« PreviousContinue »
Of social peace; and list’ning Treachery lurks,
With pious fraud to snare a brother's life;
And childless widows o'er the groaning land
Wail numberless; and orphans weep for bread;
Thee to defend, dear Saviour of mankind !
l'hee, Lamb of God! Thee, blameless Prince of Peace!
From all sides rush the thirsty brood of war;
Austria, and that foul woman of the North,
The lustful murd’ress of her wedded lord :
And he, connatural mind! whom (in their songs,
So bards of elder time had haply feigned ;)
Some fury fondled in her hate to man,
Bidding her serpent hair in mazy surge
Lick his young face, and at his mouth imbreathe
Horrible sympathy! and leagued with these
Each petty German princeling, nurs’d in gore!
Soul-harden'd barterers of human blood!
Death's prime slave merchants ! scorpion whips of fate!
Nor least in savagery of holy zeal,
Apt for the yoke, the race degenerate,
Whom Britain erst had blush'd to call her sons !
Thee to defend, the Moloch priest prefers
prayer of hate, and bellows to the herd;
That Deity, accomplice Deity,
In the fierce jealousy of waken'd wrath
forth with our armies and our fleets
To scatter the red ruin on their foes!
O blasphemy! to mingle fiendish deeds
Lord of unsleeping Love,
From everlasting Thou ! we shall not die.
These, even these, in mercy didst thou form,
Teachers of good through evil, by brief wrong
Making truth lovely, and her future might
Magnetic o'er the fix'd untrembling heart.
ADIEU, ye toyish reeds, that once could please
My softer lips, and lull my cares to ease;
Begone: I'll waste no more vain hours with you ;
And smiling Sylvia too adieu,
A brighter power invokes my muse,
And loftier thoughts and rapture does infuse.
See! beck’ning from yon cloud, he stands,
And promises assistance with his hands.
I feel the heavy-rolling God, Incumbent, revel in his frail abode.
How my breast heaves, and pulses beat! I sink, I sink, beneath the furious heat,
The weighty bliss o'erwhelms my breast, And over-flowing joys profusely waste;
Some nobler bard, O sacred Pow'r, inspire, Or soul more large, th' elapses to receive,
And, brighter yet, to catch the fire,
And each gay following charm, from death to save.
-In vain the suit-the God inflames my breast,
I rave, with extasies opprest,
I rise, the mountains lessen and retire,
And now I mix, unsing'd, with elemental fire;
The leading Deity I have in view,
Nor mortal knows as yet, what wonders will ensue
We pass'd through regions of unsullied light!
I gaz’d, and sicken'd, at the blissful sight;
A shudd'ring paleness seiz'd my look,
At last the pest flew off, and thus I spoke :
Say, sacred guide, shall this bright clime
Survive the fatal test of time,
Or perish, with our mortal globe below,
When yon sun no longer sbines ?'
Straight I finish'd-veiling low,
The visionary pow'r rejoins :
« 'Tis not for you to ask, nor mine to say,
The niceties of that tremendous day.
Know, when o'er-jaded Time his round has run,
And finish'd are the radiant journeys of the sun,
The great decisive morn shall rise,
And Heaven's bright Judge appear in opening skies,
Eternal grace and justice He 'll bestow
On all the trembling world below.'
He said; I mus'd, and thus return’d: •What ensigns, courteous stranger, tell,
Shall the brooding day reveal ?' He answer'd mild
• Already, stupid with their crimes, Blind mortals, prostrate to their idols lie! Such were the boding times
Ere ruin blasted from the sluicy sky, Dissolv'd they lay, in fulsome ease,
And revell’d in luxuriant peace ; In bacchanals they did their hours consume, And bacchanals led on their swift, advancing doom.
• Adult'rate Christs already rise,
And dare to 'swage the angry skies; Erratic throngs their Saviour's blood deny ; And from the cross, alas ! He does neglected sigb. The anti-christian power has rais'd his hydra-head, And ruin, only less than Jesus, health, does spread :
So long the gore through poison’d veins has flow'd,
That scarcely ranker is a Fury's blood;
Yet specious artifice, and fair disguise,
The monster's shape, and curst design belies;
A fiend's black venom, in an angel's mien,
He quaffs, and scatters the contagious spleen:
Straight, when he finishes his lawless reign,
Nature shall paint the shining scene,
Quick as the lightning which inspires the train.
• Forward Confusion shall provoke the fray,
And Nature from her ancient order stray;
Black tempests, gath’ring from the seas around,
In horrid ranges shall advance,
And, as they march, in thickest sables drown'd,
The rival thunder from the clouds shall sound,
And lightnings join the fearful dance;
The blust'ring armies o'er the skies shall spread,
And universal terror shed;
Loud issuing peals, and rising sheets of smoke,
Th’ encumber'd region of the air shall choke;
The noisy main shall lave the suff'ring shore,
And from the rocks the breaking billows roar;
Black thunder bursts, blue lightning burns,
And melting worlds to heaps of ashes turns;
The forest shall beneath the tempest bend,
And rugged winds the nodding cedars rend.
Reverse all Nature's web shall run,
And sportless misrule all around,
Order, its flying foe, confound,
Whilst backward all the threads shall haste to be unspun,
Triumphant Chaos with his oblique wand,
(The wand, with which, ere time begun,
His wand'ring slaves he did command,
And made 'em scamper right, and in rude ranges run),
The hostile harmony shall chase,
And as the nymph resigns her place,
And panting to the neighb’ring refuge flies,
The formless ruffian slaughters with his eyes,
And, following, storms the perching dame's retreat,
Adding the terror of his threat;
The globe shall faintly tremble round,
And backward jolt, distorted with the wound.
Swath'd in substantial shrouds of night,
The sick’ning sun shall from the world retire,
Stripp'd of his dazzling robes of fire,
Which dangling once shed round a lavish flood of light;
No frail eclipse, but all essential shade,
Not yielding to primæval gloom,
Whilst day was yet an embryo in the womb, Norglimm’ring in its source, with silver streamers play'd, A jetty mixture of the darkness spread
O’er murmuring Egypt's head;
And that which angels drew
O’er Nature's face, when Jesus dy'd;
Which sleeping ghosts for this mistook,
And, rising, off their hanging funerals shook, [view,
And fleeting pass’d, expos'd their bloodless breasts to
Yet find it not so dark, and to their dormitories glide.
VIII. • Now bolder fires appear,
And o’er the palpable obscurement sport, Glaring and gay as falling Lucifer,
Yet mark'd with fate as when he fled th'etherial court And plung'd into the op’ning gulf of night;
A sabre of immortal flame I bore,
And with this arm his four'shing plume I tore, And straight the fiend retreated from the fight.