Henry Baker Poems >>
A POEM. Intended to restrain the Pride of Man.
Thy Works, Eternal Power by whom she sings!
The Muse attempts, and tunes the sounding Strings:
To Heav'n and Thee her Adoration raise,
And form the Song devoted to thy Praise!
Around thy Throne, the Creatures of thy Hand
Spirits immortal, rang'd in Order stand,
Attend thy Nod, fulfil thine high Command:--
And what is Man, who dares dispute thy Sway?
A crawling Worm! an Insect of a Day!
Vain Wretch! toward Heav'n direct thy wond'ring Eyes:
Behold the Sun, array'd with Glory, rise.
Night and her gloomy Train before him fly:
His Race begins: He blazes through the Sky.
Oceans of Light he pours upon the Plains,
And forth to Labour calls the jovial Swains.
All Nature smiles, rejoycing in his Beams:
The Fish skim, sportive, o'er the gilded Streams:
The feather'd Kinds their Morning Anthem sing,
And soar aloft, exulting on the Wing:
Their tow'ring Tops the waving Forests shew,
The Meadows glitter, spangl'd o'er with Dew:
The op'ning Flowers their various Dyes display,
Perfume the Skies, and welcome in the Day.
Again; observe him in his Noon--tide Hour:
Learn thy own Weakness, and his mighty Pow'r.
When all the Cattle panting leave the Plain,
And seek the shades, canst thou his Heat sustain?
Does he not make thy very Marrow fry?
Canst Thou behold him with a stedfast Eye?
Why dost thou turn and hide Thee from his Sight?
Is he, indeed, unsufferably bright?
Think then, how glorious must that Pow'r be
Whose Hand has form'd ten thousand such as he!
See, to the West, he downward bends his Way,
Looks kindly back, and gives a milder Ray:
The Clouds around him, beauteous to behold,
Blush with Carnation Streaks, and flame with Gold.
Home from the Fields the hungry Swains repair:
The whist'ling Shepherd folds his bleating Care:
The Birds, in Couples, seek the gloomy Groves,
And droop their Heads, forgetful of their Loves:
The Bat in wanton Circles flutters round:
The sparkling Glow--worm glitters on the Ground:
Night draws her sable Curtains o'er the Plain,
And Silence re--assumes her awful Reign,
Sleep over all expands her silky Wings,
Care finds Repose, recruited Vigour springs.
Now Eastward turn: lo, thence serenely bright,
The full--orb'd Moon diffuses Silver Light;
In solemn State begins her silent Round:
The lengthen'd Shadows tremble on the Ground:
From the cool Skies the balmy Dew distills:
The Meads rejoyce: the waving Harvest fills,
Onward she leads along her sparkling Train,
In order marshall'd, o'er the azure Plain:
On Earth, benign, bestows her borrow'd Ray,
Dispels the Gloom and emulates the Day.
The Nightingale from every Thicket sings,
And tow'rd some Grot the Owl directs her flagging Wings.
Observe, obedient to their Maker's Pow'r,
Both Sun and Moon know their appointed Hour:
Where he commands their glorious Light dispence,
And as he wills exert their Influence.
Along the Skies the Sun obliquely rolls,
Forsakes, by turns, and visits both the Poles.
Diff'rent his Track, but constant his Career,
Divides the Times, and measures out the Year.
To Climes returns where freezing Winter reigns,
Unbinds the Glebe, and fructifies the Plains.
The crackling Ice dissolves: the Rivers flow:
Vines crown the Mountain Tops, and Corn the Vales below.
When he appoints, the horned Moon renews
Her waining Light, and her whole Visage shews:
Fulfils her Course in Circles yet unknown,
And cheers Mankind with Lustre not her own.--
Pale Terror flies before her friendly Ray,
The Traveller, benighted, finds his Way:
Her destin'd Rule o'er Ocean she presides,
And pours upon the Shores the lagging Tides.
Come forth, O Man, yon azure Round survey,
And view those Lamps which yield eternal Day.
Bring forth thy Glasses: clear thy wond'ring Eyes:
Millions beyond the former Millions rise:
Look farther:--Millions more blaze from remoter Skies.
And canst thou think, poor Worm! these Orbs of Light,
In Size, immense, in Number, infinite,
Were made for Thee alone to twinkle to thy Sight?
Presumptuous Mortal! can thy Nerves descry
How far from each they roll, from Thee how high?
With all thy boasted Knowledge canst thou see
Their various Beauty, Order, Harmony?
