« PreviousContinue »
Oh could thine art arrest the fleeting sound,
And paint the voice in magic numbers bound;
Could the warm sun,aserst whenMemnon play'd,
Wake with his rising beam the vocal shade;
Then might he draw th' attentive angels down,
Bending to hear the lay, so sweet, so like their
On either side the monarch's offspring shine,
And some adorn, and some disgrace their line.
Here Ammon glories; proud incestuous lord!
This hand sustains the robe, and that the sword.
Frowning and fierce, with haughty strides he
And on his horrid brow defiance low'rs.
There Absaloin the ravish'd sceptre sways,
And his stolen honor all his shame displays:
The base usurper Youth! who joins in one
The rebel subject and th' ungrateful son.
Amid the royal race, sec Nathan stand:
Fervent he seems to speak, and lift his hand;
His looks th' emotion of his soul disclose,
And eloquence from ev'ry gesture flows.
Such, and so stern he came, ordain'd to bring
Th' ungrateful mandate to the guilty King:
When, at his dreadful voice a sudden smart
Shot thro' the trembling monarch's conscious
But since thy flagging piety decay'd,
And barter'd God's defence for human aid;
See their fair laurels wither on thy brow,
Nor herbs nor healthful arts avail thee now,
NorisHeav'n chang'd,apost ite prince, butthou..
No mean atonement does this lapse require;
But see the Son, you must forgive the Sire;
He t, the just prince-with ev'ry virtue blest
He reign'd, and goodness all the man possess'd
Around his throne fair happiness and peace
Smooth'd ev'ry brow, and smil'd in ev'ry face.
As when along the burning waste he stray'd,
Where no pure streams in bubbling mazes play'd,
Where drought incumbent on the thirsty ground
The prophet calls, th' obedient floods repair
To the parch'd fields, for Josaphat was there.
The new-spring waves, in many a gurgling vein,
Trickle luxurious through the sucking plain;
Fresh honors the reviving fields adorn,
And o'er the desart plenty pours her horn.
So, from the throne his influence he sheds,
And bids the virtues raise their languid heads:
Where'er he goes, attending Truth prevails,
Oppression flies, and justice lifts her scales.
See, on his arm the royal cagle stand,
Great type of conquest and supreme command;
Th exulting bird distinguish'd triumph brings,
And greets the Monarch with expanded wings.
Fierce Moab's sons prevent th' impending blow,
Rush on themselves, and fall without the foe.
The pious hero vanquish'd Heaven by pray'r
Ilis faith an army, and his vows a war.
Thee too, Ozias, fates indulgent bless'd,
And thy days shone in fairest actions drest:
Till that rash hand, by some blind phrenzy
Unclean, the sacred office durst invade.
Quick o'er thy limbs the scurfy venom ran,
And hoary fifth besprinkled all the man.
Transmissive worth adorns the pious § Son,
The father's virtues with the father's throne.
Lo! there he stands: he who the rage subdued
Of Ammon's sons, and drench'd his sword in
From his own lips condemn'd; sévere decree!
Had his God prov'd so stern a Judge as Ile,
But man by frailty is allied by birth :
Consummate purity ne'er dwelt on earth
Thro' all the soul tho' virtue holds the rein,
Beats at the heart, and springs in ev'ry vein,
Yet ever from the clearest source have ran
Some gross alloy, some tincture of the man.
But who is he deep musing? in his mind,
He seems to weigh in reason's scales mankind;
Fix'd contemplation holds his steady eyes-
I know the sage *, the wisest of the wise,
Blest with all man could wish, or prince obtain,
Yet his great heart pronounc'dthose blessingsvain.
And lo! bright glittering in his sacred hands,
In miniature the glorious temple stands.
Effulgent frame! stupendous to behold!
Gold the strong valves, the roof of burnish'd gold.
