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Thy glance survey'd the solitary plains,
Where shapeless shade inert and silent reigns :
Then in the dark and undistinguished space,
Unfruitful, unenclosed, and wild of face, place.
Thy compass for the world marked out the destined
Then didst Thou through the fields of barren night
Go forth, collected in creating might.
Where Thou almighty vigour didst exert,
Which emicant did this and that way dart
Thro' the black bosom of the empty space :
The gulfs confess th' Omnipotent embrace,
And pregnant grown with elemental seed,
Unfinish'd orbs, and worlds in embryo breed
From the crude mass, Omniscient Architect,
Thou for each part materials didst select,
And with a master-hand Thy world erect.
Labour'd by Thee, the globes, vast lucid buoys,
By Thee uplifted float in liquid skies.
By Thy cementing word their parts cohere,
And roll by Thy impulsive nod in air.
Thou in the vacant didst the earth suspend,
Advance the mountains, and the vales extend ;
People the plains with flocks, with beasts the wood,
And store with scaly colonies the flood.
Next man arose at Thy creating word,
Of Thy terrestrial realms vice-regent lord,
His soul more artful labour, more refined,
And emulous of bright seraphic mind,
Ennobled by Thy image spotless shone,
Praised Thee her Author, and adored Thy throne :
Able to know, admire, enjoy her God,
She did her high felicity applaud.
It makes a toy press with prodigious weight,
And swells a mole-hill to a mountain's height.
For melancholy men lie down and groan,
Press'd with the burden of themselves alone.
Crush'd with fantastick mountains they despair ;
Their heads are grown vast globes too big to bear.
A little spark becomes a raging flame,
And each weak blast a storm too fierce to tame.
So peevish is the quarrelsome disease,
No prosperous fortune can procure it ease.
Some absent happiness they still pursue,
Dislike the present good, and long for new.
There stands a rock, dash'd with the breaking wave
Of troubled Styx, where in a gloomy cave
Flowing with gore, the fierce Bellona dwells ;
And, bound with adamantine fetters, yells :
Around stand heaps of mossy skulls and bones,
Whence issue loud laments and dreadful groans :
Torn limbs and mangled bodies are her food ;
Her drink, whole bowls of wormwood, gall, and blood :
Long curling snakes her head with horrour crown,
on her squabild back hang lolling down.
This gripes a bloody dart, the other hand
Grasps of infernal fire a flaming brand.
Treason and Usurpation, near allied,
Haughty Ambition, elevated Pride,
And Cruelty, with bloody garlands crown'd,
Rapine and Desolation stand around.
With these, Injustice, Violence, Rage, remain,
And ghastly Famine with her meagre train.
LXXXV. NATHANIEL LEE.
Not purple violets in the early spring
Such grateful sweets, such tender beauties bring ;
The orient blush, which does her cheeks adorn,
Makes coral pale, vies with the rosy morn:
Cupid has ta'en a surfeit from her eyes,
Whene'er she smiles, in lambent fire he fries,
And when she weeps, in pearls dissolv'd he dies.
lunatic that makes his moan,
And for a while beguiles his lookers on;
He reasons well, his eyes their wildness lose,
He vows the keepers his wrong'd sense abuse :
But if you hit the cause that hurt his brain,
Then his teeth gnash, he foams, he sbakes his chain
His eye-balls roll, and he is mad again.
The dead are only happy, and the dying:
The dead are still, and lasting slumbers hold 'em.
He who is near his death, but turns about,
Shuffles awhile to make his pillow easy,
Then slips into his shroud, and rests for ever.
4. THE SAME.
Death is not dreadful to a mind resolved ;
It seems as natural as to be born.
Groans and convulsions, and discoloured faces,
Friends weeping round us, blacks, and obsequies,
Make death a terrible thing: the pomp of death
Is far more terrible than death itself,
When the sun sets, shadows that showed at noon
But small appear most long and terrible;
So when we think fate hovers o'er our heads,
Our apprehensions shoot beyond all bounds:
Owls, ravens, crickets, seem the watch of death ·
Nature's worst vermin scare her god-like sons ;
Echoes, the very leavings of a voice,
Grow babbling ghosts, and call us to our graves.
Each molehill thought swells to a huge Olympus;
While we fantastic dreamers heave and puff,
And sweat with an imagination's weight.
'Tis night, dead night, and weary nature lies
So fast, as if she never were to rise :
No breath of wind now whispers thro' the trees,
No noise on land nor murmurs in the seas :
Lean wolves forget to howl at night's pale noon;
Nor wakeful dogs bark at the silent moon;
Nor bay the ghosts that glide with horror by,
To view the caverns where their bodies lie;
The ravens perch, and no presages give,
Nor to the windows of the dying cleave:
The owls forget to scream ; no midnight sound
Calls drowsy echo from the hollow ground.
In vaults the waking fires extinguish'd lie;
The stars, heav'n's sentry, wink, and seem to die.
LXXXVI. PHILEMON HOLLAND.
I writ this book
Made of a grey-goose quill ;
it was when it I took,
I leave it still.
The world is full of beaten roads,
But yet so slippery withal,
That where one walks secure, 'tis odds
A hundred and a hundred fall.
Untrodden paths are then the best,
Where the frequented are unsure ;
And he comes soonest to his rest,
Whose journey has been most secure.
It is content alone that makes
Our pilgrimage a pleasure here:
And who buys sorrow cheapest, takes
An ill commodity too dear.
But he has fortune's worst withstood,
And happiness can never miss,
Can covet naught, but where he stood,
And thinks him happy where he is.
THE LOVE-DISTRACTED LADY.
From rosy bowers, where sleeps the god of love,
Hither, ye little wanton cupids, fly;
Teach me in soft melodious strains to move
With tender passion my heart's darling joy:
Ah! let the soul of music tune my voice,
To win dear Strephon, who my soul enjoys.
Or, if more influencing
Ís to be brisk and airy,
With a step and a bound,
With a frisk from the ground
I'll trip like any fairy.
As once on Ida dancing
Were three celestial bodies ;
With an air, and a face,
And a shape, and a grace,
I'll charm, like beauty's goddess.
Ah! 'tis in vain ! 'tis all, 'tis all in vain !
Death and despair must end the fatal pain :
Cold, cold despair, disguis'd like snow and rain,
Falls on my heart ; bleak winds in tempest blow;
My veins all shiver, and my fingers glow :
My pulse beats a dead march for lost repose,
And to a solid lump of ice my poor fond heart is frozo.
Or say, ye powers, my peace to crown,
Shall I thaw myself
, and drown
Among the foaming billows ?
Increasing all with tears I shed,
On beds of ooze and crystal pillows,
Lay down, lay down my love-sick head ?
No, no, I'll strait run mad, mad, mad;
That soon my heart will warm ;
When once the sense is fled, is fled,
Love has no power to charm.
Wild through the woods I'll fly, I'll fly,
Robes, locks-shall thus be tore!
A thousand, thousand times I'll die,
Ere thus, thus, in vain—ere thus in vain adore.