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And that in sorrow buried ; this, in shame ;
All point at Earth, and hiss at human pride, While bowling furies ring the doleful knell; The wisdom of the wise, and prancings of the great. And conscience, now so soli ihou scarce canst hear But, O Lorenzo! far the rest above, Her whisper, echoes her eternal peal.
Of ghastly nature, and enormous size, Where, the prime actors of the last year's scene; One form assaults my sight, and chills my blood, Their port so proud, their buskin, and their plume? And shakes my frame. Of one departed world How many sleep, who kept the world awake I see the mighty shadow: vozy wreath With lustre, and with noise! Has Death proclaim'd | And dismal sea-weed crown her; o'er her um A truce, and hung his sated lance on high? Reclin'd, she weeps her desolated realms, "Tis brandishi'd still; nor shall the present year And bloated sons; and, weeping, prophesies Be more tenacious of her human leaf,
Another's dissolution, soon, in flames. Or spread of feeble life a thinner fall.
But, like Cassandra, prophesies in vain; But needless monuments to wake the thought; In vain, to many; not, I trust, to thee. Life's gayest scenes speak man's mortality,
For, know'st thou not, or art thou loth to know, Though in a style more florid, full as plain, The great decree, the counsel of the skies? As mausoleums, pyramids, and tombs.
Deluge and conflagration, dreadful powers! What are our noblest ornaments, but deaths Prime ministers of vengeance! chain'd in caves Turn'd flatterers of life, in paint or marble, Distinct, apart the giant furies roar ; The well-stain'd canvas, or the featur'd stone ? A part; or, such their horrid rage for ruin, Our fathers grace, or rather haunt, the scene. In mutual conflict would they rise, and wage Joy peoples her pavilion from the dead.
Eternal war, till one was quite devour'd. Profest diversions !—cannot these escape ?" But not for this ordain'd their boundless rage ; Far from it: these present is with a shroud ; When Heaven's inferior instruments of wrath, And talk of death, like garlands o'er a grave. War, famine, pestilence, are found 100 weak As some bold plunderers, for buried wealth, To scourge a world for her enormous crimes, We ransack tombs for pastime ; from the dust These are let loose, alternate: down they rush, Call up the sleeping hero ; bid him tread Swift and tempestuous, from th' eternal ihrone, The scene for our amusement: how like gods With irresistible commission arm’d, We sit; and, wrapt in immortality,
The world, in vain corrected, to destroy, Shed generous tears on wretches born to die; And ease creation of the shocking scene. Their fate deploring, to forget our own!
See'st thou, Lorenzo! what depends on man? What all the pomps and triumphs of our lives, The fate of Nature ; as for man, her birth. But legacies in blossom? Our lean soil,
Earth's actors change Earth's transitory scenes, Luxuriant grown, and rank in vanities,
And make creation groan with human guilt. From friends interr'd beneath, a rich manure ! How must it groan, in a new deluge whelm’d, Like other worms, we banquet on the dead; But not of waters! at the destin'd hour, Like other worms, shall we crawl on, nor know By the loud trumpet summond to the charge, Our present frailties, or approaching fate?
See, all the formidable sons of firo, Lorenzo! such the glories of the world ! Eruptions, earthquakes, comets, lightnings, play What is the world itself? Thy world—a grave. Their various engines; all at once disgorge Where is the dust that has not been alive? Their blazing magazines; and take, by storm, The spade, the plow, disturb our ancestors; This poor terrestrial citadel of man. From human mould we reap our daily bread. Amazing period ! when each mountain-height The globe around Earth's hollow surface shakes, Out-burns Vesuvius; rocks eternal pour And is the ceiling of her sleeping sons.
Their melted mass, as rivers once they pour'd; O'er devastation we blind revels keep;
Stars rush; and final ruin fiercely drives Whole buried towns support the dancer's heel. Her plowshare o'er creation !--while aloft, The moist of human frame the Sun exhales; More than astonishment! if more can be ! Winds scatter through the mighty void the dry; Far other firmament than e'er was seen, Earth repossesses part of what she gave,
Than e'er was thought by man! far other stars!
Far other Sun !-A Sun, O how unlike
Nor man alone; his breathing bust expires, That Man of Sorrows! O how chang'd! what pomp!
A swift archangel, with his golden wing, Though half our learning is their epitaph.
