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But it compos'd, and gave him such a cast,
True happiness ne'er enter'd at an eye; As folly might mistake for want of joy.
True happiness resides in things unseen. A cast, unlike the triumph of the proud ;
No smiles of fortune ever blest the bad, A modest aspect, and a smile at heart.
Nor can her frowns rob innocence of joys; O for a joy from thy Philander's spring!
That jewel wanting, triple crowns are poor: A spring perennial, rising in the breast,
So tell his holiness, and be reveng'd. Aad permanent, as pure! no turbid stream
Pleasure, we both agree, is man's chief good; Of rapturous exultation, swelling high ;
Or only contest, what deserves the name. Which, like land-floods, impetuous pour awhile, Give pleasure's name to nought, but what has pass'd Then sink at once, and leave us in the mire. Th'authentic seal of reason, (which, like Yorke, What does the man, who transient joy prefers ? Demurs on what it passes,) and defies What, but prefer the bubbles to the stream? The tooth of Time ; when past, a pleasure still ; Vain are all sudden sallies of delight;
Dearer on trial, lovelier for its age, Convulsions of a weak, distemper'd joy.
And doubly to be priz'd, as it promotes Joy's a fixt state; a tenure, not a start.
Our future, while it forms our present, joy. Bliss there is none, but unprecarious bliss :
Some joys the future overcast; and some That is the gem: sell all, and purchase that. Throw all their beams that way, and gild the tomb Why go a-begging to contingencies,
Some joys endear eternity; some give Not gain'd with ease, nor safely lov’d, if gain'd? Abhorr'd annihilation dreadful charms. At good fortuitous, draw back, and pause;
Are rival joys contending for thy choice? Suspect it; what thou canst insure, enjoy ; Consult thy whole existence, and be safe ; And nought but what thou giv'st thyself, is sure. That oracle will put all doubt to flight. Reason perpetuates joy that reason gives,
Short is the lesson, though my lecture long, And makes it as immortal as herself:
Be good—and let Heaven answer for the rest. To mortals, nought immortal, but their worth.
Yet, with a sigh o'er all mankind, I grant Worth, conscious worth! should absolutely reign; In this our day of proof, our land of hope, And other joys ask leave for their approach; The good man has his clouds that intervene; Nor, unexamin'd, ever leave obtain.
Clouds, that obscure his sublunary day, Thou art all anarchy; a mob of joys
But never conquer: e'en the best must own, Wage war, and perish in intestine broils;
Patience, and resignation, are the pillars Not the least promise of internal peace!
Of human peace on Earth. The pillars, these No bosom-comfort! or unborrow'd bliss !
But those of Seth not more remote from thee, Thy thoughts are vagabonds; all outward-bound, Till this heroic lesson thou hast learnt ; 'Mid sands, and rocks, and storms, to cruise for To frown at pleasure, and to smile in pain. pleasure;
Fir'd at the prospect of unclouded bliss,
It sheds, on souls susceptible of light,
"This," says Lorenzo," is a fair harangue : By fond indulgence but inflam'd the more ! But can harangues blow back strong Nature's Fancy still cruises, when poor sense is tir'd.
stream; Imagination is the Paphian shop,
Or stem the tide Heaven pushes through our veins, Where feeble happiness, like Vulcan, lame, Which sweeps away man's impotent resolves, Bids foul ideas, in their dark recess,
And lays his labor level with the world ?" And hot as Hell (which kindled the black fires) Themselves men make their comment on man. With wanton art, those fatal arrows form,
kind; Which murder all thy time, nealth, wealth, and fame. And think nought is, but what they find at home : Wouldst thou receive them, other thoughts there are, Thus weakness to chimera turns the truth. On angel-wing, descending from above,
Nothing romantic has the Muse prescribd. Which these, with art divine, would counter-work, Above,* Lorenzo saw the man of Earth, And form celestial armor for thy peace.
The mortal man; and wretched was the sight. In this is seen imagination's guilt ;
To balance that, to comfort, and exalt, But who can count her follies? She betrays thee, Now see the man immortal: him, I mean, To think in grandeur there is something great. Who lives as such; whose heart, full bent on Heaven For works of curious art, and ancient fame, Leans all that way, his bias to the stars. Thy genius hungers, elegantly paind;
The world's dark shades, in contrast set, shall raise And foreign climes must cater for thy taste. His lustre more; though bright, without a soil : Hence, what disaster - Though the price was paid, Observe his awful portrait, and admire; 'That persecuting priest, the Turk of Rome, Nor stop at wonder; imitate, and live. Whose foot (ye gods!) though cloven, must be kiss'd, Some angel guide my pencil, while I draw, Detain'd thy dinner on the Latian shore;
What nothing less than angel can exceed ! (Such is the fate of honest Protestants!)
