« PreviousContinue »
Within due bounds the mighty ocean keeps,
And in their watery cavern awes the deeps:
Shook by that voice, the nodding groves around
Start from their roots, and fly the dreadful sound.
The blasted cedars low in dust are laid,
And Lebanon is left without a shade.
See! when he speaks, the lofty mountains crowd
And fly for shelter from the thundering God :
Sirion and Lebanon like hinds advance,
And in wild measures lead th' unwieldy dance.
His voice, his mighty voice, divides the fire,
Back from the blast the shrinking flames retire.
Ev'n Cades trembles when Jehovah speaks,
With all his Savages the desert shakes.
At the dread sound the hinds with fear are stung,
And in the lonely forest drop their young,
While in his hallow'd temple all proclaim
His glorious honors, and adore his name,
High o'er the foaming surges of the sea
He sits, and bids the listening deeps obey:
He reigns o'er all; for ever lasts his power
Till nature sinks, and time shall be no more.
With strength the sons of Israel shall he bless.
And crown our tribes with happiness and peace.
§ 20. Psalm 46th paraphrased. ON God we build our sure defence, In God our hope repose : His hand protects us in the fight, And guards us from our woes. Then, be the Earth's unwieldy frame From its foundation hurl'd, We may, unmov'd with fear, enjoy The ruins of the world.
19. Psalm 29th. Pitt. Ye mighty princes, your oblations bring, And pay due honors to your awful King; His boundless power to all the world proclain, Bend at his shrine, and tremble at his name. For hark! his voice with unresisted sway, Rules and controls the raging of the sea;
What though the solid rocks be rent, whirl'd away? tempests What though the hills shall burst their roots, And roll into the sea?
Thou Sea, with dreadful tumults swell,
And bid thy waters rise
In furious surges, till they dash
The flood-gates of the skies.
Our minds shall be serene and calm, Like Siloah's peaceful flood; Whose soft and silver streams refresh The City of our God.
Within the proud delighted waves
The wanton turrets play;
The streams lead down their humid train,
Reluctant to the sea.
Amid the scene the temple floats,
With its reflected towers,
Gilds all the surface of the flood,
And dances to the shores.
With wonder see what mighty power
Our sacred Sion cheers,
Lo! there amidst her stately walls,
Her God, her God appears!
Fixt on her basis we shall stand,
And, innocently proud,
Smile on the tumults of the world,
Beneath the wings of God.
But who, O Lord, regards thy wrathi,
Though dreadful and severe?
That wrath, whatever fear he feels,
Is equal to his fear.
So teach us, Lord, to count our days,
And eye their constant race,
To measure what we want in time,
By wisdom, and by grace.
With us repent, and on our hearts
Thy choicest graces shed,
And shower from thy celestial throne
Thy blessings on our head.
Oh! may thy mercy crown us here,
And come without delay;
Then our whole course of life will seem
One glad triumphant day.
Now the blest years of joy restore,
For those of grief and strife, And with one pleasant drop allay This bitter draught of life.
Thy wonders to the world display,
Thy servants to adorn,
That may delight their future sons,
And children yet unborn;
Thy beams of Majesty diffuse,
With them thy great commands, And bid prosperity attend
The labors of our hands..
§ 22. Psalm 144th paraphrased. Pitt. My soul, in raptures rise to bless the Lord, Who taught my hands to draw the fatal sword, Led by his arm, undaunted I appear
In the first ranks of death, and front of war
He taught me first the pointed spear to wield,
And now the glorious harvest of the field.
By him inspir'd, from strength to strength I pass'd,
Plung'd through the troops, and laid the battle
In him my hopes I center and repose, [waste.
He guards my life, and shields me from my foes.
He held his ample buckler o'er my head,
And screen'd me trembling in the mighty shade:
Against all hostile violence and power,
He was my sword, my bulwark, and my tower.
Ile o'er my people will maintain my sway,
And teach my willing subjects to obey.
Lord! what is man, of vile and humble birth,
Sprung with his kindred reptiles from the carth,
That he should thus thy secret counsels share?
Or what his son, who challenges thy care?
Why does thine eye regard this nothing, man?
His life a point, his measure but a span?
The fancy'd pageant of a moment made,
Swift as a dream, and fleeting as a shade.
Comeia thy power, and leave th' ethereal plain,
And to thy harness'd tempest give the rein;
Yon starry arch shall bend beneath the load,
So loud the chariot, and so great the God!
Soon as his rapid wheels Jehovah rolls,
The folding skies shall tremble to the poles:
Heav'ns gaudy Axle with the world shall fall,
Leap from the centre, and unhinge the bail.
