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A PINDARIC ESSAY.
Who sat upon the awful chair
I know your courages are truly brave, Of mighty Moses, in long scarlet clad,
And dare do any thing but ill : The good to cherish, and chastise the bad,
Who would an aged father save, Now sit in the corrnpted air,
That he may live in chains and be a slave, In silent melancholy, and in sad despair!
Or for remorseless enemies to kill? See how their murder'd children round them lie! Let your bold hands then give the fatal blow : Ah, dismal scene! hark how they cry!
Por, what at any other time would be “Woe! woe! one beam of mercy give,
The dire efect of rage and cruelty, Good Heaven! alas, for we would live!
Is mercy, tenderness, and pity, now! Be pitiful, and suffer us to die!"
This then perforin'd, we 'll to the battle fiy, Thus they lament, thus beg for ease;
And there, amidst our slaughter'd foes, expire. While in their feeble aged arms they hold
If 't is revenge and glory you desire, The bodies of their offspring, stiff and cold,
Now you may have them, if you dare but die! To guard them from the ravenous savages : Nay, more, ev’n freedom and eternity! Till their increasing surrows Death persuade
(For Death must sure with pity see The horrid desolation he has made) To put a period to all their misery.
A PROSPECT OF DEATH.
....... Sed omnes una manet nox, And then be mix'd with common dust.
Et calcanda sernel via lethi. Horace Oh! insupportable, stupendous woe! What shall we do? ah ! whither shall we go? Since we can die but once, and after death Down to the grave, down tổ those happy shades Our state no alteration knows; below,
But, when we have resign'd our breath, Where all our brave progenitors are blest
Th’immortal spirit goes With endless triumph and eternal rest.
To endless joys, or everlasting woes:
Wise is the man who labours to secure
That mighty and important stake;
And, by all methods, strives to make
His passage safe, and his reception sure. In ashes, and not be in pain to die?
Merely to die, no man of reason fears; Unhappy, dear Jerusalem! thy woes
For certainly we must,
As we are born, return to dust :
But whither then we go,
Whither, we fain would know; Good Heaven had been extremely kind, But human understanding cannot show. If it had struck me dead, or struck me blind,
This makes us tremble, and creates Before this cursed time, this worst of days.
Strange apprehensions in the mind; Is Death quite tir'd? are all his arrows spent ? Fills it with restless doubts, and wild debates, If not, why then so many dull delavs?
Concerning what we, living, cannot find. Quick, quick, let the obliging dart be sent !
None know what Death is, but the dead; Nay, at me only let ten thousand Ay,
Therefore we all, by nature, dying dread, Whoe'er shall wretchedly survive; that I
As a strange, doubtful way, we know not how to May, happily, be sure to die.
tread. Yet still we live, live in excess of pain! Our friends and relatives are slain!
When to the margin of the grave we come, Nothing but ruins round us see,
And scarce have one black, painful hour to live; Nothing but desolation, woe, and misery !
No bopes, no prospect of a kind reprieve, Nay, while we thus, with bleeding hearts, com- To stop our speedy passage to the tomb; plain,
How moving, and how mournful, is the sight! Our enemies without prepare
How wondrous pitiful, how wondrous sad ! Their direful engines to pursue the war;
Where then is refuge, where is comfort, to be had And you may slavishly preserve your breath,
In the dark minutes of the dreadful night, Or seek for freedom in the arms of Death.
To cheer our drooping souls for their amazing flight?
Feeble and languishing in bed we lie, Thus then resolve; por tremble at the thought: Despairing to recover, void of rest; Can glory be too dearly bought ?
Wishing for Death, and yet afraid to die: Since the Almighty wisdom has decreed,
Terrors and doubts distract our breast, That we, and all our progeny, should bleed, With mighty agonies and mighty pains opprest. It shall be after such a noble way, Succeeding ages will with wonder view
Our face is moisten'd with a clammy sweat; What brave Despair compellid us to !
