1 IN vain, alas! (do lazy Mortals cry)
2 In vain wou'd Wisdom trace the boundless Sky,
3 Where doubled Wonders upon Wonders rise,
4 And Worlds on Worlds confound our dazzl'd Eyes:
5 Better be still — Let Nature rest, say they,
6 Than err by Guess and with Opinion stray:
7 Then tell me, why our Eyes were made to view
8 Those Orbs that glister in the fluid Blue?[Page 197]
9 Why in our Sight those shining Wonders roll?
10 Or why to Man was giv'n a thinking Soul?
11 May I not ask how moves the radiant Sun?
12 How the bright Stars their pointed Circuits run?
13 What warms those Worlds that so remotely shine?
14 And what can temper Saturn's frozen Clime?
15 Who that beholds the full-orb'd Moon arise,
16 That chearful Empress of the nightly Skies;
17 Who wou'd not ask (cou'd learned Sages tell)
18 What kind of People on her Surface dwell?
19 But there we pause — Not Newton's Art can show
20 A Truth, perhaps, not fit for us to know.
21 How great the Pow'r, who gave those Worlds to roll;
22 The Thought strikes inward, and confounds the Soul;
23 Fall down, O Man — Ah fall before the Rod
24 Of this Almighty, All-creating God:
25 But hark — from Heav'n there came a chearing Sound;
26 Now Man revives, and smile the Worlds around:
27 'Tis Mercy — lo a golden Ray descends,
28 And Hope and Comfort in the Lustre blends.
29 When from the Stars we turn our aking Eyes,
30 To Earth we bend them where new Wonders rise;
31 Where Life and Death the equal Scale suspend,
32 New Beings rising as the former end.
33 Who not surpris'd can trace each just Degree
34 From the swift Eagle to the peevish Bee;
35 From the fierce Lion that will yield to none,
36 To the weak Mouse that hides her from the Sun!
37 How near one Species to the next is join'd,
38 The due Gradations please a thinking Mind;
39 And there are Creatures which no Eye can see,
40 That for a Moment live and breathe like me:
41 Whom a small Fly in bulk as far exceeds,
42 As you tall Cedar does the waving Reeds:
43 These we can reach — and may we not suppose
44 There still are Creatures more minute than those.
45 Wou'd Heav'n permit, and might our Organs bear
46 To pierce where Comets wave their blazing Hair:
47 Where other Suns alternate set and rise,
48 And other Moons light up the chearful Skies:
49 The ravish'd Soul might still her Search pursue,
50 Still find new Wonders op'ning on her view:[Page 199]
51 From thence to Worlds in Miniature descend,
52 And still press forward, but shou'd find no End:
53 Where little Forests on a Leaf appear,
54 And Drops of Dew are mighty Oceans there:
55 These may have Whales that in their Waters play,
56 And wanton out their Age of half a Day:
57 In those small Groves the smaller Birds may sing,
58 And share like us their Winter and their Spring.
59 Pluck off you Acorn from its Parent Bough,
60 Divide that Acorn in the midst — and now
61 In its firm Kernel a fair Oak is seen
62 With spreading Branches of a sprightly Green:
63 From this young Tree a Kernel might we rend,
64 There wou'd another its small Boughs extend.
65 All Matter lives, and shews its Maker's Power;
66 There's not a Seed but what contains a Flower:
67 Tho' unobserv'd its secret Beauty lies,
68 Till we are blest with Microscopick Eyes.
69 When for blue Plumbs our longing Palate calls,
70 Or scarlet Cherries that adorn the Walls;[Page 200]
71 With each plump Fruit we swallow down a Tree,
72 And so destroy whole Groves that else wou'd be
73 As large and perfect as those Shades we see.
74 Behold you Monster that unwieldly laves
75 Beneath the Surface of the briny Waves:
76 Still as he turns, the troubl'd Sea divides;
77 And rolls in Eddies from his slimy Sides.
78 Less huge the Dolphin to the Sun displays
79 His Scales, and in the smoother Ocean plays:
80 Still less the Herring and round Mackrel sweep
81 The shallow Tide, nor trust the roaring Deep:
82 How far by gradual numberless Degrees,
83 The senseless Oyster is remov'd from these.
84 Who follows Nature through her mazy Way,
85 From the mute Insect to the Fount of Day,
86 (Where now she rises, now her Steps decline)
87 Has need of Judgment better taught than mine:
88 But on this Subject we have talk'd too long,
89 Where grave-fac'd Wisdom may itself be wrong.
About this text
Title (in Source Edition): The ENQUIRY.
