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As of a clamouring multitude enrag'd,
Of herb, leaf, fruit, and flower, from end to end The dash of foods, and hollow howl of winds Lies buried under fire, a glowing sea ! Through wintery woods or cavern'd ruins heard, Thus roaming with adventurous wing the globe, Rise from the distant depth where uproar reigns. From scene to scene excursive, I behold Anon, with black eruption, from its jaws,
In all her workings, beauteous, great, or new, A night of smoke, thick-driving, wave on wave, Fair Nature, and in all with wonder trace In stormy now, and cloud involving cloud,
The sovereign Maker, first, supreme, and best, Rolls surging forth, extinguishing the day; Who actuates the whole : at whose command, With vollied sparkles mix’d, and whirling drifts Obedient fire and fiood tremendous rise, Of stones and cinders rattling up the air.
His ministers of vengeance, to reprove,
Endless the wonders of creating power,
On Earth, but chief on high through Heaven disGradual and vast, in one ascending trunk
play'd. Of length immense, heav'd by the force of fire, There shines the full magnificence unveil'd On its own base direct, aloft in air,
Of Majesty divine: refulgent there Beyond the soaring eagle's sunward flight.
Ten thousand suns blaze forth, with each his train Still as it swells, through all the dark extent, Of worlds dependent, all bencath the eye With wonder seen! ten thousand lightnings play And equal rule of one eternal Lord. In flash'd vibrations; and from height to height To those bright climes, awakening all her powers, Incessant thunders roar. No longer now
And spreading her unbounded wing, the Muse Protruded by the explosive breath below,
Ascending soars on, through the fuid space, At once the shadowy summit breaks away
The buoyant atmosphere; whose vivid breath, To all sides round, in billows broad and black, Soul of all sublunary life, pervades As of a turbid ocean stirr'd by winds,
The realms of Nature, tu her inmost depths A vapoory deluge biding Earth and Heaven. Diffus'd with quickening energy. Now still,
Thus all day long: and now the beamless Sun From pole to pole th' aërial ocean sleeps, Sets as in blood. A dreadful pause ensues ;
One limpid vacancy : now rous'd to rage Deceitful calm, portending fiercer storm.
By blustering meteors, wind, hail, rain, or cloud Sad Night at once, with all her deep-dy'd shades, With thunderous fury charg'd, its billows rise, Falls back and boundless o'er the scene. Sus- | And shake the nether orb. Still as I mount, pense
A path the vulture's eye hath not observ'd, And terrour rule the hour. Behold, from far, Nor foot of eagle trod, th' ethereal sphere Imploring Heaven with supplicating hands Receding flies approach ; its circling arch And streaming eyes, in mute amazement fix'd, Alike remote, translucent, and serene. Yon peopled city stands; each sadden'd face Glorious expansion ! by th’ Almighty spread, Turu'd toward the hill of fears : and hark! once Whose limits who hath seen! or who with him
Hath walk'd the sun-pav'd circuit from old time, The rising tempest shakes its sounding vaults, And visited the host of Heaven around ! Now faint in distant murmurs, now more near
Gleaming a borrow'd light, whence how small Rebounding horrible, with all the roar
The speck of Earth, and dim air circunfus'd! Of winds and seas, or engines big with death, Mutable region, vext with hourly change. That, planted by the murderous hand of War But here, unruilled Calm her even reign To shake the round of some proud capital, Maintains external : here the lord of day, At once disploded, in one bursting peal
The neighbouring Sun, shines out in all his strength, Their mortal thunders mix. Along the sky, Noon without night. Attracted by his beam, From east to south, a ruddy hill of smoke I thither bend my flight, tracing the source Extends its ridge, with dismal light inflam'd, Where morning springs; whence her innumerous Meanwhile, the fluid lake that works below,
streams Bitumen, sulphur, salt, and iron-scum,
Flow lucid forth, and roll through trackless ways Heaves up its boiling tide. The labouring mount Their white waves o'er the sky. The fountain-orb, Is torn with agonizing throes-at once,
Dilating as I rise, beyond the ken Forth from its side disparted, blazing pours
Of mortal eye, to which earth, ocean, air, A mighty river, burning in prone waves,
Are but a central point, expands immense, That glimmer through the night, to yonder plain. A shoreless sea of fluctuating fire, D vided there, a hundred torrent-streams, That deluges all ether with its tide. Each ploughing up its bed, roll dreadful on, What power is that, which to its circle bounds Resistless. Villages, and woods, and rocks, The violence of flame! in rapid whirls Fall flat before their sweep. The region round, Conflicting, floods with foods, as if to leave Where myrtle walks and groves of golden fruit Their place, and, bursting, overwhelm the world! Rose fair, where harvest wav'd in all its pride, Motion incredible! to which the rage And where the vineyard spread her purple store,
Of oceans, when whole winter blows at once Maturing into nectar, now despoil'd.
