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He pass'd the Moon and Planets, and did fright
All the Worlds there, which at this Meteor gaz'd,
And their Astrologers amaz'd
With th' unexampled Sight.
But where he stopt will ne'er be known,
Till Phœnix Nature, aged grown,
To'a better Being do aspire,
And mount her self, like him, t' Eternity in Fire.
On Exodus m. 14. I Am That I Am.
An O D E.
By Mr. Prior.
MAN! Fooli/h Man!
Scarce know'st thou how thy self began;
Scarce hast thou Thought enough to prove thou art;
Yet, steel'd with study'd Boldness, thou dar'st try
To fend thy doubting Reason's dazzled Eye
Through the mysterious Gulph of vast Immensity.
Much thou canst there discern, much thence impart.
Vain Wretch! suppress thy knowing Pride j
Mortify thy learned Lust:
Vain are thy Thoughts, while thou thy self art Dust.
Let Wit her Sails, her Oars let Wisdom lend;
The Helm let politick Experience guide:
Yet cease to hope thy stiort-liv'd Bark shall ride
Down spreading Fate's unnavigable Tide.
What, tho' still it farther tend?
Still 'tis farther "from its End $
And in the Bosom of that boundless Sea,
Still finds its Error lengthen with its Way.
\S a III. With
With daring Pride, and insolent Delight,
Your Doubts resolv'd you boast, your Labours crown'd j
And, *ETPHEKA your God, forsootb, is found
Incomprehensible and Infinite.
But is he therefore found? Vain Searcher ! no:
Let your imperfect Definition /how,
That nothing you, the weak Definer, know.
Say, why sliould the collected Main
It self within it self contain?
Why to its Caverns sliou'd it sometimes creep,
A»d with delighted Sjlcnce sleep
On the lov'd Bosom of its Parent Deep?
Why sliou'd it* num'rous Waters flay
In comely Discipline, and fair Array,
"Till Winds and Tides exert their high Command?
Then, prompt and ready to obey,
Why do the rising Surges spread
Their op'ning Ranks o'er Earth's submissive Head,
Marching thro* difif'rent Paths to difF'rent Lands?
Why does the constant Sun
With measur'd Steps his radiant Journeys run?
Why does he order the diurnal Hours,
To leave Earth's other Part, and rise in ours?
Why does be wake the correspondent Moon,
And fill her willing Lamp with liquid Light,
Commanding her with delegated Pow'rs
To beautify the World, and bless the Night?
Why does each animated Star
Love the just Limits of its proper Sphere?
Why does each consenting Sign
With prudent Harmony combine
In turns to move, and subsequent appear,
To gird the Globe, and regulate the Year?
M 'n does with dang'rous Curiosity
These unsathom'a Wonders try:
With fansy'd Rules and arbitrary Laws Matter and Motion he restrains j And study'd Lines and fictious Circles draws: Then, with imagin'd Sovereignty, Lord of his new Hypothesis he reigns. He reigns: How long? till some Usurper rise; And he too, mighty thoughtful, mighty wise, Studies new Lines, and -other Circles feigns. From this last Toil again what Knowledge flows? Just as much, perhaps, as /hows That all his Predecessor's Rules Were empty Cant, all Jargon of the Schools 5 That he on t'other's Ruin rears his Throne } And /hows his Friend's Mistake, and thence confirms his own.
On Earth, in Air, amidst the Seas and Skies, "..<\ Mountainous Heaps of Wonders rise j /k '„ ■'. Whose tow'ring Strength will ne'er submit *v""^/^T To Reason's Batteries, or the Mines of Wit: Mkis^ Tet still enquiring, still mistaking Man, Each Hour repuls'd, each Hour dares onward press And levelling at GOD, his wandring Guess, (That feeble Engine of his reasoning War, Which guides his Doubts, and combats his Despair) Laws to his Maker the learn'd Wretch can give: Can bound that Nature, and prescribe that Will, Whose pregnant Word did either Ocean fill} Can tell us whence all Beings are, and how they move, and Thro' either Ocean, fooli/h Man! (live. That pregnant Word sent forth again. Might to a World extend each Atom there j For every Drop call forth a Sea, a Heav'n for every Star.