A man on Earth devoted to the skies; And poor magnificence is stary'd to death.
Like ships in seas, while in, above the world. Hence just resentment, indignation, ire !
With aspect mild, and elevated eye, Be pacified; if outward things are great,
Behold him seated on a mount serene, "Tis magnanimity great things to scorn;
Above the fogs of sense, and passion's storm; Pompous expenses, and parades august, And courts, that insalubrious soil to peace.
* In a former Night.
All the black cares, and tumults, of this life,
Backward to credit what he never felt, Like harmless thunders, breaking at his feet, Lorenzo cries,-“Where shines this miracle ? Excite his pity, not impair his peace.
From what root rises this immortal man ?" Earth's genuine sons, the sceptred, and the slave, A root that grows not in Lorenzo's ground; A mingled mob! a wandering heru! he sees, | The root dissect, nor wonder at the flower. Bewilder'd in the vale ; in all unlike!
He follows nature (not like thee*) and shows us His full reverse in all! what higher praiso ? An uninverted system of a man. What stronger demonstration of the right? His appetite wears reason's golden chain,
The present all their care; the future, his. And finds, in due restraint, its luxury. When public welfare calls, or private want, His passion, like an eagle well reclaimid, They give to fame; his bounty he conceals. Is taught to fly at nought, but infinite. Their virtues varnish nature ; his exalt.
Patient his hope, unanxious is his care, Mankind's esteem they court; and he, his own. His caution fearless, and his grief (if grief Theirs, the wild chase of false felicities;
The gods ordain) a stranger to despair. His, the compos'd possession of the true.
And why ?-Because, affection, more than meet. Alike throughout is his consistent peace,
His wisdom leaves not disengag'd from Heaven. All of one color, and an even thread ;
Those secondary goods that smile on Earth, While party-color'd shreds of happiness,
He, loving in proportion, loves in peace. With hideous gaps between, patch up for them They most the world enjoy, who least admire. A madman's robe ; each puff of fortune blows His understanding 'scapes the common cloud The tatters by, and shows their nakedness. Jor fumes, arising from a boiling breast.
He sees with other eyes than theirs: where they His head is clear, because his heart is cool,
| By worldly competitions uninflam'd.
Whence judgment sound, and unrepenting choice
What, then, the world ? It must be doubly weak; Titles and honors (if they prove his fate)
Strange truth! as soon would they believe their He lays aside to find his dignity;
Creed. No dignity they find in aught besides.
Yet thus it is ; nor otherwise can be ; They triumph in externals (which conceal
So far from aught romantic, what I sing. Man's real glory,) proud of an eclipse.
Bliss has no being, virtue has no strength, Himself too much he prizes to be proud,
But from the prospect of immortal life. And nothing thinks so great in man, as man. Who think Earth all, or (what weighs just the Too dear he holds his interest, to neglect
same) Another's welfare, or his right invade;
Who care no further, must prize what it yields; Their interest, like a lion, lives on prey.
Fond of its fancies, proud of its parades. They kindle at the shadow of a wrong;
Who thinks Earth nothing, can't its charms admire, Wrong he sustains with temper, looks on Heaven, He can't a foe, though most malignant, hate, Nor stoops to think his injurer his foe;
Because that hate would prove his greater foe. Nought, but what wounds his virtue, wounds his "Tis hard for them (yet who so loudly boast peace.
Good-will to men ?) to love their dearest friend; A cover'd heart their character defends ;
For may not he invade their good supreme,
All shines to them, that for a season shines.
weight, His joys create, theirs murder, future bliss. Its color what, a thousand ages hence ?" To triumph in existence, his alone;
And what it there appears, he deems it now. And his alone, triumphantly to think
Hence, pure are the recesses of his soul.
The godlike man has nothing to conceal.
But nothing charms Lorenzo, like the firm Angels, allied, descend to feed the fire;
Wont to disdain poor bigots caught by Heaven! If there they show it, 'tis for glory shown ; Stand by thy scorn, and be reduc'd to nought: Nor will that cordial always man their hearts. For what art thou ?- Thou boaster! while thy A cordial his sustains that cannot fail ;
glare, By pleasure unsubdued, unbroke by pain,
Thy gaudy grandeur, and mere worldly worth, He shares in that Omnipotence he trusts.