In hurricane, is peace. But who shall tell
That radiance beyond measure, on the Sun In total night, and disappear eclips'd.
By this observ'd, the rapid progress finds
Of light itself: how swift the headlong ray Brightness original, all-bounteous king,
Shoots froin the Sun's height through unbounded Hath to his creature lent, and crown'd his sphere
space, With matchless glory. Yet not all alike
At once enlightening air, and Earth and Heaven. Resplendent: in these liquid regions pure,
Last, outmost Saturn walks his frontier-round, Thick mists, condensing, darken into spo
The boundary of worlds; with his pale moons, And dim the day. Whence that malignant light, Faint-glimmering through the darkness night has When Cæsar bled, which sadden'd all the year
thrown, With long eclipse. Some at the centre rise Deep-dy'd and dead, o'er this chill globe forlorn : In shady circles, like the Moon beheld
An endless desert, where extreme of cold From Earth, when she her unenlighten'd face Eternal sits, as in his native seat, Turns thitherward opaque : a space they brood On wintry hills of never-thawing ice! In congregated clouds ; then breaking float Such Saturn's earth; and yet ev'n here the sight, To all sides round. Dilated some and dense, Amid these doleful scenes, new matter finds Broad as Earth's surface each, by slow degrees Of wonder and delight ! a mighty ring, Spread from the confines of the light along, On each side rising from th' horizon's verge, Usurping half the sphere, and swim obscure Self-pois'd in air, with its bright circle round On to its adverse coast; till there they set, Encompasseth his orb. As night comes on, Or vanish scatter'd: measuring thus the time, Saturn's broad shade, cast on its eastern arch, That round its axle whirls the radiant orb.
Climbs slowly to its height: and at th' approach Fairest of beings ! first-created light!
Of morn returning, with like stealthy pace Prime cause of beauty! for from thee alone, Draws westward off'; till through the lucid round, The sparkling gem, the vegetable race,
In distant view th' illumind skies are seen. The nobler worlds that live and breathe, their Beauteous appearance! by th’ Almighty's hand The lovely hues peculiar to each tribe, (charms, Peculiar fashion d.—Thine these noble works, From thy unfailing source of splendour draw! Great, 'universal Ruler! Earth and Ileaven In thy pure sh ne, with transport I survey Are thine, spontaneous offspring of thy will, This firmament, and these ber rolling worlds, Seen with transcendent ravishment sublime, Their magnitudes, and motions: those how vast ! That lifts the soul to thee! a holy joy, How rapid these! with swiftness unconceivd, By reason prompted, and by reason swellid From west to east in solemn pomp revolvd, Beyond all height--for thou art infinite! Unerring, undisturb'd; the Sun's bright train, Thy virtual energy the frame of things Progressive through the sky's light fluent borne Pervading actuates : as at first thy hand Around their centre. Mercury the first,
Diffus’d through endless space this limpid sky, Near bordering on the day, with speedy wheel Vast ocean without storm, where these huge globes Flies swiftest on, intiaining where he comes, Sail undisturb’d, a rounding voyage each; With sevenfold splendour, all his azure road. Observant all of one unchanging law. Next Venus to the westward of the Sun,
Siniplicity divine! by this sole rule, Full orb'd her face, a golden plain of light, The Maker's great establishment, these worlds Circles her larger round. Fair morning-star! Revolve harmonious, world attracting world That leads on dawping day to yonder world, With mutual love, and to their central Sun The seat of man, hung in the heavens remote, All gravitating: now with quickeu'd pace Whose northern hemisphere, descending, sees Descending tow'rd the primal orb, and now The Sun arise; as through the zodiac rolld, Receding slow, excursive from his bounds. Full in the middle path oblique she winds