Let cunning Earth her fruitful Wonders hide;
And only lift thy staggering Reason up
To trembling C A L v A R Y S astonifli'd Top;
Then mock thy Knowledge, and confound thy Pride,
Explaining how Perfection suffer'd Pain,
Almighty langui/h'd, and Eternal dy'd:
How by her Patient Victor Death was slain j
And Earth prophan'd, yet blesi'd with Dekide.
Then down with all thy boasted Volumes, down 5
Only reserve the Sacred One j
Low, reverently low,
Make thy stubborn Knowledge bow 5
Weep out thy Reason's and thy Body's Eyes j
Deject thy self, that Thou may'st rise 3
To look to Heav'n, be blind to all below.
Then Faith, for Reason's glimmering Light, shall give
Her immortal Perspective}
And Grace's Presence Nature's Loss retrieve:
Then thy enliven'd Soul shall see,
That all the Volumes of Philosophy,
With all their Comments, never cou'd invent
So politick an Instrument,
To reach the Heav'n of Hcav'ns, the high Abode,
Where Moses places his mysterious God,
As was that Ladder which old Jacob rear'd,
When Light Divine had human Darkness clear'd ■
And his enlarg'd Ideas found the Road,
Which Faith had dictated, and Angels trod.
•ft************************ * A*
A 'Paraphrase on the xinth Chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians.
By the same.
DID sweeter Sounds adorn my flowing Tongue
Than ever Man pronoune'd, or Angel fung j
Had I all Knowledge, human and divine,
That Thought can reach, or Science can define j
And had I Pow'r to give that Knowledge Birth,
In all the Speeches of the babbling Earth:
Did Shadracb's Zeal my glowing Breast inspire,
To weary Tortures, ar.d rejoice in Fire 5
Or had I Faith like that which Israel saw,
When Moses gave them Miracles and Law t
Yet, gracious Charity, indulgent Guest,
Were not thy Pow'r exerted in my Breast:
Those Speeches would fend up unheeded PrayV,
Tha t Scorn of Life would be but wild Despair:
A Timbal's Sound were better than my Voice j
My Faith were Form, my Eloquence were Noise.
Charity, decent, modest, easy, kind,
Softens the high, and rears the abject Mind •
Knows with just Reins and gentle hand to guide,
Betwixt vile Shame and arbitrary Pride.
Not soon provok'd, /he easily forgives j
And much /he suffers, as /he much believes.
Soft Peace /he brings wherever /he arrives:
She builds our Quiet, as /he forms our Lives j
Lays the rough Paths of peevi/h Nature even j
And opens in each Heart a little Heaven.
Each other Gift, which God on Man bestows,
Its proper Bounds and due Reflection knows j
To one fixt Purpose dedicates its Pow'r j
And fini/hing its Act, exists no more.
Thus, in Obedience to what Heav'n decrees,
Knowledge /hall fail, and Prophecy /hall cease:
But lasting Charity's more ample Sway,
Nor bound by Time, nor subject to Decay,
In happy Triumph /hall for ever live,
And endless Good diffuse, and endless Praise receive.
As thro' the Artist's intervening Glass,
Our Eye observes the distant Planets pass j
A little we discover, but allow, /
That more remains unseen than Art can /how:
So whilst our Mind its Knowledge wou'd improve,
(Its feeble Eye, intent on Things above)
High as we may, we lift our Reason up,
By Faith directed, and consirm'd by H o p s:
Yet are we able only to survey
Dawnings of Beams, and Promises of Day.
Heav'n's fuller Effluence mocks our dazzl'd Sight,
Too great its Swiftness, and too strong its Light.
But soon the mediate Clouds shall be difpell'd:
The Sun /hall soon be Face to Face beheld,
In all his Robes, with all his Glory on,
Seated sublime on his meridian Throne.