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While Ign’rance o’er the nations hung,
A cloud from Stygian vapour sprung,
Obscuring all that Heav'n design’d,
The radiant beauties of the mind;
Where'er benighted Reason ftray'd,
Terrific Fancy oft was nigh,
Who lov’d her magic art to try, [shade. And call'd up dæmon-shapes, to haunt the deathful
Thus in the darksome hour of woe,
When Ilion sunk beneath the foe,
Amidst the gloom, the Trojan faw
A sight of heart-subduing awe;
How Gods the burning ruin spread,
Where the dread Ægis blaz'd dismay, [head. And Neptune rent the walls, and bow'd the bulwark's
Say, who could mark this change of things,
And deem it Chance's random sway ;
Or scenes more wond'rous still survey,
The solar walk, or starry sphere,
The blue expanse of sea below,
With the glad earth's autumnal glow,
And not with holy rites a pow'r unknown revere?
A vastnefs whelm'd the vot'ry's thought,
* Who oft retir'd, where'er the grove
Its secret veil of darkness wove,
* So Tacitus of the Germans, “ Lucos ac nemora confecrant, deorumque nominibus appellant secretum illud, quod folâ reverentiâ vident." c. 9.
To folitudes by man untrod :
There, 'midst the nameless horrors round,
That seem'd to consecrate the ground,
The proftrate foul confess’d the presence of a God.
To Fancy then, the stifled gale
Mutter'd some dark, prophetic tale ;
And then, from each time-hallow'd oak,
To wistful ears the Genii fpoke.
But ah! what eyes profane have seen,
When light’nings pierc'd the vaulted shade,
When Jove, or Thor his arm display'd,
And launch'd his forked bolts, and thunder'd o'er the
« Lo! here, these woody shrines withing
(A Druid cry’d) your rites begin:”
Then, girt for slaughter, took his stand,
The broad knife gleaming in his hand;
And, as he smote the captive's breaft,
† « This (he exclaim’d) is Odin's right,
(6 The fruit of each victorious fight: “ From hostile skulls we drink at Odin's heav'nly feast.”
Away, ye horrid dreams, away!
Anon, its fun-like glories rise,
Enkindling yonder eastern skies;
And, through the breaking glooms of night,
The fainted phantoms leave their shrines, Their groves, and springs, and caves, scar’d with the
Sec Mallet's Introduction à l'Histoire de Danemarck.
Forbear, ye bloody priests, forbear
Hark! how the peace-predicting song
That kindlier laws the world should bind,
That God, descending from above,
Renews the broken chain of love,
The I chain, which earth and heav’n in golden union
He comes : attend the Teacher's lore:
The glowing bosom owns his pow'r.
'Tis He: a God, a God appears,
Who fooths all doubts, and quells all fears ;
To Hope he gives an eagle's wing,
+ Σειρην χρυσμην 'εξ 'ερανoθεν.
Hom. 11. 6. v. 19.