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ODE TO SUPERSTITION.1
HENCE to the realms of Night, dire Demon, hence !
Thy chain of adamant can bind
That little world, the human mind,
Wake the lion's loudest roar,
At thy command he plants the dagger deep,
When, with a frown that froze the peopled earth,
Thou dartedst thy huge head from high,
Night waved her banners o'er the sky,
Rocking on the billowy air,
Ha! what withering phantoms glare ! As blows the blast with many a sudden swell, At each dead pause, what shrill-toned voices yell The sheeted spectre, rising from the tomb, Points to the murderer's stab, and shudders by; In every grove is felt a heavier gloom, That veils its genius from the vulgar eye:
The spirit of the water rides the storm, And, through the mist, reveals the terrors of his form.
O'er solid seas, where Winter reigns,
And holds each mountain-wave in chains,
By glistering star-light through the snow,
Each potent spell thou bad’st him know.
And, while the panting tigress hies
His spirit laughs in agonies,
Mark who mounts the sacred pyre,
Blooming in her bridal vest :
To die is to be blest:
And, wrapt in clouds, in tempests tost,
Weave the airy web of Fate; While the lone shepherd, near the shipless main, Sees o'er her hills advance the long-drawn funeral train.
Thou spak'st, and, lo! a new creation glowed.
Each unhewn mass of living stone
Was clad in horrors not its own,
Giant Error, darkly grand,
Grasped the globe with iron hand. Circled with seats of bliss, the Lord of Light Saw prostrate worlds adore his golden height. The statue, waking with immortal powers,' Springs from its parent earth, and shakes the spheres ; The indignant pyramid sublimely towers, And braves the efforts of a host of years.
Sweet Music breathes her soul into the wind; And bright-eyed Painting stamps the image of the mind.
Round the rude ark old Egypt's sorcerers rise !
A timbrelled anthem gwells the gale,
And bids the God of Thunders hail ;* With lowings loud the captive god replies.
Clouds of incense woo thy smile,
Scaly monarch of the Nile ! '