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Messiah comes : let furious discord cease :
Be peace on earth before the Prince of Peace!
Disease and anguish feel his blest control,
And howling fiends release the tortur’d soul ;
The beams of gladness hell's dark caves illume,
And Mercy broods above the distant gloom.
Thou palsied earth, with noonday night o’er-
Thou sick’ning sun, so dark, so deep, so red !
Ye hov’ring ghosts, that throng the starless air,
Why shakes the earth? why fades the light?
declare ! Are those his limbs, with ruthless scourges torn ? His brows, all bleeding with the twisted thorn? His the pale form, the meek forgiving eye Rais’d from the cross in patient agony
? -Be dark, thou sun-thou noonday night, arise, And hide, oh hide, the dreadful sacrifice !
Ye faithful few, by bold affection led, Who round the Saviour's cross your sorrows shed, Not for his sake your tearful vigils keep ;Weep for your country, for your children weep!
- Vengeance! thy fiery wing their race pursu'd ; Thy thirsty poniard blush'd with infant blood.
Rous'd at thy call, and panting still for game,
The bird of war, the Latian eagle came.
Then Judah rag'd, by ruffian Discord led,
Drunk with the steamy carnage of the dead :
He saw his sons by dubious slaughter fall,
And war without, and death within the wall.
Wide-wasting Plague, gaunt Famine, mad Despair,
And dire Debate, and clamorous Strife was there :
Love, strong as Death, retain'd his might no more,
And the pale parent drank her children's gore.
Yet they, who wont to roam th' ensanguin'd plain,
spurn with fell delight their kindred slain ;
E’en they, when, high above the dusty fight,
Their burning Temple rose in lurid light,
To their lov'd altars paid a parting groan,
And in their country's woes forgot their own.
As ʼmid the cedar courts, and gates of gold,
The trampled ranks in miry carnage rollid,
To save their Temple every hand essay’d,
And with cold fingers grasp'd the feeble blade :
Through their torn veins reviving fury ran,
And life's last anger warm’d the dying man!
But heavier far the fetter'd captive's doom! To glut with sighs the iron ear of Rome :
To swell, slow-pacing by the car's tall side,
The stoic tyrant's philosophic pride ;
To flesh the lion's rav'nous jaws, or feel
The sportive fury of the fencer's steel ;
Or pant, deep plung'd beneath the sultry mine,
For the light gales of balmy Palestine.
Ah! fruitful now no more,--an empty coast,
She mourn'd her sons enslav’d, her glories lost :
In her wide streets the lonely raven bred,
There bark'd the wolf, and dire hyænas fed.
Yet midst her towery fanes, in ruin laid,
The pilgrim saint his murmuring vespers paid ;
'Twas his to climb the tufted rocks, and rove
The chequer'd twilight of the olive grove ;
'Twas his to bend beneath the sacred gloom,
And wear with many a kiss Messiah's tomb :
While forms celestial fill'd his tranced eye,
The day-light dreams of pensive piety,
O’er his still breast a tearful fervour stole,
And softer sorrows charm'd the mourner's soul.
Oh, lives there one, who mocks his artless zeal ? Too proud to worship, and too wise to feel? Be his the soul with wintry Reason blest, The dull, lethargic sov’reign of the breast !
Be his the life that creeps in dead repose,
No joy that sparkles, and no tear that flows !
Far other they who rear'd yon pompous shrine,
And bade the rock with Parian marble shine.
Then hallow'd Peace renew'd her wealthy reign,
Then altars smok’d, and Sion smil'd again.
There sculptur'd gold and costly gems were seen,
And all the bounties of the British queen;
There barb’rous kings their sandal'd nations led,
And steel-clad champions bow'd the crested head.
There, when her fiery race the desert pour’d,
And pale Byzantium fear'd Medina's sword,
When coward Asia shook in trembling wo,,
And bent appall'd before the Bactrian bow;
From the moist regions of the western star
The wand'ring hermit wak’d the storm of war.
Their limbs all iron, and their souls all flame,
A countless host, the red-cross warriors came :
E’en hoary priests the sacred combat wage,
And clothe in steel the palsied arm of age;
While beardless youths and tender maids assume
The weighty morion and the glancing plume.
In sportive pride the warrior damsels wield
The pond'rous falchion, and the sun-like shield,
And start to see their armour's iron gleam
Dance with blue lustre in Tabaria's stream.
The blood-red banner floating o'er their van,
All madly blithe the mingI'd myriads ran :
Impatient Death beheld his destin'd food,
And hov’ring vultures snuff?d the scent of blood.
Not such the numbers, nor the host so dread, By northern Brenn or Scythian Timur led, Nor such the heart-inspiring zeal that bore United Greece to Phrygia's reedy shore ! There Gaul's proud knights with boastful mien
advance, From the long line, and shake the cornel lance; Here, link'd with Thrace, in close battalions stand Ausonia's sons, a soft inglorious band ; There the stern Norman joins the Austrian train, And the dark tribes of late-reviving Spain ; Here in black files, advancing firm and slow, Victorious Albion twangs the deadly bow:Albion--still prompt the captive's wrong to aid, And wield in freedom's cause the freeman's gene
rous blade! Ye sainted spirits of the warrior dead, Whose giant force Britannia's armies led !