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YOUNG—A. D. 1681–1765.
ON THE BEING OF A GOD.
Retire;—the world shut out; thy thoughts call Imagination's airy wing repress;– [home:— Lock up thy senses;–let no passion stir;— Wake all to reason:—let her reign alone; Then, in thy soul's deep silence, and the depth Of nature's silence, midnight, thus inquire, As I have done; and shall inquire no more. In nature's channel thus the questions run. “What am I? and from whence?—I nothing But that I am; and, since I am, conclude [know, Something eternal: had there e'er been nought, Nought still had been: eternal there must be.— But what eternal?—Why not human race? And Adam's ancestors without an end ?— That's hard to be conceiv'd; since every link Of that long-chain'd succession is so frail; Can every part depend, and not the whole? Yet grant it true; new difficulties rise; I'm still quite out at sea: nor see the shore. Whence earth, and these bright orbs?—Eternal too? Grant matter was eternal; still these orbs Would want some other father;-much design Is seen in all their motions, all their makes; Design implies intelligence, and art; That can't be from themselves—or man: that art Man scarce can comprehend, could man bestow And nothing greater yet allow'd than man— Who, motion, foreign to the smallest grain, Shot through vast masses of enormous weight? Who bid brute matter's restive lump assume Such various forms, and gave it wings to fly? Has matter innate motion then each atom, Asserting its indisputable right To dance, would form an universe of dust: }Has matter none? Then whence these glorious forms And boundless flights, from shapeless, and repos'd? Has matter more than motion? has it thought, Judgment, and genius is it deeply learn'd In mathematics? Has it fram'd such laws, Which but to guess a Newton made immortal?— : If so, how each sage atom laughs at me, ‘Who think a clod inferior to a man! If art to form; and counsel to conduct; And that with greater far, than human skill; Resides not in each block;—a Godhead reigns.— Grant then invisible eternal, mind; That granted, all is solv’d—But, granting that, Draw I not o'er me a still darker cloud: Grant I not that which I can ne'er conceive? A being without origin, or end l— Hail, human liberty l There is no God– Yet, why? on either scheme that knot subsists;
Subsist it must, in God, or human race:
Be wise to-day; 'tis madness to defer;
Wisdom, in sable garb array'd,
ELEGF WRITTEN IN A country church-YARD.
The curfew tolls the knell of parting day, *lowing herds wind slowly o'er theiea,
The plowman homeward plods his weary way, And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,
Save that, from yonder ivy-mantled tower. The moping owl does to the moon complain Of such as, wandering near her secret bower, Molest her ancient solitary reign.
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew tree's shade.
The breezy call of incense-breathing morm,
For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
"Let not ambition mock their useful toil, Their homely joys, and destiny obscure; Nor grandeur hear with a disdainful smile The short and simple annals of the poor;
The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,
Can storied urn or animated bust
Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
But knowledge to their eyes her ample page,
•Full many a gem of purest ray serene
Thee the voice, the dance, obey, Temper'd to thy warbled lay. O'er Idalia's velvet-green The rosy-crowned loves are seen, On Cytherea's day, With antic sports, and blue-ey'd pleasures, Frisking light in frolic measures; Now pursuing, now retreating, Now in circling troops they meet: To brisk notes in cadence beating, Glance their many-twinkling feet. Slow meltingstrains their queen's approach declare: Where'er she turns, the graces homage pay. With arms sublime, that float upon the air, In gliding state she wins her easy way: O'er her warm cheek, and rising bosom, move The bloom of young desire, and purple light of love.
Man's feeble race what ills await, Labour, and penury, the racks of pain, Disease, and sorrow's weeping train, And death, sad refuge from the storms of fate! The fond complaint, my song, disprove, And justify the laws of Jove. Say, has he given in vain the heavenly Muse? Night, and all her sickly dews, Her spectres wan, and birds of boding cry, He gives to range the dreary sky; Till down the eastern cliffs afar Hyperion's march they spy, and glittering shafts of
In climes beyond the solar road, Where shaggy forms o'er ice-built mountains roam, The Muse has broke the twilight-gloom, To cheer the shivering native's dull abode. And oft, beneath the odorous shade Of Chili's boundless forests laid, She deigns to hear the savage youth repeat, In loose numbers wildly sweet, Their feather-cinctur'd chiefs, and dusky loves. Her track, where'er the goddess roves, Glory pursues, and generous shame, Th'unconquerable mind, and freedom's holy flame.
Woods, that wave o'er Delphi's steep, Isles, that crown th’ AF;ean deep, Fields, that cool Ilissus laves, Or where Maeander's amber waves In lingering labyrinths creep, How do your tuneful echoes languish Mute, but to the voice of anguish : Where each old poetic mountain Inspiration breath'd around; Every shade and hallow'd fountain Murmur'd deep a solemn sound: Till the sad Nine, in Greece's evil hour, Left their Parnassus for the Latian plains. Alike they scorn the pomp of tyrant power, And coward vice that revels in her chains. When Latium had her lofty spirit lost, They sought, oh Albion; next thy sea-encircled