Faint and irregular the pusses beai; No, we will ne'er survive another day!
The blood unactive grows, Bring then your wives, your children, all
And thickens as it flows, That 's valuable, good, or dear,
Depriv'd of all its vigour, all its vital heat. With ready hands, and place them here;
Our dying eyes roil heavily about, They shall unite in one vast füueral.
Their light just going out;
And for some kind assistance call :
Our sons, who, in their tender years, But pity, useless pity 's all
Were objects of our cares, and of our fears, Our weeping friends can give,
Come trembling to our bed, and, kneeling, cry, Or we receive;
“ Bless us, O father! now before you die; Though their desires are great, their powers are Bless us, and be you bless'd to all eternity.” small,
Our friend, whom eqnal to ourselves we love, The tongue's unable to declare
Compassionate and kind, The pains and griefs, the miseries we bear;
Cries, “ Will you leave me here behind ? How insupportable our torments are.
Without me fly to the bless'd seats above? Music no more delights our deafening ears,
Without me, did I say? Ah, no! Restores our joys, or dissipates our fears;
Without thy friend thou canst not go: But all is melancholy, all is sad,
For, though thou leav'st me groveling here below, In robes of deepest mourning clad;
My soul with thee shall upward fly, For, every faculty, and every sense,
And bear thy spirit company, Partakes the woe of this dire exigence.
Through the bright passage of the yielding sky.
Ev'n Death, that parts thee from thyself, shall be Then we are sensible too late,
Incapable to separate 'Tis no advantage to be rich or great :
(For 'tis not in the power of Fate) For, all the fulsome pride and pageantry of state My friend, my best, my dearest friend, and me: No consolation brings.
But since it must be so, farewell; Riches and honours then are useless things,
For ever? No; for we shall meet again, Tasteless, or bitter, all;
And live like gods, though now we die like And, like the book which the apostle eat,
men, To the ill-judging palate sweet,
In the eternal regions, where just spirits dwell.” But turn at last to nauseousness and gall. Nothing will then our drooping spirits cheer, The soul, unable longer to maintain But the remembrance of good actions past.
The fruitless and unequal strife,
Finding her weak endeavours vain,
And fortifies that little fort
With all its kind artilleries of art;
A formal siege disdains to lay;
Summons his fierce battalions to the fray, Ambitious follies, or luxurious ease!
And in a minute storins the feeble citadel. For then they urge our terrours, and increase our Sometimes we may capitulate, and he pain.
Pretends to make a solid peace;
But 'tis all shamı, all artifice,
For, if his armies are withdrawn to-day,
And we believe po danger near, In vain they mourn, in vain they grieve: But all is peaceable, and all is clear: Their sorrows cannot ours relieve.
His troops retuin some unsuspected way; They pity our deplorable estate:
While in the soft embrace of Sleep we lie,
The secret murderers stab us, and we die.
Since our first parents' fall,
A portion none of human race can miss
The fears of misery, or certain hopes of bliss.
Loaded with crimes and infamy,
They feel amazing terrours, mighty pains; This wipes away the sweat ; that, sighing, cries, The eamest of that vast, stupendous woe, “ See what convulsions, what strong agonies, Which they to all eternity must undergo, Both soul and body undergo !
Confin'd in Hell with everlasting chains. His pains no intermission know ;
Infernal spirits hover in the air, Por every gasp of air he draws, returns in sighs.” Like ravenous wolves to seize upon the prey, Each would his kind assistance lend,
And hurry the departed souls away To save his dear relation, or his dearer friend; To the dark receptacles of Despair: But still in vain with Destiny they all contend. Where they must dwell till that tremendous
day, Our father, pale with grief and watching grown, When the loud trump shall call them to appear,
Takes our cold hand in his, and cries, “ Adieu ! Before a Judge most terrible, and most severe; Adieu, my child! now I must follow you :"
By whose just sentence they must go
But the good man, whose soul is pure, Methinks I hear her, conscious of her fate,
With fearful groans, and hideous cries,
Fill the presaging skies ;
Unable to support the weight
Methinks I hear her summon all
Her guilty offspring raving with despair,
And trembling, cry aloud, “ Prepare,
See, see the tragical portents,
Those dismal harbingers of dire events ! Or terrify his thoughts with wild despair ;
Loud thunders roar, and darting lightnings fly But all is calm within, and all without is fair. Through the dark concave of the troubled sky;
His prayers, his charity, his virtues, press The fiery ravage is begun, the end is nigh.