As blots and clouds, that darken and disgrace When down thy vale, unlock'd by midnight thought, The scene divine, sweeps stars and suns aside. That loves to wander in thy sunless realms, And now, all dross remov'd, Heaven's own pure day O Death! I stretch my view; what visions rise! Full on the confines of our ether, flames. What triumphs! toils imperial! arts divine ! While (dreadful contrast !) far, how far beneath! In wither'd laurels glide before my sight!
Hell, bursting, belches forth her blazing seas, What lengths of far-far'd ages, billow'd high And storms sulphureous; her voracious jaws With human agitation, roll along
Expanding wide, and roaring for her prey. In unsubstantial images of air!
Lorenzo! welcome to this scene ; the last The melancholy ghosts of dead renown,
In Nature's course; the first in wisdom's thought. Whispering faint echoes of the world's applause, This strikes, if aught can strike thee! this awakes With penitential aspect, as they pass,
The most supine; this snatches man from death.
Rouse, rouse, Lorenzo, then, and follow me,
Shall man alone, whose fate, whose final fate, Where truth, the most momentous man can hear, Hangs on that hour, exclude it from his thought? Loud calls my soul, and ardor wings her flight. I think of nothing else ; I see! I feel it! I find my inspiration in my theme;
All Nature, like an earthquake, trembling round The grandeur of my subject is my Muse.
All deities, like summer's swarms, on wing! At midnight, when mankind is wrapt in peace, All basking in the full meridian blaze! And worldly fancy feeds on golden dreams; I see the Judge enthron'd! the flaming guard ! To give more dread to man's most dreadful hour, The volume open'd! open'd every heart ! At midnight, 'tis presum'd this pomp will burst A sunbeam pointing out each secret thought; From tentold darkness ; sudden as the spark No patron! intercessor none! now past From smitten steel ; from nitrous grain, the blaze. The sweet, the clement, mediatorial hour! Man, starting from his couch, shall sleep no more! For guilt no plea! to pain, no pause! no bound' The day is broke, which never more shall close ! Inexorable, all! and all, extreme! Above, around, beneath, amazement all!
Nor man alone; the foe of God and man, Terror and glory join'd in their extremes!
From his dark den, blaspheming, drags his chain, Our God in grandeur, and our world on fire! And rears his brazen front, with thunder scarr'd. All Nature struggling in the pangs of death! Receives his sentence, and begins his hell. Dost thou not hear her? Dost thou not deplore All vengeance past, now, seems abundant grace. Iler strong convulsions, and her final groan? Like meteors in a stormy sky, how roll Where are we now? Ah me! the ground is gone His baleful eyes; he curses whom he dreads; On which we stood: Lorenzo! while thou may st, And deems it the first moment of his fall. Provide more firm support, or sink for ever!
'Tis present 10 my thought !-and yet where is it Where? how? from whence ? Vain hope! it is too late! Angels can't tell me; angels cannot guess Where, where, for shelter, shall the guilty fly, The period ; from created beings lock'd When consternation turns the good man pale ? In darkness. But the process, and the place,
Great day! for which all other days were made; Are less obscure ; for these may man inquire. For which Earth rose from chaos, man from Earth; Say, thou great close of human hopes and fears! And an eternity, the date of Gods,
Great key of hearts! great finisher of fates ! Descended on poor earth-created man!
Great end! and great beginning! say, Where art Great day of dread, decision, and despair!
thou? At thought of thee, each sublunary wish
Art thou in time, or in elernity ? Lets go its eager grasp, and drops the world ; Nor in eternity, nor time, I find thec. And catches at each reed of hope in Heaven. These, as two monarchs, on their borders meet, At thought of thee and art thou absent then? (Monarchs of all elaps'd, or unarriv'd!) Lorenzo! no ; 'tis here; it is begun ;
As in debaie, how best their powers allied Already is begun the grand assize,
May swell the grandeur, or discharge the wrath, In thee, in all: deputed conscience scales
of him, whom both their monarchies obey. The dread tribunal, and forestalls our doom ;
Time, this vast fabric, for him built (and doom2 Forestalls; and, by forestalling, proves it sure. With him to fall) now bursting o'er his head; Why on himself should man void judgment pass ? Ilis lamp, the Sun, extinguish'u ; from beneath Is idle Nature laughing at her sons ?
The frown of hideous darkness, calls his sons
Prest in one crowd, appallid with one amaze,
His greatest soe falls with him; Time, and he The coward Mies; and, Nying, is undone.
Who murder'd ail Time's offspring, Death, expire (Art thou a coward ? No:) the coward flies;
Time was! Eternity now reigns alone!
