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Strange and amazing must the diff'rence be,
"Twixt this dull planet and bright Mercury :*
Yet reason says, nor can we doubt at all,
Millions of beings dwell on either ball;
With constitutions fitted for that spot,
Where Providence, all-wise, has fix'd their lot.
Wondrous art thou, O God, in all thy ways!? Their eyes to thee let all thy creatures raise ; Adore thy grandeur, and thy goodness praise.
Ye sons of men! with satisfaction know,
God's own right-hand dispenses all below :
Nor good nor evil does by chance befall;
* The note given in page 23, respecting the light and heat of. planetary bodies, will apply here also.
At his 'command, affrighting human-kind,
COMETs* drag on their blazing lengths behind :
* Comets appear but seldom, and their continuance within our view is but of short duration; consequently the observations made on them have been but few and transient. Enough, how, ever, has been observed of them to determine that they are erratic planets belonging to our system, wandering in orbits extremely elliptical; subject to similar laws of nature as the other planets are; and, in the opinion of LAMBERT and others, are habitable worlds.
Of these extraordinary globes there are about five hundred; but as their appearance, in the early ages of astronomy, excited alarm rather than veneration, we have only about one hundred, on which proper observations have been made, from whence their elements could have been computed : A table of which may be seen in IIutton's Philosophical Dictionary.
The last which has appeared to us was in the months of September, October, and November of the present year, 1807.From observations made thereon, the head or nucleus was of a dusky, yellow colour, and apparently of the size of a star of the first or second magnitude.--Its motion in its orbit was at the rate of some hundred thousands of miles in an hours and its coma, or tail, little less than ten millions of miles in length.
C.. Nor, can we think, that they at random rove,
But, in determin'd times, thro’ long ellipses move.
And tho’ sometimes they near approach the Sun,
Sometimes beyond the Georgian's orbit run, Throughout their race they act their maker's will, His pow'r declare, his purposes fulfil.
"Tis he alone sustains this Orb in air :
Its creatures breathe by his paternal care:
His goodness does their daily food supply,
'Tis he within due bounds the flood restrains :
He swells the brook which murmurs through the
[plains, And o'er the mountain pours the seasonable rains.
He gives the word : the blustring winds arise ; On billows, billows mounted, storm the skies.
The foaming surges rage along the shores,
For help, in vain! the mariner implores :
Seas, urg'd by seas, with boundless fury roll,
But at his nod the roaring tempests cease,
And all the warring elements have peace:
By him the seasons change, the vapours rise,
With feather'd snow he whitens all the plains,
And sends the frost to bind the floods in chains.
By him the groves renew their fallen leaves :
"Tis he with juicy clusters loads the vine,
And gives the press to overflow with wine.
He the carnation's elegance bestows;
Its glittering white to him the lilly owes.
And all its glories on the tulip drew.
Behold the Forest Trees, a beauteous scene!
Diff'rent their structure, various is their green :
The graceful pine, the princely cedar rise,
In colder climes, their stately heads as high,