Like baleful torches, O they come,
To light dissolving Nature to her tomb! But when the soul's releas'd from dull mortality,
And, scattering round their pestilential rays, She passes up in triumph through the sky;
Strike the aflrighted nations with a wild amaze. Where she 's united to a glorious throng
Vast sheets of flame, and globes of fire, Of angels; who, with a celestial song,
By an impetuous wind are driven Congratulate her conquest as she flies along. Through all the regions of th' inferior Heaven ;
Till, hid in sulphurous smoke, they seemingly If therefore all must quit the stage,
expire. When, or how soon, we cannot know; But, late or early, we are sure to go;
Sad and amazing 'tis to see In the fresh bloom of youth, or wither'd age;
What mad confusion rages over all We cannot take too sedulous a care,
This scorching ball!
No country is exempt, no nation free,
But each partakes the epidemic misery.
What dismal havoc of mankind is made
By wars, and pestilence, and dearth,
Through the whole mournful Earth? The Heathen, who no better understood Than what the light of Nature taught, declar'd, Forsook by Providence, and all propitious aid!
Which with a murdering fury they invade, No future misery could be prepard
Whilst fiends let loose, their utmost rage employ, For the sincere, the merciful, the good; But, if there was a state of rest,
To ruin all things here below;
Their malice and revenge no limits know,
But, in the universal tumult, all destroy.
Distracted mortals from their cities fly, Those who live well, and pious paths pursue,
For safety to their champaign ground. To man, and to their Maker, true,
But there no safety can be found;
The vengeance of an angry Deity,
With unrelenting fury, does enclose them round: Their way to everlasting bliss:
And whilst for mercy some aloud implore But from a world of misery and care
The God they ridicul'd before;
And others, raving with their woe,
(For hunger, thirst, despair, they undergo) And in an endless circle moves,
Blaspheme and curse the Power they should adore; Through the vast round of beatific love,
The Earth, parch'd up with drought, her jaws extends, Which no cessation knows.
And opening wide a dreadful tomb,
Together all into her burning womb.
The trembling Alps abscond their aged heads GENERAL CONFLAGRATION,
In mighty pillars of infernal smoke,
Which from their bellowing caverns broke, And suffocates whole nations where it spreads.
Sometimes the fire within divides Esse quoque in fatis, reminiscitur, affore tempus The massy rivers of those secret chains, Quo mare, quo tellus, correptaque regia cæli Which hold together their prodigious sides, Ardeat, et mundi moles operosa laborat.
And hurls the shatter'd rocks o'er all the plains a
Is overwhelm'd with the same burst of woe.
No showers descend from the malignant sky,
The trees no leaves, no grass the meadows, yieldo, Amidst the dreadful wreck, and final overthrow! But all is barren, al is dry,
AND ENSUING JUDGMENT.
A PINDARIC ESSAY.
The little rivulets no more
Hark how the daring sons of Infamy, To larger streams their tribute pay,
Who once dissolv'd in Pleasure's lap, Nor to the ebbing ocean they ;
And laugh'd at this tremendous day, Which, with a strange unusual roar,
To rocks and mountains now to bide them cry; Forsakes those ancient bounds it would have pass'd But rocks and mountains all in ashes lie. before:
Their shame 's so mighty, and so strong their fear, And to the monstrous deep in vain retire:
That, rather than appear For even the deep itself is not secure,
Before a God incens'd, they would be hurl'd But belching subterraneous fires,
Amongst the burning ruins of the world, Increases still the scalding calenture,
And lie conceald, if possible, for ever there. Which neither earth, nor air, nor water, can en- Time was they would not own a Deity, dure.