If not, -- then sure they were not made for Thee.
What is this Earth, of which thou art so proud?
Lost and unknown, in the more glorious Crowd,
A Point it scarce appears. -- E'er it begun
The rest their Courses have, --
And shall, when it's no more, for endless Ages run.
Correct thy awkard Pride, be wise; and know
Those glitt'ring Specks Thou scarce discern'st below,
Are founts of Day, stupendious Orbs of Light,
Thus, by their Distance, lessen'd to thy Sight.
Now, if Thou canst the mighty Thought sustain,
If it not akes thy Soul, and racks thy Brain,
Conceive each Star Thou seest another Sun,
In Bulk, and Form, and Substance like thine own.
Here pause, and wonder! -- then reflect again.
Almighty Wisdom nothing makes in vain:
The smallest Fly, the meanest Weed we find,
In its Creation had some Use assign'd,
Essential to its Being, still the same,
Co--eval, co--existent with its Frame.
And can those everlasting Founts of Light,
Bodies immensely vast! divinely bright!
Serve for no End at all? --or, but to blaze
Through empty Space, and useless spend their Rays?
Consult with Reason. Reason will reply,
Each lucid Point which glows in yonder Sky,
Informs a System in the boundless Space,
And fills, with Glory, its appointed Place:
With Beams, unborrow'd, brightens other Skies,
And Worlds, to Thee unknown, with Heat and Life supplies.
Heed well this Orb, where Fate has fix'd thy Lot:
Seest Thou one useless or one empty Spot?
Observe, the Air, the Waters, and the Earth,
Each Moment give ten thousand Creatures birth.
Here, ev'ry Place, so far from lying waste,
With Life is crouded, and with Beauty grac'd:
Nor can those other Worlds, unknown by Thee,
Less stor'd with Creatures, or with Beauty, be.
For God is uniform in all his Ways,
And every where his boundless Pow'r displays:
His Goodness fills immensurable Space,
Restrain'd by Time, nor limited to Place:
His Wisdom form'd great Nature's mighty Frame,
And rules by Laws eternally the same.
Where's now thy Pride, which, lately dar'd to say,
The Stars were only made to light thy Way,
And all the Universe thy Pleasure to obey?
What impious Madness urg'd Thee on to call
Thy self the sole and sov'reign Lord of all?
If such Thou art, let some plain Proof be shown,
And make thine Empire o'er thy Vassals known.
Bid the Sun shine: command the Winds to cease:
Make the Rains fall: or chide the Seas to peace.
What! are these deaf? --once more exert thy Sway:
Try which of all thy Subjects will obey:
Enjoin the Tyger to refrain from Blood,
Or bid the Crocodile provide thy Food.
These know their King, perhaps, and will comply.--
Hail, mighty Lord!--what! does the Monarch fly?
Unhappy Prince! whose impotent Command,
The meanest of thy Vassals dares withstand,
And wrest the Sceptre from thy feeble Hand.
Being of Beings! Self--existing One!
Eternal First! supreme! before thy Throne
O bend my Soul with Adoration down!
Whilst, all amaz'd, thy Wonders I survey,
Grant me to learn thy Will, and what thou will'st obey!--
Nor grievous is the Task: for still we find
Man's Happiness is with his Duty join'd,
And for Rebellion only Wretchedness assign'd.
Nor are thy Laws perplext, (as some have taught,
With Vanity possess'd, and void of Thought,)
But plain and easy. Thou, all--wise and good,
Could'st ne'er command what can't be understood:
Like some mad Tyrant, of his Power proud,
Who joys to punish, and delights in Blood.--
Much diff'rent are the Maxims of thy Reign:
Not one, of all thy Creatures, can complain:
Almighty tho' Thou art, thy Pow'r is shown
By infinite Beneficence alone,
And Mercy sits, triumphant, on thy Throne.
From ev'ry Coast there lies a Road to Heaven,
And thou to All a faithful Guide hast giv'n,
A safe Director to point out the Way,
Whom, while they follow, none can ever stray.
Hail, sacred Reason! glorious! and divine!
Bulwark eternal of Religion's Shrine!
Truth's firmest Friend! but Superstition's Foe!
To whom our whole of Happiness we owe!
What thou command'st, O! let me still obey:
And joyous follow, where thou lead'st the Way!
Sprung from the Earth, a Creature proud and vain,
Man struts his Time, then sinks to Earth again.
