NON usitatum Carminis alitem,
BURNETTE! poscis; non humiles Modos:
Vulgare Plectrum, languidaeque
Respuis officium Camoenae.
[Page 4]
Tu mixta rerûm Semina, conscius,
Molemque cernis dissociabilem;
Terramque concretam, & latentem
Oceanum Gremiô capaci!
Dùm, Veritatem quaerere pertinax,
Ignota pandis; Sollicitus parúm,
Utcùnque stet commune Vulgi
Arbitrium & popularis Error.
Auditur ingens continuò Fragor,
Illapsa Tellus lubrica deserit
Fundamina, & Compage fractâ
Suppositas gravis urget Undas.
Impulsus erumpit medius Liquor,
Terras Aquarum effusa Licentia
Claudit vicissim; Has inter, Orbis
Reliquiae fluitant prioris.
[Page 5]
Nunc &, reclusô Carcere, lucidam
Balaena spectat Solis imaginem;
Stellasque miratur natantes,
Et tremulae simulacra Lunae.
Quae Pompa vocûm non imitabilis!
Qualis calescit Spiritus ingenî!
Ut tollis Undas! Ut frementem
Diluvii reprimis Tumultum!
Quis tàm valenti Pectore ferreus,
Ut non Tremiscens & timidô Pede
Incedat; Orbis dum dolosi
Detegis instabiles Ruinas?
Quin haec cadentûm Fragmina montium
Natura, Vultum sumere simplicem,
Coget refingens; in priorem
Mox iterùm reditura Formam.
[Page 6]
Nimbis rubentem sulphureis Jovem
Cernas! Ut udis saevit atrox Hyems
Incendiis, commune Mundo
Et Populis meditata Bustum!
Nudus liquentes plorat Athos Nives,
Et mox liquescens Ipse adamantinum
Fundit Cacumen; dùm per imas
Saxa fluunt resoluta Valles.
Jàmque alta Coeli Moenia corruunt:
Et vestra tandèm Pagina (proh Nefas!)
BURNETTE, Vestra augebit Ignes;
Heu! sociô peritura Mundô.
Mox aequa Tellus, mox subitus Viror
Ubique rident: En teretem Globum!
En laeta vernantis Favonî
Flamina, perpetuosque Flores!
[Page 7]
O Pectus ingens! O Animum gravem,
Mundi capacem! Si bonus Auguror;
Te, nostra quô Tellus superbit!
Accipiet renovata Civem.


1 NO usual Flight of Verse,
2 BURNET! no soft-strung Lyre,
3 No slack Neap-tide of Wit,
4 Thy high Demands require:
5 Thy Physiologic-Ken,
6 With Justice, may refuse
7 The insufficient Homage,
8 Of my Demi-Muse.
[Page 10]
9 Thy curious Eye discerns
10 Seeds justling Seeds for Room,
11 The Mud-built Shell, and Seas
12 Within its spacious Womb.
13 In gen'rous Search of Truth, Thou feel'st
14 No mean-soul'd Terror;
15 Scornful of Doctoral-Device,
16 Or Vulgar-Error.
17 But, Hark! the crumbling Crust,
18 Ill-propp'd, cracks loud asunder:
19 Mark next! Earth's headlong Plunge,
20 Amidst the Fluids under.
21 Imprison'd Waves, disturb'd,
22 Start from their midland Bed;
23 And, with impetuous Rage,
24 O'er their Oppressor spread.
[Page 11]
25 Huge Fragments, shapeless Lumps,
26 Immanely float around;
27 Vast, hideous, Shatters
28 Of primigenial Ground!
29 The now free-wallowing Whale,
30 With all the finny Race;
31 Stare at the Sun, astonish'd
32 By his golden Face:
33 The silver Moon and Stars
34 Then gild the Watry-way,
35 And on its curling Surface
36 Tremulously play.
37 How strong thy Words! What must we
38 Thy Large-Genius call?
39 No Copy can come Up,
40 To thy Original.
[Page 12]
41 Whence was the first Discov'ry,
42 Of thy Nostrum, made?
43 To bar again such Flood-gates,
44 When once Open laid!
45 What Fears, what Jealousies,
46 Distract the thoughtful Head?
47 Since taught by Thee! our Feet
48 On faithless Ruins tread.
49 But still! this Rubbish, rescu'd
50 From Diluvian-Fate;
51 Kind Providence restores,
52 To it's primeval State.
53 Lo! the Grand-Architect,
54 In secondary Ire;
55 With alter'd Scheme refines
56 A Globe relaps'd, by Fire.
[Page 13]
57 From His consuming Torch;
58 This just Vindictive brings,
59 Inclusively, one Fun'ral-Pile
60 To Men and Things.
61 The lofty'st Alp, at first,
62 Griev'd for it's dripping Ice;
63 Gutt'ring, at last, It-Self
64 A molten Quarry lies.
65 And Now pour ratling-down,
66 In furious Career!
67 The sympathizing Rampiers
68 Of the Atmosphere:
69 Thunder, and Lightning, Lambents,
70 Hail, Wind, Rain, and Snow;
71 With all th' aspiring Train,
72 Of Meteors from below.
[Page 14]
73 Into the common Blaze,
74 Then will thy TOMES be hurl'd;
75 Impossible to fail,
76 Till jointly with the World!
77 Here shifts the Scene; Now cease
78 All sublunary Toils;
79 On a re-level'd Orb,
80 A sudden Verdure smiles!
81 A constant Equinox maintains
82 Perpetual Spring,
83 And virtuous Minds Ideas
84 Of Contentment sing.
85 The Architect well-pleas'd,
86 While West-winds balm the Air,
87 Desists; and lastly says: Behold!
88 The Work is Fair.
[Page 15]
89 What now, Immense Cosmographer!
90 To Thee is due?
91 Distanc'd I stop; But, if
92 My Prophecy be true:
93 There Paradise-regain'd,
94 Unknowing Care or Want;
95 Shall, like our Earth, be proud
96 Of Thee it's Habitant.
97 And may'st Thou there in pure Devotions join,
98 With glorious GEORGE, and beauteous CAROLINE!
99 WHO, far as the Materials will bear,
100 Labour to constitute an EDEN here;
101 By steadily bestowing their Commands,
102 On best-computing Heads, and best-performing Hands.


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About this text

Author: Joseph Addison; Anonymous (translator)
Themes: science
Genres: dedication; address

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Source edition

Mr. Addison's fine ode to Dr. Thomas Burnet, on his sacred theory of the earth: Done into English by the author of a late tale call'd Coffee. Ad insignissimum virum, D. Thomam Burnettum. English. London: printed for T. Warner, 1727, pp. []-15. [4],15,[1]p. ; 4⁰. (ESTC T143099; Foxon M288; OTA K111808.000)

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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.