« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
Would not the air be filled with streams of death
To poison the quick rivers of their blood,
The flitting region? Would not the hasty flood
Empty itself into the sea's wide wood,
Who makes the sources of the silver fountains
From the flint's mouth and rocky valleys slide,
Who hath the wild herds of the forest tied
In their cold dens, making them hungry bide,
Were he not wilder than the savage beast,
Prouder than haughty hills, harder than rocks,
Lighter than air, blinder than senseless stocks,
More changing than the river's curling locks; If reason would not, sense would soon reprove him, And unto shame, if not to sorrow, move him, To see cold floods, wild beasts, dull stocks, hard stones, outlove him.
Under the weight of sin the earth did fall,
And swallowed Dathan 9; and the raging wind,
For Jonah 10; and the air did bullets find,
And shot from heaven a stormy shower, to grind
9 Numbers xvi. 32. 10 Jonah i. 17, 11 Joshua x,
Should any to himself for safety fly?
The way to save himself, if anywhere, Were to fly from himself; should he rely
Upon the promise of his wife? but there
What can he see but that he most may fear,
His hope? false courtier : youth or beauty? brittle : Entreaty? fond: repentance ? late and vain :
Just recompense ? the world were all too little:
Thy love? he hath no title to a tittle :
His end? that leaves him to begin his woe:
His gods of wood ? their feet, alas! are slow
To go to help, that must be helped to go:
Angels to spare? they punish: night to hide ?
Their wings to save him ? heaven itself shall slide
And roll away, like melting stars that glide
Sentence on them condemned by their own lust;
Than death to dead men, justice to unjust ;
But if thy mercy needs will spare her friends,
Burning in zeal, thickly imbranded 12 were,
And every one shakes his terrific spear;
And the Almighty's self, as He would tear The earth and her firm basis quite in sunder, Flamed all in just revenge and mighty thunder: Heaven stole itself from earth by clouds that moistened under.
As when the cheerful sun enlamping 13 wide,
Glads all the world with his uprising ray, And woos the widowed earth afresh to pride,
And paints her bosom with the flowery May,
His silent sister 14 steals him quite away;
Restoring the blind world his blemished sight,
The cozened birds busily take their flight,
And wonder at the shortness of the night : So Mercy once again herself displays Out from her sister's cloud, and open lays Those sunshine looks, whose beams would dim a thousand days. THE SPEECH OF MERCY.
12 Imbranded, mustered in arms. 13 Spreading his rays like a lamp.
14 The moon.
Such when as Mercy her beheld from high,
In a dark valley, drowned with her own tears, One of her Graces she sent hastily,
Smiling Irene 15, that a garland wears
Of gilded olive on her fairer hairs,
But Mercy felt a kind remorse to run
Through her soft veins, and therefore hieing fast To give an end to silence, thus begun :
'Aye, honoured Father, if no joy thou hast
But to reward desert, reward at last
He was the father of that hopeless season,
That to serve other gods forgot their own; The reason was, Thou wast above their reason :
They would have any gods rather than none,
A beastly serpent or a senseless stone;
He was but dust: why feared he not to fall?
And being fallen, why should he fear to die? Cannot the hand that made him first restore him ?
Depraved of sin, should he deprived lie
Of grace? Can He not hide infirmity
Who shall thy temple incense any more,
Or at thy altar crown the sacrifice,
Or what should prayer deck with herbs and spice,
Her vials breathing orisons of price ?
But if or He or I may live and speak,
And heaven can joy to see a sinner weep, Oh! let not Justice' iron sceptre break
A heart already broke, that low doth creep,
And with proud humblesse her feet's dust doth sweep.
What man hath done that man shall not undo,
Since God to him is grown so near akin? Did his foes slay him ? He shall slay his foe:
Hath he lost all ? He all again shall win :
Is sin his master? He shall master sin.
He is a path, if any be misled;
He is a robe, if any naked be;
If any be a bondman, He is free;
If any be but weak, how strong is He!
Who can forget-never to be forgot
The time that all the world in slumber lies,