This spring of motion, this hid power infus'd Her annual orb: and by her side the Moon, Through universal nature, first was known Companion of her fight, wlose solemn beams, To thee, great Newton! Britain's justest pride, Nocturnal, to her darken'd globe supply
The boast of human race; whose towering thought, A softer day-light ; whose attractive power In her amazing progress uncontin'd, Swells all her seas and oceans into tides,
From truth to truth ascending, ganu'd the height From the mid-deeps o'erflowing to their shores. Of science, whither mankiud from afar
Beyond the sphere of Mars, in distant skies, Gaze up astonish'd. Now beyond that height, Revolves the mighty magnitude of Jove,
By death from frail mortality set free, With kingly state, the rival of the Sun.
A pure intelligence he wings his way About him round, four planetary moons.
Through wondrous scenes, new-opend in the world On Earth with wonder all night long beheld, Invisible, amid the general quire Moon above moon, his fair attendants, dance, Of saints and angels, rapt with joy divine, These, in th' horizon, slow-ascending climb
Which fills, o'ertiows, and ravishes the soul ! The steep of Heaven, and, mingling in soft flow His mind's clear vision from all darkness purg'd, Their silver radiance, brighten as they rise.
For Cod himself shines forth immediate there, Those opposite roll downward from their noon Through those eternal climes, the frame of things, To where the shade of Jove, outstretch'd in length in its ideal harmony, to him A dusky cone immense, darkens the sky
Stands all reveal'd. Through many a region. To these bounds arriv'd,
But how shall mortal wing A gradual pale creeps dim o'er each sad orb, Attempt this blue profundity of Heaven, Fading their lustre ; till they sink involv'd Unfathomable, endless of extent !
Where unknown suns to unknown systems rise, Incredible to tell! thick, vapoury mists,
Millions of lives, that live but in his light,
Such this dread revolution : Heaven itself, Instructed can declare! What search shall find Subject to change, so feels the waste of years. Their times and seasons! their appointed laws, So this cerulian round, the work divine * Peculiar! their inhabitants of life,
Of God's own hand, shall fade; and empty night And of intelligence, from scale to scale
Reign solitary, where these stars now roll Harmonious rising and in fix'd degree;
From west to east their periods : where the train Numberless orders, each resembling each,
Of comets wander their eccentric ways, Yet all diverse !—Tremendous depth and height With infinite excursion, through th' immense Of wisdom and of power, that this great whole Of ether, traversing from sky to sky Fram'd inexpressible, and still preserves,
Ten thousand regions in their winding road, An infinite of wonders !—Thou, supreme,
Whose length to trace imagination fails ! First, Independent Cause, whose presence fills Various their paths; without resistance all Nature's cast circle, and whose pleasgre moves, Through these free spaces borne: of various face; Father of human kind! the Muse's wing
Enkindled this with beams of angry light, Sustaining guide, while to the heights of Heaven, Shot circling from its orb in sanguine showers: Roaming th' interminable vast of space,
That, through the shade of night, projecting huge, She rises, tracing thy almighty hand
In horrid trail, a spire of dusky flame, In its dread operations. Where is now
Embody'd mists and vapours, whose fir'd mass The seat of mankind, Earth? where her great scenes Keen vibrates, streaming a red length of air. Of Fars and triumphs ? empires fam'd of old, While distant orbs, with wonder and amaze, Assyrian, Roman? or of later name,
Mark its approach, and night by night alarm'd Peruvian, Mexican, in that new world,
Its dreaded progress watch, as of a foe Beyond the wide Atlantic, late disclos'd ?