What is truth?" with Pilate; and retires; And her resentment to mankind, how just!
Shall all, but man, look out with ardent eye, Rich to repay their hospitality, For that great day, which was ordain'd for man? How often calla! and with the voice of God! O day of consummation! mark supreme
Yet bore repulse, excluded as a cheal ! (If men are wise) of human thought! nor least, A dream! while foulest foes found welcome there!! Or in the sight of angels, or their King !
A dream, a cheat, now, all things, but her smile. Angels, whose radiant circles, height o'er height, For, lo! her twice ten thousand gates thrown wide Order o'er order, rising, blaze o'er blaze,
As thrice from Indus to the frozen Pole, As in a theatre, surround this scene,
With banners streaming as the comet's blaze,
And clarions, louder than the deep in storms,
Pour forth their myriads, potentates, and powers, Crealion universal calls aloud,
of light, of darkness; in a middle field, To dis-involve the moral world, and give
Wide, as creation ! populous, as wide! To Nature's renovation brighter charms.
A neutral region! there to mark th' event
Of that great drama, whose preceding scenes But chiefly then, when grief puts in her claim,
Oft lives in vanity, and dies in woe.
Joy, amidst ills, corroborates, exalts ;
A noble fortitude in ills, delights
Heaven, Earth, ourselves ; 'tis duty, glory, peace. Assigns the sever'd throng distinct abodes, Affliction is the good man's shining scene; Sulphureous, or ambrosial: what ensues ?
Prosperity conceals his brightest ray;
The crown of manhood is a winter-joy ;
An evergreen, that stands the northern blast,
Without one rebel murmur, from this hour,
Who thinks it is, shall never be a God. Returns, in groans, the melancholy roar.
Some ills we wish for, when we wish to live. O how unlike the chorus of the skies!
What spoke proud passion ? — Wish my being O how unlike those shouts of joy, that shake
lost ?"* The whole ethereal ? How the concave rings! Presumptuous! blasphemous! absurd! and false ! Nor strange! when deities their voice exalt; The triumph of my soul is—That I am ; And louder far, than when creation rose.
And therefore that I may be—what? Lorenzo ! To see creation's godlike aim, and end,
Look inward, and look deep; and deeper still ; So well accomplish'd! so divinely clos'd! Unfathomably deep our treasure runs To see the mighty dramatist's last act
In golden veins, through all eternity! (As meet) in glory rising o'er the rest.
Ages, and ages, and succeeding still No fancied god, a god indeed, descends,
New ages, where the phantom of an hour,
Where thou, not master of a moment here,
With all a kind Omnipotence can pour.
Has ever yet conceiv'd, or ever shall, And turn it on myself ; how greatly due !
How kind is God, how great (if good) is man. All, all is right, by God ordaind or done;
No man too largely from Heaven's love can hope, And who, but God, resum'd the friends he gave ? If what is hop'd he labors to secure. And have I been complaining, then, so long ? Ills ?—there are none :--All-gracious ! none from Complaining of his favors, pain, and death ?
thee; Who, without pain's advice, would e'er be good ? From man full many! numerous is the race Who, without death, but would be good in vain ? Of blackest ills, and those immortal too, Pain is to save from pain; all punishment, Begot by madness on fair liberty ; To make for peace; and death to save from death; Heaven's daughter, Hell-debauch'd! her hand alone And second death, to guard immortal life;
Unlocks destruction to the sons of men, To rouse the careless, the presumptuous awe, First barr'd by thine : high-wall'd with adamant, And turn the tide of souls another
Guarded with terrors reaching to this world, By the same tenderness divine ordain'd,
And cover'd with the thunders of thy law; That planted Eden, and high-bloom'd for man Whose threats are mercies, whose injunctions, guides, A fairer Eden, endless, in the skies.
Assisting, not restraining, reason's choice; Heaven gives us friends to bless the present scene; Whose sanctions, unavoidable results Resumes them, to prepare us for the next.
From Nature's course, indulgently reveal'd ; All evils nalural are moral goods;
If unreveal’d, more dangerous, nor less sure. AH discipline, indulgence, on the whole.
Thus, an indulgent father warns his sons, None are unhappy: all have cause to smile, " Do this; fly that”—nor always tells the cause; But such as to themselves that cause deny. Pleas'd to reward, as duty to his will, Our faulls are at the bottom of our pains ;
A conduct needful to their own repose. Error, in acts, or judgment, is the source
Great God of wonders ! (if, thy love survey'd, of endless sighs: we sin, or we mistake ;
Aught else the name of wonderful retains)
* Referring to the First Night.
