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And double shame reflect upon an age
Wise and enlighten'd. Should not equal laws
Their punishments proportionate to crimes ;
Nor, all Draconic, ev'n to blood pursue
Vindictive, where the venial poor offence
Cries loud for mercy? Death's the last der and
Law can exact: the penalty extreme
Of human crime! and shall the petty thief
Succumb beneath its terrours, when no more
Pays the bold murderer, crimson’d o'er with guilt?
Few are the crimes against or God or man,
-Consult the eternal code of right or wrong,
Which e'er can justify this last extreme,
This wanton sporting with the human life,
This trade in blood. Ye sages, then, review,
Speedy and diligent, the penal code,
Humanity's disgrace: our nation's first
And just reproach, amidst its vaunted boasts
Of equity and mercy : Shiver not
Full oft your inmost souls, when from the bench
Ye deal out death tremendous ? and proclaim
Th' irrevocable sentence on a wretch
Pluck'd early from the paths of social life,
And immature, to the low grave consign'd
For miudemeanors trivial ! Runs not back,
Affrighted, to its fountain your chill'd blood,
When, deck'd in all the horrid pomp of death,
And Gothick rage surpassing, to the flames
The weaker sex, incredible--you doom;
Denouncing punishments the more severe,
As less of strength is found to bear their force ?
Shame on the savage practice! Oh stand forth
In the great cause,~Compassion's, Equity's,
Your Nation's, Truth's, Religion's, Honour's cause,
Stand forth, reflecting Eden! Well thou'st toil'd
Already in the honourable field :
Might thy young labours animate, the hour
Auspicious is arrived. Sages esteemid,
And venerably learn’d, as in the school
Of legal science, so in that of worth
And sentiment exalted, fill the bench :
And lo! the imperial Muscovite, intent
On public-weal, a bright example shines
Of civilizing justice. Sages, rise ?
The cause, the animating pattern calls.
Oh, I adjure you, with my parting breath,
By all your hopes of mercy and of peace,
By all the blood henceforth unjustly spilt,
Or wantonly by all the sorrows deep,
And scalding tears shed for that blood so spilt!
In God's tremendous name, lo, I adjure, .
Without procrastination to the task
Important that you haste! With equal hand
In scales of temperate justice, balance well
The claims of pleading mercy! Unto crimes
Inilictions just and adequate assign;
On reformation or example sole,
And all impartial, constantly intent,
Banish the rage for blood, for tortures, fell,
Savage, reproachful. Study to restore
Its young, its useful members to the state,
Well disciplined, corrected, moralized;
Preserved at once from shame, from death, from
Men, rationals, immortals,-Sons of God.
Oh prosperous be your labours, crown'd your zeal !
But, ah, why droops my soul ? why o'er me thus
Comes a chill cloud ? Such triumph well besuits
The faithful Christian! thee had suited well,
If haply persevering in the course,
As first thy race exultingly began.
But thou art fallen, fallen! Oh my heart,
What dire compunction !-sunk in foul offence
A prisoner, and condemu’d: an outcast vile;
Bye-word and scorn of an indignant world,
Who reprobate with horrour thy ill deed:
Turn from thee loath'd, and to damnation just
Assign, unpitying, thy devoted head,
Loaded with every infamy !
Of Justice and of Mercy! wilt thou too,
In fearful indignation on my soul,
My anguish'd soul, the door of pity close,
And shut me from thee ever?-Lo! in dust,
Humiliate, prostrate, weeping 'fore thy throne-
Before thy cross, oh dying Friend of man,
Friend of repentant sinners I confess
And mourn my deep transgressions, as the sand
Innumerous, as the glowing crimson red;
With every aggravation, every guilt
Accumulate and burden'd! Against light,
'Gainst love, and clearest knowledge perpetrate!
Stampt with Ingratitude's most odious stain;
Ingratitude to thee; whose favouring love
Had bless'd me, had distinguish'd me with grace,
With goodness far beyond my wish or worth!
Ingratitude to man; whose partial ear
Attended to any doctrine with delight;
And from my zeal conspicuous justly claim’d
Conspicuous example !--Lord, I sink
O'erwhelm'd with self-conviction, with dismay,
With anguish and confusion past compare !
And could I weep whole seas of briny tears
In painful penitence; could I deplore
From my heart's aching fountain, drop by drop,
My crimes and follies; my deep grief and shame
For vile dishonour on thy gospel brought;
For vile discredit to my order done ;
For deep offence against my country's laws ;
For deep offence to pity and to man,-
A patriarchal age would be too short
To speak my sorrows and lament my sins;
Chief, as I am, of sinners! Guiltier far
Than he who, falling, at the cock's shrill call
Rose, and repented weeping : Guiltier far-
I dare not say, than Judas ; for my heart
Hath ever loved,—could never have betray'd,
Oh never, never Thee, dear Lord ! to death;
Tho' cruelly, unkindly, and unwise
That heart hath sacrificed its truth and peace,
-For what a shameful, what a paltry price!
To sin, detested sin ; and done thee wrong,
Oh blessed source of all its good, its hope !
For tho' thus sunk, thus sinful, sorrowing thus,
It dare not, cannot Judas' crime commit,
Last crime,---and of thy mercy, Lord, despair !
But conscious of its guilt : contrite and plunged