Though all around ten thousand Wonders rise,
Or Pleasure casts a Mist before his Eyes,
Or Cares of Wealth his groveling Soul employ,
Or wild Ambition is his darling Joy,
While God's amazing Works unheeded pass,
Like Images that fleet before a Glass.
Unwise! and thoughtless! impotent! and blind!
Can Wealth, or Grandeur, satisfy the Mind?
Of all those Pleasures Mortals most admire,
Is there one Joy sincere, that will not tire?
Can Love it self endure? or Beauty's Charms
Afford that Bliss we fancy in its Arms?--
Then, let thy Soul, more glorious Aims pursue:
Have thy Creator and his Works in view:
Be these thy Study: hence thy Pleasures bring:
And drink large Draughts of Wisdom from it's Spring:
That Spring, whence perfect Joy, and calm Repose,
And blest Content, and Peace eternal flows.
Observe how regular the Planets run,
In stated Times, their Courses round the Sun.
Diff'rent their Bulk, their Distance, their Career,
And diff'rent much the Compass of their Year:
Yet, All, the same eternal Laws obey,
While God's unerring Finger points their Way.
First Mercury, amidst full tides of Light,
Rolls next the Sun, through his small Circle bright.
All that dwell here, must be refin'd and pure:
Bodies like ours such Ardour can't endure:
Our Earth would blaze beneath so fierce a Ray,
And all its Marble Mountains melt away.
Fair Venus, next, fulfils her larger Round,
With softer Beams, and milder Glory crown'd.
Friend to Mankind, she glitters from a--far,
Now the bright Ev'ning, now the Morning Star.
More distant still, our Earth comes rolling on,
And forms a wider Circle round the Sun:
With her the Moon, Companion ever dear!
Her course attending through the shining Year.
See, Mars, alone, runs his appointed Race,
And measures out, exact, the destin'd Space:
Nor nearer does he wind, nor farther stray,
But finds the Point whence first he roll'd away.
More yet remote from Day's all--cheering Source,
Vast Jupiter performs his constant Course:
Four friendly Moons, with borrow'd Lustre, rise,
Bestow their Beams, benign, and light his Skies.
Farthest and last, scarce warm'd by Phoebus' Ray,
Through his vast Orbit Saturn wheels away.
How great the Change, could we be wafted there!
How slow the Seasons! and how long the Year!
One Moon, on Us, reflects its cheerful Light:
There, five Attendants, brighten up the Night.
Here, the blue Firmament bedeck'd with Stars,
There, over--head, a lucid Arch appears.
From hence, how large, how strong the Sun's bright Ball!
But seen from thence, how languid and how small!--
When the keen North with all its Fury blows,
Congeals the Floods, and forms the fleecy Snows,
'Tis Heat intense to what can there be known:
Warmer our Poles than is its burning Zone.
Who, there inhabit, must have other Pow'rs,
Juices, and Veins, and Sense, and Life than Ours.
One Moment's Cold, like their's, would pierce the Bone,
Freeze the Heart--Blood, and turn Us all to Stone.
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.
Wond'rous 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;
He reigns supreme, and he directs it all.
At his Command, affrighting Human--kind,
Comets drag on their blazing Lengths behind:
Nor, as We think, do they at random rove,
But, in determin'd Times, though long Ellipses move.
And tho' sometimes they near approach the Sun,
Sometimes beyond our System'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,
And if he but with--holds his Hand, they die.
'Tis he within due Bounds the Floods restrains:
He swells the Brooks which murmur o'er the Plains,
And from the Mountains pours the seasonable Rains.
He gives the Word: the blust'ring 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,
And Oceans Oceans drive from Pole to Pole.
But at his Nod the roaring Tempests cease,
And all the warring Elements have Peace:
Ocean, submissive, smooths her furrow'd Face,
And each subsiding Wave finds its appointed Place.
By him the Seasons change, the Vapours rise,
The Dews descend, and Thunders rend the Skies:
He bids the Lightning give the fatal Stroke,
Burn up the Fields, or rive the knobbed Oak.
With feather'd Snows he whitens all the Plains,
And sends the Frosts to bind the Floods in Chains.
By him the Groves renew their fallen Leaves:
By him the joyful Hind binds up the Golden Sheaves.
'Tis He with juicy Clusters loads the Vine,
And gives the Press to over--flow with Wine.
From him the Flow'rs receive their beauteous Dyes,
From him with various Odours fill the Skies:
He with vermilion Blushes paints the Rose,
He the Carnation's Elegance bestows,
Its glittering White to him the Lilly owes.