Pil'd up with plenty let our barns appear,
And burst with all the Seasons of the Year;
Let pregnant flocks in every quarter bleat,
And drop their tender young in every street.
Safe from their labors may our oxen come,
Safe may they bring the gather'd summer home.
Oh! may no sighs, no streams of sorrow flow,
To stain our triumphs with the tears of woe.
Blest is the nation, how sincerely blest÷
Of such unbounded happiness possest,
To whom Jehovah's sacred name is known,
Who claim the God of Israel for their own.
Touch'd by thy hands, the laboring hills
Thick clouds of smoke, and deluges of fire,
On the tall groves the red destroyer preys,
And wraps th' eternal mountains in the blaze:
Full on my foes may all thy lightnings fly,
On purple pinions through the gloomy sky.
Extend thy hand, thou kind all-gracious God,
Down from the heavenof heavensthybrightabode,
And shield me from my foes, whose toweringpride
Lowers like a storin, and gathers like a tide:
Against strange children vindicate my cause,
Who curse thy name, and trample on thy laws;
Who fear not vengeance which they never felt,
Train'd to blaspheine, and eloquent in guilt:
Their hands are impious, and their deeds profane;
They plead their boasted innocence in vain.
Thy name shall dwell for ever on my tongue,
And guide the sacred numbers of my song:
To thee my Muse shall consecrate her lays,
And every note shall labor in thy praise;
The hallow'd theme shall teach me how to sing,
Swell on the lyre, and tremble on the string.
Oft has thy hand from fight the monarch led,
When death flew raging, and the battle bled;
And snatel'd thy servant in the last despair
From all the rising tumult of the war.
Against strange children vindicate my cause, Who curse thy name, and trample on thy laws; That our fair sons may smile in early bloom, Our sons, the hopes of all our years to come : Like plants that nurs'd by fostering showers arise, And lift their spreading honors to the skies: That our chaste daughters may their charms display,
$23. The 3d Chapter of Job. Pitt.
Jop curs'd his birth, and bade his curses flow
In words of grief, and eloquence of woe :
Lost be that day which dragg'd me to my doom,
Recent to life, and struggling from the womb;
Whose beams with such malignant lustre shone,
Whence all my years in anxious circles run.
Lost be that night in undetermin'd space,
And veil with deeper shades her gloomy face,
Which crowded up with woes this slender span,
While the dull mass rose quick'ning into nian.
O'er that curs'd day let sable darkness rise,
Shroud the blue vault, and blacken all the skies;
May God o'erlook it from his heavenly throne,
ex-Nor rouse from sleep the sedentary sun,
[pire O'er its dark face to shed his genial ray,
And warm to joy the melancholy day.
May the clouds frown, and livid poisons breathe,
And stain heaven's azure with the shade of death.
May ten-fold darkness from that dreadful
Like the bright pillars of our temple, gay,
Polish'd, and tall, and smooth, and fair as they.
Seize and arrest the straggling gleams of light;
To pay due vengeance for its fatal crime,
Still be it banish'd from the train of time;
Nor in the radiant list of months appear,
To stain the shining circle of the year:
There through her dusky range may silence
There may noray, no glimpse of gladness come ;(
No voice to cheer the solitary gloom.
May every star his gaudy light with-hold;
Nor through the vapour shoot his beamy gold;
Nor let the dawn with radiant skirts come on,
Tipp'd with the glories of the rising sun;
Because that dreadful period fix'd my doom,
Nor seal'd the dark recesses of the womb.
To that original my ills I owe;
Heir of affliction, and the son of woe.
Oh! had I died unexercis'd in pain,
And wak'd to life, to sleep in death again!
Why did not Fate attend me at my birth,
And give me back to my congenial earth?
Why was I, when an infant, sooth'd to rest,
Lull'd on the knee, or hung upon the breast?
For now the grave would all my cares compose,
Conceal my sorrows, and inter my woes:
There wrapp'd and lock'd within his cold embrace,
Safe had slumber'd in the arms of peace;
There with the mighty kings, who lie inroll'd
In clouds of incense, and in beds of gold:
There with the princes, who in grandeur shone,
And aw'd the trembling nations from the throne,
Afflicted Job an equal rest must have,
And share the dark retirement of the grave;
Or as a shapeless embryo seek the tomb,
Rude and imperfect from the abortive womb:
Ere motion's early principle began,
Or the dim substance kindled into man. [cease,
There from their monstrous crimes the wicked
Their laboring guilt is weary'd into peace;
There blended sleep the coward and the brave;'
Stretch'd with his lord, the undistinguish'dslave
Enjoys the common refuge of the grave.
An equal lot the mighty victor shares,
And lies amidst the captives of his wars;
With his, those captives mingle their remains,
The same in death, nor lessen'd by their chains.
