Зображення сторінки

Hat thou explor'd the fecrets of the deep,
Where, shut from use, unnumber'd treasures sleep?
Where, down a thousand fathoms from the day,
Springs the great fountain, mother of the sea ?
Those gloomy paths did thy bold foot e'er tread,
Whole worlds of waters rolling o'er they head ?

Hath the cleft centre open'd wide to Thee ?
Death's inmost chambers didft Thou ever see?
E’er knock at his tremendous gate, and wade
To the black portal through th' incumbent shade ?
Deep are those shades; but shades still deeper hide
My counsels from the ken of human pride.

Where dwells the light? In what refulgent dome ?
And where has darkness made her dismal home ?
Thou know'st, no doubt, since thy large heart is fraught
With ripen'd wisdom, through long ages brought;
Since nature was call'd forth when Thou wast by,
And into being rose beneath thine eye !

Are mifts begotten? Who their father knew?
From whom descend the pearly drops of dew?
To bind the stream by night, what hand can boast,
Or whiten morning with the hoary frost?
Whose pow'rful breath, from northern regions blown,
Touches the sea, and turns it into stone ?
A sudden desart spreads o'er realms defac'd,
And lays one half of the creation waste ?

Thou know'st Me not; Thy blindness cannot see
How vast a distance parts thy God from Thee.
Canit Thou in whirlwinds mount aloft ? Canst Thou
In clouds and darkness wrap thy awful brow ?
And, when day triumphs in meridian light,
Put forth thy hand, and shade the world with night?

Who launch'd the clouds in air, and bid them roll
Suspended seas aloft, from pole to pole?


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Who can refresh the burning fandy plain,
And quench the summer with a waste of rain ?
Who, in rough defarts, far from human toil,
Made rocks bring forth, and desolation smile ?
There blooms the rose, where human face ne'er fhone,
And spreads its beauties to the sun alone.

To check the show'r, who lifts his hand on high,
And shuts the fluices of th' exhausted sky,
When earth no longer mourns her gaping veins,
Her naked mountains, and her rasset plains ;
But, new in life, a chearful prospect yields
Of shining rivers, and of verdant fields ;
When groves and forests lavish all their bloom,
And earth and heav'n are fill?d with rich perfume ?

Haft Thou e'er scald my wintry skies, and seen
Of hail and snows my northern magazine ?
These the dread treasures of mine anger are,
My funds of vengeance for the day of war,
When clouds rain death, and storms, at my command,
Rage through the world, or waste a guilty land.

Who taught the rapid winds to fly so fast,
Or shakes the centre with his eastern blast ?
Who from the skies can a whole deluge pour ?
Who strikes through nature with the solemn roar
Of dreadful thunder, points it where to fall,
And in fierce lightning wraps the flying ball ?
Not he who trembles at the darted fires,
Falls at the found, and in the flash expires.

Who drew the comet out to such a size,
And pour’d his flaming train o'er half the skies?
Did Thy resentment hang him out? Does he
Glare on the nations, and denounce, from Thee?

Who on low earth can moderate the rein,
That guides the stars along th’ ethereal plain ?


Appoint their seasons, and direct their course,
Their lustre brighten, and supply their force ?
Canft Thou the skies benevolence restrain,
And cause the Pleiades to shine in vain ?
Or, when Orion sparkles from his sphere,
Thaw the cold season, and unbind the year?
Bid Mazzaroth his deftin'd station know,
And teach the bright Areturus where to glow?
Mine is the night, with all her stars ; I pour
Myriads, and myriads I reserve in store.

Doft Thou pronouncé where day-light shall be born,
And draw the purple curtain of the morn;
Awake the fun, and bid him come away;
And glad thy world with his obsequious ray?
Haft Thou, inthron'd in flaming glory, driv'n
Triumphant round the spacious ring of heav'n?
That pomp of light, what hand so far displays,
That diftant earth lies balking in the blaze?

Who did the soul with her rich powers invest,
And light up reason in the human breast?
To shine, with fresh increase of lustre, bright,
When stars and sun are set in endless night?
To these my various questions make reply.
Th’ Almighty spoke; and, speaking, shook the sky.

What then, Chaldæan Sire, was thy surprize! Thus Thou, with trembling heart, and down-cast eyes: « Once and again, which I in groans deplore, “ My tongue has err'd; but shall presume no more.

My voice is in eternal silence bound, “ And all my soul falls proftrate to the ground.”

He ceas’d: When, lo! again th’ Almighty spoke; The same dread voice from the black whirlwind broke.

Can that arm measure with an arm divine ? And canst thou thunder with a voice like Mine ? VOL. I.



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Or in the hollow of thy hand contain
The bulk of waters, the wide-Spreading main,
When, mad with tempefts, all the billows rise
In all their rage, and dash the distant skies?

Come forth, in beauty's excellence array'd;
And be the grandeur of thy pow'r display'd;
Put on omnipotence, and, frowning, make
The spacious round of the creation shake;
Dispatch thy vengeance, bid it overthrow
Triumphant vice, lay lofty tyrants low,
And crumble them to dust. When This is done,
I grant thy safety lodg'd in Thee alone;
Of Thee Thou art, and may'ft undaunted stand
Behind the buckler of thine own right-hand.

Fond man! the vision of a moment made !
Dream of a dream! and shadow of a shade !
What worlds haft Thou produc'd, what creatures fram’d;
What insects cherish'd, that thy God is blam'd ?
When * paind with hunger, the wild Raven's brood
Loud calls on God, importunate for food,
Who hears their cry, who grants their hoarse request,
And stills the clamour of the craving neft ?

Who in the stupid Ostrich + has subdu'd A parent's care, and fond inquietude ?


* Another argument that Moses was the author, is, that most of the creatures here mentioned are Egyptian. The reason given why the raven is particularly mentioned as an object of the care of Provi. dence, is, because by her clamorous and importunate voice, the particularly seems always calling upon it; thence xopácou a répat, Ælian. 1. ii. c. 48. is to ask earnestly. And since there were ravens on the bank of the Nile more clamorous than the rest of that species, those probably are meant in that place. f There are many instances of this bird's stupidity : Let two


While far she flies, her scatter'd eggs are found;
Without an owner, on the fandy ground;
Cast out on fortune, they at mercy lie,
And borrow life from an indulgent sy:
Adopted by the sun, in blaze of day,
They ripen under his prolific ray.
Unmindful she, that some unhappy tread
May crush her young in their neglected bed.
* What time she skims along the field with speed,
+ She fcorns the rider, and pursuing steed.


suffice. First, it covers its head in the reeds, and thinks itself all out of sight;

Stat lumine clauso
Ridendum revoluta caput, creditque latere
Que non ipsa videt

Claud. Secondly, They that go in pursuit of them, draw the skin of an Oftrich's neck on one hand; which proves a sufficient lure to take them with the other.

They have so little brain, that Helicgabalus had fix hundred heads for his supper.

Here we may observe, that our judicious as well as sublime author, just touches the great points of diftinction in each creature, and then hastens to another. A description is exact when you cannot add, but what is common to another thing ; nor withdraw, but something peculiarly belonging to the thing described. A likeness is Lost in too much description, as a meaning often in too much illustration.

* Here is marked another peculiar quality of this creature, which neither flies nor runs directly, but has a motion composed of both, and using its wings as fails, makes great speed.

Vafta velut Libyæ venantúm vocibus ales
Cum premitur, calidas curfu transmittit arenas,
Inque modum veli finuatis flamine pennis
Pulverulenta volat

Claud. in Eutr. + Xenophon says, Cyrus had horses that could overtake the goat and


O 2

« НазадПродовжити »