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O'er the thick clouds amazing lightnings glare,
Flames flash at flames, and vibrate through the air
Roaring volcanoes murmur for their prey,
And from their mouth curls the black smoke away ;
Deep groans the earth, at its approaching doom,
While in slow pomp the mighty burnings come.
As when dark clouds rise slowly from the main,
Then, in swift sluices, deluge all the plain,
Descending headlong down the mountain's sides,
A thousand torrents roll their foamy tides,
The rushing rivers rapid roar around,
And all the shores return the dashing sound:
Thus awful, slow, the fiery deluge lowers,
Thus rushes down, and thus resounding roars.
But O! what sounds are able to convey
The wild confusions of the dreadful day!
Eternal mountains totter on their base,
And strong convulsions work the valley's face;
Fierce hurricanes on sounding pinions soar,
Rush o'er the land, on the toss'd billows roar,
And dreadful in resistless eddies driven,
Shake all the crystal battlements of heaven.
See the wild winds, big blustering in the air,
Drive through the forests, down the mountains tear,
Sweep o'er the valleys in their rapid course,
And nature bends beneath the impetuous force.
Storms rush at storms, at tempests tempests roar,
Dash waves on waves, and thunder to the shore.
Columns of smoke on heavy wings ascend,
And dancing sparkles fly before the wind.
Devouring flames, wide-waving, roar aloud,
And melted mountains flow a fiery flood:
Then, all at once, immense the fires arise,
A bright destruction wraps the crackling skies ;
While all the elements to melt conspire,
And the world blazes in the final fire.
Yet shall ye, flames, the wasting globe refine,
And bid the skies with purer splendor shine,
The earth, which the prolific fires consume,
To beauty burns, and withers into bloom ;
Improving in the fertile flame it lies,
Fades into form, and into vigor dies:
Fresh-dawning glories blush amidst the blaze,
And nature all renews her flowery face.
With endless charms the everlasting year
Rolls round the seasons in a full career;
Spring, ever-blooming, bids the fields rejoice,
And warbling birds try their melodious voice;
Where'er she treads, lilies unbidden blow,
Quick tulips rise, and sudden roses glow :
Her pencil paints a thousand beauteous scenes,
Where blossoms bud amid immortal greens ;
Each stream, in mazes, murmurs as it flows,
And floating forests gently bend their boughs.
Thou, autumn, too, sitt'st in the fragrant shade,
While the ripe fruits blush all around thy head :
And lavish nature, with luxuriant hands,
All the soft months, in gay confusion blends.
The holy nation here transported roves
Beneath the spreading honors of the groves,
And pleased, attend, descending down the hills,
The murmuring music of the running rills.
Anthems divine by every harp are played,
And the soft music warbles through the shade.
Hither, my lyre, thy soft assistance bring, And let sweet accents leap from string to string: Join the bright chorus of the future skies, While all around loud Hallelujah's rise, And to the tuneful lays the echoing vault repliese This blessed hope, my ravish'd mind inspires, And through my bosom flash the sacred fires : No more my heart its growing joy contains, But driving transports rush along my veins ; I feel a paradise within my breast, And seem already of a heaven possess'd.
THE GOD OF TEMPEST AND EARTHQUAKE.
Tay dreadful power, Almighty God,
Thy works to speak conspire ;
This earth declares thy fame abroad,
With water, air, and fire.
At thy command, in glaring streaks,
The ruddy lightning flies,
Loud thunder the creation shakes,
And rapid tempests rise.
Now gathering glooms obscure the day,
And shed a solemn night;
And now the heavenly engines play,
And shoot devouring light.
The attending sea thy will performs,
Waves tumble to the shore, And toss, and foam amidst the storms,
And dash, and rage, and roar.
The earth, and all her trembling hills,
Thy marching footsteps own ;
A shuddering fear her entrails fills,
Her hideous caverns groan.
My God! when terrors thickest throng,
Through all the mighty space, And rattling thunders roar along,
And bloody lightnings blaze: When wild confusion wrecks the air,
And tempests rend the skies, Whilst blended ruin, clouds and fire
In harsh disorder rise:
Amid the hurricane I'll stand
And strike a tuneful song ;
My harp all trembling in my hand,
And all inspired my tongue.
