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With slower hand, and pencil more divine,
He blends each colour, heightens every line;
Till various forms the breathing picture wears,
And a mute group of images appears.
Celestial guards the topmost height attend,
And crowds of angels o'er the wall descend;
With their big cheeks the deafening clarions wind,
Whose dreadful clangours startle all mankind :
E’en the dead hear; the labouring graves conceive,
And the swoln clod in picture seems to heave.
Ten thousand worlds revive to better skies,
And from their tombs the thronging corses rise.
So when famed Cadmus sowed the fruitful field,
With pregnant throes the quickened furrow swelled ;
From the warm soil sprung up a warlike train,
And human harvests covered all the plain.
And now from every corner of the earth
The scattered dust is called to second birth ;
Whether in mines it formed the ripening mass,
Or humbly mixed, and flourished in the grass.
The severed body now unites again,
And kindred atoms rally into men.
The various joints resume their ancient seats,
limb its former task repeats.
Here, an imperfect form returns to light,
Not half renewed, dishonest to the sight;
Maimed of his nose appears his blotted face,
And scarce the image of a man we trace:
Here, by degrees infused, the vital ray
Gives the first motion to the panting clay:
Slow to new life, the thawing fluids creep,
And the stiff joints wake heavily from sleep.
Here, on the guilty brow pale horrors glare,
And all the figure labours with despair.
From scenes like these now turn thy wondering sight,
And if thou canst withstand such floods of light,
Look! where thy Saviour fills the middle space,
The Son of God, true image of his face,
Himself eternal God, ere time began her race.
See! what mild beams their gracious influence shed,
And how the pointed radiance crowns his head !
Around his temples lambent glories shine,
And on his brow sits majesty divine;
His eye-balls lighten with celestial fires,
And every grace to speak the God conspires ?
But, ah! how chariged! ah! how unlike the same From him who patient wore the mortal frame!
Who through a scene of woes drew painful breath,
And struggled with a sad, slow, long-drawn death;
Who gave on Golgotha the dreadful groan,
Bearer of others' sins and sufferings not his own.
But death and hell subdued, the Deity
Ascends triumphant to his native sky;
And rising far above th' æthereal height,
The sun and moon diminish to his sight.
And now to view he bared his bleeding side,
And his pierced hands and feet in crimson dyed ;
Still did the nails the recent scars reveal,
And bloody tracks of the transfixing steel.
Hither in crowds the blessed shape their flight,
And throng the mansions of immortal light.
They mark each fatal word, each dreadful nod
And bless the righteous sentence of their God.
The fruitful matron, and the spotless maid,
And infants with a longer life repaid,
Stand round, and, drinking in celestial rays,
On their Redeemer fix with ardent gaze,
And all the heavens resound with hymns of praise.
Each bosom kindles with seraphic joy,
And conscious ecstasies the soul employ.
Not equal raptures swell the sibyl's breast
When by the inmate deity possessed ;
When Phæbus the prophetic maid inspires,
And her limbs tremble with convulsive fires.
So strong, so fierce, the painted flames arise,
The pale spectator views them with surprise ;
Believes the blazing wall indeed to burn,
And fears the frame should into ashes turn.
Hither in ghastly crowds the guilty haste,
Obscene with horror, and with shame defaced :
With haggard looks the gloomy fiends appear ;
They gnash their foamy teeth and frown severe :
A stern avenger with relentless mind,
Waving a flamy falchion, stalks behind ;
With which, as once from Paradise he drove,
He drives the sinner from the joys above.
What shall he do forlorn ? or whither fly,
To shun the ken of an all-seeing eye ?
What would he give among the just to shine,
And fall before Omnipotence divine !
But, oh! too late in sighs he vents his woe,
Too late his eyes with gushing tears o'erflow!
Vain are his sighs, and fruitless are his tears,
Vengeance and justice stop th’ Almighty's ears.
See! with what various charms the piece is fraught,
And with what pregnant marks of judgment wrought ;
With how much grace the living colours glow,
Not brighter colours paint the watery bow,
When the fresh showers her various lustre share,
And every drop with spangles decks the air.
Oh may the painter's labours never fade,
Nor wasteful time their shining charms invade :
No envious darkness shade the beauteous tints,
Till the piece sees the last great day it paints.