'Twas he first ting'd the Violet with Blue,
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,
Proud Sons of Earth! and lift them to the Skies.
In colder Climes, their stately Heads as high,
Fierce Winter Storms the stubborn Oaks defy;
With Loads of Acorns over--spread the Ground,
And see their Offspring rising wide around.
Behold their leafy Tops, how fair they show!
Know'st thou the Laws whereby their Juices flow
Upward 'gainst Nature's Course? What Pipes convey
Those gen'rous Streams which make them fresh and gay?
Does this seem strange?--much stranger yet remains.
Nothing brings forth but what itself contains:
'Tis Nature's constant Law that ev'ry Thing
From Parents like itself, in order, spring:
She no spontaneous Production knows,
But Life, in regular Progressions, flows.
Each Seed includes a Plant: that Plant, again,
Has other Seeds which other Plants contain:
Those other Plants have all their Seeds, and Those
More Plants again, successively, inclose.
Thus, ev'ry single Berry that we find,
Has, really, in itself whole Forests of its Kind.
Empire and Wealth one Acorn may dispense,
By Fleets to sail a thousand Ages hence.
Each Myrtle Seed includes a thousand Groves,
Where future Bards may warble forth their Loves.
Thus Adam's Loins contain'd his large Posterity,
All People that have been, and all that e'er shall be.
Amazing Thought! what Mortal can conceive
Such wond'rous Smallness?--Yet, we must believe
What Reason tells: for Reason's piercing Eye
Discerns those Truths our Senses can't descry.
From Things inanimate withdraw thine Eyes,
For, wide around Thee, living Wonders rise:
The various Kinds which cut the briny Main,
The Forests range, or grase upon the Plain,
The feather'd Tribes which fly from Land to Land,
And Insects, num'rous as the Grains of Sand.
All these declare from whence their Being came,
Their Maker's Goodness and his Pow'r proclaim,
And call Thee forth, with them, to praise his Name.
For every Creature does his Bounty share,
Though Man pretends that He has all his Care.
God gives the Strength whereby the Lion reigns,
And drives the Torrent boiling through his Veins.
When with his Roar the Desart echoes round,
And trembling Beasts affrighted hear the Sound,
He gives the Voice: -- his raging Thirst supplies,
And with sufficient Food his Hunger satisfies.
As Light'ning swift, and panting for the Course,
With Iron Sinews he has arm'd the Horse:
Hark! from a--far the Trumpet's sprightly sound!
His restless Hoofs, impatient, spurn the Ground:
He snorts: he foams: Fire flashes from his Eyes,
And from his Nostrils curling Volumes rise.
Furious, he grasps the Distance in his Mind,
Bounds cross the Plains, and leaves the Winds behind:
Headlong o'er all he drives, devoid of Fear,
Mocks at the brandish'd Sword, and scorns the lengthen'd Spear.
He gives the tow'ring Eagle Wings to rise,
High o'er the Clouds, to pure etherial Skies.
Aloft, on craggy Cliffs, she builds her Nest,
Secure from Foes, with endless Quiet blest.
Unheard the Surges break upon the Shores,
And all below, unheard, the raging Tempest roars.
Hence, wide around, her piercing Eyes survey,
And far beneath mark out the destin'd Prey:
The red--hot Bolt which splits the sturdy Oak,
Scarce flies more swift, or gives a surer Stroke.
Her Young are feasted with the reeking Food,
And early learn to gorge themselves with Blood:
Their Nostrils snuff the Battle from a--far,
And they still bend their Flight to where the slaughter'd are.
'Tis he bestows, delightful to behold,
The Peacock's Plumes, out--shining beaten Gold.
Lo! on the Ground with Scorn He seems to tread,
The various Glory waving o'er his Head.
Ambitious to be seen, with stately Pace,
He stalks, exulting, on the highest Place.
Proudly he spreads his Plumes against the Sun,
Disdaining by its Beams to be outdone:
Green, azure, gold, his dazling Train displays,
Each Star emits a glitt'ring Stream of Rays,
And all flame forth around with one refulgent Blaze.
Observe the Crocodile's amazing Length,
His Form affrighting, and his mighty Strength.
With Scales of Brass encompass'd all around,
From him the rattling Javelins rebound,
Broken their Points, but guiltless of a Wound.
Like op'ning Gates his threat'ning Jaws divide,
With Rows of Teeth like Spears on either Side.
In Ambush on the River's Bank he lies,
Thirsting for Blood: around he rolls his Eyes,
With Hunger pain'd: -- What can his Fury stay?
