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A midnight new! a dread eclipse (without
Opposing spheres) from her Creator's frown!
Sun! didst thou fly thy Maker's pain? or start
At that enormous load of human guilt
Which bow'd his blessed head, o'erwhelm'd his cross,
Made groan the centre, burst earth's marble womb
With pangs, strange pangs! deliver'd of her dead? 255
Hell howl'd; and Heaven that hour let fall a tear :
Heaven wept, that men might smile! Heaven bled.
Might never die !
And is devotion virtue? 'tis compell'd.
What heart of stone but glows at thoughts like these? Such contemplations mount us, and should mount 261 The mind still higher, nor ever glance on man Unraptured, uninflamed.-Where roll'd my thoughts To rest from wonders? other wonders rise,
I see the path, and in his death the price,
And in his great ascent the proof supreme,
Of immortality.-And did he rise?—
Hear, O ye Nations! hear it, O ye Dead!
He rose! he rose ! he burst the bars of Death
Lift up your heads, ye everlasting Gates!
And give the King of glory to come in.
Who is the King of glory? he who left
His throne of glory for the pang of death.
Lift up your heads, ye everlasting Gates'
And give the King of glory to come în.
Who is the King of glory? he who slew
The ravenous foe that gorged all human race!
The King of glory He, whose glory fill'd
Heaven with amazement at his love to man,
And with divine complacency beheld
Powers most illumined, wilder'd in the theme.
And strike where'er they roll: my soul is caught: 265
Heaven's sovereign blessings, clustering from the cross,
Rush on her, in a throng, and close her round,
The prisoner of amaze !--In his bless'd life
The theme, the joy, how then shall man sustain ?
Oh, the burst gates! crush'd sting! demolish'd throne!
Last gasp of vanquish'd Death! Shout, earth and heaven,
This sum of good to man! whose nature then
Took wing, and mounted with him from the tomb. 290
Then, then I rose; then first Humanity
Triumphant pass'd the crystal ports of light,
(Stupendous guest!) and seized eternal youth,
Seized in our name. E'er since 'tis blasphemous
To call man mortal. Man's mortality
Was then transferr'd to death; and Heaven's duratior
Unalienably seal'd to this frail frame,
This child of dust.-Man, all immortal! hail;
Hail, Heaven! All lavish of strange gifts to man!
Thine all the glory, man's the boundless bliss!
Where am I rapp'd by this triumphant theme,
On Christian joy's exulting wing, above
The' Acnian mount !-Alas! small cause for joy!
What, if to pain immortal? if extent
Of being, to preclude a close of woe?
Where, then, my boast of immortality?
I boast it still, though cover'd o'er with guilt.
For guilt, not innocence, his life he pour'd;
'Tis guilt alone can justify his death;
Nor that, unless his death can justify
Relenting guilt in Heaven's indulgent sight.
If, sick of folly, I relent; he writes
And what is this?-Survey the wondrous cure,
And at each step let higher wonder rise!
'Pardon for infinite offence! and pardon
Through means that speak its value infinite!
A pardon bought with blood! with blood divine!
With blood divine of him I made my foe;
My name in Heaven with that inverted spear
(A spear deep dipped in blood) which pierced his side,
And open'd there a font for all mankind,
Who strive, who combat crimes, to drink and live:
This, only this, subdues the fear of death!
Persisted to provoke! though wooed, and awed;
Bless'd, and chastised; a flagrant rebel still!
A rebel midst the thunders of his throne!
Nor I alone! a rebel universe!
My species up in arms' not one exempt!
Yet for the foulest of the foul he dies,
Most joy'd for the redeem'd from deepest guilt!
As if our race were held of highest rank;
And Godhead dearer, as more kind to man!'
Bound, every heart; and, every bosom, burn! O what a scale of miracles is here!
Its lowest round high planted on the skies,
Its towering summit lost beyond the thought
Of man or angel! O that I could climb
The wonderful ascent, with equal praise!
Praise flow for ever, (if astonishment
Will give thee leave) my praise! for ever flow; 340
Praise ardent, cordial, constant, to high Heaven
More fragrant than Arabia sacrificed,
And all her spicy mountains in a flame.
