[Page 196]

The ENQUIRY.

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?
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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.
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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:
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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;
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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.

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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): The ENQUIRY.
Author: Mary Leapor
Themes:
Genres: heroic couplet

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Source edition

Poems upon several occasions: By Mrs. Leapor of Brackley in Northamptonshire. London: printed: and sold by J. Roberts, 1748, pp. 196-200. 15,[5],282p. ; 8⁰. (ESTC T127827; Foxon p. 413; OTA K101776.000)

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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.

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