Why are we doom'd to view the genial ray?
Why curs'd to bear the painful light of day?
O! with what joy the wretches yield their breath,
And pant in bitterness of soul for death!
As a rich prize the distant bliss they crave,
And find the glorious treasure in the grave.
Why is the wretch condemn'd without relief
To combat woe, and tread the round of grief,
Whom in the toils of fate his God has bound,
And drawn the line of miseries around?
When nature calls for aid, my sighs intrude,
My tears prevent my necessary
Like a full stream o'ercharg'd my sorrows flow,
In bursts of anguish, and a tide of woe;
For now the dire affliction which I fled,
Pours like a roaring torrent on my head.
Myterrors still, the phantom view'd, and wrought
The dreadful image into every thought:
At length pluck'd down, the fatal stroke I feel,
And lose the fancy'd in the real ill.
$24. The 25th Chapter of Jol paraphrased.
THEN will vainman complain and murmur still, And stand on terms with his Creator's will? Shall this high privilege to clay be given? Shall dust arraign the providence of Heaven? With reason's line the boundless distance scan? Oppose Heav'n's awful majesty to man? To what a length his vast dimensions run! How far beyond the journeys of the sun! He hung yon golden balls of light on high, And launch'd the planets through the liquidsky: To rolling worlds he mark'd the certain space, Fix'd and sustain'd the elemental peace.
Unnumber'd as those worlds his armies move, And the gay legions guard his realms above; High o'er th' ethereal plains the myriads rise, And pour their flaming ranks along the skies: From theirbrightarmsincessant splendors stream, And the wide azure kindles with the gleam.
To this low world he bids the light repair, Down through the gulphs of undulating air; For man he taught the glorious sun to roll From his bright barrier to his western goal.
How then shall man, thus insolently proud, Plead with his judge, and combat with his God? How from his mortal mother can he come Unstain'd from sin, untinctur'd from the womb?
The Lord, from his sublime empyreal throne, As a dark globe regards the silver moon. Those stars, that grace the wide celestial plain, Are but the humblest sweepings of his train, Dim are the brightest splendors of the sky; And the sun darkens in Jehovah's eye But does not sin diffuse a fouler stain, And thicker darkness cloud the soul of man? Shall he the depths of endless wisdom know? This short-liv'd sovereign of the world below? His frail original confounds his boast, [dust. Sprung from the ground, and quicken'd from the
$25. The Song of Moses in the Fifteenth Chap-
ter of Exodus, paraphrased. Pit..
THEN to the Lord the vast triumphant throng
Of Israel's sons, with Moses, rais'd the song.
To God our grateful accents will we raise,
And ev'ry tongue shall celebrate his praise:
Behold display'd the wonders of his might;,
Behold the Lord triumphant in the fight!
With what imfnortal fame and glory grac'd!
What trophies rais'd amid the watery waste!
How did his power the steeds and riders sweep
Ingulph'd in heaps, andwhelm'd beneaththedeep!
Whom should we fear, while he, heaven's awful
Unsheaths for Israel his avenging sword? [Lord,
His outstretch'd arm, and tutelary care,
Guarded and sav'd us in the last despair:
His mercy eas'd us from our circling pains,
Unbound our shackles, and unlock'd our chains.
To him our God, our father's God, we'll rear
A sacred temple, and adore him there
With vows and incense, sacrifice and prayer.
The Lord commands in war: his matchless
Hangs out and guides the balance of the fight:
By him the war the mighty leaders form,
And teach the hovering tumult where to storm.
His name, O Israel, heaven's eternal Lord,
For ever honor'd, reverenc'd, and ador'd.
When to the fight, from Egypt's fruitful soil,
Pour'd forth in myriads all the sons of Nile;
The Lord o'erthrew the courser and the car,
Sunk Pharoah's pride, and overwhelm'd his war.
Beneath th' encumber'd deeps his legions lay,
For many a league impurpling all the sea:
The chiefs, and steeds, and warriors whirl'd
Till, all around with liquid toils beset,
The Lord swept o'er their heads the watery net.
He freed the ocean from his secret chain,[main.
And on each hand discharg'd the thundering
The loosen'd billows burst from every side,
And whelm the war and warriors in the tide;
But on each hand the solid billows stood,
Like lofty mounds to check the raging flood;
Till the blest race to promis'd Canaan pass'd
O'er the dry path, and trod the watery waste.
At thy dread voice the sunimon'd billows crowd,
And a still silence lulls the wondering flood:
Roll'd the chrystal ridges strike the skies,
Waves peep o'er waves, and seas o'er seas arise.
