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An O D Е, written in 1710, as an Exercise.
When in a glorious terrible array,
From Paran's towering height th’ Almighty took his
Borne on a cherub's wings he rode, [ways
Intolerable day proclaim'd the God ;
No earthly cloud
Could his effulgent brightness shroud:
Glory, and majesty, and power,
March'd in a dreadful pomp
Behind, a grim and meagre train,
Pining sickness, frantic pain,
Stalk'd widely on! with all the dismal band,
Which heaven in anger sends to scourge a guilty land.
With terror cloath'd, he downward flew,
And wither'd half the nations with a view;
Through half the nations of th' astonish'd earth
He scatter'd war, and plagues, and dearth!
And when he fpoke,
The everlasting hills from their foundations Mook;
The trembling mountains, by a lowly nod,
With reverence ftruck, confess'd the God :
On Sion's holy hill he took his stand,
Grasping omnipotence in his right hand ;
Then mighty earthquakes rock'd the ground,
And the fun darken'd as he frown'd :
He dealt affliction from his van,
And wild confusion from his rear ;
They through the tents of Cushan ran,
The tents of Cushan quak'd with fear,
And Midian trembled with despair.
* I fee! his sword wave naked in the air ;
It sheds around a baleful ray,
The rains pour down, the lightnings play, And on their wings vindi&tive thunders bear.
When through the mighty flood,
He led the murmuring croud,
What ail'd the rivers that they backward fled ?
Why was the mighty flood afraid ?
March'd he against the rivers ? or was he,
Thou mighty flood ! displeas'd at thee ?
* I see his sword wave with redoubled ire.
Ah! has it set the very clouds on fire ?
The clouds burst down in deluges of howers ;
Fierce lightning flames, vindictive thunder roars.
The flood beheld from far,
The deity in all his equipage of war ;
And lo! at once it burits ! in diverse falls
On either hand! it swells in crystal walls !
Th' eternal rocks discloie ! the toffing waves
Rush in loud thunder from a thouland caves !
Why tremble ye, O! faithless, to behold
The opening dleeps their gulphs unfold?
Enter the dreadful chasms ! 'tis God, who guides
Your wondrous way! the God who rules the rides !
And lo! they march amid the deafening roar
Of tumbling seas! they mount the adverse shore!
Advance, ye chosen tribes !-Arabia's fands
Lonely, uncomfortable lands!
Void of fountain, void of rain,
Oppose their burning coasts in vain !
See! the great prophet stand,
Waving his wonder-working wand!
He strikes the stubborn rock, and lo!
The stubborn rock feels the Almighty blow;
His ftony entrails burst, and rushing torrents flow.
* Then did the sun his fiery coursers stay,
And backward held the falling day;
* Ah, what new scenes unfold, what voice I hear ;
Sun, stand thou fill; thou moon, thy course forbear :
Ah, .... sun, thy wheels obedient stay,
Doubling the splendors of the wondrous day.
The nimble-footed minutes ceas'd to run,
And urge the lazy hours on.
Time hung his unexpanded wings,
And all the secret springs
That carry on the year,
Stopp'd in their full career :
Then the astonish'd moon,
Forgot her going down;
And paler grew,
The dismal scene to view,
How through the trembling Pagan nation, The Almighty ruin dealt, and ghastly desolation.
But why, ah! why, O Sion, reigns
Wide wasting havoc o'er thy plains ?
Ah ! me, destruction is abroad!
Vengeance is loose, and wrath from God!
See! hosts of spoilers seize their prey !
See ! Naughter marks in blood his way
The nimble-footed minutes cease to run,
the lazy hours on, Time hangs his unexpanded wings,
And all the secret springs
That carry on the year
Stop in their full career ;
At once th' astonish'd moon
Forgets her going down,
And paler grows,
To view th' anazing train of woes;
While through the trembling Pagan nation,
Th' Almighty ruin deals, and ghastly desolation.
See ! how embattled Babylon
Like an unruly deluge rushes on !
Lo! the field with millions swarms !
I hear their shouts! their clashing arms!
Now the conflicting hofts engage,
With more than mortal rage !
Oh! heaven! I faint I die!
The yielding powers of Israel Aly!
Now banner'd hosts surround the walls
Of Sion ! now the sinks, the falls !-
Ah! Sion, how for thee I mourn !
for thee I feel !
Ah! how art thou become the Pagans' scorn,
Lovely, unhappy Ifrael !
A shivering damp invades my heart,
A trembling horror Moots through every part ;
My nodding frame can scarce fustain
Th' oppressive load I undergo :
Speechless I figh! the envious woe
Forbids the very pleasure to complain :
Forbids my faultering tongue to tell
What pangs for thee I feel,
Lovely, unhappy Israel !
Yet though the fig-tree should no burthen bear,
Though vines delude the promise of the year ,
Yet though the olive should not yield her oil,
Nor the parch'd glebe reward the pea fant's toil,
Though the tir'd ox beneath his labours fall,
And herds in millions perish from the fall;