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"For which creation rofe fupremely fair,
"Each world was launch'd, and hung upon the air, "O'er fyftem fyftem roll d, a fhining throng, "And mov'd in filent harmony along.
"That hour is come, when God himself shall rise, "Sublime in wrath, and rend the burning skies ; "Arreft the boundless planets, as they roll,
And burst the labouring earth from pole to pole; "Bid hell's remote dominions hear and shake, "While nature finks, and all the dead awake.” Warm'd as he spoke, I felt th' enliv'ning ray; Then loos'd from earth, triumphing foar'd away : We mount at once, and, lighter than the wind, Left, as we flew, the diftant clouds behind. Then far remov'd beheld th' abodes below, And wait in deep suspense the impending blow. Now o'er the brightning east Aurora spread, And ting'd the blushing cloud with morning red; The hill's proud fummit caught the waving gleam: The pale ray trembled on the quiv'ring ftream; Then opening gradual from the shades of night The cloud-topt foreft fhone with dawning light; Serene the beauteous landscape rofe to view, The mead's green mantle wet with spangling dew, The gay-rob'd flow'rs that glow'd with heighten'd bloom,
And bow'ring dales, and groves that breath'd perfume. So when the tempeft's sweepy blaft is o'er,
Nor burfts the rushing wind, nor prattling fhow'r :
No hov'ring mift obfcures th' emerging day,
Wide o'er the prospect pours the streamy ray;
A fresher cloud the dewy fields exhale,
With richer fragrance blows the balmy gale,
The echoing hills with louder notes rebound,
And all th' illumin'd landscape rings around,
Charm'd and furpriz'd we faw the fair abode,
The plains with beauty's flow'ry offspring strow'd,
Beheld the city's diftant fpires arife,
Or tow'r's dim top that touch'd the bending skies;
Or view'd the wild, with trackless paths o'ercast,
Where roams the lion thro' the naked waste ;
Or penfive, ey'd the folitary pile
Where flits the night-bird thro' the glimm'ring ifle:
Struck deep with woe, we mark'd the domes o'erthrown
Where once the beauty bloom'd, the warrior fhone;
We fay Palmyra's mould'ring tow'rs decay'd,
The loofe wall tott'ring o'er the trembling fhade!
Or fall'n Persepolis that defert lay!
Or Balbec's fanes that catch'd the quiv'ring ray!
Vain pomp of pow'r!-now in the throne of kings
Shrieks the 'lone owl, the raven shakes her wings.
Then o'er the boundless deeps our eyes were roll'd,
The waves all brightning flam'd with beamy gold.
Here mov'd in gradual rows the billows heave,
There on the rough rock foams the madning wave,
Or dash the torrents down the cliff's steep fide,
Or thro' the cavern sweeps the rushing tide;
We mark'd the river's long majeftic train,
And streams that murmur'd o'er the flow'ry plain,
The lake whofe waves with lucid radiance glow,
Not finer tints imprefs the fhow'ry bow,
The fountain bubbling thro' the mofs-clad hill,
And wand'ring wild the sweetly-tinkling rill.
Then o'er the champaign's broider'd lawns we stray,
Where gaily warbling thrill'd the woodland lay,
Survey'd with rapture all th' inviting scene,
The vary'd landscape, and the vivid green;
A charming train of all the mufes themes,
Gay meads, and pointed rocks, and purling ftreams ; Hills, vales, and woods in sweet diforder spread, And blooming fields in all their pomp display'd, Still at each look, (amid the countless store) We mark'd fome feature unobferv'd before; As in the cheek with opening roses warm, Each piercing glance improves the growing charm. Then fighing deep, diftracted at the view, "Adieu, I cry'd, ye blissful scenes adieu : "That fun muft ceafe to gild the flow'ry plain : "The moon be loft with all the starry train : "Plung'd in one fire, each mighty frame confume, "'Tis God, th' eternal God has feal'd their doom.” Lo! at the word (each tranfient ray withdrawn) A low'ring cloud at once o'ercaft the dawn: From its dark breaft, with fwelling tempefts ftor'd; Pale lightning flash'd, and dreadful thunder roar'd.
Earth's glowing bosom felt a fudden wound,
And ftrong convulfions rent the opening ground;
The rapid whirlwind with impetuous sweep
Burfts from its vaults, and rais'd the labouring deep;
Rocks, cities, ftreams at once its wond'rous prey,
It fwept the woods, and bore the hills away.
But now, with terror rifing on the fight,
A burning comet flash'd unusual light.
Quick as the wind, the wing'd deftruction came
O'er all the void, and drew a length of flame ;
Shap'd thro' the parting clouds its dreadful way,
And pour'd on earth intolerable day.
At once the cave its inmost void displays;
The waving forefts catch the spreading blaze;
The earth no more its central fire contains,
It rag'd and fwell'd refiftless o'er the plains.
Now in a broader range the deluge raves,
And rolls triumphant thro' the boiling waves;
O'er all the hills the rifing flames afpire,
The mountains blaze, a mighty ridge of fire!
Where flood the fnow-crown'd Alps, (an awful name!)
Now roll'd the doubling smoke, and spiry flame;
While o'er the Andes in a whirlwind driv'n
Burst the blue gleam, and darkness wrapt the heav'n.
Ev'n Etna rocks with a reluctant
Sunk in a flame more dreadful than its own:
A fiery ftream the deep Volcano pours,
And from its mouth incessant thunder roars.
Each humbler vale partakes the genʼral doom,
The fmiling meals refign their lovely bloom;
Not Afia's fields th' impetuous flood retain,
It bounds with fury o'er the wide champaign,
Whate'er to view revolving feafons bring,
Each opening flow'r, the painted child of spring,
Bleak winter's fnow, with fummer's rofy pride,
And autumn's ripening ftores, augment the tide :
On its broad wave it bears the fhining spoil,
Hills burft, rocks melt, woods blaze, and oceans boil.
Such, man, thy life, when death's relentless rage
Crops thy gay bloom, or chills thy with'ring age;
In vain thy wish would stop th' invader's pow'r,
Who fpares the leaf to revel on the flow'r.
O! how transported with a fleeting dream
We fondly launch, and glide along the ftream!
Nor think of tempefts, mis'ry, pain, or death,
The ftorms above us, and the wrecks beneath!
When lo! at once a cloudy scene fucceeds,
It low'rs, frowns, blackens, bellows o'er our heads;
Bounds o'er the feas, and with deftructive sweep,
Flings wave on wave, and whelms us in the deep.
Where now the nation, whofe controuling law,
Rul'd ev'ry state, and held a world in awe ?
Say where, Britannia, thy remoter plain ?
Thy fields enrich'd with plenty's welcome train ?
Thy fleets, to found their dreadful fame afar,
And rule the deep, the thunderbolts of war?