"If not all-adamant, Lorenzo! hear: / All is delusion; Nature is wrapp'd up, / In tenfold night, from Reason's keenest eye; / There's no consistence, meaning, plan, or end / In all beneath the sun, in all above, / (As far as man can penetrate,) or heaven / Is an immense, inestimable prize; / Or all is nothing, or that prize is all."
— Young, Edward (bap. 1683, d. 1765)
Angels undrew the curtain of the throne,
And Providence came forth to meet mankind.
In various modes of emphasis and awe,
He spoke His will, and trembling Nature heard:
He spoke it loud, in thunder and in storm.
Witness, thou Sinai! whose cloud-cover'd height,
And shaken basis, own'd the present God :
Witness, ye billows! whose returning tide,
Breaking the chain that fasten'd it in air,
Swept Egypt and her menaces to hell:
Witness, ye flames the Assyrian tyrant blew
To sevenfold rage, as impotent as strong:
And thou, Earth! witness, whose expanding jaws
Closed o'er Presumption's sacrilegious sons:
Has not each element, in turn, subscribed
The soul's high price, and sworn it to the wise?
Has not flame, ocean, ether, earthquake, strove
To strike this truth through adamantine man?
If not all-adamant, Lorenzo! hear:
All is delusion; Nature is wrapp'd up,
In tenfold night, from Reason's keenest eye;
There's no consistence, meaning, plan, or end
In all beneath the sun, in all above,
(As far as man can penetrate,) or heaven
Is an immense, inestimable prize;
Or all is nothing, or that prize is all.--
And shall each toy be still a match for heaven?
And full equivalent for groans below?
Who would not give a trifle to prevent
What he would give a thousand worlds to cure?
(ll. 1102-1132, p. 207 in CUP edition)
Edward Young, Night the Seventh. Being the Second Part of the Infidel Reclaimed. Containing the Nature, Proof, and Importance, of Immortality. (London: Printed for G. Hawkins, 1744).
Text from The Complete Works, Poetry and Prose, of the Rev. Edward Young, LL.D., 2 vols. (London: William Tegg, 1854). <Link to Google Books>
Reading Edward Young, Night Thoughts, ed. Stephen Cornford (New York: Cambridge UP, 1989).