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Tune thy great praise, and bid my soul arise,
And with the mounting sun ascend the skies :
As that advances, let my zeal improve,
And glow with ardour of consummate love ;
Nor cease at eve, but with the setting sun
My endless worship shall be still begun.
“ And, oh! permit the gloom of solemn night
To sacred thought may forcibly invite.
When this world's shut, and awful planets rise,
Call on our minds, and raise them to the skies ;
Compose our souls with a less dazzling sight,
And show all nature in a milder light;
How every boisterous thought in calm subsides !
How the smooth'd spirit into goodness glides !
O how divine ! to tread the milky way,
To the bright palace of the lord of day;
His court admire, or for his favour sue,
Or leagues of friendship with his saints renew;
Pleas'd to look down, and see the world asleep,
While I long vigils to its founder keep !
“ Canst thou not shake the centre? Oh! control, Subdue by force, the rebel in my
Thou, who canst still the raging of the flood,
Restrain the various tumults of my blood;
me, with equal firmness, to sustain
Alluring pleasure, and assaulting pain.
may 1 pant for thee in each desire ! And with strong faith foment the holy fire! Stretch out my soul in hope, and grasp the prize, Which in eternity's deep bosom lies! At the great day of recompense behold, Devoid of fear, the fatal book unfold !
Then wafted upward to the blissful seat,
From age to age, my grateful song repeat;
My light, my life, my God, my Saviour see,
And rival angels in the praise of thee.”
Esse quoque in fatis reminiscitur, affore tempus,
Quo mare, quo tellus, correptaque regia cæli
Ardeat; et mundi moles operosa laboret.—OVID. MET.
"The book unfolding; the resplendent seat
Of saints and angels; the tremendous fate
Of guilty souls; the gloomy realms of woe;
And all the horrors of the world below;
I next presume to sing: what yet remains
Demands my last, but most exalted strains.
And let the muse or now affect the sky,
Or in inglorious shades for ever lie.
She kindles, she's inflam'd so near the goal ;
She mounts, she gains upon the starry pole;
The world grows less as she pursues her flight,
And the sun darkens to her distant sight.
Heaven op'ning, all its sacred pomp displays,
And overwhelms her with the rushing blaze!
The triumph rings ! archangels shout around !
And echoing nature lengthens out the sound !
Ten thousand trumpets now at once advance;
Now deepest silence lulls the vast expanse :
So deep the silence, and so strong the blast,
As nature died, when she had groan'd her last.
Nor man, nor angel, moves; the Judge on high
Looks round, and with his glory fills the sky:
Then on the fatal book his hand he lays,
Which high to view supporting seraphs raise ;
In solemn form the rituals are prepar'd,
The seal is broken, and a groan is heard.
And thou, my soul, (oh fall to sudden pray’r,
And let the thought sink deep!) shalt thou be there?
See on the left (for by the great command
The throng divided falls on either hand ;)
How weak, how pale, how haggard, how obscene,
What more than death in ev'ry face and mien !
With what distress, and glarings of affright,
They shock the heart, and turn away the sight !
In gloomy orbs their trembling eye-balls roll,
And tell the horrid secrets of the soul.
Each gesture mourns, each look is black with care,
And ev'ry groan is loaden with despair.
Reader, if guilty, spare the muse, and find
A truer image pictur'd in thy mind.
Shouldst thou behold thy brother, father, wife, And all the soft companions of thy life, Whose blended int’rests leveli'd at one aim, Whose mix'd desires sent up one common flame, Divided far; thy wretched self alone Cast on the left, of all whom thou hast known; How would it wound! What millions wouldst thou For one more trial, one more day to live ! [give Flung back in time an hour, a moment's space, To grasp with eagerness the means of grace; Contend for mercy with a pious rage, And in that moment to redeem an age ?
Drive back the tide, suspend a storm in air,
Arrest the sun !—but still of this despair.
Mark, on the right, how amiable a grace!
Their Maker's image fresh in ev'ry face !
What purple bloom my ravish'd soul admires
And their eyes sparkling with immortal fires .
Triumphant beauty! charms that rise above
This world, and in blest angels kindle love!
To the great Judge with holy pride they turn,
And dare behold th’ Almighty's anger burn;
Its flash sustain, against its terror rise,
And on the dread tribunal fix their eyes.
Are these the forms that moulder'd in the dust?
Oh the transcendent glory of the just !
Yet still some thin remains of fear and doubt,
Th' infected brightness of their joy pollute.
Thus the chaste bridegroom, when the priest
draws nigh, Beholds his blessing with a trembling eye, Feels doubtful passions throb in every vein, And in his cheeks are mingled joy and pain, Lest still some intervening chance should rise, Leap forth at once, and snatch the golden prize; Inflame his woe, by bringing it so late, And stab him in the crisis of his fate.
Since Adam's family, from first to last, Now into one distinct survey is cast; Look round, vainglorious muse, and you whoe'er Devote yourselves to fame, and think her fair; Look round, and seek the lights of human race, Whose shining acts time's brightest annals grace; Who founded sects; 'crowns conquer'd, or resign'd;
Gave names to nations; or fam'd empires join'd;
Who rais'd the vale, and laid the mountain low;
And taught obedient rivers where to flow;
Who with vast fleets, as with a mighty chain,
Could bind the madness of the roaring main :
All lost? all undistinguish'd ? no where found ?
How will this truth in Bourbon’s palace sound?
That hour, on which the Almighty King on high
From all eternity has fix'd his eye,
Whether his right hand favour'd, or annoy'd,
Continu'd, alter'd, threaten'd, or destroy'd ;
Southern or eastern sceptre downward hurl’d,
Gave north or west dominion o'er the world;
The point of time, for which the world was built,
For which the blood of God himself was spilt,
That dreadful moment is arriv’d.
Aloft, the seats of bliss their pomp display Brighter than brightness, this distinguish'd day; Less glorious, when of old th' eternal Son From realms of night return’d with trophies won: Thro' heaven's high gates, when he triumphant rode, And shouting angels hail'd the victor God. Horrors, beneath, darkness in darkness, hell Of hell, where torments behind torments dwell ; A furnace formidable, deep, and wide, O'erboiling with a mad sulphureous tide, Expands its jaws, most dreadful to survey, And roars outrageous for the destin'd prey. The sons of light scarce unappall’d look down, And nearer press heaven's everlasting throne.
Such is the scene; and one short moment's space Concludes the hopes and fears of human race.