What rocks are these, on which to build our trust! The grand tribunal rais’d; assign'd the bounds Thy ways admit no blemish ; none I find;
of human grief: in few, to close the whole, Or this alone—“ That none is to be found." The moral Muse has shadow'd out a sketch, to sofien censure's hardy crime;
Though not in form, nor with a Raphael-stroke, Not one, to palliate peevish grief's complaint, Of most our weakness needs believe, or do, Who like a demon, murmuring from the dust, In this our land of travel and of hope, Dares into judgment call her Judge.—Supreme! For peace on Earth, or prospect of the skies. For all I bless thee; most, for the severe ;
What then remains ? Much! much! a mighty debt Her* death—my own at hand—the fiery gulf, To be discharg'd: these thoughts, O Night! are That flaming bound of wrath omnipotent!
thine : It thunders ;—but it thunders to preserve;
From thee they came, like lovers' secret sighs, It strengthens what it strikes; its wholesome dread While others slept. So Cynthia (poels feign) Averts the dreaded pain ; its hideous groans In shadows veil'd, soft sliding from her sphere, Join Heaven's sweet hallelujahs in thy praise, Her shepherd cheer'd ; of her enamour'd less, Great source of good alone! How kind in all ! Than I of thee —And art thou still unsung, In vengeance kind! pain, death, gehenna save. Beneath whose brow, and by whose aid, I sing ?
Thus, in thy world material, Mighty Mind ! Immortal silence! where shall I begin? Not that alone which solaces, and shines,
Where end? Or how steal music from the spheres, The rough and gloomy, challenges our praise. To soothe their goddess ? The winter is as needful as the spring ;
O majestic Night? The thunder, as the Sun; a stagnant mass
Nature's great ancestor? day's elder-born! Of vapors breeds a pestilential air;
And fated to survive the transient Sun! Nor more propitions the Favonian breeze
By mortals, and immortals, seen with awe! To Nature's health, than purifying storms; A starry crown thy raven brow adorns, The dread valcano ministers to good.
An azure zone, thy waist ; clouds, in Heaven's loom Its smother'd flames might undermine the world. Wronght through varieties of shape and shade, Loud tnas fulminate in love to man;
In ample folds of drapery divine, Comets good omens are when duly scann'd; Thy flowing mantle form; and Heaven throughout, And, in their use, eclipses learn to shine.
Voluminously pour thy pompous train. Man is responsible for ills receiv'd;
Thy gloomy grandeurs (Nature's most august, Those we call wretched are a chosen band, Inspiring aspect!) claim a grateful verse; Compellid to refuge in the right, for peace. And, like a sable curtain starr'd with gold, Amid my list of blessings infinite,
Drawn o'er my labors past, shall close the scene. Stand this the foremost, “ That my heart has bled.” And what, О man! so worthy to be sung? 'Tis Heaven's last effort of good-will to man; What more prepares us for the songs of Heaven? When pain can't bless, Heaven quits us in despair. Creation, of archangels is the theme ! Who fails to grieve, when just occasion calls, What, to be sung, so need ful? What so well Or grieves too much, deserves not to be blest ; Celestial joys prepare us to sustain ? Inhuman, or effeminate, his heart;
The soul of man, his face design'd to see
And give her whole capacities that strength,
The more our spirits are enlarg'd on Earth,
The deeper draught shall they receive of Heaven. And when o'erlabor'd, and inclin'd to breathe, Heaven's King! whose face unveil'd consuni A panting traveller some rising ground,
mates bliss ; Some small ascent, has gain’d, he turns him round, Redundant bliss! which fills that mighty void, And measures with his eye the various vales, The whole creation leaves in human hearts ! The fields, woods, meads, and rivers, he has past; Thou, who didst touch the lip of Jesse's son, And, satiate of his journey, thinks of home, Rapt in sweet contemplation of these fires, Endeard by distance, nor affects more toil; And set his harp in concert with the spheres ; Thus I, though small, indeed, is that ascent While of thy works material the supreme The Muse has gain'd, review the paths she trod; I dare attempt, assist my daring song ; Various, extensive, beaten but by few;
Loose me from Earth's inclosure, from the Sun's And, conscious of her prudence in repose,
Contracted circ!e set my heart at large; Pause ; and with pleasure meditate an end,
Eliminate my spirit, give it range Though still remote; so fruitful is
theme. Through provinces of thought yet unexplord ; Through many a field of moral, and divine, Teach me by this stupendous scaffolding, The muse has stray'd ; and much of sorrow seen Creation's golden steps, to climb to thee. In human ways; and much of false and vain ; Teach me with art great Nature to control, Which none, who travel this bad road, can miss. And spread a lustre o'er the shades of night. O'er friends deceas'd full heartily she wept ; Feel I thy kind assent? and shall the Sun of love divine the wonders she display'd ;
Be seen at midnight, rising in my song? Prov'd man immortal ; show'd the source of joy ;
Lorenzo! come, and warm thee: thou, whose heari,
Whose little heari, is moor'd within a nook * Lucia.