WHERE, smooth and level as the summer-main,
A spacious area opens on the plain;
While with descending dew herbage sweats,
Nor feels the rising sun's intenser heats,
The sharpened scythe prevents the grassy height,
reaps the scanty harvest of the night:
The rolling stone renews its morning round,
To crush the springing turf, and sink the knotty ground.
And now the polished globes, a numerous band,
Prepared for motion by the artist's hand;
Glittering with oil, and splendid to the sight,
O'er the soft verdant surface speed their flight.
But lest some bowler should his cast disown,
By different marks the different orbs are known.
For gamesters vary ; some prefer the bowl
That, biassed, wheels obliquely to the goal,
While others will a different choice
approve Of those which in a line directly move.
The chosen numbers part on either side,
As or consent or doubtful lots divide :
Each chief assumes his arms; when now behold
The jack exulting o'er the surface rolled;
At which their missive orbs the bowlers aim,
And who arrives the nearest, wins the game.
The leader poises in his hand the bowl,
And gently launches to the distant goal:
The current orb prolongs its circling course,
Till by degrees it loses all its force.
When now another o'er the level bounds,
And orb succeeding orb the block surrounds :
Sphæristerium. Vol. i. p. 246.
Scattered they lie, and barricade the green,
That scarce a single bowl can pass between.
When now with better skill, and nicer care,
The dexterous youth renews the wooden war,
Beyond the rest his winding timber flies,
And works insinuating, and wins the prize.
But if perchance he sees, with madness stung,
The lagging wood move impotent along;
If its faint motion languish on the way,
And, short of length, it press the verdant lay;
Nimbly he strides behind across the grass,
And bending, hovers o'er the rolling mass ;
Lest foul disgrace should on his arm redound,
He blames the rising-rub, and guilty ground.
What sudden laughter echoes o'er the green,
When some unlucky, artless cast is seen !
When the too ponderous lead with stubborn force
Allures the globe from its appointed course!
The bowler chafes, and fruitless rage ensues,
His body to a thousand postures screws :
He blames he knows not what, with angry blood,
He frets, he stamps, and damns the erroneous wood :
The erroneous wood his fruitless rage disdains,
And still its former wayward course maintains.
But if a bowl, dismissed with equal strength,
Obtains exactly the intended length,
And, nicely passing through the crowding balls,
Prone on the passive jack incumbent falls;
With loud applause the splitting heavens they rend,
And all the caster and the cast commend.
When now the adverse foe projects around
His careful eyes, and marks the ambient ground;
And, studious the contiguous globes to part,
He summons all his strength and all his art;
The exerted vigour of his nerves applies,
And rapid from his arm the brandished engine flies.
Scarce half so swiftly to the Elëian goal,
With rival speed the whirling chariots roll;
While the fleet axle mocks the lagging wind,
And leaves the flying village far behind.
When, if the wooden guards immure the foe,
And break the vengeance of the whirling blow;
If the conflicting orbs are driven around,
And, loosely scattered, strew the Olympic ground:
He chides his fate, his fervid spleen boils high,
Calls the gods false, and damns the guilty sky.
But if his bowl with easy passage slide,
And with a clash the wedded orbs divide;
His partners shout, the crowd espouse his cause,
And the wide plain re-murmurs with applause.
Meanwhile the dog-star burns with sultry heat,
And every limb is drowned in briny sweat:
They court the shady breeze, and cool of day,
And from their temples wipe the trickling drops away.
WHILE flying o'er the golden strings,
You gently wake the tuneful lyre ;
Or tender, as when Orpheus sings,
With softer sounds the harp inspire :
Sad fleeting ghosts with art constrain
Back to a kinder life again.
Whether in graceful lays you shine,
And verse your easy hours employ;
Or give the soul, her mouldering shrine
Decayed, a fairer to enjoy ;
The body, cold in death, explore,
Thy skill could only—not restore.
Awhile thy learned toil decline,
Nor anxious more, in smiles allow
The circling glass, the generous wine,
To unbend and smooth thy cheerful brow;
Nor longer to thyself severe,
In the rich draught forget thy care.
Now, with thy monarch's glory fired,
Let great Nassau thy thirst inflame;
Or by his Montague 2 inspired,
Record the patriot's faithful name,
By whose wise arts, and watchful pains,
He rules in peace, in safety reigns.
At length thy mournful task forbear,
From saddening thoughts some respite find!
And, while we bless thy pious care,
Be to thyself in pity kind; * Ad D. D. Hannes, insignissimum Medicum et Poetam. Vol. i. p. 248.