Whose march is ever fatal; in whose train Where is their place ? - Let proud Ambition pause, Famine, and War, and desolating Plague, And sicken at the vanity that prompts
Each on his pale horse rides ; the ministers His little deeds--With Earth, those nearer orbs, Of angry Heaven, to scourge oflending worlds ! Surrounding planets, late so glorious seen,
But lo! where one, from some far world return'd, And each a world, are now for sight too small; Shines out with sudden glare through yonder sky, Are almost lost to thought. The Sun himself, Region of darkness, where a Sun's lost globe, Ocean of Name, but twinkles from afar,
Deep overwhelm'd with night, extinguish'd lies. A glimmering star amid the train of night! By some hid power attracted from his path, While in these deep abysses of the sky,
Fearful commotion ! into that dusk tract, Spaces incomprehensible, new suns,
The devious comet, steep descending, falls Crown'd with unborrow'd beams, illustrious shine; With all his flames, rekindling into life Arcturus here, and here the Pleiades,
Th' exhausted orb: and swift a flood of light
In orient streams to his fair train afar
Myriads beyond, with blended rays, infiame In still amazement lost, th' awaken'd mind The milky way, whose stream of vivid light, Contemplates this great view, a Sun restor'd Pour'd from innumerable fountains round,
With all his worlds! while thus at large her flight Flows trembling, wave on wave, from sun to sun, Ranges these untrac'd scenes, progressive borne And whitens the long path to Heaven's extreme: Far through ethereal ground, the boundless walk Distinguish'd tract! But as with upward fight, Of spirits, daily travelers from Heaven ;Soaring, I gain th'immensurable steep,
Who pass the mystic gulf to journey here, Contiguous stars, in bright profusion sown
Searching th' Almighty Maker in his works Through these wide fields, all broaden into suns,
From worlds to worlds, and, in triumphant quire Amazing, sever'd each by gulfs of air,
Of voice and harp, extolling his bigh praise. In circuit ample as the solar heavens.
Immortal natures! cloth'd with brightness round, From this dread eminence, where endless day, Empyreal, from the source of light effus'd, Day without cloud abides, alone and fill'd
More orient than the noon-day's stainless beam. With holy horrour, trembling I survey
Their will unerring ; their affections pure,
Illusive all, can charm the soul no more.
Sublime their intellect, and without spot,
Ineffable, eternity and time;
Descending, sumless orders and degrees;
ago, under the title of a Voyage to St. Kilda. The Th’ unsounded depth, which mortals dare not try, author, who had himself been upon the spot, deOf God's perfections; how these heavens first sprung scribes at length the situation, extent, and produce From unprolific night; how mov'd and rul'd of that solitary island; sketches out the natural In number, weight, and measure; what hid laws, history of the birds of season that transmigrate thiInexplicable, guide the moral world,
ther annually, and relates the singular customs Active as flame, with prompt obedience all that still prevailed among the inhabitants: a race The will Heaven fulfil: some bis fierce wrath of people then the most uncorrupted in their manBear through the nations, pestilence and war; ners, and therefore the least unhappy in their lives, His copious goodness some, life, light, and bliss, of any, perhaps, on the face of the whole Earth. To thousands. Some the fate of empires rule, To whom might have been applied what an ancient Commission'd, sheltering with their guardian wings historian says of certain barbarous nations, when The pious monarch, and the legal throne.
he compares them with their more civilized neighNor is the sovereign, nor th' illustrious great, bours : plus valuit apud hos ignorantia vitiorum, Alone their care. To every lessening rank quam apud Græcos omnia philosophorum præOf worth propitious, these blest minds embrace cepta. With universal love the just and good,
They live together, as in the greatest simplicity Wherever found; unpriz'd, perhaps unknown, of heart, so in the most inviolable harmony and Deprest by fortune, and with hate pursued, union of sentiments. They have neither silver nor Or insult from the proud oppressor's brow.
