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Earth's glowing bosom felt a sudden wound,
And strong convulsions rent the opening ground;
The rapid whirlwind with impetuous sweep
Bursts from its vaults, and rais'd the labouring deep;
Rocks, cities, streams at once its wond'rous prey,
It swept the woods, and bore the hills away.
But now, with terror rising on the fight,
A burning comet flash'd unusual light.
Quick as the wind, the wing'd destruction came
O’er all the void, and drew a length of flame ;
Shap'd thro' the parting clouds its dreadful way,
And pour'd on earth intolerable day.
At once the cave its inmost void displays ;
The waving forests catch the spreading blaze ;
The earth no more its central fire contains,
It rag'd and swell’d refifless o'er the plains.
Now in a broader
range the deluge raves,
And rolls triumphant thro' the boiling waves ;
O’er all the hills the rising flames aspire,
The mountains blaze, a mighty ridge of fire !
Where stood the snow-crown'd Alps, (an awful name!)
Now roll'd the doubling smoke, and spiry flame ;
While o'er the Andes in a whirlwind driv'n
Burst the blue gleam, and darkness wrapt the heav'n.
Ev’n Etna rocks with a reluctant groan,
Sunk in a flame more dreadful than its own :
A fiery stream the deep Volcano pours,
And from its mouth incessant thunder roars.
Each humbler vale partakes the gen'ral doom,
The smiling meals resign their lovely bloom ;
Not Afia's fields th' impetuous flood retain,
It bounds with fury o'er the wide champaign,
Whate’er to view revolving seasons bring,
Each opening flow'r, the painted child of spring,
Bleak winter's snow, with summer's rosy pride,
And autumn's ripening stores, augment the tide :
On its broad wave it bears the thining spoil,
Hills burst, rocks melt, woods blaze, and oceans boil.
Such, man, thy life, when death's relentless rage
Crops thy gay bloom, or chills thy with'ring age;
In vain thy with would stop th' invader's pow'r,
Who spares the leaf to revel on the flow'r.
O! how transported with a fleeting dream
We fondly launch, and glide along the stream!
Nor think of tempests, mis’ry, pain, or death,
The storms above us, and the wrecks beneath!
When lo! at once a cloudy scene succeeds,
It low'rs, frowns, blackens, bellows o'er our heads ;
Bounds o'er the seas, and with destructive sweep,
Flings wave on wave, and whelms us in the deep.
Where now the nation, whose controuling law,
Ruld ev'ry state, and held a world in awe?
Say where, Britannia, thy remoter plain?
Thy fields enrich'd with plenty's welcome train ?
Thy fleets, to found their dreadful fame afar,
And rule the deep, the thunderbolts of war?
Still in my thought thy happier days detain’d,
When George, when Anna, when Eliza reign'd;
I fee, I hear the battle's wild alarms,
See trembling foes, and thy triumphant arms!
I see sublime the floating navy rise,
The pompous streamers waving as she flies !
I see the shudd'ring hosts that round her fall,
The haughty Spaniard here, and there the Gaul.
I see great Bourbon fainting and dismay'd,
And view the laurel blasted on his head.
O! while my country's glory fires my lays,
my fond heart runs lavish in her praise !
But see, 'tis fled! I urge, implore its stay,
In vain : the charming vision dies away;
The plains where once her shouting armies stood,
The stream's broad wave that blush'd with hostile blood,
Roll'd in the mass of fire neglected lay,
And join’d th’involving cloud that hid the day.
See earth's pale sons ! a mighty throng appear!
How wild their looks with agonizing fear!
Swift, as the hart, from her pursuing train,
Climbs the steep rock, and flies along the plain :
'Tis thus, the tempest's dreadful rage to fhun,
They sweep the field, and shiver as they run.
Here yawning gulphs their dreadful wrecks disclose,
There nature labours with convulsive throws :
Here the flame bursts, and blazes to the skies,
There Aash the pointed lightnings on their eyes.
With sudden greens and herbage crown'd,
And streams shall murmur all around.
HEN all thy mercies, O my God,
My rising foul surveys ; Transported with the view, I'm loft
In wonder, love, and praise :
O how shall words with equal warmth
The gratitude declare,
That glows within my ravish'd heart :
But thou canst read it there.
Thy Providence my life fuftain'd,
And all my wants redreft, When in the filent womb I lay,
And hung upon the breast.
To all my weak complaints and cries,
Thy mercy lent an ear,
Ere yet my feeble thoughts had learnt
To form themselves in pray’r.
Unnumber'd comforts to my soul
Thy tender care bestow'd, Before
infant heart conceiv'd From whom those comforts flow'd.
When in the slipp'ry paths of youth
With heedless steps I ran,
Thine arm unseen convey'd me safe,
And led me up to man.
Thro' hidden dangers, toils, and deaths,
It gently clear'd my way,
And through the pleasing snares of vice,
More to be fear'd than they.
When worn with sickness, oft haft thou
With health renew'd face, And when in fins and forrows sunk,
Reviv'd my soul with grace.
Thy bounteous hand with worldly bliss
Has made my cup run o'er, And in a kind and faithful friend
Has doubled all my store.
Ten thousand thousand precious gifts
My daily thanks employ,
Nor is the least a chearful heart,
That tastes those gifts with joy.
Thro' every period of my life
Thy goodness I'll pursue ;
And after death in diftant worlds
The glorious theme renew.