Page images
[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]


Justice, heav'nly King ! and that great day,
When Virtue, long abandon'd and forlorn,
Shall raise her pensive head; and Vice, that erst
Rang'd unreprov'd and free, shall sink appallid;
I sing advent'rous-But what eye can pierce
The vast immeasurable realms of space,
O'er which Messiah drives his flaming car
To that bright region, where enthron'd he sits,
First-born of Heav'n, to judge assembled worlds,
Cloth'd in celestial radiance ? Can the Muse,
Her feeble wing all damp with earthly dew,
Soar to that bright empyreal, where around
Myriads of angels, God's perpetual choir,
Hymn hallelujahs, and in concert loud
Chant songs of triumph to their Maker's praise -
Yet will I strive to sing, albeit unus'd
To tread poetic soil. What tho' the wiles
Of Fancy me enchanted, ne'er could lure
To rove o'er fairy lands; to swim the streams
That thro' her vallies wave their mazy way;
r climb her mountain tops; yet will I raise
y feeble voice to tell what harmony
weet as the music of the rolling spheres)

ttunes the moral world : that Virtue still
. Iay hope her promis'd crown; that Vice may dread
Vengeance, tho' late ; that reas’ning Pride may own
Just, tho unsearchable, the ways of Heav'n.

Sceptic! whoe'er thou art, who say'st the soul, That divine particle, which God's own breath Inspir'd into the mortal mass, shall rest Annihilate, till Duration has unroll'd Her never-ending line; tell, if thou know'st, Why every nation, every clime, tho' all In laws, in rites, in manners disagree, With one consent expect another world, Where wickedness shall weep? Why Paynim bards Fabled Elysian plains, Tartarean lakes, Styx and Cocytus ? Tell, why Hali's sons Have feign'd a paradise of mirth and love, Banquets, and blooming nymphs ? Or rather tell, Why, on the brink of Orellana's stream, Where never Science rear'd her sacred torch, Th' untutor'd Indian dreams of happier worlds Behind the cloud-topt hill ? Why in each breast Is plac'd a friendly monitor, that prompts, Informs, directs, encourages, forbids ? Tell, why on unknown evil grief attends, Or joy on secret good? Why conscience acts With tenfold force, when sickness, age, or pain Stands tott'ring on the precipice of death? Or why such horror gnaws the guilty soul Of dying sinners, while the good man sleeps Peaceful and calm, and with a smile expires ? Look round the world! with what a partial hand The scale of bliss and mis'ry is sustain'd! Beneath the shade of cold obscurity Pale Virtue lies; no arm supports her head, No friendly voice speaks comfort to her soul, Nor soft-eyed Pity drops a melting tear; But, in their stead, Contempt and rude Disdain Insult the banish'd wanderer : on she goes, Neglected and forlorn: Disease and Cold, And Famine, worst of ills, her steps attend ! Yet patient, and to Heaven's just will resign'd, She ne'er is seen to weep, or heard to sigh.

Now turn your eyes to yon sweet-smelling bow'r,

[ocr errors]

Where, fush'd with all the insolence of wealth,
Sits pamper'd Vice! for him th' Arabian gale
Breathes forth delicious odors; Gallia's hills
For him pour nectar from the purple vine.
Nor think for these he pays the tribute due
To Heav'n : of Heav'n he never names the name,
Save when with imprecations dark and dire
He points his jest obscene. Yet buxom Health
Sits on his rosy cheek ; yet Honor gilds
His high exploits ; and downy-pinion's Sleep
Sheds a soft opiate o'er his peaceful couch.

Seest thou this, righteous Father! seest thou this,
And wilt thou ne'er repay ? Shall good and ill
Be carried undistinguish'd to the land
Where all things are forgot !-Ah, no! the day
Will come, when Virtue from the cloud shall burst,
That long obscur'd her beams; when Sin shall fly
Back to her native Hell; there sink eclips'd
In penal darkness; where nor star shall rise,
Nor ever sunshine pierce th' impervious gloom.