Author: Mary Leapor
Genres: heroic couplet
Text view / Document view
The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.
Other works by this author
- ADVICE to MYRTILLO. ()
- The APPARITION. ()
- The BEAUTIES of the SPRING. ()
- CATHARINA's CAVE. ()
- CELADON to MIRA. ()
- The CHARMS of ANTHONY. ()
- COLINETTA. ()
- The CRUCIFIXION and RESURRECTION. An ODE. ()
- The CRUEL PARENT. A DREAM. ()
- DAMON and STREPHON. A Pastoral Complaint. ()
- DAVID'S Complaint, ii Samuel, chap. 1. ()
- The DEATH of ABEL. ()
- DORINDA at her Glass. ()
- An EPISTLE to a LADY. ()
- An EPITAPH. ()
- An EPITAPH. ()
- ESSAY on FRIENDSHIP. ()
- ESSAY on HAPPINESS. ()
- An ESSAY on HOPE. ()
- The FALL of LUCIA. ()
- The FIELDS of MELANCHOLY and CHEARFULNESS. ()
- FLORIMELIA, the First PASTORAL. ()
- FLORIMELIA, the Second PASTORAL. ()
- The FOX and the HEN. A FABLE. ()
- The FRIEND in Disgrace. A DIALOGUE. ()
- The GENIUS in DISGUISE. ()
- The HEAD-ACH. To AURELIA. ()
- An HYMN to the MORNING. ()
- The INSPIR'D QUILL. Occasion'd by a Present of CROW-PENS. ()
- JOB'S CURSE, and his APPEAL. Taken out of Job, Chap. i, and xxxi. ()
- The LIBYAN HUNTER, a FABLE. Inscrib'd to the Memory of a late admir'd Author. ()
- The LINNET and the GOLDFINCH. ()
- MIRA to OCTAVIA. ()
- MIRA's WILL. ()
- The MISTAKEN LOVER. ()
- The MONTH of AUGUST. ()
- The MORAL VISION. ()
- An ODE on MERCY: In Imitation of Part of the 145th Psalm. ()
- On DISCONTENT. To STELLA. ()
- On Mr. POPE's Universal PRAYER. ()
- On SICKNESS. ()
- On the Death of a justly admir'd AUTHOR. ()
- On WINTER. ()
- The PENITENT. Occasion'd by the Author's being asked if she would take Ten Pounds for her Poems. ()
- The POWER of BEAUTY. ()
- A PRAYER for the YEAR, 1745. ()
- The Proclamation of APOLLO. ()
- The PROPOSAL. ()
- PROSERPINE'S RAGOUT. ()
- The QUESTION. Occasion'd by a serious Admonition. ()
- A REQUEST to the DIVINE BEING. ()
- The RIVAL BROTHERS. ()
- The SACRIFICE. An EPISTLE to CELIA. ()
- The SETTING SUN. To SILVIA. ()
- SILVIA and the BEE. ()
- SONG to CLOE, playing on her Spinet. ()
- SOTO. A CHARACTER. ()
- The SOW and the PEACOCK. A FABLE. ()
- STEPHON to CELIA. A modern LOVE-LETTER. ()
- A SUMMER'S WISH. ()
- The TALE of CUSHI. From II. Samuel, Chap. xviii. ()
- The TEMPLE of LOVE. ()
- The TEN-PENNY NAIL. ()
- The Third Chapter of the Wisdom of SOLOMON. From the First to the Sixth Verse. ()
- To a Gentleman with a Manuscript Play. ()
- To ARTEMISIA. Dr. KING's Invitation to BELLVILL: Imitated. ()
- To GRAMMATICUS. ()
- The UNIVERSAL DREAM. ()
- The WAY of the WORLD. ()