Of this obscure terrestrial, anchor weigh.
Another ocean calls, a nobler port;
Those tyrants I for thee so lately* fought, I am thy pilot, I thy prosperous gale.
Afford their harass'd slaves but slender rest. Gainful thy voyage through yon azure main ; Thou, to whom midnight is immoral noon, Main, without tempest, pirate, rock, or shore; And the Sun's noontide blaze, prime dawn of day; And whence thou may'st import elernal wealth; Not by thy climate, but capricious crime, And leave to beggar'd minds the pearl and gold. Commencing one of our Antipodes ! Thy travels dost thou boast o'er foreign realms ? In thy nocturnal rove one moment halt, Thou stranger to the world! thy tour begin; 'Twixt stage and stage, of riot, and cabal ; Thy tour through Nature's universal orb.
And lift thine eye (if bold an eye to lift,
Why from yon arch, that infinite of space,
At the first glance, in such an overwhelm
Of wonderful, on man's astonish'd sight,
Our reason rouse, and lead it to that power,
plause, Which soon, perhaps, shall shake a guilty world ; An humble, pure, and heavenly-minded heart, Above misconstru'd omens of the sky,
Are here inspir'd :-And canst thou gaze too long Far-travel'd comets' calculated blaze;
Nor stands thy wrath, depriv’d of its reproof,
Atracting, and attracted ! Patriot-like,
Affords an emblem of millennial love.
This prospect vast, what is it?–Weigh'd aright, And know, of all our supercilious race, 'Tis Nature's system of divinity,
Thou most inflammable ! thou wasp of men ! And every student of the night inspires.
Man's angry heart, inspected, would be found "Tis elder Scripture, writ by God's own hand : As rightly set, as are th starry spheres; Scripture authentic! uncorrupt by man.
"Tis Nature's structure, broke by stubborn will, Lorenzo! with my radius (the rich gift
Breeds all that un-celestial discord there. Of thought nocturnal !) I'll point out to thee Wilt thou not feel the bias Nature gave? Its various lessons ; some that may surprise Canst thou descend from converse with the skies, An un-adept in mysteries of night;
And seize thy brother's throat ?-For what-a clod, Little, perhaps, expected in her school,
An inch of earth? The planets cry, “ Forbear!" Nor thought to grow on planet, or on star. They chase our double darkness; Nature's gloom, Bulls, lions, scorpions, monsters, here we feign; And (kinder still !) our intellectual night. Ourselves more monstrous, not to see what here And see, Day's amiable sister sends Exists indeed ;-a lecture to mankind.
Her invitation, in the softest rays What read we here?-Th'existence of a God? or mitigated lustre ; courts thy sight, Yes; and of other beings, man above;
Which suffers from her tyrant-brother's blaze. Natives of ether! Sons of higher climes !
Night grants thee the full freedom of the skies, And, what may move Lorenzo's wonder more, Nor rudely reprimands thy lifted eye ; Eternity is written in the skies.
With gain, and joy, she bribes thee to be wise. And whose eternity ?--Lorenzo! thine ;
Night opes the noblest scenes, and sheds an awe, Mankind's eternity. Nor faith alone,
Which gives those venerable scenes full weight, Virtue grows here; here springs the sovereign cure And deep reception, in th' entender'd heart; Of almost every vice; but chiefly thine ;
While light peeps through the darkness, like a spy Wrath, pride, ambition, and impure desire. And darkness shows its grandeur by the light.
Lorenzo! thou canst wake at midnight too, Nor is the profit greater than the joy, Though not on morals bent: ambition, pleasure !
* Night the Eighth. * Night the Eighth.
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