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Others, self-kindled, as they whirld and turn'd

Without a guide,

Burst into flames, and rushing as they burn'd

With range more wide,

Like fire-ships that some stately fleet surprise,

Spread havoc thro' the constellated skies.

While stars kept falling from their spheres—as tho’

The heavens wept fire,

Earth was a raging hell of war and woe

Most deep and dire,

Virtue was vice-vice virtue-all was strife,

Brute force was law-justice th' assassin's knife.

From that fell scene my space-commanding eye

Glad to withdraw,

I pierced th' empyrean palace of the sky

And shudd'ring saw

A vacant throne-a sun's extinguish'd sphere,

All else a void-dark, desolate, and drear.

What mean," I cried, “ these sights unparalleld,

These scenes of fear?"

When lo! a voice replied, and Nature held

Her breath to hear,

“Mortal, the scroll before thine eyes unfurld,

Displays a soul eclipse an atheist world.

I woke-my dream was o’er! What ecstacy

It was to know

That God was guide and guardian of the sky,

That man below

Deserved the love I felt-I could not speak

The thrilling joy, whose tears were on my cheek!


Ye human screech-owls, who delight

To herald woe-whose day is night,

Whose mental food is misery and moans,

If ye must needs uphold the pall,

And walk at Pleasure's funeral,

Be Mutes and publish not your cries and groans.

Near a menagerie to dwell,

Annoy'd by ceaseless groan and yell,

Is sad, altho’ we cannot blame the brutes ;

A far worse neighbour is the man

Whose study is a Caravan,

Whence the caged monster ever howls and hoots.


that Earth 's a charnel-life

Incessant wretchedness and strife

That all is doom below, and wrath above,

The sun and moon sepulchral lamps,

The sky a vault, whose baleful damps

Soon blight and moulder all that live and love.

Man, as your diatribes aver,

Only makes reason minister

To deeds irrational and schemes perverse ;

Human in name, he proves in all

His acts a hateful animal,

And woman (monstrous calumny) is worse.

This earth, whose walls are stony gloom,

Whose roof rains tears, whose floor 's a tomb

With its chain-rattling beach and lashing waves,

Is, ye maintain, a fitting jail

Where felon man the woes may wail,

From which no prudence guards, no mercy saves. E'en were it true, this lachrymose

List of imaginary woes,

Why from our sympathy extort more tears?

Why blazon grief-why make the Press

Groan with repinings and distress,

Why knell despair for ever in our ears?

Ungrateful and calumnious crew,

Whose plaints, as impious as untrue,

From morbid intellects derive their birth ;

Away! begone to mope and moan,

And weep in some asylum lone,

Where ye may rail unheard at heaven and earth.

Earth! on whose stage in pomp array'd

Life's joyous interlude is play'd,

Earth! with thy pageants ever new and bright,

Thy woods and waters, hills and dales,

How dead must be the soul that fails

To see and bless thy beauties infinite!

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