On the Art of Writing

Hail mistick Art! which men like Angels taught,
To speak to Eyes, and paint unbody'd Thought!

Tho' Deaf, and Dumb; blest Skill, reliev'd by Thee
We make one Sense perform the Task of Three.

We see, we hear, we touch the Head and Heart;
And take, or give, what each but yield in part.

With the hard Laws of Distance we dispence,
And without Sound, apart, commune in Sense;
View, tho' confin'd; nay, rule this Earthly Ball,
And travel o'er the wide expanded All.

Dead Letters, thus with Living Notions fraught,
Prove to the Soul the Telescopes of Thought;
To Mortal Life a deathless Witness give;
And bid all Deeds and Titles last, and live.

In scanty Life, Eternity we taste;
View the First Ages, and inform the Last.

Arts, Hist'ry, Laws, we purchase with a Look,
And keep, like Fate, all nature in a Book.

-- Joseph Champion

(early 18th century)