"By toys entangled, or in guilt bemired, / [Ambition] turns a curse; it is our chain and scourge / In this dark dungeon, where confined we lie, / Close-grated by the sordid bars of sense; / All prospect of eternity shut out; / And, but for execution, ne'er set free."
— Young, Edward (bap. 1683, d. 1765)
Thy strength in man, like length of wing in birds,
When disengaged from earth, with greater ease
And swifter flight, transports us to the skies:
By toys entangled, or in guilt bemired,
It turns a curse; it is our chain and scourge
In this dark dungeon, where confined we lie,
Close-grated by the sordid bars of sense;
All prospect of eternity shut out;
And, but for execution, ne'er set free.
(ll. 399-408, p. 159 in CUP edition)
Edward Young, Night the Sixth. The Infidel Reclaim'd. In Two Parts. Containing, The Nature, Proof, and Importance of Immortality. Part the First. Where, among other things, Glory, and Riches, are particularly consider'd. Humbly Inscrib'd to the Right Honourable Henry Pelham, First Lord Commissioner of the Treasury, and Chancellor of the Exchequer. (London: R. Dodsley, 1744). <Link to ECCO>
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).