On that great day the solemn trump shall sound,
(That trump which once in heav'n, on man's revolt
Convok'd th' astonish'd seraphs) at whose voice
Th’unpeopled graves shall pour forth all their dead.
Then shall th' assembled nations of the earth
From ev'ry quarter, at the judgment-seat
Unite; Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks,
Parthians ; and they who dwelt on Tyber's banks,
Names fam'd of old : or who of later age,
Chinese and Russian, Mexican and Turk,
Tenant the wild terrene; and they who pitch
Their tents on Niger's banks; or, where the sun
Pours on Golconda's spires his early light,
Drink Ganges' sacred stream. At once shall rise,
Whom distant ages to each others sight
Had long denied : before the throne shall kneel
Some great Progenitor, while at his side
Stand his descendants thro' a thousand lines.
Whate'er their nation, and whate'er their rank,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

of Frealti


[ocr errors]


Heroes and patriarchs, slaves and sceptred kings,

With equal eye the God of all shall see, an gae

And judge with equal love. What tho' the great _'s hills

With costly pomp and aromatic sweets

Embalm'd his poor remains; or thro' the dome ce due

A thousand tapers shed their gloomy light, the

While solemn organs to his parting soul dire

Chanted slow orisons ? Say, by what mark
Dost thou discern him from that lowly swain

Whose mouldering bones beneath the thorn-bound turf Fleep

Long lay neglected ? All at once shall rise,

But not to equal glory; for, alas ! thon this

With howlings dire, and execrations loud, rd ill Some wail their fatal birth.-First among these

Behold the mighty murd'rers of mankind : day They who in sport whole kingdoms slew; or they all burst

Who to the tottring pinnacle of power all fly Waded thro' seas of blood! How will they curse

The madness of ambition ! how lament
Their dear bought laurels; when the widow'd wife
And childless mother at the judgment seat
Plead trumpet-tongued against them !-Here are they

Who sunk an aged father to the grave; bice

Or with unkindness hard, and cold disdain,
Slighted a brother's suff'rings. Here are they
Whom fraud and skilful treachery long secur'd;
Who from the infant virgin tore her dow'r,
And ate the orphan's bread; who spent their stores
In selfish luxury; or o'er their gold
Prostrate and pale ador'd the useless heap.
Here too who stain'd the chaste connubial bed!
Who mix'd the pois'nous bowl ;-or broke the ties
Of hospitable friendship ;-and the wretch

Whose listless soul, sick with the cares of life, rise, Unsommon'd, to the presence of his God

Rush'd in with insult rude. How would they joy eel

Once more to visit earth, and, tho' oppress'd
With all that pain and famine can inflict,
Pant up the hill of life? Vain wish! the Judge



s revolt


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

Pronounces doom eternal on their heads,
Perpetual punishment. Seek not to know
What punishment! for that th' Almighty will
Has hid from mortal eyes : and shall vain map
With curious search refin'd presume to pry
Into thy secrets, Father? No! let him
With humble patience all thy works adore,
And walk in all thy paths; so shall his meed
Be great in heav'n, so haply shall he 'scape
Th' immortal worm and never-ceasing fire.

But who are they, who bound in tenfold chains
Stand horribly aghast ? This is that crew
Who strove to pull Jehovah from his throne,
And in the place of heaven's eternal King
Set up the phantom Chance. For them in vain
Alternate seasons cheer'd the rolling year ;
In vain the sun o'er herb, tree, fruit, and flow's
Shed genial influence mild ; and the pale moon
Repair'd her waning orb.-Next these is plac'd
The vile blasphemer; he whose impious wit
Profan'd the sacred mysteries of faith,
And 'gainst th' impenetrable walls of heav'n
Planted his feeble battery. By these stands
The Arch-Apostate : he with many a wile
Exhorts them still to foul revolt. Alas!
No hope have they from black despair, no ray
Shines thro' the gloom to cheer their sinking souls:
In agonies of grief they curse the hour
When first they left Religion's onward way.

These on the left are rang'd: but on the right A chosen band appears, who fought beneath The banner of Jehovah, and defied Satan's united legions. Some, unmov'd At the grim tyrant's frown, o'er barb'rous climes Diffus'd the Gospel's light : some long immur'd (Sad servitude !) in chains and dungeons pio'd ; Or, rack'd with all the agonies of pain, Breath'd out their faithful lives. Turice happy they Whom Heav'n elected to that glorious strifes

[ocr errors]
« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »