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He breaks the bended bows, the spears of ire,
And burns the shattered chariots in the fire,
And bids the realms be still, the tumults cease,
And know the Lord of war, for Lord of peace.
32. THE DAY OF JUDGMENT.
Lo! the wide theatre, whose ample space
Must entertain the whole of human race,
At Heaven's all-powerful edict is prepared,
And fenced around with an immortal guard.
Tribes, provinces, dominions, worlds, o'erflow
The mighty plain, and deluge all below:
And every age, and nation, pours along;
Nimrod and Bourbon mingle in the throng:
Adam salutes his youngest son; no sign
Of all those ages, which their births disjoin.
How empty learning, and how vain is art, But as it mends the life, and guides the heart! What volumes have been swelled, what time been spent To fix a hero's birth-day or descent !—
What joy must it now yield, what rapture raise,
To see the glorious race of ancient days!
To greet those worthies, who perhaps have stood
Illustrious on record before the flood!
Alas! a nearer care your soul demands,
Cæsar unnoted in your presence stands.
How vast the concourse! not in number more
The waves that break on the resounding shore;
The leaves that tremble in the shady grove,
The lamps that gild the spangled vaults above.
Those overwhelming armies, whose command
Said to one empire, Fall; another, Stand:
Whose rear lay wrapt in night, while breaking dawn
Roused the broad front, and called the battle on ;
Great Xerxes' world in arms; proud Canna's field,
Where Carthage taught victorious Rome to yield;
Immortal Blenheim, famed Ramillia's host;
They all are here, and here they all are lost :
Their millions swell to be discerned in vain,
Lost as a billow in the unbounded main.
This echoing voice now rends the yielding air: "For judgment, judgment, sons of men, prepare !*
"O Thou! whose balance does the mountains weigh, "Whose will the wild tumultuous seas obey, "Whose breath can turn those watery worlds to flame, "That flame to tempest, and that tempest tame; "Earth's meanest son, all trembling, prostrate falls, "And on the boundless of thy goodness calls.
May sea and land, and earth and heaven be joined, "To bring the eternal Author to my mind! "When oceans roar, or awful thunders roll,
May thoughts of thy dread vengeance shake my soul ! "When earth's in bloom, or planets proudly shine, Adore, my heart, the Majesty divine!"
33.- THE BENEDICITE PARAPHRASED.
YE works of God, on him alone,
In earth his footstool, heaven his throne,
Be all your praise bestowed;
Whose hand the beauteous fabric made,
Whose eye the finished work surveyed,
And saw that all was good.
Ye angels, that with loud acclaim,
Admiring viewed the new-born frame,
And hailed the Eternal King,
Again proclaim your Maker's praise;
Again your thankful voices raise,
And touch the tuneful string.
Praise him, ye blessed æthereal plains,
Where, in full majesty, he deigns
To fix his awful throne:
Ye waters that about him roll
From orb to orb, from pole to pole,
O make his praises known!
Ye mountains, that ambitious rise,
And heave your summits to the skies,
Revere his awful nod;
Think how you once affrighted fled,
When Jordan sought his fountain-head,
And owned the approaching God.
Ye sons of men, his praise display,
Who stampt his image on your clay
And gave it power to move:
Ye that in Judah's confines dwell,
From age to age successive tell
The wonders of his love.
Let Levi's tribe the lay prolong,
Till angels listen to the song,
And bend attentive down;
Let wonder seize the heavenly train,
Pleased while they hear a mortal strain
So sweet, so like their own.
34. THE CROW AND THE OTHER BIRDS: CONTAINING A USEFUL HINT TO THE CRITICS.
In ancient times, tradition says,
When birds like men would strive for praise,
The bulfinch, nightingale, and thrush,
With all that chant from tree to bush,
Would often meet in song to vie ;
The kinds that sing not sitting by.
A knavish crow, it seems, had got
The knack to criticise by rote;
He understood each learned phrase,
As well as critics now-a-days:
Some say, he learned them from an owl,
By listening where he taught a school.
'Tis strange to tell, this subtle creature,
Though nothing musical by nature,
Had learned so well to play his part,
With nonsense couched in terms of art,
As to be owned by all at last
Director of the public taste.
Then, puffed with insolence and pride,
And sure of numbers on his side,
Each song he freely criticised;
What he approved not was despised:
But one false step in evil hour
For ever stript him of his power.
Once when the birds assembled sat,
All listening to his formal chat,
By instinct nice he chanced to find
A cloud approaching in the wind,
And ravens hardly can refrain
From croaking when they think of rain:
His wonted song he sung: the blunder
Amazed and scared them worse than thunder;
For no one thought so harsh a note
Could ever sound from any throat;
They all at first with mute surprise
Each on his neighbour turned his eyes :
But scorn succeeding soon took place,
And might be read in every face.
All this the raven saw with pain,
And strove his credit to regain.
Quoth he, the solo which ye
In public should not have appeared:
My voice, that's somewhat rough and strong,
Might chance the melody to wrong,
But, tried by rules, you'll find the grounds
Most perfect and harmonious sounds.
He reasoned thus; but to his trouble,
At every word the laugh grew double:
At last, o'ercome with shame and spite,
He flew away quite out of sight.
THE TWO OWLS AND THE SPARROW,
Two formal owls together sat,
Conferring thus in solemn chat :
How is the modern taste decayed!
Where's the respect to wisdom paid ?
Our worth the Grecian sages knew ;
They gave our sires the honour due:
They weighed the dignity of fowls,
And pried into the depth of Owls.
Athens, the seat of learned fame,
With general voice revered our name ;
On merit title was conferred,
And all adored the Athenian bird.
Brother, you reason well, replies
The solemn mate, with half-shut eyes;
Right, Athens was the seat of learning,
And truly wisdom is discerning.
Besides, on Pallas' helm we sit,
The type and ornament of wit;
But now, alas! we're quite neglected,
And a pert Sparrow's more respected.
A Sparrow, who was lodged beside,
O'erhears them soothe each other's pride,
And thus he nimbly vents his heat:
Who meets a fool must find conceit.
I grant you were at Athens graced,
And on Minerva's helm were placed;
But every bird that wings the sky,
Except the Owl, can tell you why.
From hence they taught their schools to know
How false we judge by outward show;
That we should never looks esteem,
Since fools as wise as you might seem.
Would ye contempt and scorn avoid,
Let your vain-glory be destroyed:
Humble your arrogance of thought,
Pursue the ways by nature taught;
So shall you find delicious fare,
And grateful farmers praise your care.
36.-COURAGE IN POVERTY.
IN Anna's wars, a soldier, poor and old,
Had dearly earned a little purse of gold:
'Tired with a tedious march, one luckless night
He slept, poor dog! and lost it, every mite.
This put the man in such a desperate mind,
Between revenge, and grief, and hunger joined,
Against the foe, himself, and all mankind,
He leaped the trenches, scaled a castle-wall,
'Tore down a standard, took the fort and all.
"Prodigious well!" his great Commander cried,
Gave him much praise, and some reward beside.
Next pleased his Excellence a town to batter;
(Its name I know not, and 'tis no great matter),
"Go on, my friend, (he cried), see yonder walls,
"Advance and conquer! go, where glory calls!
"More honours, more rewards, attend the brave."
Don't you remember what reply he gave?
D'ye think me, noble General, such a sot? "Let him take castles who has ne'er a groat."
37.—PROLOGUE TO CATO; 1713.
To wake the soul by tender strokes of art;
To raise the genius, and to mend the heart;