The wand'ringark, in that bright dome enshrin'd,
Spreads the strong light, eternal, unconfin'd,
Above th' unutterable glory plays,
Presence divine! and the full-streaming rays
Pour thro' reluctant clouds intolerable blaze.
But stern oppression rends Reboam's reign:
See the gay prince, injurious, proud, and vain!
Th'imperial sceptre totters in his hand,
And proud rebellion triumphs in the land,
Curs'd with corruption's ever-fruitful spring,
A beardless Senate, and a haughty King.
And dost thou, Ahaz, Judah's scourge, disgrace
With thy base front the glories of thy race?
See the vile King his iron sceptre bear-
His only praise attends the pious | Heir;
He, in whose soul the virtues all conspire,
The best good son from the worst wicked sire.
And lo! in Hezekiah's golden reign,
Long exil'd piety returns again;
Again in genuine purity she shines,
And with her presence gilds the long-neglected
There Asa, good and great, the sceptre bears,
Justice attends his peace, success his wars;
While virtue was his sword, andHeav'nhis shield,
Without control the warrior swept the field;
Loaded with spoils, triumphant he return'd,
And half her swarthy sons sad Ethiopia mourn'd.
Solomon. † Josaphat.
Ill-starr'd does proud Assyria's impious Lord.
Bid Heav'n to arms, and vaunt his dreadfulsword;
His own vain threats th'insulting Kingo'erthrow,
But breathe new courage on the gen'rous foc.
Th' avenging Angel, by divine command,
The fiery sword full-blazing in his hand.
Leantdownfromheaven: amidthe stormherode,
March'd Pestilence before him; as he trod,
Pale Desolation bath'd his steps in blood.
Thick wrapt in night, thro'theproudhosthepass'd,
Dispensing death, and drove the furious blast;
Nor bade Destruction give her revels o'er [gore.
Till the gorg'd sword was drunk with hunan
But what avails thee, pious prince, in vain
Thy sceptre rescu'd, and th' Assyrian slain ?
E'en now the soul maintains her latest strife,
And death's chill grasp congeals the fount of life
Yet see, kind Heaven renews thy brittle thread,
And rolls full fifteen summers o'er thy head;
Lo! the receding sun repeats his way,
And, like thy life, prolongs the falling day.
Tho' nature her inverted course forego,
The day forget to rest, the time to flow,
Yet shall Jehovah's servants stand secure,
His mercy fix'd, eternal shall endure:
On them her ever-healing rays shall shine;
More mild and bright, and sure, Osun! than thine.
At length the long-expected Prince behold,
The last good King; in antient days foretold,
When Bethel's altar spoke his future fame,
Rent to its base, at good Josiah's name.
Blest happy prince! o'er whose lamented urn,
In plaintive song, all Judah's daughters mourn;
For whom sad Sion's softest sorrow flows,
And Jeremiah pours his sweet melodious woes.
But now fallen Sion, once the fair and great,
Sits deep in dust, abandon'd, desolate :
Bleeds her sad heart, and ever stream her eyes,
And anguish tears her with convulsive sighs.
The mournful captive spreads her hands in vain,
Her hands, that rankle with the servile chain;
Till he, great chief, in Heav'n's appointed time,
Leads back her children to their native clime.
Fair liberty revives with all her joys,
And bids her envied walls securely rise.
And thou, great hallow'd dome, in ruin spread,
Again shall lift sublime thy sacred head.
But, ah! with weeping eyes, the antients view
A faint resemblance of the old in you.
No more th' effulgent glory of thy God
Speaks awful answers from the mystic cloud;
No more thine altars blaze with fire divine;
And Heaven has left thy solitary shrine.
Yet, in thy courts, hereafter shalt thou see,
Presence immediate of the Deity, [Thee.
The light himself reveal'd, the God confess'd in.
And now at length the fated term of years
The world's desire have brought, and lo! the
The heavenly Babe the Virgin Mother bears,
And her fond looks confess'd the parent's cares;
The pleasing burthen on her breast she lays
Hangs o'er his charms, and with a smile sur-
The infantsmiles, to her fond bosom prest, [veys:
And wantons, sportive, on the mother's breast.
