"Each act, each thought, he questions, "What its weight, / Its colour what, a thousand ages hence?" / And what it there appears, he deems it now. / Hence, pure are the recesses of his soul; / The god-like man has nothing to conceal."
— Young, Edward (bap. 1683, d. 1765)
So far from aught romantic what I sing.
Bliss has no being, Virtue has no strength,
But from the prospect of immortal life.
Who think earth all, or (what weighs just the same)
Who care no farther, must prize what it yields;
Fond of its fancies, proud of its parades.
Who thinks earth nothing, can't its charms admire;
He can't a foe, though most malignant, hate,
Because that hate would prove his greater foe.
'Tis hard for them (yet who so loudly boast
Good-will to men?) to love their dearest friend;
For may not he invade their good supreme,
Where the least jealousy turns love to gall?
All shines to them, that for a season shines.
Each act, each thought, he questions, "What its weight,
Its colour what, a thousand ages hence?"
And what it there appears, he deems it now.
Hence, pure are the recesses of his soul;
The god-like man has nothing to conceal.
His virtue, constitutionally deep,
Has Habit's firmness, and Affection's flame;
Angels, allied, descend to feed the fire;
And Death, which others slays, makes him a god.
(pp. 179-80, ll. 1186-1209)
Edward Young, The Complaint. Or, Night Thoughts on Life, Death, and Immortality. Night the Eighth. Virtue's Apology: Or, The Man of the World Answer'd. (London: Printed for G. Hawkins, 1745).
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).