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:,: Out-burns Vesuvius; rocks eternal pour
Their melted mass, as rivers once they pour'd;
Stars rush; and final ruin fiercely drives
Her plowshare o’er creation !--while aloft,
More than astonishment! if more can be !
Far other firmament than e'er was seen,
Than e’er was thought by man ! far other stars !
Stars animate, that govern these of fire;
Far other fun !-A fun, O how unlike
The Babe at Bethlem ! how unlike the Man,
That groan’d on Calvary !-Yet He it is;
That Man of sorrows! O how chang'd! what pomp !
In grandeur terrible, all heaven descends!
And gods, ambitious, triumph in his train.
A swift archangel, with his golden wing,
As.blots and clouds, that darken and disgrace
The fcene divine, sweeps stars and suns alide.
And now, all dross remov’d, heaven's own pure day,
Full on the confines of our æther, flames,
While (dreadful contrast!) far, how far beneath!
Hell, bursting, belches forth her blazing seas,
And storms fulphureous; her voracious jaws
Expanding wide, and roaring for her prey.
Lorenzo! welcome to this scene ; the last
In nature's course; the first in wisdom's thought.
This strikes, if aught can strike thee; this awakes 190
The most supine; this snatches man from death.
Rouse, rouse, Lorenzo, then, and follow me,
Where truth, the most momentous man can hear,
Loud calls my soul, and ardour wings her flight.
I find my inspiration in my theme;
195 The grandeur of my subject is my Muse.
At midnight, when mankind is wrapt in peace, And worldly fancy feeds on golden dreams; To give more dread to man's most dreadful hour, At midnight, 'tis presum’d, this pomp will burst 200 From tenfold darkness; sudden as the spark From fmitten steel; from nitrous grain, the blaze. Man, starting from his couch, shall sleep no more! The day is broke, which never more shall close ! Above, around, beneath, amazement all !
Terror and glory join'd in their extremes !
Our God in grandeur, and our world on fire!,
All nature struggling in the pangs of death !
Dost thou not hear her? Dost thou not deplore
Her strong convulsions, and her final groan ?
Where are we now? Ah me! the ground is gone,
On which we stood; Lorenzo ! while thou may'ft,
Provide more firm support, or sink for ever !
Where ? How? From whence? Vain hope! it is too late!
Where, where, for shelter, shall the guilty fly,
When consternation turns the good man pale ?
Great day! for which all other days were made;
For which earth rose from chaos, inan from earth;
And an eternity, the date of Gods,
Descended on poor earth-created man !
Great day of dread, c'ecision, and despair!
At thought of thee, each sublunary with
its eager grasp, and drops the world; And catches at each reed of hope in heaven.
At thought of thee !—and art thou absent then? 225
Lorenzo! no ; 'tis here ; it is begun ;-
Already is begun the grand affize,
In thee, in all : deputed conscience scales
The dread tribunal, and forestalls our doom ;
Forestalls; and, by forestalling, proves it sure. 230
Why on himself should man void judgment pass ?
Is idle nature laughing at her fons ?
Who conscience sent, her sentence will support,
And God above assert that God in man.
Thrice happy they! that enter now the court
Heaven opens in their bosoms : but, how rare,
Ah me! that magnanimity, how rare !
What hero, like the man who stands himself;
Who dares to meet his naked heart alone;
Who hears, intrepid, the full charge it brings, 240
Resolv'd to silence future murmurs there?
The coward fies; and, flying, is undone.
(Art thou a coward ? No:) The coward flies;
Thinks, but thinks slightly; alks, but fears to know;
Alks, “What is truth?” with Pilate; and retires; 245
Diffolves the court, and mingles with the throng i
Asylum fad! from reason, hope, and heaven !
Shall all, but man, look out with ardent eye, For that great day, which was ordain'd for man? O day of consummation! mark supreme
250 (If men are wile) of human thought! nor least, Or in the fight of angels, or their King ! Angels, whose radiant circles, height o'er height, Order o'er order, riling, blaze o'er blaze,
As in a theatre, surround this scene,
255 Intent on man, and anxious for his fate. Angels look out for thee; for thee, their Lord, To vindicate his glory; and for thee, Creation universal calls aloud, To dif-involve the moral world, and give
260 To nature's renovation brighter charms.
Shall man alone, whose fate, whose final fate, Hangs on that hour, exclude it from his thought ? I think of nothing else; I fee! I feel it ! All nature, like an earthquake, trembling round! 265 All Deities, like summer's swarms, on wing! All balking in the full meridian blaze ! I see the Judge inthron'd! the flaming guard ! The volume open’d! open'd every heart ! A sun-beam pointing out each secret thought! 270 No patron ! interceffor none ! now past The sweet, the clement, mediatorial hour ! For guilt no plea! to pain, no paufe ! no bound ! Inexorable, all! and all, extreme !
Nor man alone; the foe of God and man, 275 From his dark den, blaspheming, drags his chain, And rears his brazen front, with thunder scarr'd : Receives his fentence, and begins his hell, All vengeance past, now, seems abundant grace : Like meteors in a stormy sky, how roll
280 His baleful eyes! he curses whom he dreads; And deems it the first moment of his fall.
'Tis present to my thought!—and yet where is it? Angels can't tell me; angels cannot guess
The period; from created beings lock'd
In darkness. But the process, and the place,
Are less obscure; for these may man enquire.
Say, thou great close of human hopes and fears !
Great key of hearts ! great finisher of fates !
Great end! and great beginning! say, Where art thou?
Art thou in time, or in eternity?
Nor in eternity, nor time, I find thee.
These, as two monarchs, on their borders meet,
(Monarchs of all elaps'd, or unarriv'd !)
As in debate, how best their powers ally'd, 295
May swell the grandeur, or discharge the wrath,
Of Him, whom both their monarchies obey.
Time, this fast fabric for him built (and doom'd
With him to fall) now bursting o'er his head;
His lamp, the sun, extinguish'd; from beneath
The frown of hideous darkness, calls his sons
From their long llumber; from earth's heaving womb,
To second birth! contemporary throng !
Rous'd at One call, upstarted from One bed,
Prest in One croud, appall’d with One amaze,
He turns them o'er, Eternity! to thee.
Then (as a king depos’d disdains to live)
He falls on his own scythe ; nor falls alone;
His greatest foe falls with him; Time, and he
Who murder'd all Time's offspring, Death, expire. 310
Time was ! Eternity now reigns alone !
Aweful Eternity! offended queen!
And her resentinent to mankind, how just!
With kind intent, soliciting access,