Like a broad mist, at distance, strikes us most; All-bearing, all-attempting, till he falls ;
And like a mist, is nothing when at hand;
Swells more, and rises nearer to the skies,
* See p. 588
By promise now, and by possession soon,
And when it jars—ihy Syrens sing no more, (Too soon, too much, it cannot be) his own
Thy dance is done; the demi-god is thrown From this thy just annihilation rise,
(Short apotheosis !) beneath the man, Lorenzo! rise to something, by reply.
In coward gloom immers'd, or fell despair.
Art thou yet dull enough despair to dread.
When danger threatens, lay it on thy heart;
To one of these ; but prize not all alike; And fly conviction, in the dust she rais'd.
The goods of fortune to the body's health, Wit, how delicious to man's dainty taste! Body to soul, and soul submit to God." 'Tis precious, as the vehicle of sense ;
Wouldst thou build lasting happiness? Do this ; But, as its substitute, a dire disease.
The inverted pyramid can never stand. Pernicious talent! flatter'd by the world,
Is this truth doubtful? It outshines the Sun; By the blind world, which thinks the talent rare. Nay the Sun shines not, but to show us this, Wisdom is rare, Lorenzo! wit abounds;
The single lesson of mankind on Earth. Passion can give it; sometimes wine inspires And yet-yet what ?-No news! mankind is mad, The lucky flash ; and madness rarely fails. Such mighty numbers list against the right, Whatever cause the spirit strongly stirs,
(And what can't numbers, when bewitch'd, achieve?) Confers the bays, and rivals thy renown.
They talk themselves to something like belief, For thy renown, 'twere well, was this the worst; That all Earth's joys are theirs : as Athens' fool Chance often hits it; and, to pique the more, Grinn'd from the port, on every sail his own. See dullness, blundering on vivacities,
They grin; but wherefore ? and how long the Shakes her sage bead at the calamity,
laugh ? Which has expos'd, and let her down to thee. Half ignorance, their mirth; and half, a lie ; But wisdom, awful wisdom! which inspects, To cheat the world, and cheat themselves, they Discerns, compares, weighs, separates, insers,
smile. Seizes the right, and holds it to the last ;
Hard either task! The most abandon'd own,
Then for themselves, the moment reason wakes While a lewd prostitute to multitudes,
(And Providence denies it long repose,) Frequent, as fatal, wit : in civil life,
O how laborious is their gaiety! Wit makes an enterpriser; sense, a man.
They scarce can swallow their ebullient spleen, Wit hates authority ; commotion loves,
Scarce muster patience to support the farce, And thinks herself the lightning of the storm. And pump sad laughter till the curtain falls. In states, 'tis dangerous ; in religion, death:
Scarce, did I say? Some cannot sit it out; Shall wit turn Christian, when the dull believe ? Ofi their own daring hands the curtain draw, Sense is our helmet, wit is but the plume;
And show us what their joy, by their despair. The plume exposes, 'tis our helmet saves.
The clotted hair! gor'd breast! blaspheming eye! Sense is the diamond, weighty, solid, sound; Its impious fury still alive in death! When cut by wit, it casts a brighter beam; Shut, shut the shocking scene.—But Heaven denies Yet, wit apart, it is a diamond still.
A cover to such guilt; and so should man. Wit, widow'd of good sense, is worse than nought; Look round, Lorenzo! see the reeking blade, It hoists more sail to run against a rock.
'Th' envenom'd phial, and the fatal ball; Thus, a half-Chesterfield is quite a fool;
The strangling cord, and suffocating stream: Whom dull fools scorn, and bless their want of wit. The lothesome rottenness, and foul decays
How ruinous the rock I warn thee, shun, From raging riot (slower suicides !) Where Syrens sit, to sing thee to thy fate! And pride in these, more execrable still ! A joy, in which our reason bears no part,
How horrid all to thought! But horrors, these, Is but a sorrow tickling, ere it stings.
That vouch the truth; and aid my feeble song. Let not the cooings of the world allure thee; From vice, sense, fancy, no man can be blest : Which of her lovers ever found her true?
Bliss is too great, to lodge withir an hour :
Which makes man man; and, exercis'd aright, There is, I grant, a triumph of the pulse ;
Will make him more: a bounteous joy! that gives, A dance of spirits, a mere froth of joy;
And promises; that weaves, with art divine, Our thoughtless agitation's idle child,
The richest prospect into present peace That mantles high, that sparkles and expires, A joy ambitious! Joy in common belil Leaving the soul more vapid than before.
With thrones ethereal, and their greater far; An animal ovation ! such as holds
A joy high-privileg'd from chance, time, death! No commerce with our reason, but subsists A joy which death shall double, judgment crown. On juices, through the well-ton'd tubes, well Crown'd higher, and still higher, at each stage, strain'd;
Through blest eternity's long day: yet still, nice machine! scarce ever tun'd aright; Not more remote from sorrow, than from him.
Whose lavish hand, whose love stupendous, pours
Night THE NINTH AND Last.
CONTAINING, AMONG OTHER THINGS,
I. A Moral Survey of the Nocturnal Heavens. Makes serious thought man's wisdom, joy, and praise. II. A Night Address to the Deity. Nor need you blush (though sometimes your designs
HUMBLY INSCRIBED TO May shun the light) at your designs on Heaven: HIS GRACE THE DUKE OF NEWCASTLE, ONE OF his Sole point! where over-bashful is your blame.
MAJESTY'S PRINCIPAL SECRETARIES OF STATE. Are you not wise ? - You know you are: yet hear One truth, amid your numerous schemes, mislaid,
- Fatis contraria fata rependens.-Virg.
As when a traveller, a long day past
At night's approach, content with the next cot, What wonder then, if they pronounce you light?
There ruminates, awhile, his labor lost; Is their esteem alone not worth your care?
Then cheers his heart with what his fate affords, Accept my simple scheme, of common sense ;
And chants his sonnet to deceive the time, Thus, save your fame, and make two worlds your
| Till the due season calls him to repose : own.
Thus I, long-travel'd in the ways of men, The world replies not ;-but the world persists ; And dancing, with the rest, the giddy maze, And puts the cause off to the longest day,
Where disappointment smiles at hope's career; Planning evasions for the day of doom.
Warn'd by the languor of life's evening ray, So far, at that re-hearing, from redress,
At length have hous'd me in an humble shed; They then turn witnesses against themselves : Where, future wandering banish'd from my thought, Hear that, Lorenzo! nor be wise to-morrow. And waiting, patient, the sweet hour of rest, Haste, haste! A man, by nature, is in haste; I chase the moments with a serious song. For who shall answer for another hour?
Song soothes our pains; and age has pains to soothe. 'Tis highly prudent, to make one sure friend ; When age, care, crime, and friends embrac'd at And that thou canst not do, this side the skies.
heart, Ye sons of Earth! (nor willing to be more !) Torn from my bleeding breast, and death's dark shade Since verse you think from priestcraft somewhat free, Which hovers o'er me, quench th'ethereal fire ; Thus in an age so gay, the Muse plain truths Canst thou, O Night! indulge one labor more ? (Truths, which, at church, you might have heard in One labor more indulge! then sleep, my strain! prose)
Till, haply, wak'd by Raphael's golden lyre,
Has not the Muse asserted pleasures pure,
Weigh what was urg'd, Lorenzo! fairly weigh; Go nobly proud of martyrdom for truth,
And tell me, hast thou cause to triumph still ?
Lorenzo's smile, than my compassion for him.
And when at worst, they dream themselves quite Prudent, as Prussia, in her zeal for Gaul !
well. “Are all, then, fools?" Lorenzo cries—Yes, all, |To know ourselves diseas'd, is half our cure. But such as hold this doctrine (new to thee;) When nature's blush by custom is wip'd off, “ The mother of true wisdom is the will ;"
And conscience, deadend by repeated strokes, The noblest intellect, a fool without it.
Has into manners naturaliz'd our crimes ; World-wisdom much has done, and more may do,
The curse of curses is, our curse to love :
To triumph in the blackness of our guilt,
But grant no guilt, no shame, no least alloy ; “ Thy wisdom all can do, but—make thee wise." Grant joy and glory quite unsullied shone; Nor think this censure is severe on thee:
Yet, still, it ill deserves Lorenzo's heart.
No joy, no glory, glitters in thy sight,
And that in sorrow buried; this, in shame; All point at Earth, and hiss at human pride,
Of ghastly nature, and enormous size,
Another's dissolution, soon, in flames. Or spread of feeble life a thinner fall.
But, like Cassandra, prophesies in vain; But needless monuments to wake the thought; In vain, to many; not, I trust, to thee. Life's gayest scenes speak man's mortality,
For, know'st thou not, or art thou loth to know, Though in a style more florid, full as plain,
The great decree, the counsel of the skies? As mausoleums, pyramids, and tombs.
Deluge and conflagration, dreadful powers ! What are our noblest ornaments, but deaths
Prime ministers of vengeance! chain'd in caves Turn'd flatterers of life, in paint or marble, Distinct, apart the giant furies roar; The well-stain'd canvas, or the featur'd stone ? A part; or, such their horrid rage for ruin, Our fathers grace, or rather haunt, the scene. In mutual conflict would they rise, and wage Joy peoples her pavilion from the dead.
Eternal war, till one was quite devour'd. « Profest diversions !-cannot these escape ?" But not for this ordain'd their boundless rage; Far from it: these present us with a shroud ; When Heaven's inferior instruments of wrath, And talk of death, like garlands o'er a grave. War, famine, pestilence, are found too weak As some bold plunderers, for buried wealth, To scourge a world for her enormous crimes, We ransack tombs for pastime; from the dust These are let loose, alternate : down they rush, Call up the sleeping hero; bid him tread
Swift and tempestuous, from th' eternal throne, The scene for our amusement: how like gods With irresistible commission arm’d, We sit; and, wrapt in immortality,
The world, in vain corrected, to destroy, She 1 generous tears on wretches born to die; And ease creation of the shocking scene. Their fate deploring, to forget our own!
See'st thou, Lorenzo! what depends on man? What all the pomps and triumphs of our lives, The fale of Nature; as for man, her birth. But legacies in blossom? Our lean soil,
Earth's actors change Earth's transitory scenes, Luxuriant grown, and rank in vanities,
And make creation groan with human guilt. From friends interr'd beneath, a rich manure! How must it groan, in a new deluge whelm'd, Like other worms, we banquet on the dead; But not of waters! at the destin'd hour, Like other worms, shall we crawl on, nor know By the loud trumpet summond to the charge, Our present frailties, or approaching fate?
See, all the formidable sons of fire, Lorenzo! such the glories of the world! Eruptions, earthquakes, comets, lightnings, play What is the world itself? Thy world—a grave. Their various engines; all at once disgorge Where is the dust that has not been alive?
Their blazing magazines; and take, by storm, The spade, the plow, disturb our ancestors;
This poor terrestrial citadel of man. From human mould we reap our daily bread. Amazing period! when each mountain-height The globe around Earth's hollow surface shakes, Out-burns Vesuvius; rocks eternal pour And is the ceiling of her sleeping sons.
Their melted mass, as rivers once they pourd ; O'er devastation we blind revels keep;
Stars rush ; and final ruin fiercely drives Whole buried towns support the dancer's heel. Her plowshare o'er creation while aloft, The moist of human frame the Sun exhales; More than astonishment! if more can be! Winds scatter through the mighty void the dry; Far other firmament than e'er was seen, Earth repossesses part of what she gave,
Than e'er was thought by man! far other stars ! And the freed spirit mounts on wings of fire; Stars animate, that govern these of fire; Each element partakes our scatter'd spoils ; Far other Sun!-A Sun, O how unlike As Nature, wide, our ruins spread : man's death The babe at Bethlem! how unlike the man Inhabits all things, but the thought of man.
That groan'd on Calvary !-Yet he it is; Nor man alone; his breathing bust expires, That Man of Sorrows! O how chang'd! what pomp: His tomb is mortal; empires die: where now In grandeur terrible, all Heaven descends! The Roman? Greek ? they stalk, an empty name! And gods, ambitious, triumph in his train. Yet few regard them in this useful light;
A swift archangel, with his golden wing, Though half our learning is their epitaph.
As blots and clouds, that darken and disgrace When down thy vale, unlock'd by midnight thought, The scene divine, sweeps stars and suns aside. That loves to wander in thy sunless realms, And now, all dross remov'd, Heaven's own pure day O Death! I stretch my view; what visions rise! Full on the confines of our ether, flames. What triumphs! toils imperial! arts divine ! While (dreadful contrast!) far, how far beneath! In wither'd laurels glide before my sight!
Hell, bursting, belches forth her blazing seas, What lengths of far-fam'd ages, billow'd high And storms sulphureous; her voracious jaws With human agitation, roll along
Expanding wide, and roaring for her prey. In unsubstantial images of air!
Lorenzo! welcome to this scene; the last The melancholy ghosts of dead renown,
In Nature's course; the first in wisdom's thought. Whispering faint echoes of the world's applause, This strikes, if aught can strike thee! this awakes With penitential aspect, as they pass,
The most supine ; this snatches man from death