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How a machine must be difpos'd to think,
Ideas how to frame, and how to link?
Tell us, Lucretius, Epicurus, tell,
in wit unrival fhall excel,
How through the outward fenfe the object flies,
How in the foul her images arife;
What thinking, what perception is, explain;
What all the airy creatures of the brain;
How to the mind a thought reflect
And how the conscious engine knows it knows.
The mind a thousand skilful works can frame,
Can form deep projects to procure her aim.
Merchants for eaftern pearl and golden ore
To cross the main, and reach the Indian fhore,
Prepare the floating fhip, and spread the fail,
To catch the impulfe of the breathing gale.
Warriors in framing schemes their wisdom show,
To difappoint or circumvent the foe.
Th' ambitious ftatefman labours dark defigns,
Now open force employs, now undermines;
By paths direct his end he now purfues,
By fide approaches now, and flanting views.
See, how refistless orators perfuade,
Draw out their forces, and the heart invade;
Touch every fpring and movement of the foul,
This appetite excite, and that control;
Their powerful voice can flying troops arrest,
Confirm the weak, and melt th' obdurate breast;
Chace from the fad their melancholy air,
Sooth discontent, and folace anxious care.
When threatening tides of rage
and anger rife,
Ufurp the throne, and reason's sway despise,
When in the feats of life this tempeft reigns,
Beats through the heart, and drives along the veins;
See, eloquence with force perfuafive binds
The restless waves, and charms the warring winds,
Refiftless bids tumultuous uproar cease,
Recalls the calm, and gives the bofom peace.
Did not the mind, on heavenly joy intent,
The various kinds of harmony invent ?
She the theorbo, the the viol found,
And all the moving melody of found?
She gave to breathing tubes a power unknown,
To fpeak infpir'd with accents not their own;
Taught tuneful fons of mufic how to fing,
How, by vibrations of th' extended string,
And manag'd impulfe on the fuffering air,
T'extort the rapture, and delight the ear.
See, how celeftial reafon does command
The ready pencil in the painter's hand;
Whofe ftrokes affect with nature's felf to vie,
And with falfe life amufe the doubtful eye :
Behold the ftrong emotions of the mind
Exerted in the eyes, and in the face defign'd.
Such is the artift's wondrous power, that we
Ev'n pictur'd fouls and colour'd paffions fee,
Where without words (peculiar eloquence)
The bufy figures fpeak their various fenfe.
What living face does more diftrefs or woe,
More finish'd fhame, confufion, horror, know,
Than what the mafters of the pencil fhew?
Mean time the chizel with the pencil vies; The fifter arts difpute the doubtful prize. Are human limbs, ev'n in their vital state, More just and strong, more free and delicate, Than Buonorota's curious tools create? He to the rock can vital instincts give, Which thus transform'd can rage, rejoice, or grieve: His skilful hand does marble veins infpire Now with the lover's, now the hero's fire ;
So well th' imagin'd actors play their part,
The filent hypocrites fuch power exert,
That paffions, which they feel not, they beflow,
Affright us with their fear, and melt us with their woe.
There Niobe leans weeping on her arm:
How her fad looks and beauteous forrow charm!
See, here a Venus foft in Parian stone;
A Pallas there to ancient fables known;
That from the rock arofe, not from the main,
This not from Jove's, but from the fculptor's brain.
Admire the carver's fertile energy,
With ravish'd eyes his happy offspring fee.
What beauteous figures by th' unrival'd art
Of British Gibbons from the cedar ftart!
He makes that tree unnative charms affume,
Ufurp gay honours, and another's bloom;
The various fruits, which different climates bear,
And all the pride the fields and gardens wear;
While from unjuicy limbs without a root
New buds devis'd, and leafy branches, fhoot.
As human kind can by an act direct,
Perceive and know, then reafon and reflect:
So the Self-moving Spring has power to chufe,
Thefe methods to reject, and thofe to use ;
She can defign and profecute an end,
Exert her vigour, or her act fufpend;
Free from the infults of all foreign power,
She does her godlike liberty fecure;
Her right and high prerogative maintains,
Impatient of the yoke, and fcorns coercive chains;
She can her airy train of forms difband,
And makes new levees at her own command;
O'er her ideas fovereign fhe prefides,
At pleasure thefe unites, and thofe divides.
The ready phantoms at her nod advance,
And form the bufy intellectual dance;
While her fair scenes to vary, or supply,
She fingles out fit images, that lie
In memory's records, which faithful hold
Objects immenfe in fecret marks inroll'd;
The fleeping forms at her command awake,
And now return, and now their cells forfake,
On active Fancy's crowded theatre,
As the directs, they rife or difappear.
Objects, which through the fenfes make their way, And juft impreffions to the foul convey, Give her occafion firft herfelf to move, And to exert her hatred, or her love; Ideas, which to fome impulfive feem, Act not upon the mind, but that on them. When the to foreign objects audience gives, Their ftrokes and motions in the brain perceives,
As thefe perceptions, we ideas name,
From her own power and active nature came,
So when difcern'd by intellectual light,
Herfelf her various paffions does excite,
To ill her hate, to good her appetite;
To fhun the first, the latter to procure,
She chufes means by free elective power;
She can their various habitudes furvey,
Debate their fitnefs, and their merit weigh,
And, while the means fuggefted the compares,
She to the rivals this or that prefers.
By her fuperior power the reafoning foul
Can each reluctant appetite control;
Can every paffion rule, and every fense,
Change Nature's courfe, and with her laws difpenfe;
Our breathing to prevent, fhe can arrest
Th' extenfion, or contraction, of the breast;
When pain'd with hunger, we can food refuse,
And wholefome abftinence, or famine chufe.
Can the wild beaft his inftinct difobey,
And from his jaws releafe the captive prey?
Or hungry herds on verdant pastures lie,
Mindless to eat, and refolute to die?
With heat expiring, can the panting hart
Patient of thirst from the cool ftream depart?
Can brutes at will imprison'd breath detain ?
Torment prefer to ease, and life disdain ?
From all restraint. from all compulfion free,
Unforc'd, and unneceffitated, we
Ourselves determine, and our freedom prove,
When this we fly, and to that object move.