Nor after death a future state;
But now, by sad experience, find, too late, The Sun, by sympathy, concern'd
There is, and terrible to that degree, At those convulsions, pangs, and agonies,
That rather than behold his face, they'd cease to be. Which on the whole creation seize,
And sure't is better, if Heaven would give consent, Is to substantial darkness turn'd.
To have no being; but they must remain, The neighbouring Moon, as if a purple flood
For ever, and for ever be in pain. O'erflow'd her tuttering orb, appears
O inexpressible, stupendous punishment, Like a huge mass of black corrupted blood; Which cannot be endur’d, yet must be underwent ! For she herself a dissolution fears. The larger planets, which once shone so bright,
But now the eastern skies expanding wide, With the reflected rays of borrow'd light,
The glorious Judge omnipotent descends, Shook from their centre, without motion lie,
And to the sublunary world his passage bends; Unwieldy globes of solid night,
Where, cloth'd with human nature, he did once reAnd ruinous lumber of the sky.
Round him the bright ethereal armies sy, (side,
And loud triumphant hallelujahs sing, Amidst this dreadful hurricane of woes,
With songs of praise, and hymns of victory, (For fire, confusion, horrour, and despair,
To their celestial king; Fill every region of the tortur'd Earth and air)
“ Al} glory, power, dominion, majesty, The great archangel his loud trumpet blows;
Now, and for everlasting ages, be At whose amazing sound fresh agonies
To the Essential One, and Co-eternal Three. Upon expiring Nature seize :
Perish that world, as 'tis decreed, For now she 'll in few minutes know
Which saw the God incarnate bleed! The ultimate event and fate of all below.
Perish by thy almighty vengeance those “ Awake, ye dead, awake,” he cries;
Who durst thy person, or thy laws expose; (For all must come)
The cursed refuge of mankind, and Hell's proud seed. “ All that had human breath, arise,
Now to the unbelieving nations show, To hear your last, unalterable doom.”
Thou art a God from all eternity;
Not titular, or but by office so ; At this the ghastly tyrant, who had sway'd
And let them the mysterious union see So many thousand ages uncontrollid,
Of human nature with the Deity." No longer could his sceptre hold;
With mighty transports, yet with awful fears, But gave up all, and was himself a captive made.
The good behold this glorious sight! The scatter'd particles of human clay,
Their God in all his majesty appears, Which in the silent grave's dark chambers lay,
Ineffable, amazing bright, Resume their pristine forms again,
And seated on a throne of everlasting light. And now from mortal, grow immortal men.
Round the tribunal, next to the Most High, Stupendous energy of sacred Power,
In sacred discipline and order, stand Which can collect whatever cast
The peers and princes of the sky, The smallest atoms, and that shape restore
As they excel in glory or command. Which they had worn so many years before, Upon the right hand that illustrious crowd, That through strange accidents and numerous
In the white bosom of a shining cloud, changes past !
Whose souls abhorring all ignoble crimes,
Did, with a steady course, pursue See how the joyful angels fly
His holy precepts in the worst of times, [could do. From every quarter of the sky,
Maugre what Earth or Hell, what man or devils To gather and to convoy all
And now that God they did to death adore, The pious sons of human race,
For whom such torments and such pains they To one capacious place,
bore, Above the confines of this fiaming ball.
Returns to place them on those thrones above, See with what tenderness and love they bear
Where, undisturb’d, uncloy'd, they will possess Those righteous souls through the tumultuous air;
Divine, substantial happiness, Whilst the ungodly stand below,
Unbounded as his power, and lasting as his lore. Raging with shame, confusion, and despair, Amidst the burning overthrow,
“Go, bring,” the Judge impartial, frowning, cries, Expecting fiercer torment, and acuter woe.
