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Involved in fire-streaked gloom, the car comes on.
The rushing steeds grim Terror guides.
His forehead writhed to a relentless frown,
Aloft the angry Power of Battles rides.
Grasped in his mighty hand,
A mace, tremendous, desolates the land;
The tower rolls headlong down the steep,
The mountain shrinks before its wasteful
Chill horror the dissolving limbs invades,
Smit by the blasting lightning of his eyes;
A deeper gloom invests the howling shades;
Stripped is the shattered grove, and every verdure dies.
How startled Phrenzy stares,
Bristling her ragged hairs !
Revenge the gory fragment gnaws;
See, with her griping vulture claws
Imprinted deep, she rends the mangled wound!
Hate whirls her torch sulphureous round.
The shrieks of agony, and clang of arms,
Re-echo to the hoarse alarms,
Her trump terrific blows.
Disparting from behind, the clouds disclose,
Of kingly gesture, a gigantic form,
That with his scourge sublime rules the careering storm.
Ambition, outside fair! within as foul
As fiends of fiercest heart below,
Who ride the hurricanes of fire, that roll
Their thundering vortex o'er the realms of woe,
Yon naked waste survey ;
Where late was heard the flute's mellifluous lay;
Where late the rosy-bosomed hours,
In loose array, danced lightly o'er the flowers;
Where late the shepherd told his tender tale;
And, wakened by the murmuring breeze of morn,
The voice of chearful Labour filled the dale ;
And dove-eyed Plenty smiled, and waved her liberal horn.
Yon ruins, sable from the wasting flame,
But mark the once resplendent dome;
The frequent corse obstructs the sullen stream,
And ghosts glare horrid from the sylvan gloom.
How sadly silent all!
Save where, outstretched beneath yon hanging wall,
Pale Famine moans with feeble breath,
And Anguish yells, and grinds his bloody teeth.
Though vain the Muse, and every melting lay,
To touch thy heart, unconscious of remorse!
Know, monster, know, thy hour is on the way;
I see, I see the years begin their mighty course.
What scenes of glory rise
Young zephyrs wave their wanton wings,
And melody celestial rings.
All blooming on the lawn the nymphs advance,
And touch the lute, and range the dance:
And the blithe shepherds, on the mountain's side,
Arrayed in all their rural pride,
Inviting Echo from her inmost grot-
But ah! the landscape glows with fainter light;
It darkens, swims, and flies for ever from my sight:
Illusions vain! Can sacred Peace reside
Where sordid gold the breast alarms,
Where Cruelty inflames the eye of Pride,
And Grandeur wantons in soft Pleasure's arms?
Ambition, these are thine !
These from the soul erase the form divine ;
And quench the animating fire,
That warms the bosom with sublime desire.
Thence the relentless heart forgets to feel,
And Hatred triumphs on the o’erwhelming brow,
And midnight Rancour grasps the cruel steel;
Blaze the blue flames of death, and sound the shrieks of
From Albion fled, thy once beloved retreat,
What regions brighten in thy smile,
Creative Peace ! and underneath thy feet
See sudden flowers adorn the rugged soil ?
In bleak Siberia blows,
Waked by thy genial breath, the balmy rose ?
Waved over by thy magic wand,
Does life inform fell Lybia's burning sand ?
Or does some isle thy parting flight detain,
Where roves the Indian through primæval shades;
Haunts the pure pleasures of the sylvan reign,
And, led by Reason's light, the path of Nature treads ?
Far leaning o'er the deep,
The Goddess' pensive form was seen:
Her robe, of Nature's varied green,
Waved on the gale; grief dimmed her radiant eyes,
Her bosom heaved with boding sighs.