« AnteriorContinuar »
Doubt you this truth? Why lahours your belief? If Earth's whole orb by some due distanc'd eye Were seen at once, her towering Alps would sink, And levellid Atlas leave an even sphere. Thus Earth, and all that earthly minds admire, Is swallow'd in Eternity's vast round. To that stupendous view when souls awake, So large of late, so mountainous to man, Time's toys subside; and equal all below.
Enthusiastic, this? Then all are weak,
And what a sceptre waits us! what a throne!
In spite of all the truths the Muse has sung,
Headlong they plunge, where end both dance and
song? Are there, Lorenzo? Is it possible ? Are there on Earth (let me not call them men) Who lodge a soul immortal in their breasts; Unconscious as the mountain of its ore; Or rock, of its inestimable gem ? When rocks shall melt, and mountains vanish, these Shall know their treasure; treasure, then, no more.
Are there (still more amazing!) who resist The rising thought? who smother, in its birth, The glorious truth? who struggle to be brutes ? Who through this bosom-barrier burst their way, And, with revers'd ambition, strive to sink ? Who labour downwards through th' opposing powers Of instinct, reason, and the world against them, To dismal hopes, and shelter in the shock Of endless night; night darker than the grave's? Who fight the proofs of immortality ? With horrid zeal, and execrable arts, Work all their engines, level their black fires, To blot from man this attribute divine, (Than vital blood far dearer to the wise,) Blasphemers, and rank atheists to themselves ?
To contradict them, see all Nature rise ! What object, what event, the Moon beneath, But argues, or endears, an after-scene? To reason proves, or weds it to desire ? : All things proclaim it needful ; some advance One precious step beyond, and prove it sure. A thousand arguments swarm round my pen. From Heaven, and Earth, and man. Indulge a few
By Nature, as her common habit, worn;
Thou ! whose all-providential eye surveys,
Nature, thy daughter, ever-changing birth Of thee the great Immutable, to man Speaks wisdom : is his oracle supreme; And he who most consults her, is most wise. Lorenzo, to this heavenly Delphos haste; And come back all-immortal ; all-divine : Look Nature through, 't is revolution all; (night All change; no death. Day follows night, and The dying day; stars rise, and set, and rise; Earth takes th' example. See, the Summer gay, With her green chaplet, and ambrosial flowers, Droops into pallid Autumn: Winter gray, Horrid with frost, and turbulent with storm, Blows Autumn, and his golden fruits, away: Then melts into the Spring : soft Spring, with breathe Favonian, from warm chambers of the south, Recalls the first. All, to re-flourish, fades; As in a wheel, all sinks, to re-ascend; Emblems of man, who passes, not expires.
With this minute distinction, emblems just, Nature revolves, but man advances; both Eternal, that a circle, this a line. That gravitates, this soars. Th' aspiring soul, Ardent, and tremulous, like flame, ascends, Zeal and humility her wings, to Heaven. The world of matter, with its various forms, All dies into new life. Life born from death Rolls the vast mass, and shall for ever roll. No single atom, once in being, lost, With change of counsel charges the Most High.
What hence infers Lorenzo ? Can it be? Matter immortal ? And shall spirit die ? Above the nobler, shall less noble rise ? Shall man alone, for whom all else revives, No resurrection know ? Shall man alone, Imperial man ! be sown in barren ground, Less privileg'd than grain, on which he feeds ? Is man, in whom alone is power to prize The bliss of being, or with previous pain Deplore its period, by the spleen of fate Severely doom'd death's single unredeem'd ? If Nature's revolution speaks aloud, In her gradation, hear her louder still. Look Nature through, 't is neat gradation all. By what minute degrees her scale ascends! Each middle nature join'd at each extreme, To that above it join'd, to that beneath.. Parts, into parts reciprocally shot, Abhor divorce : what love of union reigns ! Here, dormant matter waits a call to life ; (sense ; Half-life, half-death, join'd there ; here life and
There, sense from reason steals a glimmering ray;
Thus far, all Nature calls on thy belief.
But these chimeras touch not thee, Lorenzo !