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But yet, (if still to more stupendous heights
The muse, unblamed, her aching sense may strain,)
Perhaps wrapt up in contemplation deep,
The best of beings on the noblest theme
Might ruminate at leisure, scope immense,
Th' Eternal power and Godhead to explore,
And with itself th' omniscient mind replete.
This were enough to fill the boundless all!
This were a sabbath worthy the Supreme!
Perhaps enthroned amidst a choicer few
Of spirits inferior, He might greatly plan
The two prime pillars of the universe,
Creation and redemption-and awhile
Pause with the grand presentiments of glory.
Perhaps--but all's conjecture here below,
All ignorance and self-plumed vanity.
0 Thou, whose ways to wonder at's distrust,
Whom to describe's presumption (all we can
And all we may), be glorified, be praised.
A day shall come when all this earth shall perish,
Nor leave behind e'en chaos; it shall come
When all the armies of the elements
Shall war against themselves, and mutual rage,
To make perdition triumph; it shall come
When the capacious atmosphere above
Shall in sulphureous thunders groan and die,
And vanish into void: the earth beneath
Shall sever to the centre, and devour
The enormous blaze of the destructive flames.
Ye rocks that mock the raving of the floods,
And proudly frown upon the impatient deep,
Where is your grandeur now? Ye foaming waves,
That all along the immense Atlantic roar,
In vain ye swell; will a few drops suffice
To quench the unextinguishable fire ?
Ye mountains, on whose cloud-crowned tops the cedars
Are lessened into shrubs, magnific piles,
That prop the painted chambers of the heavens,
And fix the earth continual; Athos, where? Where, Teneriffe's, thy stateliness to-day? What, Ætna, are thy flames to these? no more Than the poor glow-worm to the golden sun.
Nor shall the verdant valleys then remain Safe in their meek submission; they the debt Of nature and of justice too must pay. Yet I must weep for you, ye rivals fair, Amo and Andalusia ; but for thee, More largely, and with filial tears must weep, O Albion! O my country! thou must join, In vain dissevered from the rest, must join The terrors of the inevitable ruin. Nor thou, illustrious monarch of the day; Nor thou, fair queen of night; nor you, ye stars, Though million leagues, and million still, remote, Shall yet survive that day: ye must submit, Sharers, not bright spectators of the scene. But though the earth shall to the centre perish, Nor leave behind e'en chaos; though the air, With all the elements, must pass away, Vain as an idiot's dream; though the huge rocks That brandish the tall cedars on their tops, With humbler vales, must to perdition yield; Though the gilt sun, and silver-tressed moon, With all her bright retinue, must be lost; Yet Thou, Great Father of the world, survivest, Eternal as Thou wert: yet still survives, The soul of man immortal, perfect now, And candidate for unexpiring joys. He comes! He comes! the awful trump I hear: The flaming sword's intolerable blaze I see! He comes, th’archangel from above. “ Arise, ye tenants of the silent grave, Awake, ye incorruptible, arise; From east to west, from the Antarctic pole To regions Hyperborean, all ye sons, Ye sons of Adam, and ye heirs of heaven
Arise, ye tenants of the silent grave,
Awake, ye incorruptible, arise.”
'Tis then, not sooner, that the restless mind
Shall find itself at home: and like the ark
Fixed on the mountain-top, shall look aloft,
O'er the vague passage of precarious life;
And winds, and waves, and rocks, and tempests past,
Enjoy the everlasting calm of heaven:
'Tis then, not sooner, that the deathless soul
Shall justly know its nature, and its rise:
'Tis then the human tongue, new-tuned, shall give
Praises more worthy the Eternal ear.
Yet what we can we ought;-and therefore Thou,
Purge Thou my heart, omnipotent and good!
Purge Thou my heart with hyssop, lest, like Cain,
I offer fruitless sacrifice, and with gifts
Offend, and not propitiate the Adored.
Though Gratitude were blest with all the powers
Her bursting heart could long for; though the swift,
The fiery-winged imagination, soared
Beyond Ambition's wish-yet all were vain
To speak Him as He is, who is ineffable.
Yet still let Reason, through the eye of Faith,
View Him with fearful love; let Truth pronounce,
And Adoration on her bended knee,
With heaven-directed hands, confess his reign,
And let th' angelic archangelic band,
With all the hosts of heaven, cherubic forms,
And forms seraphic, with their silver trumps
And golden lyres attend; “ For Thou art holy,
For Thou art one, th’ Eternal, who alone
Exerts all goodness, and transcends all praise."
Once more I dare to rouse the sounding string,
The Poet of my God. - Awake, my glory,
Awake, my lute and harp-myself shall wake,
Soon as the stately night-exploring bird,
In lively lay, sings welcome to the dawn.
List ye! how nature, with ten thousand tongues,
Begins the grand thanksgiving. Hail, all hail,
Ye tenants of the forest and the field!
My fellow-subjects of th’ Eternal King,
I gladly join your matins, and with you
Confess his presence, and report his praise.
0 Thou, who or the lambkin or the dove,
When offered by the lowly, meek, and poor,
Prefer'st to pride's whole hecatomb, accept
This mean essay, nor from thy treasure-house
Of glory immense the orphan's mite exclude.
What, though th' Almighty's regal throne be raised
High o'er you azure heaven's exalted dome,
By mortal eye unkenned-where east, nor west,
Nor south, nor blustering north, has breath to blow;
Albeit He there with angels and with saints
Holds conference, and to his radiant host,
E'en face to face, stands visibly confest;
Yet know that nor in presence or in power
Shines He less perfect here; 'tis man's dim eye
That makes the obscurity. He is the same,
Alike in all his universe the same;
Whether the mind along the spangled sky
Measures her pathless walk, studious to view
The works of vaster fabric, where the planets
Weave their harmonious rounds, their march directing
Still faithful, still inconstant to the sun ;
Or where the comet, through space infinite,
(Though whirling worlds oppose in globes of fire)
Darts like a javelin to his distant goal;
Or where in heaven above, the heaven of heavens,
Burn brighter suns, and goodlier planets roll,
With satellites more glorious,-Thou art there.
Or whether on the ocean's boisterous rock.
Thou ride triumphant, and with outstretched arm
Curb the wild winds and discipline the billows,
The suppliant sailor finds Thee there, his chief,
His only help. When Thou rebuk’st the storm
It ceases; and the vessel gently glides
Along the glassy level of the calm.
Oh! could I search the bosom of the sea,
Down the great depth descending; there thy works
Would also speak thy residence, and there
Would I, thy servant, like the still profound,
Astonished into silence, muse thy praise.
Behold! behold th' unplanted garden round
Of vegetable coral ! sea-flowers gay,
And shrubs of amber, from the pearl-paved bottom
Rise richly varied, where the finny race,
In blithe security, their gambols play;
While high above their heads Leviathan,
The terror and the glory of the main,
His pastime takes, with transport proud to see
The ocean's vast dominion all his own.
Hence through the genial bowels of the earth,
Easy may fancy pass; till at thy mines,
Gani or Raolconda, she arrive,
And from the adamant's imperial blaze
Form weak ideas of her Maker's glory.
Next to Pegu or Ceylon let me rove,
Where the rich ruby (deemed by sages old
Of sovereign virtue) sparkles e'en like Sirius,
And blushes into flames. Thence will I go
To undermine the treasure-fertile womb
Of the huge Pyrenean, to detect
The agate, and the deep intrenched gem
Of kindred jasper ; nature in them both
Delights to play the mimic on herself;
And in their veins she oft portrays the forms