A radiant glory speaks him all Divine,
And in the Child the beams of Godhead shine.
But now, alas! far other views disclose
The blackest comprehensive scene of woes.
Sce where man's voluntary sacrifice
Bows his meek head, and God eternal dies!
Fix'd to the Cross his healing arms are bound,
While copious Mercy streams from ev'ry wound.
Mark the blood-drops that life exhausting roll,
And the strong pang that rends the stubborn soul,
As all death's tortures, with severe delay,
Exult and riot in the noblest
And canst thou, stupid man, those sorrows sce
Nor share the anguish which he bears for thee?
Thy sin, for which his sacred flesh is torn,
Points ev'ry nail, and sharpens ev'ry thorn.
Canst thou?-while nature smartsin ev'ry wound,
And cach pang cleaves the sympathetic ground!
Lo! the black sun, his chariot backward driven,
Blots out the day, and perishes from Heav'n!
Earth, trembling from her entrails, bears a part;
And the rent rock upbraids man's stubborn heart.
The yawning grave reveals his gloomy reign,
And the cold clay-clad dead start into life again.
And thou, O tomb, once more shalt wide dis-
Thy satiate jaws, and give up all thy prey. [play
Thou,groaningearth, shall heave,absorptinflame,
As the last pangs convulse thy lab'ring frame;
When the same God unshrouded thou shalt see,
Wrapt in full blaze of pow'r and majesty,
Ride on the clouds; whilst, as his chariot flies,
The bright effusion streams thro' all the skies.
Then shall the proud dissolving mountains glow,
And yielding rocks in fiery rivers flow:
The inolten deluge round the globe shall roar,
And all man's arts and labor be no more.
Then shall the splendors of th' enliven'd glass
Sink undistinguish'd in the burning mass.
And oh! till earth and seas, and heaven decay,
Ne'er may that fair creation fade away; [spare,
May winds and storis those beauteous colors
Still may they bloom, as permanent as fair;
All the vain rage of wasting time repel, [well,
And his tribunal see, whose Cross they paint sq
$313. Death Emily.
THE festive roar of laughter, the warm glow Of brisk-eyed joy, and friendship's genial bowl,
Wit's season'd converse, and the liberal flow
Of unsuspicious youth, profuse of soul,
Delight not ever; from the boisterous scene
Of riot far, and Comus' wild uproar,
From folly's crowd, whose vacant brow serene
Was never knit to wisdom's frowning lore,
Permit me, ye time-hallow'd domes, ye piles
Of rude magnificence, your solen rest, Amid your fretted vaults and length'ning aisles
Lonely to wander; no unholy guest
That means to break, with sacrilegious tread,
The marble slumbers of your monumented
Permit me, with sad musings, that inspire
Unlabor'd numbers apt, your silence drear Blameless to wake, and with the Orphean lyre, Fitly attemper'd, sooth the merciless ear
To the slow pauses of the funeral knell ; Een now black Atropos, with scowling eye, Roars in the laugh, and revels o'er the bowl; Een now in rosy crowned pleasure's wreath Entwines in adder folds all-unsuspected Death. Know, on the stealing wing of time shall flee Some few, some short-liv'd years, and all is past;
A future bard these awful domes may see,
Muse o'er the present age, as I the last;
Who mouldering in the grave, yet once like you
The various maze of life were seen to tread,
Each bent their own peculiar to pursue,
As custom urg'd, or wilful nature led:
Mix'd with the various crowd's inglorious clay,
The nobler virtues undistinguish'd lie;
No more to melt with beauty's heav en-born ray,
No more to wet compassion's tearful eye,
Catch from the poet raptures not their own,
And feel the thrilling melody of sweet renown.