So dear, so due to Heaven, shall Praise descend With her soft plume (from plausive angels' wing 345 First pluck'd by man) to tickle mortal ears,
Thus diving in the pockets of the great?
Is praise the perquisite of every paw,
Though black as hell, that grapples well for gold?
O, love of gold! thou meanest of amours!
Shall praise her odours waste on virtues dead,
Embalm the base, perfume the stench of guilt.
Earn dirty bread by washing Ethiops fair,
Removing filth, or sinking it from sight;
A scavenger in scenes where vacant poste,
Like gibbets yet untenanted, expect
Their future ornaments? From courts and thrones
Return, apostate Praise! thou vagabond!
Thou prostitute! to thy first love return,
Thy first, thy greatest, once unrival'd theme.
There flow redundant, like Meander flow,
Back to the fountain, to that parent Power
Who gives the tongue to sound, the thought to roar,
The soul to be Men homage pay to men,
Thoughtless beneath whose dreadful eye they bow,
In mutual awe profound, of clay to clay,
Of guilt to guilt, and turn their backs on thee,
Great Sire! whom thrones celestial ceaseless sing;
To prostrate angels an amazing scene!
O the presumption of man's awe for man!—
Man's Author! End! Restorer! Law and Judge !
Thine all! Day thine, and thine this gloom of Night,
With all her wealth, with all her radiant worlds.
What night eternal, but a frown from thee?
What Heaven's meridian glory, but thy smile?
And shall not praise be thine, not human praise,
While Heaven's high host on hallelujahs live?
O may I breathe no longer than I breathe
My soul in praise to Him who gave my soul;
And all her infinite of prospect fair,
Cut through the shades of hell, great Love! by thee,
Oh most adorable! nost unadored!
Where shall that praise begin, which ne'er should end?
Where'er I turn, what claim on all applause!
How is Night's sable mantle labour'd o'er,
How richly wrought with attributes divine!
What wisdom shines; what love! This midnight pomp,
This gorgeous arch, with golden worlds inlaid!
Built with divine ambition! nought to thee;
For others this profusion. Thou apart,
Above! beyond! Oh! tell me, mighty Mind!
Where art thou? Shall I dive into the deep?
Call to the Sun? or ask the roaring winds
For their Creator! shall I question loud
The thunder, if in that the' Almighty dwells?
Or holds He furious storms in straiten'd reins,
And bids fierce whirlwinds wheel his rapid car?
What mean these questions ?--Trembling 1 retract;
My prostrate soul adores the present God!
Praise I a distant Deity? He tunes
My voice (if tuned ;) the nerve that writes sustains:
Wrapp'd in his being I resound his praise:
But though past all diffused, without a shore
His essence, local is his throne (as meet)
To gather the dispersed (as standards call
The listed from afar ;) to fix a point,
A central point, collective of his sons;
Since finite every nature but his own.
The nameless He, whose nod is Nature's birth,
And Nature's shield the shadow of his hand;
Her dissolution his suspended smile!
The great First-Last! pavilion'd high he sits
In darkness, from excessive splendour born,
By gods unseen, unless through lustre lost.
His glory, to created glory, bright,
As that to central horrors he looks down
On all that soars, and spans immensity.
Though night unnumber'd worlds unfolds to view,
Boundless Creation! what art thou? a beam,
A mere effluvium of his majesty.
And shall an atom of this atom world
Mutter, in dust and sin, the theme of Heaven?
Down to the centre should I send my thought,
Through beds of glittering ore and glowing gems;
Their beggar'd blaze wants lustre for my lay;
Goes out in darkness: if, on towering wing,
I send it through the boundless vault of stars!
The stars, though rich, what dross their gold to thee,
Great! good! wise! wonderful! eternal King!
If to those conscious stars thy throne around,
Praise ever pouring, and imbibing bliss,
And ask their strain: they want it, more they want.
Poor their abundance, humble their sublime,
Languid their energy, their ardour cold;
Indebted still, their highest rapture burns,
Short of its mark, defective though divine!
Still more this theme is man's, and man's alone;