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Still they are frowning signals, and bespeak
Displeasure in his breast who smites the earth
Or heals it, makes it languish or rejoice.
And 'tis but seemly, that where all deserve
And stand exposed by common peccancy
To what no few have felt, there should be peacę,
And brethren in calamity should love.
Alas for Sicily! rude fragments now Lie scatter'd where the shapely column stood. Her palaces are dust. In all her streets The voice of singing and the sprightly chord Are filent. Revelry and dance and show Suffer a fyncope and folemn pause, While God performs upon the trembling stage Of his own works, his dreadful part alone. How does the earth receive him ?-With what signs Of gratulation and delight, her king ? Pours she not all her choicest fruits abroad, Her sweetest flow'rs, her aromatic gums,
Disclosing paradise where'er he treads ?
She quakes at his approach. Her hollow womb
Conceiving thunders, through a thousand deeps
And fiery caverns roars beneath his foot.
The hills move lightly and the mountains smoke,
For he has touch'd them. From th' extremest point
Of elevation down into th' abyss,
His wrath is busy and his frown is felt.
The rocks fall headlong and the vallies rise,
The rivers die into offensive pools,
And charged with putrid verdure, breathe a gross
And mortal nuisance into all the air.
What solid was, by transformation strange
Grows fluid, and the fixt and rooted earth
Tormented into billows heaves and swells,
Or with vortiginous and hideous whirl
Sucks down its prey insatiable. Immense
The tumult and the overthrow, the pangs
And agonies of hunan and of brute
Multitudes, fugitive on ev'ry side,
And fugitive in vain. · The sylvan scene
Migrates uplifted, and with all its soil
Alighting in far distant fields, finds out
A new poffeffor, and survives the change.
Ocean has caught the frenzy, and upwrought
To an enormous and o’erbearing height,
Not by a mighty wind, but by that voice
Which winds and waves obey, invades the shore
Resistless. Never such a sudden flood;
Upridged so high, and sent on such a charge,
Poffess'd an inland scene. Where now the throng
That press’d the beach and hasty to depart
Look'd to the sea for safety? They are gone,
Gone with the refluent wave into the deep,
A prince with half his people. Ancient tow'rs,
And roofs embattled high, the gloomy scenes
Where beauty oft and letter'd worth consume
Life in the unproductive shades of death,
Fall prone; the pale inhabitants come forth,
And happy in their unforeseen release
From all the rigors of restraint, enjoy
The terrors of the day that fets them free.
Who then that has thee, would not hold thee fast
Freedom! whom they that lose thee, so regret,
That ev'n a judgment making way for thee,
Seems in their eyes, a mercy, for thy fake.
Such evil fin hath wrought ; and such a flame Kindled in heaven, that it burns down to earth, And in the furious inquest that it makes On God's behalf, lays waste his faireft works. The very elements, though each be meant The minister of man, to serve his wants, Conspire against him. With his breath, he draws A plague into his blood. And cannot use Life's necessary means, but he must die. Storms rise t'o'erwhelm him : or if stormy winds Rise not, the waters of the deep shall rise, And needing none assistance of the storm, Shall roll themselves alhore, and reach him there.
The earth shall shake him out of all his holds,
Or make his house his grave. Nor so content,
Shall counterfeit the motions of the food,
And drown him in her dry and dusty gulphs.
What then-were they the wicked above all,
And we the righteous, whose fast-anchor'd ise
Moved not, while their's was rock'd like a light skift,
The sport of ev'ry wave ? No: none are clear,
And none than we more guilty. But where all
Stand chargeable with guilt, and to the shafts
Of wrath obnoxious, God may chuse his mark,
May punish, if he please, the less, to warn
The more malignant. If he spar'd not them,
Tremble and be amazed at thine escape
Far guiltier England, lest he spare not thee.
Happy the man who sees à God employed
In all the good and ill that checquer life!
Resolving all events with their effects,
And manifold results, into the will