Around in heaps the listening surges stand,
Mute and observant of the high command,
Congeal'd with fear attends the watery train,
Rous'd from the secret chambers of the main.
With savage joy the sons of Egypt cry'd,
(Vast were their hopes, and boundless was their
Let us pursue those fugitives of Nile,
This servile nation, and divide the spoil;
And spread so wide the slaughter, till their blood
Dyes with a stronger red the blushing flood.
Oh! what a copious prey their hosts afford,
To glut and fatten the devouring sword!
As thus the yawning gulf the boasters pass'd,
At thy command rush'd forth the rapid blast,
Then, at the signal given, with dreadful sway,This
In one huge heap roll'd down the roaring sea;
And now the disentangled waves divide,
Unlock their folds, and thaw the frozen tide,
The deeps alarm'd call terribly from far
'The loud, embattled surges to the war,
Till her proud sons astonish'd Egypt found
Cover'd with billows, and in tempests drown'd.
What God can emulate thy power divine,
Or who oppose his miracles to thine?
When joyful we adore thy glorious name,
Thy trembling foes confess their fear and shame;
The world attends thy absolute command,
And nature waits the wonders of thine hand.
That hand, extended o'er the swelling sea,
The conscious billows reverence and obey,
O'er the devoted race the surges sweep,
And whelm the guilty nation in the deep.
That hand redeem'd us from our servile toil,
And each insulting tyrant of the Nile:
Our nation caine beneath that mighty hand,
From Egypt's realms, to Canaan's sacred land.
Thou wert their Guide, their Saviour, and their
To smooth the way, and clear their dreadful road.
The distant kingdoms shall thy wonders hear,
The fierce Philistines shall confess their fear;
Thy fame shall over Edom's princes spread,
And Moab's kings, the universal dread;
While the vast scenes of miracles impart
A thrilling horror to the bravest heart.
As through the world the gathering terror runs,
Canaan shall shrink, and tremble for his sons:
Till thou hast Jacob from his bondage brought,
At such a vast expence of wonders bought,
To Canaan's promis'd realms and blest abodes,
Led through the dark recesses of the floods.
Crown'd with their tribes shall proud Moriah rise,
And rear his summit nearer to the skies.
Through ages, Lord, shall stretch thy bound-
Thythrone shallstand whentime shall be no more:
For Pharaoh's steeds, and cars, and warlike train,
Leap'd in, and boldly rang'd the sandy plain :
While in the dreadful road, and desert way,
The shining crowds of gasping fishes lay:
§ 26. The 139th Psalm paraphrased. Pitt.
ODREAD Jehovah! thy all-piercing eyes
Explore the motions of this mortal frame,
This tenement of dust: Thy stretching sight
Surveys the harmonious principles, that move
In beauteous rank and order, to inform
cask, and animated mass of clay.
Nor are the prospects of thy wond'rous sight
To this terrestrial part of man confin'd;
But shoot into his soul, and there discern
The first materials of unfashion'd thought,
Yet dim and undigested, till the mind,
Big with the tender images, expands,
And, swelling, labors with th' ideal birth.
Where'er I move, thy cares pursue my feet
Attendant. When I drink the dews of sleep,
Stretch'd on my downy bed, and there enjoy
A sweet forgetfulness of all my toils,
Unseen, thy sov'reign presence guards my sleep.
Wafts all the terrors of my dreams away,
Sooths all my soul, and softens my repose.
Before conception can employ the tongue,
And mould the ductile images to sound
Before imagination stands display'd,
Thine eye the future cloquence can read,
Yet unarray'd with speech. Thou, mighty Lord!
Hast moulded man from his congenial dust,
And spoke him into being; while the clay,
Beneath thy forming hand, leap'd forth, inspir'd,
And started into life; through every part,
At thy command, the wheels of motion play'd.
But such exalted knowledge leaves below,
And drops poor man from its superior sphere.
In vein, with reason's ballast, would he try
To stem th' unfathomable depth: his bark
O'ersets, and founders in the vast abyss.
Then whither shall the rapid fancy run,
Though in its full career, to speed my flight
From thy unbounded presence? which, alone,
Fills all the regions and extended space
Beyond the bounds of nature! Whither, Lord!
Shall my unrein'd imagination rove,
To leave behind thy Spirit, and out-fly [spread,
Its influence, which, with brooding wings out-
Hatch'd unfledg'd nature from the dark profound?
If mounted on my tow'ring thoughts I climb
Into the heaven of heavens, I there behold
The blaze of thy unclouded majesty!
In the pure empyrean thee I view,
High thron'd above all height, thy radiant shrine
Throng'd with the prostrate Seraphs, who receive
Beatitude past utterance! If I plunge