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Shall turn on me, among the sons of men ?
Am I a debtor? Hast thou ever heard Whence come the gifts that are on me conferr'd ? My lavish fruit a thousand valleys fills, And mine the herds, that graze a thousand hills : Earth, sea, and air, all nature is my own; And stars and sun are dust beneath my throne. And dar’st thou with the world's great Father vie, Thou, who dost tremble at my creature's eye?
At full my huge leviathan shall rise, (size. Boast all his strength, and spread his wondrous Who, great in arms, e'er stripp'd his shining mail, Or crown'd his triumph with a single scale ? Whose heart sustains him to draw near ? 'Behold, Destruction yawns; his spacious jaws unfold, And, marshall'd round the wide expanse, disclose Teeth edg'd with death, and crowding rows on What hideous fangs on either side arise! [rows: And what a deep abyss between them lies ! Mete with thy lance, and with thy plummet sound, The one how long, the other how profound.
His bulk is charg’d with such a furious soul, That clouds of smoke from his spread nostrils roll, As from a furnace; and, when rous'd his ire, ? Fate issues from his jaws in streams of fire.
| The crocodile's mouth is exceeding wide. When he gapes, says Pliny, sit totum os. Martial says to his old woman,
Cum comparata rictibus tuis ora
Niliacus habet crocodilus angusta. So that the expression there is barely just.
2 This too is nearer truth than at first view may be
The rage of tempests, and the roar of seas,
When, late awak'd, he rears him from the floods,
eyes Lift their broad lids, the morning seems to rise.
magined. The crocodile, say the naturalists, lying long under water, and being there forced to hold its breath, when it emerges, the breath long represt is hot, and bursts out so violently, that it resembles fire and smoke. The horse suppresses not his breath by any means so long, neither is he so fierce and animated; yet the most correct of poets ventures to use the same metaphor concerning him :
Collectumque premens volvit sub naribus ignem. By this and the foregoing note I would caution against a false opinion of the eastern boldness,
rom passages in them ill understood.
“ His eyes are like the eyelids of the morning.” I think this gives us as great an image of the thing it would express, as can enter the thought of man.
It is not improbable that the Egyptians stole their hieroglyphic for the morning, which is the crocodile's eye, from this passage, though no commentator, I have seen, mentions it. It is easy to conceive how the Egyptians should be both readers
In vain may death in various shapes invade,
His pastimes like a cauldron boil the flood,
And distant sailors point where death has been.
His like earth bears not on her spacious face:
and admirers of the writings of Moses, whom I suppose the author of this poem.
I have observed already that three or four of the creatures here described are Egyptian ; the two last are notoriously so, they are the river-horse and the crocodile, those celebrated inhabitants of the Nile; and on these two it is that our author chiefly dwells. It would have been expected from an author more remote from that river than Moses, in a catalogue of creatures produced to magnify their Creator, to have dwelt on the two largest works of his hand, viz. the elephant and the whale. This is so natural an expectation, that some commentators have rendered behemoth and leviathan, the elephant and wbale, though the descriptions in our author will not admit of it; but Moses being, as we may well suppose, under an immediate terror of the hippopotamus and crocodile, from their daily mischiefs and ravages around him, it is very accountable why he should permit them to take place.
Alone in nature stands his dauntless race,
Then the Chaldæan eas'd his lab’ring breast, With full conviction of his crime opprest.
“ Thou canst accomplish all things, Lord of And every thought is naked to thy sight. (might: But, oh! thy ways are wonderful, and lie Beyond the deepest reach of mortal eye. Oft have I heard of thine Almighty power; But never saw thee till this dreadful hour. O'erwhelm'd with shame, the Lord of life I see, Abhor myself, and give my soul to thee. Nor shall my weakness tempt thine anger more: Man is not made to question, but adore."
ON MICHAEL ANGELO'S FAMOUS PIECE OF
WHO IS SAID TO HAVE STABBED A PERSON THAT HE
MIGHT DRAW IT MORE NATURALLY.1
Whilst his Redeemer on his canvass dies,
Though the report was propagated without the least truth, it may be sufficient ground to justify a poetical fancy's enlarging on it.
He drains off life by drops, and, deaf to cries,
TO MR. ADDISON,
ON THE TRAGEDY OF CATO.
What do we see ? Is Cato then become
lines with more exalted charms; Illustrious deeds in distant nations wrought, And virtues by departed heroes taught, Raise in your
soul a pure
All Souls Coll. Oxon.