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So weak our reason, and so great our God,
What most surprises in the sacred page,
Or full as strange, or stranger, must be true.
Faith is not reason's labour, but repose.
To faith, and virtue, why so backward, man?
From hence; The present strongly strikes us all;
The future faintly: Can we, then, be men?
If men, LORENZO ! the reverse is right.
Reason is man's peculiar; Sense, the brute's.
The present is the scanty realm of sense;
The future, reason's empire unconfin'd:
On that expending all her god-like pow'r,
She plans, provides, expatiates, triumphs, there;
There builds her blessings; there expects her praise;
And nothing asks of fortune, or of men ;
And what is reason? Be she thus defin'd:
Reason is upright stature in the soul.
Oh! be a man
and strive to be a God.
"For what? (thou sayst :) To damp the joys of
No; to give heart and substance to thy joys.
That tyrant, hope, mark, how she domineers;
She bids us quit realities, for dreams:
Safety and peace, for hazard and alarm;
That tyrant o'er the tyrants of the soul,
She bids ambition quit its taken prize,
Spurn the luxuriant branch on which it sits,
Though bearing crowns, to spring at distant game;
And plunge in toils and dangers—for repose.
If hope precarious, and if things, when gain'd,
Of little moment, and as little stay,
Can sweeten toils and dangers into joys;
What then, that hope, which nothing can defeat,
Our leave unask'd? Rich hope of boundless bliss!
Bliss, past man's pow'r to paint it! time's, to close!
This hope is earth's most estimable prize :
This is man's portion, while no more than man:
Hope, of all passions, most befriends us here;
Passions of prouder name befriend us less.
Joy has her tears; and transport has her death;
Hope, like a cordial, innocent, though strong,
Man's heart, at once, inspirits and serenes;
Nor makes him pay his wisdom for his joys:
'Tis all, our present state can safely bear,
Health to the frame! and vigour to the mind!
A joy attemper'd! a chastis'd delight!
Like the fair summer evening, mild, and sweet!
'Tis man's full cup; his paradise below!
A bless'd hereafter, then, or hop'd, or gain'd,
Is all; our whole of happiness; Full proof,
I chose no trivial or inglorious theme.
And know, ye foes to song! (well-meaning men,
Though quite forgotten half your bible's praise!)
Important truths, in spite of verse, may please:
Grave minds you praise; nor can you praise too
If there is weight in an ETERNITY,
Let the grave listen; and be graver still.
The Poetical parts of it.
THE MAN OF THE WORLD ANSWERED.
In which are considered, the Love of this Life; the Ambition and Pleasure, with the Wit and Wisdom of the World.
To the Right Honourable Henry Pelham.
AND has all nature, then, espous'd my part? Have I brib'd Heav'n and earth, to plead against thee!
And is thy soul immortal ?—What remains?
All, all, LORENZO ; make immortal, bless'd.
Unbless'd immortals! what can shock us more?
And yet, LORENZO still affects the world;
There, stows his treasure; thence, his title draws,
Man of the world! (for such wouldst thou be
And art thou proud of that inglorious style?
Proud of reproach? For a reproach it was,
In ancient days; and Christian-in an age,
When men were men, and not asham'd of Heav'n,
Fir'd their ambition, as it crown'd their joy.
Sprinkled with dews from the Castalian font,
Fain would I re-baptize thee, and confer
A purer spirit, and a nobler name.
Thy fond attachments, fatal, and inflam'd,
Point out my path, and dictate to my song:
To thee, the world how fair! How strongly strikes
Ambition! and gay pleasure stronger still!
Thy triple bane! the triple bolt, that lays
Thy virtue dead! Be these my triple theme;
Nor shall thy wit or wisdom be forgot.
Common the theme; not so the song; if she
My song invokes, URANIA, deigns to smile.
The charm that chains us to the world, her foe,
If she dissolves, the man of earth, at once,
Starts from his trance, and sighs for other scenes:
Scenes, where these sparks of night, these stars
Unnumber'd suns (for all things, as they are,
The bless'd behold) and, in one glory, pour
Their blended blaze on man's astonish'd sight;
A blaze-the least illustrious object there.
LORENZO! Since eternal is at hand,
To swallow time's ambitions; as the vast
Leviathan, the bubbles vain, that ride
High on the foaming billow; what avail
High titles, high descent, attainments high,
If unattain❜d our highest? O LORENZO !
What lofty thoughts, these elements above,