Dreadful he rouses up, and rushes on the Prey.
While yet an Egg, and cover'd o'er with Sand,
His Parents left him, helpless on the Strand,
What Pow'r, but God's alone, could give him Birth,
And raise the Monster crawling from the Earth?
The Whale to Him owes that enormous Size,
Which makes the Seas in foaming Mountains rise.
Urg'd on by him the Billows brave the Shore,
And from his Jaws ejected Rivers pour.
With his wide Tail he drives the Ocean round,
Whilst hollow Rocks reverberate the Sound.
High o'er the Floods in State he proudly rides,
And with his Bulk beats back the flowing Tides:
Not him the roaring Hurricane affrights;
He in the Tempest plays, and in the Storm delights.
Whate'er we find around, may justly raise
Our Admiration, and command our Praise:
Perfection and surprizing Beauty shine,
And light our Reason to an Hand divine:
Their mighty Maker's over--ruling Care,
Wisdom, and Power, his Creatures all declare,
Or great, or small they be, in Water, Earth, or Air.
See, to the Sun the Butterfly displays
It's glitt'ring Wings, and wantons in his Rays:
In Life exulting, o'er the Meadows flies,
Sips from each Flow'r, and breathes the vernal Skies.
Its splendid Plumes, in graceful Order, show
The various Glories of the painted Bow.
Where Love directs, a Libertine, it roves,
And courts the Fair Ones through the verdant Groves.
How Glorious now! how chang'd since Yesterday!
When on the Ground, a crawling Worm it lay,
Where ev'ry Foot might tread its Soul away.--
Who rais'd it thence? and bid it range the Skies?
Gave its rich Plumage, and its brilliant Dyes?
'Twas God: -- It's God and thine, O Man, and He
In this thy Fellow--Creature let's Thee see,
The wond'rous Change which is ordain'd for Thee
Thou too shalt leave thy reptile Form behind,
And mount the Skies, a pure etherial Mind,
There range among the Stars, all bright and unconfin'd.
From him alone the Spider learns to spread
Her pendant Snare, and twist the slender Thread.
Careful, she travels, 'till some Place she finds
Safe from the Rains, and shelter'd from the Winds:
There, with just Skill, her future Work designs:
Revolves the Plan: and draws the destin'd Lines.
Each Part she labours with repeated Pain,
And often walks the Circle of her Reign:
Compact yet fine the curious Network weaves,
And forms her dark Retreat behind the Leaves.
On Prey intent, in Ambuscade she lies,
Till, 'tangl'd in her Snare, she rushes on the Prize.
The lab'ring Bee, by him instructed, knows
Where op'ning Flow'rs their balmy Sweets disclose.
The rising Sun her daily Task renews:
Wide, o'er the Plains, she sips the pearly Dews.
From Mead to Mead she wanders through the Skies,
And yellow Thyme distends her loaded Thighs.
Each rifl'd Flower rewards her painful Toil,
And her full Hive receives the golden Spoil:
On flagging Wings each Load she thither bears,
And while the Summer smiles, for Winter's Want prepares.
Nor does the Ant with less sagacious Care
Improve the bounteous Seasons of the Year.
Of Want afraid, for what the Harvest yields,
Thoughtful, she ranges through the distant Fields.
No Toil she spares, but labours o'er the Plain,
And sweats beneath the Burden of a Grain.
Though much she has, she searches still for more,
And ev'ry Day adds something to her Store;
With wholesome Food her Granaries abound,
Nor, unprepar'd, is she by freezing Winter found.
How oft, O Man, by foolish Pride betray'd,
Madly hast thou presum'd, and vainly said,
All living Things for Thee alone were made:
Their only End thy Pleasure to supply,
To live thy Slaves, or for thy Humour die?
Whence springs this Claim? When was this Licence giv'n?
What Act ordains Thee Substitute of Heav'n?
Does Pow'r confer a Right to take away
That Being God bestows?--
So, had they Speech, perhaps would Tygers say.
But thou, with Reason, might'st, methinks, conclude,
That Heav'n, which is not only Great but Good,
Has nobler Views in its extensive Thought,
Than just to serve thy Table and thy Sport.
Alas! what's Man, thus insolent and vain?--
One single Link of Nature's mighty Chain.
Each hated Toad, each crawling Worm we see,
Is needfull to the Whole no less than He.--
Like some grand Building is the Universe,
Where ev'ry Part is useful in its Place;
As well the Pins, which All together hold,
As the rich Carvings, or the glowing Gold.