Where is the master-hand, whose semblant art
Chisel'd the marble into life, or taught From the well-pencil'd portraiture to start
The nerve that beat with soul, the brow that
These now are past; long, long, ye fleeting years Pursue, with glory wing'd your fated way, Ere from the womb of time unwelcome peers The dawn of that inevitable day, [friend When wrapt in shrouded clay, their warmest The widow'd virtues shall again deplore, When o'er his urn in pious grief shall bend
His Britain, and bewail one patriot more; For soon must thou, too soon! who spread'st Thy beaming emanations unconfin'd, fabroad Doom'd like some better angel sent of God
To scatter blessings over human kind, Thou too must fall, O Pitt! to shine no more, And tread these dreadful paths a Faulkland trod before.
All in wild raptures flashing heaven's own Shrunk is the sinew'd energy, that strung [fire; The warrior arni. Where sleeps the patriot breast
Whilom that heav'd impassion'd? where the tongue
That lane'd its lightning on the tow'ring Of sceptred insolence, and overthrew [crest Giant Oppression, leagued with all her earthborn crew!
Fast to the driving winds the marshall'd clouds
Sweep discontinuous o'er th' ethereal plain! Another still upon another crowds;
All hastening downward to their native main Thus passes o'er, thro' varied life's career,
Snatch from us in their course, year
Man's fleeting age; the Seasons, as they fly,
Some sweet connexion, some endearing tie,
The parent, ever-honor'd; ever-dear,
Claims from the filial breast the pious sigh;
A brother's urn demands the kindred tear,
And gentle sorrows gush from friendship's Of jocund youth--the morrow knells us to the To-day we frolic in the rosy bloom [eye.
Who knows how soon in this sepulchral spot
Shall heav'n to me the drear abode assign?
How soon the past irrevocable lot
Of these that rest beneath me shall be mine? Haply when Zephyr to thy native bourn [wave,
Shall waft thee o'er the storm'd Hibernian Thy gentle breast, my Tavistock, shall mourn
To find me sleeping in the senseless grave. No more the social leisure to divide,
In the sweet intercourse of soul and soul, Blithe, or of graver brow; no more to chide
The ling'ring years impatient as they roll, Till all thy cultur'd virtues shall display, Full-blossom'd, their bright honors to the gazing day.
Ah, dearest youth! these vows perhaps unheard The rude wind scatters o'er the billowy main: These prayers at friendship's holy shrine pre ferr'd
Cold are the fingers that in stone-fixt trance
The mute attention riveting, to the lyre
May rise to grasp their father's knees in vain.
Struck language dimm'd the poet's quick-Soon, soon may nod the sad funereal plume
With solemn horror o'er thy timeless hearse, And I survive to grave upon thy tomb
The mournful tribute of memorial verse. That leave to heaven's decision-be it thing,
Higher than yet a parent's wishes flew, To soar in bright pre-eminence, and shine
With self-earn'd honors, eager to pursue Where glory, with her clear unsullied rays, The well-born spirit lights to deeds of mightiest
'Twas she thy godlike Russel's bosom steel'd
With confidence untam'd, in his last breath
Stern-smiling. She with calm composure, held
The patriot axe of Sidney, edg'd with death.
Smit with the warmth of her impulsive flame,
Wolfe's gallant virtue flies to worlds afar,
Emulous to pluck fresh wreaths of well-carn'd
From the grim frowning brow of laurell'd
'Twas she that, on the morn of direful birth,
Bar'd thy young bosom to the fatal blow,
Lamented Armytage! - the bleeding youth!
O bathe him in the pearly caves below,
Ye Nereids! and ye Nymphs of Camus hoar,
Weep for ye oft have seen him on your
Better to die with glory than recline
On the soft lap of ignominious peace,
Than yawn out the dull droning life supine
In monkish apathy and gowned ease.