“ Those rebel sons, who did my laws despise ; Round them infernal spirits howling fly;
Whom neither threats nor promises could moves "O horrour, curses, tortures, chains !" they cry, Not all my sufferings, nor all my love, And roar aloud with execrable blasphemy. To save themselves from everlasting miserios."
At this ten millions of archangels New
And shall for ever live
Or a created being 's able to receive.”
At this the architects divine on high
Innumerable thrones of glory raise, " Alas!” they cry, “ one beam of mercy show, On which they, in appointed order, place Thou all-forgiving Deity!
The human coheirs of eternity, To pardon crimes, is natural to thee:
And with united hymns the God incamate praise: Crush us to nothing, or suspend our woe,
“O holy, holy, holy, Lord, But if it cannot, cannot be,
Eternal God, Almighty One,
Be Thou for ever, and be Thou alone,
Who from non-entity gave birth
These thrones, and this immense felicity; But let them not extend to all eternity!"
Could ne'er have been so infinitely blest !
Therefore all glory, power, dominion, majesty, Lo, now there does no place remain
To Thee, O Lamb of God, to Thee,
For ever, longer than for ever, be!”
Then the incarnate Godhead turns his face
Two mighty books are by two angels brought : (Almighty vengeance flashing in his eyes)
“ Ye impious, unbelieving race, The law of Nature, and divine commands: To those eternal torments go,
In that, each action, word, and thought, Prepar'd for those rebellious sons of light, Whate'er was said in secret, or in secret wrought. In burning darkness and in flaming night, Then first the virtuous and the good,
Which shall no limit or cessation know, Who all the fury of temptation stood,
But always are extreme, and always will be so.” And bravely pass'd through ignominy, chains, and The final sentence past, a dreadful cloud blood,
Enclosing all the miserable crowd, Attended by their guardian angels, come
A mighty hurricane of thunder rose, To the tremendous bar of final doom.
And huri'd them all into a jake of fire, In vain the grand accuser, railing, brings
Which never, never, never can expire; A long indictment of enormous things,
The vast abyss of endless woes : Whose guilt wip'd off by penitential tears,
Whilst with their God the righteous mount om And their Redeemer's blood and agonies,
high, No more to their astonishment appears,
In glorious triumph passing through the sky, But in the secret womb of dark Oblivion lies. To joys immense, and everlasting ecstasy.
" Come, now, my friends,” he cries, “ye sons of
WRITTEN IN THE YEAR 1700.
Unhappy man! who, through successive years, Ere the foundation of the world was laid ; From early youth to life's last childhood errs: And that surprising happiness,
No sooner born but proves a foe to truth; Immense as my own Godhead, and will ne'er be less. For infant Reason is o'erpower'd in youth. For when I languishing in prison lay,
The cheats of sense will half our learning share; Naked, and starv'd almost for want of bread, And pre-conceptions all our knowledge are. You did your kindly visits pay,
Reason, 'tis true, should over sense preside: Both cloth'd my body, and my hunger fed. Correct our notions, and our judgments guide; Weary'd with sickness, or oppress'd with grief, But false opinions, rooted in the mind, Your hand was always ready to supply: Hoodwink the soul, and keep our reason blind. Whene'er I wanted, you were always by, Reason 's a taper, which but faintly burns ; To share my sorrows, or to give relief.
A languid flame, that glows, and dies by turns: In all distress so tender was your love,
We see 't a little while, and but a little way; I could no anxious trouble bear;
We travel by its light, as men by day: No black misfortune, or vexatious care,
But quickly dying, it forsakes us soun, But you were still impatient to remove,
Like morning-stars, that never stay till noon. And mourn'd your charitable hand should unsuc- The soul can scarce above the body rise; cessful prove:
And all we see is with corporeal eyes. All this you did, though not to me
Life now does scarce one glimpse of light display; In person, yet to mine in misery:
We mourn in darkness, and despair of day: