITY Of The SOUL.
BOOK THE FIRST.
L L other Animals on Earth enjoy The Lot which Nature gave, nor wish for more. Man only, with Sagacity to know, And with importunate Desire, of Things The Reasons and Connections to search out, Takes a vain Journey: Death with fable Wings Hangs o'er, and in the Middle of his Course, Arrests him as he goes. Why this, if nought Wisdom divine created has in Vain? Say, for what End these Seeds of heav'nly Mind In Man implanted, if they have not PowV To grow and ripen to their proper Fruits!