« VorigeDoorgaan »
They rose not to his Maker. Thus prepar'd
To know how distant from his narrow ken
The truths by Heaven reveal'd, my hand display'd
The plan fair-opening, where each nobler view,
That swells the expanding heart; each glorious hope,
That points ambition to its goal: each aim,
That stirs, exalts, and animates desire ;
Pours on the mind's rapt sight a noon-tide ray.
“ Nor less in life einploy'd, 'tis mine to raise
The desolate of heart; to bend the brow
Of stubborn pride, to bid reluctant ire
Subside ; to tame rude nature to the rein
Of virtue. What tho', screen'd from mortal view,
I walk the deeping gloom? What tho' my ways,
Remote from thought's bewilder'd search, are wrapt
In triple darkness ? Yet I work the springs
Of life, and to the gen’ral good direct
Th' obsequious means to move.-Oye, who toff'd
On life's tumultuous ocean, eye the shore,
Yet far remov'd ; and with the happy hour,
When Plumber on her downy couch Thail lull
Your cares to sweet repose ; yet bear a while,
And I will guide you to the balmy climes
Of rest ; will lay you by the silver stream
Crown'd with elysian bow'rs, where peace extends
Her blooming olive, and the tempest pours
Its killing blaît no more.". Thus Wisdom speaks
To man; thus calls him thro' the external form
Of nature, thro' Religion's fuller' noon,
Through life's bewild'ring mazes ; to observe
The last day.
At the destin'd hour
By the loud trumpet summon'd to the charge
See, all the formidable fons of fire,
Eruptions, earthquakes, comets, lightnings, play
Their various engines : all at once disgorge
Their blazing magazines : and take by storm
This poor terrestrial citadel of man.
Amazing period! when each mountain-height
Out-burns Vesuvius ; rocks eternal pour
Their melted mass, as rivers once they pour'd ;
Stars rush ; and final ruin fiercely drives
Her ploughshare o'er creation ! — while aloft,
More than astonishment! if more can be !
Far other firmament than e'er was seen,
Than e'er was thought by man! far other stars !
Stars animate, that govern thefe of fire ;
Far other fun !-A fun, O how unlike
The Babe at Bethlehem ! How unlike the Man
That groan'd on Calvary !-Yet he it is ;
That man of forrows! O how chang'd! what pomp!
In grandeur terrible, all hear'n descends :
A swift archangel, with his golden wing,
As blots and clouds, that darken and disgrace
The scene divine, fweeps Itars and suns alide.
And now, all drofs remov’d, heav'ns own pure day,
Full on the confines of our ether, fames :
While (dreadful contrast !) far, how far beneath!
Hell, bursting, belehes forth her blazing seas,
And storms fulphureous; her voracious jaws
Expanding wide, and roaring for her prey.
At midnight, when mankind is wrapt in peace,
And worldly fancy feeds on golden dreams,
Man, starting from his couch, thall sleep no more!
The day is broke, which never more shall close !
Above, around, beneath, amazement all!
Terror and glory join'd in their extremes !
Our God, in grandeur, and our world on fire !
All nature struggling in the pangs of death!
Dott thou not hear her! dost thou not deplore
Her strong convulsions and her final groan?
Where are we now? Ah me! the ground is gone
On which we stood ! Lorenzo ! while thou mayst,
Provide more firm support, or fink forever !
Where? how? from whence ? vain hope ! it is too late!
Where, where, for shelter shall the guilty fly,
When consternation turns the good man pale?
Great day! for which all other days were made ;
For which earth rose from chaos
; nan from earth;
And an eternity, the date of gods,
Descended on poor earth-created man !
Great day of dread decision, and despair !
At thought of thee, each sublunary with
go its eager grasp, and drops the world; And catches durch reed of hope in heav'n.
Already is begun the grand allize,
In us, in all : deputed conscience scales
The dread tribunal, and forestals our doom :
Forestals ; and, by forestalling, proves it sure.
Why on himself thould man void judgment pass ?
Is idle nature laughing at her sons ?
Who conscience fent, her sentence will support,
And God above assert that God in man.
Thrice happy prey, that enter now the court,
Heav'n opens in their bofoms; but how rare !
Ah me! that magnanimity, how rare !
What hero, like the man who stands himself?
Who dares to meet his naked heart alone ;
Who hears intrepid the full charge it brings,
Resolv'd to silence future murmurs there?
The coward flies ; and, Aying, is undone.
Shall man alone, whose fate, whose final fate,
Hangs on that hour, exclude it from his thought ?
I think of nothing else ; I fee! I feel it !
All nature, like an earthquake, trembling round!
I see the Judge enthron'd! the flaming guard !
The volume open'd! open'd ev'ry heart !
A lun-beam pointing out each secret thought !
No patron ! intercefor none ! now past
The sweet, the clement mediatorial hour !
For guilt, no plea! to pain, no pause ! no bound !
Inexorable, all! and all extreme !
Nor man alone ; the foe of God and man,
From his dark den, blafpheming, drags his chain,
And rears his brazen front, with thunder fcarr'd.
Like meteors in a stormy sky, how roll
His baletul eyes ! he curses whom he dreads ;
And deems it the first moment of his fall.
Hymn to bumanity.
PARENT of virtue, if thine car
Attend not now to forrow's cry
If now the pity-streaming tear
Should haply on thy cheek be dry;
Indulge my votive strain, O sweet Humanity
Come, ever welcome to my breast,
A tender, but a cheerful guest !
Nor always in the gloomy cell
Of life-consuming sorrow dwell ;
For sorrow, long-indulg'd and flow,
Is to Humanity a foe;
And grief, that makes the heart its prey,
Wears sensibility away.
Then come, sweet nymph-instead of thee,
The gloomy fiend Stupidity.
O may that fiend be banish'd far,
Though paflions hold perpetual war !
Nor ever let me cease to know
The pulse that throbs at joy or wo.
Nor let my vacant cheek be dry,
When sorrow fills a brother's eye ;
Nor may the tear that frequent flows,
From private or from social woes,
E'er make this pleasing sense depart ;
cares, O harden not my heart !
If the fair star of fortune smile,
Let not its fatt'ring pow'r beguile ;
Nor, borne along the fav'ring tide,
My full fails swell with bloating pride.
Let me from wealth but hope content,
Rememb’ring still it was but lent ;
To modelt merit spread my store,
Unbar my hospitable door ;
Nor feed, for pomp, an idle train,
While want unpitied pines in vain.
If Hear'n in ev'ry purpose wise,
The envied lot of wealth denies ;
If doom'd to drag life's painful load
Through poverty's uneven road,
And, for the due bread of the day,
Deltin'd to toil as well as pray ;
To thee, Humanity, still true,
I'll wish the good I cannot do ;
And give the wretch, that passes by,
A soothing word a tear-a sigh.
Howe'er exalted or deprest,
Be cver mine the feeling breast.
From me remove the ftagnant mind
Of languid indolence reclin'd;
The soul that one long Sabbath keeps,
And through the sun's whole circle sleeps ;
Dull peace, that dwells in folly's eye,
And self-attending vanity,
Alike the foolish and the vain
Are strangers to the sense humane.
O for that sympathetic glow
Which taught the holy tear to flow,
When the prophetic eye survey'd
Sion in future ashes laid ;
Or, rail'd to Heaven, implor'd the bread
That thousands in the desert fed !
Or, when the heart o'er friendship’s grave
Sigh'd-and forgot its power to save
o for that sympathetic glow,
Which taught the holy tear to flow !
It comes : it fills my lab'ring breast,
I feel my beating heart opprest.
Oh ! hear that lonely widow's wail !
See her dim eye ; her aspect pale !
To Heaven she turns in deep despair ;
Her infants wonder at her prayer,
And, mingling tears they know not why,
their little hands and cry.
O Lord ! their moving sorrows fee !
Support them, sweet Humanity !
Life, fiil'd with grief's distressful train,
Forever afks the tear humane.
Behold in yon unconscious grove
The victims of ill-fated love !
Heard you that agonizing throe?
Sure this is not romantic wo !
The golden day of joy is o’er ;
And now they part-to meet no more.
Aflift them, hearts from anguish free!
Aflift them, sweet Humanity!
Parent of virtue, if thine ear
Attend not now to forrow's cry ;
If now the pity-streaming tear
Should haply on thy cheek be dry, Indulge my votive strain, O sweet Humanity!