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Or do they (as your schemes, I think, have shown)
Dart furtive beams and glory not their own,
All servants to that source of light, the Sun?

“ Again I see ten thousand thousand stars,
Nor cast in lines, in circles, nor in squares,
(Poor rules, with which our bounded mind is fill'd,
When we would plant, or cultivate, or build,)
But shining with such vast, such various light,
As speaks the hand, that form’d them, infinite.
How mean the order and perfection sought,
In the best product of the human thought,
Compar'd to the great harmony that reigns
In what the Spirit of the world ordains !

“ Now if the Sun to Earth transmits his ray, Yet does not scorch us with too fierce a day! How small a portion of his power is given To orbs more distant, and remoter Heaven? And of those stars, which our imperfect eye Has doom'd and fix'd to one eternal sky, Each, by a native stock of honour great, May dart strong influence, and diffuse kind heat, (Itself a sun) and with transmissive light Enliven worlds deny'd to human sight. Around the circles of their ambient skies New moons may grow or wane, may set or rise, And other stars may to those suns be earths, Give their own elements their proper births, Divide their climes, or elevate their pole, See their lands flourish, and their oceans roll: Yet these great orbs, thus radically bright, Primitive founts, and origins of light,

May each to other (as their different sphere
Makes or their distance or their light appear)
Be seen a nobler or inferior star,
And, in that space which we call air and sky,
Myriads of earths, and moons, and suns, may lie,
Unmeasur'd and unknown by human eye.

“ In vain we measure this amazing sphere,
And find and fix its centre here or there;
Whilst its circumference, scorning to be brought
Ev'n into fancy'd space, illudes our vanquish'd

thought. “ Where then are all the radiant monsters driven, With which your guesses fill’d the frighten'd

Where will their fictious images remain ?
In paper-schemes, and the Chaldean's brain.

“ This problem yet, this offspring of a guess,
Let us for once a child of truth confess,
That these fair stars, these objects of delight
And terrour to our searching dazzled sight,
Are worlds immense, unnumber'd, infinite.
But do these worlds display their beams, or guide
Their orbs, to serve thy use, to please thy pride ?
Thyself but dust, thy stature but a span,
A moment thy duration, foolish man!
As well may the minutest emmet say,
That Caucasus was rais'd to pave his way ;
The snail, that Lebanon's extended wood
Was destin'd only for his walk and food;
The vilest cockle, gaping on the coast
That rounds the ample seas, as well may boast,

The craggy rock projects above the sky
That he in safety at its foot may lie ;
And the whole ocean's confluent waters swell, (shell.
Only to quench his thirst, or move and blanch his

“ A higher flight the venturous goddess tries,
Leaving material worlds and local skies;
Inquires what are the beings, where the space,
That form'd and held the angels' ancient race.
For rebel Lucifer with Michael fought,
(I offer only what tradition taught)
Embattled cherub against cherub rose,
Did shield to shield, and power to power oppose ;
Heaven rung with triumph, Hell was fill’d with


What were these forms of which your volumes tell,
How some fought great, and others recreant fell ?
These bound to bear an everlasting load,
Durance of chain, and banishment of God;
By fatal turns their wretched strength to tire,
To swim in sulphurous lakes, or land on solid fire :
While those, exalted to primeval light,
Excess of blessing, and supreme delight,
Only perceive some little pause of joys
In those great moments when their God employs
Their ministry, to pour his threaten'd hate
On the proud king, or the rebellious state;
Or to reverse Jehovah's high command,
And speak the thunder falling from his hand,
When to his duty the proud king returns,
And the rebellious state in ashes mourns;
How can good angels be in Heaven confin'd,
Or view that presence, which no space can bind ?

Is God above, beneath, or yon, or here?
He who made all, is he not every where ?
Oh, how can wicked angels find a night
So dark, to hide them from piercing light,
Which form’d the eye, and gave the power of sight?

“ What mean I now of angel, when I hear
Firm body, spirit pure, or fluid air?
Spirits to action spiritual confin'd,
Friends to our thought, and kindred to our mind,
Should only act and prompt us from within,
Nor by external eye be ever seen.
Was it not, therefore, to our fathers known,
That these had appetite, and limb, and bone ?
Else how could Abraham wash their weary'd feet ?
Or Sarah please their taste with savoury meat ?
Whence should they fear? or why did Lot engage
To save their bodies from abusive rage ?
And how could Jacob, in a real fight,
Feel 'or resist the wrestling angel's might?
How could a form in strength with matter try?
Or how a spirit touch a mortal's thigh?

“ Now are they air condens’d, or gather'd rays?
How guide they then our prayer, or keep our ways,
By stronger blasts still subject to be tost,
By tempests scatter'd, and in whirlwinds lost?

“ Have they again (as sacred song proclaims)
Substances real, and existing frames?
How comes it, since with them we jointly share
The great effect of one Creator's care,
That, whilst our bodies sicken and decay,
Theirs are for ever healthy, young, and gay?
Why, whilst we struggle in this vale beneath
With want and sorrow, with disease and death,

Do they, more bless'd, perpetual life employ
On songs of pleasure, and in scenes of joy ?

“ Now when my mind has all this world survey'd,
And found, that nothing by itself was made ;
When thought has rais'd itself, by just degrees,
From vallies crown'd with flowers, and hills with

trees; From smoaking mineral, and from rising streams; From fattening Nilus, or victorious Thames; From all the living, that four-footed move Along the shore, the meadow, or the grove; From all that can with fins or feathers fly Through the aërial or the watery sky; From the poor reptile with a reasoning soul, That miserable master of the whole; From this great object of the body's eye, This fair half-round, this ample azure sky, Terribly large, and wonderfully bright, With stars unnumber'd, and unmeasur'd light; From essences unseen, celestial names, Enlightening spirits, and ministerial flames, Angels, dominions, potentates, and thrones, All that in each degree the name of creature owns : Lift we our reason to that sovereign Cause, Who blest the whole with life, and bounded it with


Who forth from nothing call'd this comely frame,
His will and act, his word and work the same;
To whom a thousand years are but a day;
Who bade the Light her genial beams display,
And set the Moon, and taught the Sun its way ;
Who, waking Time, his creature, from the source
Primeval, order'd his predestin'd course;

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