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And the pale-featur'd Sage's trembling hand
Strong as a host of armed Deities,
Such as the blind Ionian fabled erst.
From Avarice thus, from Luxury and War Sprang heavenly Science; and from Science Freedom. O'er waken'd realms Philosophers and Bards Spread in concentric circles: they whose souls Conscious of their high dignities from God, Brook not Wealth's rivalry; and they who long Enamour'd with the charms of order hate Th’unseenly disproportion; and whoe'er Turn with mild sorrow from the victor's car And the low puppetry of thrones, to muse On that bless'd triumph, when the Patriot Sage Call’d the red lightnings from th'o'er-rushing cloud And dash'd the auteous Terrors on the earth Smiling majestic. Such a phalanx ne'er Measur'd firm paces to the calming sound Of Spartan flute! These on the fated day, When, stung to rage by Pity, eloquent men Have rous’d with pealing voice th' unnumber'd tribes That toil and groan and bleed, hungry and blind, These hush'd awhile with patient eye serene Shall watch the mad careering of the storm ; Then o'er the wild and wavy chaos rush And tame th' outrageous mass, with plastic might Moulding Confusion to such perfect forms, As erst were wont, bright visions of the day ! To float before them, when, the Summer noon, Beneath some arch'd romantic rock reclin'd They felt the sea-breeze lift their youthful locks; Or in the month of blossoms, at mild eve, Wandering with desultory feet, inhal'd
The wafted perfumes, and the flocks and woods
And many-tinted streams and setting Sun,
With all his gorgeous company of clouds
Ecstatic gaz'd! then homeward as they stray'd
Cast the sad eye to earth, and inly mus'd
Why there was Misery in a world so fair.
Ah far remov'd from all that glads the sense,
From all that softens or ennobles Man,
The wretched Many! Bent beneath their loads
They gape at pageant Power, nor recognize
Their cots' transmuted plunder! From the tree
Of Knowledge, ere the vernal sap had risen
Rudely disbranch'd! Blessed Society!
Fitliest depictur'd by some sun-scorch'd waste,
Where oft majestic thro' the tainted noon
The Simoon sails, before whose purple pomp
Who falls not prostrate dies ! And where, by night,
Fast by each precious fountain on green herbs
The lion couches; or hyæna dips
Deep in the lucid stream his bloody jaws;
Or serpent plants his vast moon-glittering bulk,
Caught in whose monstrous twine Behemoth yells, *
His bones loud crashing !
O ye numberless, Whom foul Oppression's ruffian gluttony Drives from life's plenteous feast! O thou poor wretch, Who nurs’d in darkness and made wild by want Roamest for prey, yea thy unnatural hand Dost lift to deeds of blood! O pale-eyed Form, The victim of seduction, doom'd to know
* Behemoth in Hebrew signifies wild beasts in general. Some believe it is the Elephant, some the Hippopotamus; some affirm it is -the Wild Bull. Poetically, it designates any large quadruped.
Polluted nights and days of blasphemy ;
Who in loath'd orgies, with lewd wassailers
Must gaily laugh, while thy remember'd Home
Gnaws like a viper at thy secret heart !
O aged Women ! ye who weekly catch
The morsel toss'd by law-forc'd Charity,
Ar die so slowly, that none call murder!
O loathly Suppliants ! ye, that unreceived,
Totter heart-broken from the closing gates
Of the full Lazar-house ; or, gazing, stand
Sick with despair! Oye to Glory's field
Forc'd or ensnar'd, who, as ye gasp in death,
Bleed with new wounds beneath the Vulture's beak!
O thou poor Widow, who in dreams dost view
Thy Husband's mangled corse, and from short doze
Start'st with a shriek: or in thy half-thatch'd cot
Wak'd by the wintry night-storm, wet and cold,
Cowrist o'er thy screaming baby! Rest awhile,
Children of Wretchedness! More groans must rise,
More blood must steam, or ere your wrongs be full.
Yet is the day of Retribution nigh:
The Lamb of God hath open'd the fifth seal:
And upward rush on swiftest wing of fire
Th'innumerable multitude of Wrongs
By man on man inflicted! Rest awhile,
Children of Wretchedness! The hour is nigh:
And lo! the Great, the Rich, the Mighty Men,
The Kings and the Chief Captains of the World,
With all that fix'd on high like stars of Heaven
Shot baleful influence, shall be cast to earth,
Vile and down-trodden, as the untimely fruit
Shook from the fig-tree by a sudden storm.
Ev'n now the storm begins; each gentle name, *
Faith and meek Piety, with fearful joy
Tremble far off-for lo ! the Giant Frenzy
Uprooting empires with his whirlwind arm
Mocketh high Heaven ; burst hideous from the cell
Where the old Hag, unconquerable, huge,
Creation's eyeless drudge, black Ruin, sits
Nursing th' impatient earthquake.
Pure Faith! meek Piety! The abhorred Form
Whose scarlet robe was stiff with earthly pomp,
Who drank iniquity in cups of Gold,
Whose names were many and all blasphemous,
Hath met the horrible judgment!
Whence that cry?
The mighty army of foul Spirits shriek d,
Disherited of earth! For She hath fallen
On whose black front was written Mystery;
She that reeld heavily, whose wine was blood ;
She that work'd whoredom with the Dæmon Power
And from the dark embrace all evil things
Brought forth and nurtur'd; mitred Atheism ;
And patient Folly, who, on bended knee,
Gives back the Steel that stabb'd him ; and pale Fear,
Hunted by ghastlier shapings than surround
Moon-blasted Madness when he yells at midnight !
Return pure Faith! return meek Piety !
The kingdoms of the world are your's: each heart
Self-govern’d, the vast family of Love
Rais'd from the common earth by common toil
Enjoy the equal produce. Such delights
As float to earth, permitted visitants !
When in some hour of solemn jubilee
The massy gates of Paradise are thrown
Wide open, and forth come in fragments wild
Sweet echoes of unearthly melodies,
And odors snatch'd from beds of Amaranth,
And they, that from the chrystal river of life
Spring up on freshen'd wing, ambrosial gales !
The favor'd good man in his lonely walk
Perceives them, and his silent spirit drinks
Strange bliss which he shall recognize in heaven.
And such delights, such strange beatitude
Seize on my young anticipating heart
When that blest future rushes on my view !
For in his own, and in his Father's might,
The Saviour comes! While as the Thousand Years *
Lead up their mystic dance, the Desert shouts !
Old Ocean claps his hands! The mighty Dead
Rise to new life, whoe'er from earliest time
With conscious zeal had urg'd Love's wond'rous plan,
Coadjutors of God. To Milton's trump
The high Groves of the renovated Earth
Unbosom their glad echoes : inly hush'd
Adoring Newton his serener eye
Raises to heaven: and he of mortal kind
The Millenimum :-in which I suppose, man will continue to enjoy the highest glory, of which his human nature is capable. That all who, in past ages, have endeavoured to ameliorate the state of man, will rise and enjoy the fruits and flowers, the imperceptible seeds of which they had sown in their former life; and that the wicked will, during the same period, be suffering the remedies adapted to their several bad habits. I suppose that this period will be followed by the passing away of this earth, and by our entering the state of pure intellect; when all Creation shall rest from its labours.