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By ruthless fate to death consign'd,
Ely, the honour of his kind !
At once a storm of passion heaved
My boiling bosom, much I grieved ;
But more I raged, at every breath
Devoting Death himself to death.
With less revenge did Naso teem
When hated Ibis was his theme;
With less Archilochus denied
The lovely Greek his promised bride.
But lo! while thus I execrate
Incensed the minister of fate,
Wondrous accents, soft, yet clear,
Wafted on the gale I hear.
Ah, much deluded ! lay aside Thy threats, and anger misapplied ! Art not afraid with sounds like these To offend, where thou canst not appease? Death is not (wherefore dream'st thou thus ?) The son of night and Erebus : Nor was of fell Erynnis born On gulfs where Chaos rules forlorn. But sent from God, his presence leaves, To gather home his ripen'd sheaves, To call encumber'd souls away From fleshly bonds to boundless day, (As when the winged hours excite, And summon forth the morning light) And each to convoy to her place Before the Eternal Father's face.
But not the wicked—them, severe
Yet just, from all their pleasures here
He hurries to the realms below,
Terrific realms of penal woe!
Myself no sooner heard his call,
Than, scaping through my prison wall,
I bade adieu to bolts and bars,
And soar'd, with angels, to the stars,
Like him of old, to whom 'twas given
To mount on fiery wheels to heaven.
slow with cold,
Appall’d me not; nor to behold
The sword that vast Orion draws,
Or e'en the scorpion's horrid claws.
Beyond the sun's bright orb I fly,
And far beneath my feet descry
Night's dread goddess, seen with awe,
Whom her winged dragons draw.
Thus, ever wondering at my speed,
Augmented still as I proceed,
I pass the planetary sphere,
The milky way—and now appear
Heaven's crystal battlements, her door
Of massy pearl, and emerald floor.
But here I cease. For never can
The tongue of once a mortal man
In suitable description trace
The pleasures of that happy place;
Suffice it, that those joys divine
Are all, and all for ever,
NATURE UNIMPAIRED BY TIME.
Az, how the human mind wearies herself
With her own wanderings, and, involved in gloom
Impenetrable, speculates amiss !
Measuring in her folly things divine
By human; laws inscribed on adamant
By laws of man's device, and counsels fix'd
For by the hours that pass and die.
How?-shall the face of nature then be plough'd
Into deep wrinkles, and shall years at last
On the great parent fix a sterile curse ?
Shall even she confess old age, and halt,
And, palsy-smitten, shake her starry brows?
Shall foul antiquity with rust, and drought,
And famine, vex the radiant worlds above?
Shall time's unsated maw crave and ingulf
The very heavens, that regulate his flight?
And was the sire of all able to fence
His works, and to uphold the circling worlds,
But, through improvident and heedless haste
Let slip the occasion ?—so then—all is lost-
And in some future evil hour, yon arch
Shall crumble, and come thundering down, the
Jar in collision, the Olympian king
[poles Fall with his throne, and Pallas, holding forth The terrors of the Gorgon shield in vain, Shall rush to the abyss, like Vulcan hurl'd
Down into Lemnos, through the gate of heaven.
Thou also, with precipitated wheels,
Phæbus ! thy own son's fall shall imitate,
With hideous ruin shalt impress the deep
Suddenly, and the flood shall reek, and hiss,
At the extinction of the lamp of day.
Then too shall Hæmus, cloven to his base,
Be shatter'd, and the huge Ceraunian hills,
Once weapons of Tartarean Dis, immersed
In Erebus, shall fill himself with fear.
No. The Almighty Father surer laid
His deep foundations, and, providing well
For the event of all, the scales of fate
Suspended in just equipoise, and bade
His universal works, from
age to age, One tenour hold, perpetual, undisturb’d.
Hence the prime mover wheels itself about Continual, day by day, and with it bears In social measure swift the heavens around. Not tardier now is Saturn than of old, Nor radiant less the burning casque of Mars. Phæbus, his vigour unimpair’d, still shows The effulgence of his youth, nor needs the god A downward course, that he may warm the vales ; But, ever rich in influence, runs his road, Sign after sign, through all the heavenly zone. Beautiful, as at first, ascends the star From odoriferous Ind, whose office is To gather home betimes the ethereal flock, To pour
them o'er the skies again at eve,
And to discriminate the night and day.
Still Cynthia's changeful horn waxes and wanes
Alternate, and with arms extended still
She welcomes to her breast her brother's beams.
Nor have the elements deserted yet
Their functions; thunder with as loud a stroke
As erst smites through the rocks and scatters them.
The east still howls; still the relentless north
Invades the shuddering Scythian, still he breathes
The winter, and still rolls the storms along.
The king of ocean, with his wonted force,
Beats on Pelorus; o'er the deep is heard
The hoarse alarm of Triton's sounding shell ;
Nor swim the monsters of the Ægean sea
In shallows, or beneath diminish'd waves.
Thou too, thy ancient vegetative power
Enjoy’st, О earth! Narcissus still is sweet;
And Phæbus ! still thy favourite, and still
Thy favourite Cytherea ! both retain
Their beauty; nor the mountains, ore-enrich'd
For punishment of man, with purer gold
Teem'd ever, or with brighter gems the deep.
Thus in unbroken series all proceeds;
And shall, till wide involving either pole,
And the immensity of yonder heaven,
The final flames of destiny absorb
The world, consumed in one enormous pyre!