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Long shall Britannia (that must be her name) Be first in conquest, 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, though 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 choosing sable for the peaceful night. Ask reason, now, whence light and shade were given, And whence this great variety of Heaven? Reason our guide, what cap she 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 noontide yellow we in vain require, 'Tis black in storm, or red in lightning fire. Pitchy and dark the night sometimes appears, Friend to our woe, and parent of our fears, Our joy and wonder sometimes she excites, With stars unnumber'd and eternal lights, Send forth, ye wise, send forth your labouring

thought, Let it return, with empty notions fraught Of airy columns every moment broke, Of circling whirlpools, and of spheres of smoke; Yet this solution but once more affords New change of terms, and scaffolding of words ;

In other garb my question I receive,
And take the doubt the very same I gave.

'Lo! as a giant strong the lusty Sun
Multiplied rounds in one great round does run;
Twofold his course, yet constant his career,
Changing the day, and finishing the year :
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 different lustre crown'd;
Each knows his course with different periods bound,
And in his passage through the liquid space,
Nor hastens nor retards his neighbour's race.
How 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 vast, such various light, As speaks the hand that form’d them infinite. How mean the order and perfection sought In the best product of the human thought, Compar'd to the great larmony that reigns In what the Spirit of the world ordains !

Now if the sun to earth transmits his ray,
Yet does not scorch us with too fierce a day,
How small a portion of his power is given
To orbs more distant, and remoter heaven?
And of those stars which our imperfect eye
Has doom'd and fix'd to one eternal sky,
Each by a native stock of honour great,
May dart strong influence, and diffuse kind heat,
Itself a sun, and with transmissive light
Enliven worlds denied to human sight;
Around the circles of their ambient skies
New moons may grow or wane, may set or rise,
And other stars may to those suns be earths,
Give their own elements their proper births,
Divide their climes, or elevate their pole,
See their lands flourish, and their oceans roll;
Yet these great orbs, thus radically bright,
Primitive fonts and origins of light,
Lay each to other (as their different sphere
Makes or their distance or their height appear)
Be seen a nobler or inferior star,
And in that space which we call air and sky,
Myriads of earths, and moons, and suns, may lies
Unmeasur'd and unknown by 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 into fancied 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 ?
In paper schemes, and the Chaldean's brain?

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'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 sight, 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? Thyself but dust, thy stature but a span, A moment thy duration, foolish man! As well may the minutest emmet say That Caucasus was rais'd to pave his way; The snail, that Lebanon's extended wood Was destin'd only for his walk and food; The vilest cockle, gaping on the coast That rounds the ample seas, as well may boast The craggy rock projects above the sky, That he in safety at its foot may lie; And the whole ocean's confluent waters swell, Only to quench his thirst, or move and blanch his

shell. “A higher flight the ventrous goddess tries, Leaving material worlds and local skies; Inquires what are the beings, where the space, That form'd and held the angel's ancient race? For rebel Lucifer with Michael sought (I offer only what tradition taught) Embattled cherub against cherub rose, Did shield to shield, and power to power oppose ;( Heaven rung with triumph, hell was fill'd with

woes. What were these 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 ;
While those, exalted to primeval 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 ashes mourns ?
How can good angels be in Heaven confin'd,
Or view that Presence which no space can bind ?
Is God above, beneath, or you, or here?
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 eye, and gave the power of

sight?
“What mean I now of angel, when I hear
Firm body, spirit pure, or fluid air?
Spirits, to action spiritual 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 Abram wash their wearied feet,
Or Sarah please their taste with savoury 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?

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