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The Poems of Jonathan Swift, D.D., Volume 1 By Jonathan Swift Characters: 1245

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:03


But where is even thy Image on our earth?

For of the person much I fear,

Since Heaven will claim its residence, as well as birth,

And God himself has said, He shall not find it here.

For this inferior world is but Heaven's dusky shade,

By dark reverted rays from its reflection made;

Whence the weak shapes wild and imperfect pass,

Like sunbeams shot at too far distance from a glass;

Which all the mimic forms express,

Though in strange uncouth postures, and uncomely dress;

So when Cartesian artists try

To solve appearances of sight

In its reception to the eye,

And catch the livi

ng landscape through a scanty light,

The figures all inverted show,

And colours of a faded hue;

Here a pale shape with upward footstep treads,

And men seem walking on their heads;

There whole herds suspended lie,

Ready to tumble down into the sky;

Such are the ways ill-guided mortals go

To judge of things above by things below.

Disjointing shapes as in the fairy land of dreams,

Or images that sink in streams;

No wonder, then, we talk amiss

Of truth, and what, or where it is;

Say, Muse, for thou, if any, know'st,

Since the bright essence fled, where haunts the reverend ghost?

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