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The mossy fountains, and the sylvan shades,
The dreams of Pindus, and the Aonian maids,
Delight no more. O Thou my voice inspire,
Who touch'd Isaiah's hallow'd lips with fire!
Rapt into future times, the bard begun:
A virgin shall conceive, a virgin bear a son!
From Jesse's root behold a branch arise,
Whose sacred flower with fragrance fills the skies ;
The æthereal spirit o'er its leaves shall move,
And on its top descends the mystic dove.
Ye heavens, from high the dewy nectar pour,
And in soft silence shed the kindly shower!
The sick and weak the healing plant shall aid,
From storms a shelter, and from heat a shade.
All crimes shall cease, and ancient fraud shall fail,
Returning Justice lift aloft her scale ;
Peace o'er the world her olive wand extend,
And white-rob’d Innocence from heaven descend.
Swift fly the years, and rise the expected morn!
Oh, spring to light, auspicious babe, be born!
See Nature haste her earliest wreaths to bring,
With all the incense of the breathing spring;
See lofty Lebanon his head advance;
See nodding forests on the mountains dance:
See spicy clouds from lowly Saron rise,
And Carmel's flowery top perfumes the skies!
Hark! a glad voice the lonely desert cheers :
Prepare the way! a God, a God appears !
a A God, a God! the vocal hills reply; The rocks proclaim the approaching deity: Lo, earth receives him from the bending skies! Sink down, ye mountains; and ye valleys, rise ! With heads declin'd, ye cedars, homage pay: Be smooth, ye rocks; ye rapid floods, give way! The Saviour comes, by ancient bards foretold ; Hear him, ye deaf! and, all ye blind, behold! He from thick films shall
the visual ray, And on the sightless eyeball pour the day : 'Tis he the obstructed paths of sound shall clear, And bid new music charm the unfolding ear:
The dumb shall ning, the lame his crutch forego,
And leap exulting like the bounding roe.
No sigh, no murmur, the wide world shall hear;
every face he wipes off every
In adamantine chains shall death be bound,
And hell's grim tyraut feel the eternal wound,
As the good shepherd tends his fleecy care, Seeks freshest pasture, and the purest air, Explores the lost, the wandering sheep directs, By day o'ersees them, and by night protects; The tender lambs he raises in his arms, Feeds from his hand, and in his bosom warms; Thus shall mankind his guardian care engage, Tho proinis’d father of the future age. No more shall nation against nation rise, Nor ardent warriors meet with hateful eyes, Nor fields with gleaming steel be cover'd o'er, The brazen trumpets kindle rage no more: But useless lances into scythes shall bend, And the broad falchion in a ploughshare end. Then palaces shall rise; the joyful son Shall finish what his short-liv'd sire begun ; Their vines a shadow to their race shall yield, And the same hand that sow'd, shall reap the field. The swain in barren deserts with surprise Sees lilies spring, and sudden verdure rise, And starts, amidst the thirsty wilds, to hear New falls of water murmuring in his ear. On risted rocks, the dragon's late abodes, The green reed trembles, and the bulrush nods ; Waste sandy valleys, once perplex'd with thorn, The spiry fir and shapely box adorn ; To leafless shrubs the flowering palins succeed, And od’rous myrtle to the noisome weed. The lambs with wolves shall graze the verdant mead, And boys in flowery bands the tiger lead; The steer and lion at one crib shall meet, And harmless serpents lick the pilgrim's feet; The smiling infant in his hand shall take The crested basilisk and speckled snake,
Pleased the green lustre of the scales survey,
And with their forky tongue shall innocently play.
Rise, crown'd with light, imperial Salem! rise
Exalt thy towery head, and lift thy eyes!
See, a long race thy spacious courts adorn;
See future sons, and daughters yet unborn,
In crowding ranks on every side arise,
Demanding life, impatient for the skies !
See barbarous nations at thy gates attend,
Walk in thy light, and in thy temple bend;
See thy bright altars thronged with prostrate kings,
And heaped with products of Sabæan springs!
For thee Idume's spicy forests blow,
And seeds of gold in Ophir's mountains glow.
See heaven its sparkling portals wide display,
And break upon thee in a flood of day.