Better employ'd in honor's bright carecr
The least division on the dial's round,
Than thrice to compass Saturn's live-long year,
Grown old in sloth, the burthen of the ground,
Than tug with sweating toil the slavish oar
Of unredeem'd affliction, and sustain
The fev'rous rage of fierce diseases sore
Unnumber'd, that in sympathatic chain
Hang ever thro' the thick circumfluous air,
All from the drizzly verge of yonder star-girt
Thick in the many-beaten road of life
A thousand maladies are posted round, With wretched man to wage eternal strife
Unseen, like ambush'd Indians, till they wound, There the swoln hydrop stands, the wat'ry rheum,
The northern scurvy, blotch with leprous And moping ever in the cloister'd gloom [scale;
Of learned sloth, and bookish asthma pale: And the shunn'd hag unsightly, that (ordain'd
On Europe's sons to wreak the faithless sword Of Cortez, with the blood of millions stain'd) O'er dog-eyed lust the tort'ring scourge abhorr'd Shakes threat'ning, since the while she wing'd her flight From Amazon's broad wave, and Andes' snowclad height.
Where the wan daughter of the yellow year,
The chatt'ring ague chill; the writhing stone;
And he of ghastly feature, on whose ear
Unheeded croaks the death-bird's warning
The meagre famine there, and drunk with blood
Stern war; and the loath'd monster whom of
The slimy Naiad of the Memphian flood [yore
Engend'ring, to the bright-hair'd Phoebusbore,
Foul pestilence that on the wide-stretch'd wings
Of commerce speeds from Cairo's swarthy bay His westering flight, and thro' the sick air flings
Spotted contagion; at his heels dismay
And desolation urge their fire-wheel'd yoke
Terrible; as long of old, when from the height
Of Paran came unwreath'd the mightiest, shook
Earth's firm-fixt base tott'ring; thro' the
Glanc'd the flash'd lightnings: heaven's rent roof
Thunder'd; and universal nature felt its God,
Who on that scene of terror, on that hour
Of rous'd indignation shall withstand
Th' Almighty, when he meditates to show'r
The bursting vengeance o'er a guilty land
Canst thou, secure in reason's vaunted pride, [gore
Tongne-doubty miscreant, who but now didst With more than Hebrew rage the innocent side
Of agonizing mercy, bleeding sore —
Canst thou confront, with stedfast eye unaw'd,
The sworded judgement stalking far and near? Well may'st thou tremble, when an injur'd God,
Disclaims thee-guilt is ever quick of fearAnd every glancing meteor glares imagin`d death. Loud whirlwinds howl in zephyr's softest breath, The good one are fearless; they alone,
Marasmus; knotty gout; and the dead
Firm and collected in their virtue, brave
The wreck of worlds, and look unshrinking down
On the dread yawnings of the rav'nous grave:
Thrice happy who, the blameless road along
Of nerveless paley; there, on purpose fell
Dark brooding, whets his interdicted knife
Grim suicide, the damned fiend of hell.
There too is the stunn'd apoplexy pight*, [foul;
The bloated child of gorg'd intemperance Of honest praise, hath reach'd the vale of death!
Self-wasting melancholy, black as night [how Around him, like ministrant cherubs, throng
Low'ring; and foaming fierce with hideous His better actions, to the parting breath
Alluding to the Earthquake at Liebon, November 1, 1755.
Singing their best requiems: he the while Gently reposing on some friendly breast, Breathes out his benisons; then with a smile
Who still, you see, impatient to obtain
Knowledge immense (so Nature's laws ordain)
Ev'n now, tho' fetter'd in corporeal clay,
Climbs step by step the prospect to survey,
And seeks unwearied Truth's eternal ray.
No fleeting joys she asks which must depend
But such as suit her own immortal fame,
On the frail senses, and with them must end;
Free from all change, eternally the same.
