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View the whole earth’s vast landskip unconfin'd,
Or view in Britain all her glories join'd.
Then let the firmament thy wonder raise ;
"Twill raise thy wonder, but transcend thy praise.
How far from east to west? The lab’ring eye
Can scarce the distant azure bounds defcry :
Wide theatre! where tempests play at large,
And God's right-hand can all its wrath discharge.
Mark how those radiant lamps inflame the pole,
Call forth the seasons, and the year controul :
They shine thro' time, with an unalter'd ray:
See This grand period rise, and That decay:
So vaft, this world's a grain; yet myriads grace,
With golden pomp, the throng’d ethereal space;
So bright, with such a wealth of glory stor'd,
'Twere fin in heathens not to have ador'd.
How great, how firm, how facred, all appears!
How worthy an immortal round of years !
Yet all must drop, as autumn's fickliest grain,
And earth and firmament be fought in vain:
The tract forgot where constellations shone,
Or where the STUARTS fill'd an awful throne :
Time shall be flain, all nature be destroy'd,
Nor leave an atom in the mighty void.
Sooner, or later, in some future date,
(A dreadful secret in the book of fate !)
This hour, for aught all human wisdom knows,
Or when ten thousand harvests more have rose;
When scenes are chang'd on this revolving earth,
Old empires fall, and give new empires birth;
While other Bourbons rule in other lands,
And (if man's fin forbids not) other Annes;
While the still busy world is treading o'er
The paths they trod five thousand years before,
Thoughtless as those who now life's mazes run,
Of earth diffolv'd, or an extinguish'd fun;
(Ye sublunary worlds, awake, awake!
Ye rulers of the nation, hear, and shake !)
Thick clouds of darkness shall arise on day ;
In sudden night all earth's dominions lay ;
Impetuous winds the scatter'd forests rend;
Eternal mountains, like their cedars, bend;
The valleys yawn, the troubled ocean roar,
And break the bondage of his wonted shore;
A sanguine stain the filver moon o'erspread;
Darkness the circle of the sun invade;
From inmost heav'n incessant thunders roll,
And the strong echo bound from pole to pole.
When, lo, a mighty trump, one half conceal'd
In clouds, one half to mortal eye reveald,
Shall pour a dreadful note; the piercing call
Shall rattle in the centre of the ball;
Th’extended circuit of creation shake,
The living die with fear, the dead awake.
Oh pow'rful blast! to which no equal found
Did e'er the frighted ear of nature wound,
Tho' rival clarions have been strain’d on high,
And kindled wars immortal thro' the sky,
Tho' God's whole enginery discharg'd, and all
The rebel Angels bellow'd in their fall.
Have angels fin’d? and shall not man beware?
How shall a son of earth decline the snare ?
Not folded arms, and sickness of the mind,
Can promise for the safety of mankind :
None are supinely good : thro' care and pain,
And various arts, the steep ascent we gain.
This is the scene of combat, not of reit,
Man's is laborious happiness at beit;
On this fide death his dangers never cease,
His joys are joys of conquest, not of peace.
If then, obsequious to the will of fate,
And bending to the terms of human ftate,
When guilty joys invite us to their arms,
"When beauty smiles, or grandeur spreads her charms,
The conscious soul would this great scene display,
Call down th' immortal hosts in dread array,
The trumpet found, the Christian banner spread,
And raise from filent graves the trembling dead;
Such deep impression would the picture make,
No pow'r on earth her firm resolve could take;
Engag'd with angels she would greatly stand,
And look regardless down on sea and land ;
Not proffer'd worlds her ardour could restrain,
And death might shake his threat'ning lance in vain !
Her certain conquest would endear the fight,
And danger serve but to exalt delight.
Instructed thus to Thun the fatal spring,
Whence flow the terrors of that day I fing;
More boldly we our labours may pursue,
And all the dreadful image set to view.
The sparkling eye, the sleek and painted breast,
The burnish'd scale, curld train, and rising crest,
All that is lovely in the noxious snake,
Provokes our fear, and bids us flee the brake :
The sting once drawn, his guiltless beauties riss
In pleasing lustre, and detain our eyes;
We view with joy, what once did horror move,
And strong averfion softens into love.
Say then, my muse, whom dismal scenes delight,
Frequent at tombs, and in the realms of night;
Say, melancholy maid, if bold to dare
The last extremes of terror and despair;
Oh say, what change on earth, what heart in man,
This blackest moment since the world began.
Ah mournful turn! the blissful earth, who late
At leisure on her axle roll'd in ftate;
While thousand golden planets knew no rest,
Still onward in their circling journey prest;
A grateful change of seasons fome to bring,
And sweet vicissitude of fall and spring :
Some thro' vast oceans to conduct the keel,
And some those watry worlds to fink, or swell:
Around her some their splendors to display,
And gild her globe with tributary day:
This world so great, of joy the bright abode,
Heav'n's darling child, and fav'rite of her God,
Now looks an exile from her Father's care,
Deliver'd o’er to darkness and despair.
No fun in radiant glory shines on high;
No light, but from the terrors of the sky:
Fall'n are her mountains, her fam'd rivers loft,
And all into a second chaos tost:
One universal ruin spreads abroad;
Nothing is safe beneath the throne of God.
Such, earth, thy fate : what then canst thou afford
To comfort and support thy guilty lord ?
Man, haughty lord of all beneath the moon,
How must he bend his soul's ambition down?
Prostrate, the reptile own, and disavow
His boasted stature, and assuming brow?
Claim kindred with the clay, and curse his form,
That speaks distinction from his sister worm ?
What dreadful pangs the trembling heart invade ?
Lord, why dost thou forsake, whom thou hast made ?
Who can sustain thy anger? who can stand
Beneath the terrors of thy lifted hand ?
It flies the reach of thought; oh save me, Pow'r
Of pow'rs supreme, in that tremendous hour!
Thou who beneath the frown of fate haft stood,
And in thy dreadful agony sweat blood;
Thou, who for me, thro' every throbbing vein,
Haft felt the keenest edge of mortal pain;
Whom death led captive through the realms below,
And taught those horrid mysteries of woe ;
God! Oh save me, Pow'r
Of pow'rs supreme, in that tremendous hour!
From eaft to west they fly, from pole to line,
Imploring shelter from the wrath divine;
Beg flames to wrap, or whelming seas to sweep,
Or rocks to yawn, compassionately deep:
Seas cast the monster forth to meet his doom,
And rocks but prison up for wrath to come.
So fares a traitor to an earthly crown ;
While death fits threat'ning in his prince's frown,
His heart's dismay'd; and now his fears comm
To change his native for a distant land:
Swift orders fly, the king's severe decree
Stands in the channel, and locks
the sea; The port
he seeks, obedient to her lord, Hurls back the rebel to his lifted sword.
But why this idle' toil to paint that day!
This time elaborately thrown away?
Words all in vain pant after the distress,
The height of eloquence would make it less;
Heav'ns ! how the good man trembles !
And is there a Last Day? and must there come
A sure, a fix’d, inexorable doom?
Ambition swell, and, thy proud fails to show,
Take all the winds that vanity can blow ;
Wealth on a golden mountain blazing stand,
And reach an India forth in either hand ;