gold; but barter among themselves for the few neYet dear to Heaven, and merit ng the watch cessaries they may reciprocally want. To strangers Of angels o'er his unambitious walk,
they are extremely hospitable, and no less chariAt morn or eve, when Nature's fairest face, table to their own poor; for whose relief each Calmly magnificent, inspires the soul
family in the island contributes its share monthly, With virtuous raptures, prompting to forsake and at every festival sends them besides a portion The sin-born van ties, and low pursuits,
of mutton or beef. Both sexes have a genius to That busy human kind; to view their ways poetry; and compose not only songs, but picces of With pity; to repay, for numerous wrongs, a more elevated turn, in their own language, which Meekness and charity. Or, rais'd aloft,
is very empbatical. One of those islanders, having Fird with ethereal ardour, to survey
been prevailed with to visit the greatest trading The circuit of creation, all these suns [height, town in North Britain, was infinitely astonished at With all their worlds : and still from height to the length of the voyage, and at the mighty kingBy things created rising, last ascend
doms, for such he reckoned the larger isles, by To that First Cause, who made, who governs all, which they sailed. He would not venture himself Fountain of being, self-existent power,
into the streets of that city without being led by All-wise, all-good, who froin eternal age
the band. At sight of the great church, be owned Endures, and fills th' immensity of space;
that it was indeed a lofty rock; but insisted that, That infinite diffusion, where the mind
in his native country of St. Kilda, there were others Conceives no limits; undistinguish'd void,
still higher. However the caverns formed in it, so Invariable, where no land-marks are,
he named the pillars and arches on which it is No paths to guide Imagination's flight.
raised, were bollowed, he said. more commodiously than any he had ever seen there. At the shake occasioned in the steeple, and the horrible din that sounded in his ears upon tolling out the great bells,
he appeared under the utmost consternation, beAMYNTOR AND THEODORA: lieving the frame of nature was falling to pieces
about him. He thought the persons who wore OR,
masks, not distinguishing whether they were men THE HERMIT.
or women, had been guilty of some ill thing, for
which they did not dare to show their faces. The ADDRESSED TO THE EARL OF CHESTERFILI.D. beauty and stateliness of the trees wbich he saw
then for the first time, as in his own island there grows not a shrub, equally surprised and delighted
him : but he observed, with a kind of terrour, that PREFACE.
as he passed among their branches, they pulled
him back again. He had been persuaded to drink The following poem was originally intended for the a pretty large dose of strong waters; and upon stage, and planned out, several years ago, into a finding himself drowsy after it, and ready to fall regular tragedy. But the author found it neces- into a slumber, which he fancied was to be his last, sary to change his first design, and to give his work he expressed to his companions the great satisfacthe form it now appears in ; for reasons with which tion he felt in so easy a passage out of this world : it might be impertinent to trouble the public: for, said be, it is attended with no kind of pain. though, to a man who thinks and feels in a certain
Among such sort of men it was that Aurelius manner, those reasons were invincibly strong. sought refuge from the violence and cruelty of bis
As the scene of the piece is laid in the most re- enemies. mote and unfrequented of all the Hebrides, or The time appears to have been towards the latwestern isles that surround one part of Great ter part of the reign of king Charles the Second: Britain; it may not be improper to inform the when those who governed Scotland under him, reader, that he will find a particular account of it, with no less cruelty than impolicy, made the people in a little treatise published near half a century of that country desperate; and then plundered,
imprisoned, or butchered them, for the natural | To thousand nations deals her nectar'd cup eliects of such despair. The best and worthiest Of pleasing bane, that soothes at once and kills, men were oft the objects of their most unrelenting Is yet a name unknown. But calm Content fury. Under the title of fanatics, or seditious, That lives to reason; ancient Faith that binds they affected to herd, and of course persecuted, 'The plain community of guileless hearts whoever wished well to his country, or ventured to In love and union; Innocence of ill stand up in defence of the laws and a legal govern- 'Their guardian genius: these, the powers that'rule ment. I have now in my hands the copy of a This little world, to all its sons secure warrant, signed by king Charles himself, for mili- Man's happiest life; the soul serene and sound tary execution upon them without process or con- From passion's rage, the body from disease. viction : and I know that the original is still kept Red on each cheek behold the rose of health; in the secretary's office for that part of the united Firm in each sinew vigour's pliant spring; kingdom. Thus much I thought it necessary to By temperance brac'd to peril and to pain, say, that the reader may not be misled to look Amid the floods they stem, or on the steep upon the relation given by Aurelius in the second Of upright rocks their straining steps surmount, canto, as drawn froin the wantonness of imagina- For food or pastime. These light up their mom, tion, when it hardly arises to strict historical truth. And close their eve in slumbers sweetly deep,
What reception this poem may meet with, the Beneath the north, within the circling swell anthor cannot foresee; and, in his humble, but Of Ocean's raging sound. But last and best, happy retirement, he needs not be over anxious to What Avarice, what Ambition shall not know, know. He has endeavoured to make it one regular True Liberty is theirs, the heaven-sent guest, and consistent whole; to be true to nature in his Who in the cave, or on th' uncultur'd wild, thoughts, and to the genius of the language in his With Independence dwells ; and Peace of mind, manner of expressing them. If he has succeeded In youth, in age, their sun that never sets. in these points, but above all in effectually touch- Daughter of Heaven and Nature, deign thy aid, ing the passions, which, as it is the genuine pro- Spontaneous Muse! O, whether from the depth rince, so is it the great triumph, of poetry; the Of evening forest, brown with broadest shade; candour of his more discerning readers will readily Or from the brow sublime of vernal alp overlook mistakes or failures in things of less im- As morning dawns ; or from the vale at noon, portance.
By some soft stream that slides with liquid foot
And listens to thy lore, auspicious come!
O'er these wild waves, o'er this unharbourd shore,
Thy wing high-hovering spread; and to the gale, Taou faithful partner of a heart thy own,
The boreal spirit breathing liberal round Whose pain, or pleasure, springs from thine alone; From echoing hill to hill, the lyre attune Thou, true as Honour, as Compassion kind, With answering cadence free, as best beseems That, in sweet union, harmonize thy mind : The tragic theme my plaintive verse unfolds. Here, while thy eyes, for sad Amyntor's woe,
Here, good Aurelius—and a scene more wild And Theodora's wreck, with tears o'erflow,
The world around, or deeper solitude,
Expell'd his native home, the sacred vale
Th' unhappy past recalld; a faithful wife,
Whom Love first chose, whom Reason long endear'd,
With one fair daughter, in her rosy prime,
Her dawn of opening charms, defenceless left
Within a tyrant's grasp! his foe profess'd,
By civil madness, by intemperate zeal Par in the watery waste, where his broad wave For differing rites, embitter'd into hate, From world to world the vast Atlantic rolls, And cruelty remorseless !—Thus he liv'd : Or from the piny shores of Labrador
If this was life, to load the blast with sighs; To frozen Thule east, her airy height
Hung o'er its edge, to swell the flood with tears, Aloft to Heaven remotest Kilda lifts;
At midnight hour: for midnight frequent heard Last of the sea-girt Hebrides, that guard,
The lonely mourner, desolate of heart,
Pour all the husband, all the father forth
Smote with the wintry pole in bitter storm,
Hail, snow, and shower, dark-drifting round his head. Beyond Ambition's walk: where never War
Such were his hours; till Time, the wretch's friend, Upreard his sanguine standard; nor unsheath'd Life's great physician, skill'd alone to close, For wealth or power, the desolating sword. Where sorrow long has wak’d, the weeping eye, Where Luxury, soft syren, who around
And from the brain, with baleful vapours black,