Almighty wisdom never acts in vain:
Take courage, then, these joys we shall attain;
Nor shall the soul, on which it has bestow'd
Such pow'rs, c'er perish like an earthly clod;
But purg dat length fromfoul corruption's stain,-
Freed from her prison, and unbound herchain,
She shall her native strength and native skies(
Of soft complacence lays him down to rest, Calm as the slumb'ring infant: from the goal Free and unbounded flies the disembodied soul. Whether some delegated charge below, [claim; Some much-lov'd friend its hovering care inay Whether it heavenward soars again to know That long-forgotten country, whence it came; Conjecture ever, the misfeatur'd child
Of letter'd arrogance, delights to run Thro' speculation's puzzling mazes wild, And all to end at last where it begun. Fam would we trace with reason's erring clue, The darksome paths of destiny aright; In vain; the task were easier to pursue The trackless wheelings of the swallow's flight. From mortal ken himself the Almighty shrouds, Pavilion'd in thick night and circumambient clouds.
$314. On the Immortality of the Soul. S.Jenyns. Translated from the Latin of Is. H. Browne. BOOK I.
To all inferior animals 'tis given
Tenjoy the state allotted them by Heav'n;
No vain researches e'er disturb their rest,
No fears of dark futurity molest.
Man, only Man, solicitous to know
The springs whence Nature's operations flow.
Plods thro' a dreary waste with toil and pain,
And reasons, hopes and thinks, and lives in vain;
For sable Death still hov'ring o'er his head,
Cuts short his progress with his vital thread.
Wherefore, since Nature errs not, do we find
These seeds of Science in the human mind,
If no congenial fruits are predesign'd?
For what avails to man this pow'r to roam
Thro' ages past, and ages yet come,
T'explore new worlds o'er all th' ethereal way,
Chain'd to a spot, and living but a day?
Since all must perish in one common grave,
Nor can these long laborious searches save,
Were it not wiser far, supinely laid,
To sport with Phillis in the noontide shade?
Or at thy jovial festivals appear,
Great Bacchus, who alone the soul can clear
From all that it has felt, and all that it can fear?,
Come on then, let us feast; let Chloe sing And soft Nera touch the trembling string; Enjoy the present hour, nor seek to know What good or ill to-morrow may bestow. But these delights soon pall upon the taste; Let's try then if more serious cannot last: Wealth let us heap on wealth, or fame pursue, Let power and glory be our points in view; In courts, in camps, in senates let us live : Our levees crowded like the buzzing hive: Each weak attempt the same sad lesson brings! Alas! what vanity in human things!
What means then shall we try? where hope to A friendly harbour for the restless mind? [find
To heav'n an old inhabitant return, And draw nectareous streams from truth's perpetual urn.
Whilst life remains, (if life it can be call'd Texist in fleshly bondage thus enthrall'd), Tir'd with the dull pursuit of worldly things, The soul scarce wakes, or opes her gladsome Yet still the godlike exile in disgrace [wings, Retains some marks of her celestial race; Else whence from mem'ry's store can she produce Such various thoughts, or range them so for use? Can matter these contain, dispose, apply? Can in her cell such mighty treasures lie? Or can her native force produce them to the eye?.
When now the rapid stream of eloquence Bears all before it, passion, reason, sense, Can its dread thunder, or its lightning's force Derive their essence from a mortal source? What think you of the bard's enchanting art, Which, whether he attempts to warm the heart With fabled scenes, or charm the ear with rhyme, Breathes all pathetic, lovely, and sublime? Whilst things on earth roll round fromage to age, The same dull farce repeated on the stage, The poet gives us a creation new, More pleasing and more perfect than the true; The mind, who always to perfection hastes, Perfection such as here she never tastes, With gratitude accepts the kind deceit, And thence foresees a system more complete. Of those what think you, who the circling race Of suns and their revolving planets trace, And comets journeying thro' unbounded space?. Say can you doubt, but that the all-searching soul, That now can traverse heaven from pole to pole, From thence descending, visits but this earth, And shall once more regainthe regions of herbirth? Could