Why did'st Thou murder yonder harmless Fly?--
Because 'tis Good for Nothing, dost Thou cry.
The same of Thee, tho' now so vain and gay,
As justly might superior Beings say:
And yet Thou liv'st,--to form this impious Thought,
And set thy Maker's Handy--work at nought.
With Wonder view thy little World around;
How Life, in various Forms, does ev'ry where abound!
Earth, Water, Air, with living Creatures stor'd,
Myriads of Myriads, numberless, afford:
The rising Hill, the long extended Plain,
The crystal Flood, the briny raging Main,
The flow'ry Mead, the corn--producing Field,
The Forest wide, the frightful Desart wild,
The over--hanging Rock, the Cavern deep,
The sandy Beach, the lofty Mountain steep,
Swarm with Inhabitants.--In ev'ry Clime,
In ev'ry Season, and at ev'ry Time,
Each op'ning Flow'r, and ev'ry rising Grain,
The Life of Thousands does with Food sustain.
Calmly consider wherefore gracious Heav'n,
To all these Creatures has Existence giv'n.
Eternal Goodness certainly design'd,
That ev'ry one, according to its kind,
Should Happiness enjoy:--for God, all--just,
Could ne'er intend his Creature to be curs'd.
When Life he gave, he meant that Life should be
A State productive of Felicity.
And, though, to kill there may be some Pretence,
When raging Hunger bids, or Self--Defence:
No Cause beside can justify the Deed,
'Tis Murder if not urg'd by real Need.
If the same Pow'r did ev'ry Being give,
If All for Happiness did Life receive,
Then ev'ry Thing has equal Right to live.
And how dares Man, who's but himself a Breath,
Destroy through Wantonness, and sport with Death!
Extend thy narrow Sight: consult with Art:
And gladly use what Helps it can impart:
Each better Glass will larger Fields display,
And give Thee Scenes of Life, unthought of, to survey.
Assisted thus, what Beauty may'st thou find,
In thousand Species of the Insect Kind!
Lost to the naked Eye, so wond'rous small,
Were Millions join'd, one Sand would over--top them all.
Yet Each, within this little Bulk, contains
An Heart which drives the Torrent through its Veins:
Muscles to move its Limbs aright: a Brain,
And Nerves, dispos'd for Pleasure, and for Pain:
Eyes to distinguish; Sense, whereby to know,
What's good, or bad, is, or is not, its Foe.
They too are pain'd with Love:--address the Fair,
And with their Rivals wage destructive War.
As in the larger World, some live on Prey,
Delight in Blood, and solitary stray:
Others together herd, by Nature tame,
Nor Life destroy to feed their vital Flame.
Each Kind, by Reason guided, finds its Food,
Brings forth its Young, and guards the Infant Brood:
In short Excursions shews them how to rise,
To poise their Wings, and float along the Skies:
Before them lays the Dangers of the Plain,
And warns them of the Winds and of the Rain:
With Care paternal teaches them to know
To save themselves, and to offend the Foe.
Here too, their wise Creator has assign'd
A different Length of Life to every Kind:
These, breathe a longer, Those, a shorter Space:
Some very soon have run their destin'd Race;
Life, as it were, in Miniature display,
Are born, grow old, and die within a Day.
And yet their Time as long to them appears,
As Ours to Us, who number threescore Years.
These too their Vermin have: and Those, again,
A smaller Round of Life begin.--
O! whither would unbounded Fancy run? --
Along a pleasant Road it urges on,
Nor brooks the Rein.--
No more, my Soul! thy vain Attempt forbear,
Silent revolve what Thou canst not declare:
Amaz'd, the Wonders of thy God behold,
And meditate his Mercies manifold.
O! happy Time, when shaking off this Clay,
The human Soul at liberty shall stray
Through all the Works of Nature! shall descry
Those Objects which evade the mortal Eye!
No Distance, then, shall stretch beyond its Flight,
No Smallness 'scape its penetrating Sight;
But, in their real Essence, shall be shown
Worlds unexplor'd, Creations yet unknown.
More Poetry from Henry Baker:
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Based on Topics: Love Poems, Man Poems, God Poems, Life Poems, World Poems, Night Poems, Light Poems, Mind Poems, Sadness Poems, Time Poems, Death & Dying Poems
Based on Keywords: successively, presum, blust, seasonable, excursions, full-orb, unbinds, crouded, carvings, smallness, fellow-creature