Слике страница

By magic incantation, and strange spells ;
Yet such a potent virtue doth reside
In every part, that not the united force
Of all thy kingdom can one line, one grain,
Of measure, or of solid weight impair.
Wilt thou that I revoke thy destin'd fate?
Devoted prince, I cannot. Hell beneath
Is moved to meet thee. See the mighty dead,
The kings, that sat on golden thrones, approach,
The chief ones of the earth. •O Lucifer, .

Son of the morning, thou that vaunting said'st, “ I will ascend the heavens; I will exalt “My throne above the stars of God; the clouds “ Shall roll beneath my feet," art thou too weak • As we? art thou become like unto us? • Where now is all thy pomp? where the sweet sound • Of viol, and of harp ?' with curious eye Tracing thy mangled corse, the rescued sons Of Solyma shall say, is this the man • That shook the pillars of the trembling earth, • That made the world a desert?' all the kings, Each in his house entomb'd, in glory rest, While unlamented lie thy naked limbs, The sport of dogs, and vultures. In that day Shall these imperial towers, this haughty queen, That in the midst of waters sits secure, Fall prostrate on the ground. Ill-ominous birds Shall o'er the unwholesome marshes scream for food; And hissing serpents by sulphureous pools Conceal their filthy brood. The traveller

In vain shall ask where stood Assyria's pride:
No trace shall guide his dubious steps; 'nor sage,
Vers'd in historic lore, shall mark the site
Of desolated Babylon.” Thus spake
The seer, and with majestic step retir'd...

The City of Babylon having been taken by the Army of Cyrus,

Belshazzar is found in his Pleasure Garden, and slain.


. Within the walls
Of Babylon was rais'd a lofty mound,
Where flowers and aromatic shrubs adorn'd
The pensile garden. For Nebassar's queen,
Fatigu'd with Babylonia's level plains,
Sigh'd for her Median home, where nature's hand
Had scoop'd the vale, and cloth'd the mountain's

With many a verdant wood; nor long she pin’d
Till that uxorious monarch callid on art
To rival nature's sweet variety.

Forthwith two hundred thousand slaves uprear'd
This hill, egregious work; rich fruits o'erhang
The sloping walks, and odorous shrubs entwine
Their undulating branches. Thither flocks
A multitude unseen, and, 'mid the groves
And secret arbours all night long conceal'd, si
Silent, and sad, escape the victor's sword.

Now the glad sound of loud triumphal notes, i

[ocr errors]

Mix'd with the yells of terror and dismay,
Are wafted through the concave arch of night
To that imperial mansion, where the king
Lies revelling with his minions. Nitocris
First heard, and started. In that spacious room,
On whose rich sides was painted many a chase,
With all the warlike acts of Ninus old,
And great Semiramis, she sat, and wove
Her variegated web. Her slaves around
With sprightly converse cheer'd the midnight hour;
When sudden, chill'd with horror, in their arms
She sinks, a breathless corse. And now the noise
Inyades Belshazzar's ear. A messenger,:.
And still another messenger arrives,
To tell him, all is lost. On the adverse wall it
Instant his eye is fix'd: the characters,
Which yet remain, grow blacker, and increase',
In magnitude tenfold: “ Where, where," exclaims
The affrighted prince, “ O where is Daniel? where
Is that interpreter of heaven's decrees,
Whose curse prophetic on mine ear still sounds;
More horrible, than these alarming peals,
Which, as I speak, nearer and nearer roll,
The harbingers of slaughter. Haste, arise ! Post
Tell him, I spare the tribes; tell him, I bow
To his Jehovah,” Thus Belshazzar spake,
When sudden, with impetuous uproar,
Through the wide portals rush'd an armed band,
Persians and Medes. Gobryas, and Gadatas,
Breathing fierce vengeance, and inveterate hate,

Conduct the bloody troop. Where, monarch, where
Is now thy cruel wrath, thy pride, thy power?
Sunk on his knees behold Belshazzar bows
Before his rebel exiles! “ Spare, O spare
My life,” the coward tyrant, trembling, cries;
“ Let Cyrus wear my crown. To barren sands,
To regions, never trod by human foot, .
Banish me, where I ne'er again may know
Sweet social intercourse, but think, O think,
How fearful 'tis to die.” Thus while he spake,
With sword uplifted, o'er their bending king
The victors stood. And now perhaps his prayers,
And eyes, which upward rolling, long'd for life
Though miserable, had stopp'd the fatal blow,
Had not his murder'd son forbad the rage
Of Gobryas to subside. On his arch'd neck.
The ponderous falchion falls, and at one stroke
Smites from its spouting trunk the sever'd head
Of Babylonia's monarch. Ever thus
Perish fell cruelty, and lawless power!

After the Capture of Babylon, the Jews having been permitted

by Cyrus to rebuild their Temple, they reach JerusalemRenew the Feasts--Lay the Foundation of the Temple The old Men weep.

[ocr errors]


Now dawns the morn, and on mount Olivet
The boar-frost melts before the rising sun,

Which summons to their daily toil the world
Of beasts, of men; and all that wings the air, .
And all that swims the level of the lake,
Or creeps the ground, bid universal hail
To day's bright regent. But the tribes were rous'd,
Impatient even of rest, ere yet the stars .
Withdrew their feeble light. Through every street
They bend their way: some Ananiah leads,
Some Phanuel, or what elders else were driven ,
In early youth from Sion. Not a spot
Remains unvisited; each stone, each beam,
Seems sacred. As in legendary tale,
Led by magician's hand some hero treads
Enchanted ground, and hears, or thinks he hears,
Aerial voices, or with secret dread
Sees unembodied shades, by fancy form’d,
Flit through the gloom; so rescued Judah walk'd,
Amid the majesty of Salem's dust,
With reverential awe. Howbeit they soon
Remove the mouldering ruins; soon they clear
The obstructed paths, and every mansion raise, -
By force, or time, impair’d. Then Jeshua rose
With all his priests; nor thou, Zorobabel,
Soul of the tribes, wast absent. To the God
Of Jacob, oft as morn and eve returns,
A new-built altar smokes. Nor do they not
Observe the feast, memorial of that age
When Israel dwelt in tents; the Sabbath too,
New moons, and every ritual ordinance,
First fruits, and paschal lamb, and rams, and goats,

« ПретходнаНастави »