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Of herbs and flow'rs; or what the beams of morn
Draw forth, diftilling from the clifted rind
In balmy tears. But fome, to higher hopes
Were deftin'd; fome within a finer mould
She wrought, and temper'd with a purer flame.
To thefe the Sire Omnipotent unfolds

The world's harmonious volume, there to read
The tranfcript of himself. On every part
They trace the bright impreffions of his hand :
In earth, or air, the meadow's purple ftores,
The moon's mild radiance, or the virgin's form
Blooming with rofy fmiles, they fee pourtray'd
That uncreated beauty, which delights
The Mind fupreme. They alfo feel her charms,
Enamour'd; they partake th' eternal joy.

AKENSIDE,

CHA P. XXX.

GREATNESS.

SA

AY, why was man fo eminently rais'd
Amid the vaft creation; why ordain'd
Thro' life and death to dart his piercing eye,
With thoughts beyond the limit of his frame;
But that th' Omnipotent might fend him forth
In fight of mortal and immortal pow'rs,
As on a boundless theatre, to run

The great career of justice; to exalt
His gen'rous aim to all diviner deeds; "
To chafe each partial purpose from his breaft ;
And thro' the mifts of paffion and of sense,
And thro' the toffing tide of chance and pain,

T.

To hold his course unfault'ring, while the voice
Of truth and virtue, up the fteep afcent

Of nature, calls him to his high reward,

Th' applauding fmile of Heav'n: Elfe wherefore burns
In mortal bofoms this unquenched hope,
That breathes from day to day fublimer things,
And mocks poffeffion? Wherefore darts the mind,
With fuch refiftless ardour to embrace

Majestic forms; impatient to be free,
Spurning the grofs controul of wilful might ;
Proud of the ftrong contention of her toils;
Proud to be daring? Who but rather turns
To Heav'n's broad fire his unconstrained view,
Than to the glimmering of a waxen flame?
Who that, from Alpine heights, his lab'ring eye
Shoots round the wild horizon, to furvey

-Nilus or Ganges rolling his bright wave

Thro' mountains, plains, thro' empires black with fhade,

And continents of fand! will turn his gaze

To mark the windings of a scanty rill
That murmurs at his feet? The high-born foul
Difdains to reft her heav'n-afpiring wing
Beneath its native quarry. Tir'd of earth
And this diurnal scene, fhe springs aloft
Thro' fields of air; pursues the flying ftorm;
Rides on the volley'd lightning thro' the heav'ns ;
Or yok'd with whirlwinds and the northern blaft,
Sweeps the long tract of day. Then high fhe foars
The blue profound, and hovering round the fun
Beholds him pouring the redundant ftream
Of light; beholds his unrelenting sway
Bend the reluctant planets to absolve
Y 2

The

The fated rounds of time. Thence far effus'd
She darts her fwiftness up the long career
Of devious comets; thro' its burning signs
Exulting measures the perennial wheel
Of nature, and looks back on all the stars,
Whose blended light, as with a milky zone,
Invests the orient. Now amaz'd the views
Th' empyreal wafte, where happy fpirits hold,
Beyond this concave heav'n, their calm abode;
And fields of radiance, whofe unfading light
Has travell'd the profound fix thousand years,
Nor yet arrives in fight of mortal things.
Ev'n on the barriers of the world untir'd
She meditates th' eternal depth below;
Till, half recoiling, down the headlong fteep
She plunges; foon o'erwhelm'd and swallow'd up
In that immenfe of being. There her hopes
Reft at the fated goal. For from the birth
Cf mortal man, the fovereign Maker faid,
That not in humble nor in brief delight,
Not in the fading echoes of renown,
Pow'r's purple robes, nor pleafure's flow'ry lap,
The foul fhould find enjoyment: but from thefe
Turning difdainful to an equal good,
Thro' all th' afcent of things enlarge her view,
Till every bound at length fhould difappear,
And infinite perfection clofe the fcene.

AKENSIDE.

CHA P.

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NOVELTY.

CA

ALL now to mind what high capacious pow'rs
Lie folded up in man; how far beyond
The praise of mortals, may th' eternal growth
Of nature to perfection half divine,

Expand the blooming foul. What pity then
Should floth's unkindly fogs deprefs to earth
Her tender bloffom; choak the streams of life,
And blaft her fpring! Far otherwife defign'd
Almighty wifdom; nature's happy cares
Th' obedient heart far otherwife incline.
Witness the fprightly joy when ought unknown
Strikes the quick fenfe, and wakes each active pow'r
To brifker measures: witness the neglect

Of all familiar profpects, tho' beheld

With tranfport once; the fond attentive gaze
Of young aftonishment; the fober zeal

Of age, commenting on prodigious things.
For fuch the bounteous providence of Heav'n,
In every breast implanting this, defire

Of objects new and ftrange, to urge us on
With unremitted labour to pursue

Thofe facred ftores that wait the ripening foul,
In truth's exhaustless bofom. What need words
To paint its pow'r? For this, the daring youth
Breaks from his weeping mother's anxious arms,
In foreign climes to rove; the penfive fage,
Heedlefs of fleep, or midnight's harmful damp,
Hangs o'er the fickly taper; and untir'd

Y 3

The

The virgin follows, with inchanted step,
The mazes of fome wife and wond'rous tale,
From morn to eve; unmindful of her form,
Unmindful of the happy dress that stole
The wishes of the youth, when every maid
With envy pin'd. Hence finally by night
The village-matron, round the blazing hearth,
Sufpends the infant-audience with her tales,
Breathing aftonishment! of witching rhimes,
And evil fpirits; of the death-bed call
Of him who robb'd the widow, and devour'd
The orphan's portion; of unquiet fouls
Ris'n from the grave to ease the heavy guilt

3

Of deeds in life conceal'd; of shapes that walk
At dead of night, and clank their chains, and wave
The torch of hell around the murd'rer's bed.
At every folemn paufe the croud recoil
Gazing each other fpeechlefs, and congeal'd
With fhiv'ring fighs: till eager for th' event,
Around the beldame all erect they hang,
Each trembling heart with grateful terrors quell'd.

AKENSIDE

BOOK

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