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Nor grievous is the task : for still we find
Man's happiness is with his duty join’d,
And for rebellion only, wretchedness assign'd.
Nor are thy laws perplext, (as some have taught,
With vanity possess’d, and void of thought,)
But plain and easy.
Thou, all-wise and good,
Could'st ne'er command what can't be understood :
Like some mad tyrant, of his power proud,
Who joys to punish, and delights in blood.
Much diff'rent are the maxims of thy reign :
Not one, of all thy creatures, can complain :
Almighty tho' thou art, thy pow'r is shown
By infinite beneficence alone,
And mercy sits, triumphant on thy throne.
From ev'ry coast there lies a road to Heaven,
And thou to all a faithful guide hast giv'n,
A safe director pointing out the way,
Whom, while they follow, none can ever stray.
Hail, sacred REASON! glorious! and divine !
Bulwark eternal of religion's shrine!
Truth’s firmest friend! but superstition's foe!
To whom our whole of happiness we owe!
What thou command'st, O! let me still obey ;
And joyous follow, where thou lead'st the way!
Sprung from the earth, a creature proud and vain,
Man struts his time, then sinks to earth again.
Though all around ten thousand wonders rise,
Still pleasure casts a mist before his eyes ;
Now cares of wealth his groveling soul employ,
Now wild ambition is his darling joy,
While God's amazing works unheeded pass,
Like images that fleet before a glass.
Unwise! and thoughtless! impotent! and blind!
Can wealth, or grandeur, satisfy the mind ?
Of all those pleasures mortals most admire,
Is there one joy, sincere, that will not tire?
Can love itself endure? or beauty's charms
Afford that bliss we fancy in its arms ?
Do thou, my soul, more glorious aims pursue:
Be these thy study: hence thy pleasures bring :
And drink large draughts of wisdom from its spring:
That spring, whence perfect joy, and calm repose,
And blest content, and peace eternal flows.
Observe how regular the Planets run,
In stated times, their courses round the Sun,
Diff'rent their bulk, their distance, their career,
And diff'rent much the compass of their
Yet, all, the same eternal laws obey,
While God's unerring finger points their way.
First MERCURY, amidst full tides of light,
Rolls next the Sun, through his small circle bright.
All that dwell there, must be refin'd and pure:
Bodies like our's such ardor can't endure:
Qur earth would blaze beneath so fierce a ray,
And all its marble mountains melt away.*
Whether the heat of planetary bodies be in proportion to the quantity of solar light, which they receive, is uncertain. It is by no means unphilosophical to suppose that, by some peculiarities in their atmospheres, MERCURY's heat ałd GEORGIAN's cold may both be moderate : hy respectively possessing more or less of calorific matter. See note p. 2.
The planet Mercury is about thirty-seven millions of miles distant from the sun; round which it revolves in eighty-seven days, twentythree hours, and fifteen minutes; being at the rate of ninety-five thousand miles an hour. His diameter is three thousand, two hundred and twenty-two miles.- Its bulk only one-fifteenth as large as the earth.
Fair Venus, next, fulfils her larger round,
With softer beams, and milder glory crown'd.
Friend to mankind, she glitters from a-far,
Now the bright ev’ning, now the morning star.*
More distant still, our Earth comes rolling on,
And forms a wider circle round the sun :
With her the Moon, companion ever dear!
Her course attending through the shining year. t
See Mars, I alone, runs his appointed race,
And measures out, exact, the destin'd space :
* The mean distance of Venus from the sun is sixty-eight mil. lions of miles ;-her diameter is seven thousand, six hundred and eighty-seven miles, or more ;-her annual revolution is performed in two hundred and twenty-four days, sixteen hours, and forty-nine minutes ; -her diurnal rotation on her axis takes twenty-three hours and twenty-two minutes ; being at the rate of about seven thousand and six hundred miles in an hour ;-her hulk is four-fifths of that of the earth. + See note p. 5.
C. # Mars is distant from the sun about one hundred and forty-four millions of miles;-round which he travels in one year, three hundred and twenty-one days, seventeen hours, and forty-one minutes ;-his