No more the rising sun shall gild the morn,
Nor evening Cynthia fill her silver horn ;
But lost, dissolved in thy superior rays,
One tide of glory, one unclouded blaze,
O’erflow thy courts : the light himself shall shine
Revealed, and God's eternal day be thine !
The seas shall waste, the skies in smoke decay,
Rocks fall to dust, and mountains melt away;
And fixed his word, his saving power remains ;
Thy realm for ever lasts, thy own Messiah reigns !
9. MAN'S LOT VINDICATED. Heaven from all creatures hides the book of Fate, All but the page prescribed, their present state ; From brutes what men, from men what spirits know: Or who could suffer being here below ? The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed to-day, Had he thy reason, would he skip and play ? Pleas'd to the last he crops the flow'ry flood, And licks the hand just raised to shed his blood. Oh blindness to the future ! kindly given That each may fill the circle marked by Heav'n; Who sees with equal eye, as God of all, A hero perish, or a sparrow fall,
Atoms or systems into ruins huri'a,
And now a bubble burst, and now a world.
Hope humbly then ; with trembling pinions soar ;
Wait the great teacher Death: and God adore.
What future bliss, he gives not thee to know,
But gives that hope to be thy blessing now.
Hope springs eternal in the human breast:
Man never is, but always to be blest.
The soul uneasy and confined from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
Lo the poor Indian, whose untutored mind
Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind;
His soul proud Science never taught to stray
Far as the solar walk, or milky way;
Yet simple Nature to his soul has given,
Behind the cloud-topt hill, an humbler beaven;
Some safer world in depth of woods embraced,
Some happier island in the watery waste,
Where slaves once more their native land behold,
No fiends torment, no Christians thirst for gold.
To Be, contents his natural desire,
He asks no angel's wing, no seraph's fire:
But thinks, admitted to that equal sky,
His faithful dog shall bear him company.
Go, wiser thou! and, in thy scale of sense,
Weigh thy opinion against Providence :
Call imperfection what thou fancy'st such,
Say, Here he gives too little, there too much;
Destroy all creatures for thy sport or gust,
Yet cry, If Man's unhappy, God's unjust;
If Man alone engross not Heaven's high care,
Alone made perfect here, immortal there :
Snatch from his hand the balance and the rou,
Rejudge his justice, be the God of God,
In Pride, in reas'ning Pride, our error lies ;
All quit their sphere, and rush into the skies.
Pride still is aiming at the blest abodes,
Men would be angels, angels would be gods.
Aspiring to be gods, if angels tell,
Aspiring to be angels, Men rebel :
And who but wishes to invert the laws
Of Order, sins against the Eternal Cause.
Ask for what end the heavenly bodies shine,
Earth for whose use ? Pride answers, 66'Tis for mine :
For me kind Nature wakes her genial pow'r,
Suckles each herb, and spreads out every flower ;
Annual for me, the grape, the rose renew,
The juice nectareous, and the balmy dew;
For me the mine a thousand treasures brings ;
For me health gushes from a thousand springs ;
Seas roll to waft me, suns to light me rise ;
My foot-stool earth, my canopy the skies.”
But errs not Nature from this gracious end,
From burning suns when livid deaths descend,
When earthquakes swallow, or when tempests sweep
Towns to one grave, whole nations to the deep ?
“No ('tis replied), the first Almighty Cause
Acts not by partial, but by general laws;
The exceptions few; some change since all began ;
And what created perfect ?—Why then Man?
If the great end be huma wappiness,
Then Nature deviates; and can man do less ?
As much that end a constant course requires
Of showers and sun-shine, as of Man's desires ;
As much eternal springs and cloudless skies,
As Men for ever temperate, calm, and wise.
If plagues or earthquakes break not Heaven's design,
Why then a Borgia, or a Catiline ?
Who knows but He, whose hand the lightning forms,
Who heaves old Ocean, and who wings the storms;
Pours fierce Ambition in a Cæsar's mind,
Or turns young Ammon loose to sourge mankind !
From pride, from pride, our very reas'ning springs ;
Account for moral, as for natural things :
Why charge we Heav'n in those, in these acquit ?
In both, to reason right is to submit.
Better for us, perhaps, it might appear, Were there all harmony, all virtue here; That never air or ocean felt the wind : That never passion discomposed the mind.