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HEAV'N gives the needful, but neglected call.
What day, what hour, but knocks at human hearts,
To wake the soul to sense of future scenes ?
Deaths stand, like Mercury's, in ev'ry way,
And kindly point us to our journey's end.
Pope, who couldst make immortals ! art thou dead?
I give thee joy: Nor will I take my leave;
So soon to follow. Man but dives in death;
Dives from the sun, in fairer day to rise ;
The grave, his subterranean road to bliss.
Yes, infinite indulgence plann'd it so;
Thro' various parts our glorious story runs;
Time gives the preface, endless age unrolls
The volume (ne'er unrollid !) of humán fate.
This, earth and skies * already have proclaim'd.
The world's a prophecy of worlds to come ;
And who, what God foretells (who speaks in things,
Still louder than in words) shall dare deny?
If nature's arguments appear too weak,
Turn a new leaf, and stronger read in man.
If man sleeps on, untaught by what he sees,
Can he prove infidel to what he feels ?
He, whose blind thought futurity denies,
Unconscious bears, BELLEROPHON ! like thee,
His own indictment; he condemns himself;
Who reads his bosom, reads immortal life;
Or, nature, there, imposing on her sons,
Has written fables; man was made a lye.
Why discontent for ever harbour'd there?
Incurable consumption of our peace !
Resolve me, why, the cottager, and king,
He, whom sea-sever'd realms obey, and he
Who steals his whole dominion from the waste,
Repelling winter blasts with mud and straw,
Disquieted alike, draw sigh for sigh,
In fate so distant, in complaint so near?
Is it, that things terrestrial can't content? Deep in rich pasture will thy flocks complain? Not so; but to their master is deny'd To share their sweet serene. Man, ill at ease, In this, not his own place, this foreign field, Where nature fodders him with other food, Than was ordain'd his cravings to suffice, Poor in abundance, famish'd at a feast, Sighs on for something more, when most enjoy'd.
Is heav'n then kinder to thy flocks than thee? Not so ; thy pasture richer, but remote; In part, remote ; for that remoter part Man bleats from instinct, tho' perhaps, debauch'd By sense, his reason sleeps nor dreams the cause
The cause how obvious, when his reason wakes !
His grief is but his grandeur in disguise ;
And discontent is immortality.
Shall sons of æther, shall the blood of heav'n,
up their hopes on earth, and stable here,
With brutal acquiescence in the mire ?
Lorenzo! no! they shall be nolly pain'd;
The glorious foreigners, distrest, shall sigh
On thrones; and thou congratulate the sigh:
Man's misery declares him born for bliss ;
His anxious heart asserts the truth I sing,
And gives the sceptic in his head the lye.
Our heads, our hearts, our passions, and our pou’rs,
Speak the same language; call us to the skies :
Unripen'd these in this inclement clime,
Scarce rise above conjecture, and mistake;
And for this land of trifles those too strong
Tumultuous rise, and tempest human life:
What prize on earth can pay us for the storm?
Meet objects for our passions heav'n ordain'd,
Objects that challenge all their fire, and leave
No fault, but in defect: Blest Heav'n! avert
A bounded ardor for unbounded bliss !
O for a bliss unbounded! Far beneath
A soul immortal, is a mortal joy.
Nor are our pow'rs to perish immature ;
But, after feeble effort here, beneath
A brighter sun, and in a nobler soil,
Transplanted from this sublunary bed,
Shall flourish fair, and pu: forth all their bloom.
Reason progressive, instinct is complete ;
Swift instinct leaps ; slow reason feebly climbs.
Brutes soon their zenith reach; their little all
Flows in at once; in ages they no more
Could know, or do, or covet, or enjoy.
Were man to live coëval with the sun,
The patriarch-pupil would be learning still ;
Yet, dying, leave his lesson half unlearnt.
Men perish in advance, as if the sun
Should set ere noon, in eastern oceans drown'd;
If fit, with dim, illustrious to compare,
The sun's meridian with the soul of man.
To man, why, stepdame nature ! so severe ?
Why thrown aside thy master-piece half-wrought,
While meaner efforts thy last hand enjoy ?
Or, if abortively, poor man must die,
Nor reach, what reach he might, why die in dread?
Why curst with foresight? Wise to misery?
Why of his proud prerogative the prey ?
Why less pre-eminent in rank, than pain?
His immortality alone can tell;
Full ample fund to balance all amiss,
And turn the scale in favour of the just !
His immortality alone can solve
The darkest of enigmas, human hope ;
Of all the darkest, if at death we die.
Hope, eager hope, th' assassin of our joy,
All present blessings treading under foot,
Is scarce a milder tyrant than despair.
With no past toils content, still planting new,
Hipe.cagoi hope, the oferupin of our joy,
present tilipungs trading underjord,
London Mublished Sept 15-1797 by Teror & Hood. & the other Proprietors.