I'll shout aloud, “ Ye thunders! roll,
And shake the sullen sky;
Your sounding voice from pole to pole
In angry murmurs try.
“ Thou sun! retire, refuse thy light,
And let thy beams decay;
Ye lightnings, flash along the night,
And dart a dreadful day.
“Let the earth totter on her base,
Clouds heaven's wide arch deform ; Blow, all ye winds, from every place,
And breathe the final storm.
“ O Jesus, haste the glorious day,
When thou shalt come in flame, And burn the earth, and waste the sea,
And break all nature's frame.
“ Come quickly, blessed hope, appear,
Bid thy swift chariot fly:
Let angels warn thy coming near,
And snatch me to the sky.
“ Around thy wheels, in the glad throng,
I'd bear a joyful part;
All Hallelujah on my tongue,
All rapture in my heart.”
ADDRESSED TO GOVERNOR BELCHER ON THE DEATH OF HIS LADY.
BELCHER, once more permit the muse you loved,
By honor, and by sacred friendship moved,
Waked by your woe, her numbers to prolong,
her tribute in a funeral song.
From you, great heaven with undisputed voice,
Has snatch'd the partner of your youthful joys.
Her beauties, ere slow hectic fires consumed,
Her eyes shone cheerful, and her roses bloom’d:
Long lingering sickness broke the lovely form,
Shock after shock, and storm succeeding storm,
Till death, relentless, seized the wasting clay,
Stopp'd the faint voice, and catch'd the soul away.
No more in converse sprightly she appears,
With nice decorum, and obliging airs:
Ye poor, no more expecting round her stand,
Where soft compassion stretch'd her bounteous hand
Her house, her happy skill no more shall boast;
“Be all things plentiful, but nothing lost.”
Cold to the tomb, see the pale corpse convey'd,
Wrapt up in silence, and the dismal shade.
Ah! what avail the sable velvet spread,
And golden ornaments amidst the dead?
No beam smiles there, no eye can there discern
The vulgar coffin from the marble urn:
The costly honors, preaching, seem to say,
“Magnificence must mingle with the clay."
Learn here, ye fair, the frailty of your face,
Ravish'd by death, or nature's slow decays:
Ye great, must so resign your transient power,
Heroes of dust, and monarchs of an hour !
So must each pleasing air, each gentle fire,
And all that's soft, and all that's sweet expire.
But you, O Belcher, mourn the absent fair, Feel the keen pang, and drop the tender tear: The God approves
that nature do her part, A panting bosom, and a bleeding heart. Ye baser arts of flattery, away! The virtuous muse shall moralize her lay. To you, O favorite man, the power supreme, Gives wealth, and titles, and extent of fame; Joys from beneath, and blessings from above ; Thy monarch's plaudit; and thy people's love: The same high power, unbounded, and alone, Resumes his gifts, and puts your mourning on. His edict issues, and his vassal, death, Requires your consort's, or your flying breath. Still be your glory at his feet to bend, Kiss thou the Son, and own his sovereign hand ; For his high honors all thy.powers exert, The gifts of nature, and the charms of art; So, over death, the conquest shall be given, Your name shall live on earth, your soul in heaven. Meantime my name to thine allied shall stand, Still our warm friendship, mutual flames extend; The muse shall so survive from age to age, And Belcher's name protect his Byles's page.
HYMN WRITTEN DURING A VOYAGE.
GREAT God thy works our wonder raise ;
To thee our swelling notes belong ; While skies and winds, and rocks and seas,
Around shall echo to our song.
Thy power produced this mighty frame,
Aloud to thee the tempests roar, Or softer breezes tune thy name
Gently along the shelly shore. Round thee the scaly nation roves,
Thy opening hands their joys bestow, Through all the blushing coral groves,
These silent gay retreats below. See the broad sun forsake the skies,
Glow on the waves and downward glide, Anon heaven opens all its eyes,
And star-beams tremble o'er the tide.