Obrázky na stránke

Scath'd by JEHOVAH's terror-flashing eye,
The watery ruin roar'd) Thyself a bard,
Inspire the Muse; that with prophetic strain
Would hail their fecond Exodus, and wake
For future years the high triumphant song.

Fain would the Poet tell, what oft his ear
Has caught with rapture, how by Thee convey'd
Twice twenty fummers they their long array
Wound through the intricate and perilous path;
When with impendent pillar, 'mid the wild
Unbroken folitudes, the daily cloud
And flame nocturnal mark'd th' uncertain way
Alternate: Gufhing from the riven flint,
In lavish pride, how new-born torrents pour'd

Their liquid health; and, by circumfluous night

Shrouded from glance profane, th' ALMIGHTY trac'd

With his own finger on the two-leav'd stone

His double law: Upon its LORD's descent

How th' empyréan bow'd, and 'neath his feet
Spread darkness: while the confecrated hill,
Guarded by death, even to its rocky base

Shook with strange weight; and lurid lightnings, hurl'd

In awful splendour through the deep obfcure,

Announc'd a present Deity: How vain

This prodigal magnificence of Heaven;

Its record foon by novelty's young hand

Ras'd from man's careless heart: How two alone I

Surviv'd the lingering maze; and Thou, even Thou,

As burft the glorious vifion on thy view

Of ISRAEL'S deftin'd heritage, wert doom'd
To sleep within an undiscover'd tomb;
Though fix-score winters fail'd to chill thy blood,
And quench thy beaming eye:-O'er all this field,
Sown with bright miracles, the verfe would range;
If verse were equal to the dazzling toil.

I CALEB and JOSHUA, Numb. xiv. 30. xxvi. 65.

Keen was the fword, and more than mortal proof, That JOSHUA wielded when from their huge cliffs He swept the Anakim: The Sun ftood still,

His punctual course remitting in mid sky;

And night's pale Sovereign check'd her rapid orb,

To aid the mighty task. Before him funk
Devoted Canaan, with unhallow'd gore
Moistening the ground: Not infancy its years,
Nor kings their purple rescued; undiscern'd,
Amid the common carnage, they expir'd
By hoftile hands-unfung, unwept, unknown.

As fome tall vine, whofe blufhing fruitage glows Beneath the luftre of the noon-tide ray, Long ISRAEL flourish'd; 'till, by gradual shade Darken'd to deepest crimson, guilt provok'd Th' OMNIPOTENT's accumulated ire,

And urg'd his bolt. Upon the double throne

Sat rafh Rebellion, ever prompt to burst

From duty's guidance: Sion's dames were fair,
But frail as fair; fuch, ALBION, thine (if thine
Rightly the bard hath noted) mirror-taught
To roll th' obedient eye, and court the glance
Of ftaggering triflers, or with zoneless waist
Rouse the lascivious fire 2: There Avarice ground


WHAT! Though of ALBION's dames the Poet fung
That, frail as fair, with artificial glance

They roll'd th' obedient eye; and 'mid the dance
Guileful upon the flaggering trifler hung:

2 The following Sonnet was written foon after the poem made its first appearance; and, notwithstanding the terrible denunciation of a friend (viz. "that it might perhaps make my peace with one of "the fex, at the expence of irretrievably offending all the reft") I am unwilling to omit this opportunity of introducing it.

He then nor knew, fond bard! the modeft grace
Of MYRA's frame; nor haply then divin'd
That Nature e'er had link'd so fair a face,

In bond harmonious, with fo pure a mind.

Ah! Had he still in error perfever'd!

Still cherish'd his mistake! Now doom'd to pine,
By viewing in that angel form of thine

A more than angel's chastity inspher'd,

Fatal discovery! from thy bright eyes
And brighter foul he learns his guilt-and dies.

[ocr errors]

The face of Indigence; the Slanderer there

Wove the false tale; and rob'd Devotion paid

The homage of the lip, intent with prayer

To mask or hallow crimes. Then GOD's wak'd wrath,

Gigantic and impatient of delay,

Sped its vaft vengeance from the eastern sky:

Onward by Jordan's stream in mournful line
The exiles move, with oft-reverted look

Sadly folicitous once more to view

Deferted Salem; ere her leffening hills

With dubious image cheat their earnest fight:
The haughty Babylonian ftalks around,
And in proud mockery taunts the patriot tear.

But happier They, who on the bending tree
Hung 'mid the victor's fcoffs the filent harp,
Than Those who stoop'd beneath the arm of Rome!

When seventy funs had fill'd their annual course,

Chaldæa's vaffals faw the righteous fhrine

« PredošláPokračovať »