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Where counsellors are hush'd, and mighty kings (Oh happy turn !) no more are wretched things.
His words were daring, and displeas’d his friends ; His conduct they reprove, and he defends ; And now they kindled into warm debate, And sentiments oppos'd with equal heat ; Fix'd in opinion, both refuse to yield, And summon all their reason to the field : So high at length their arguments were wrought, They reach'd the last extent of human thought : A pause ensued - When, lo! Heaven interpos'd, And awefully the long contention clos'd. Full o'er their heads, with terrible surprise, A sudden whirlwind blacken'd all the skies : (They saw, and trembled !) from the darkness broke A dreadful voice, and thus th' Almighty spoke :
“ Who gives his tongue a loose so bold and vain Censures my conduct, and reproves my reign; Lifts up his thought against me from the dust, And tells the World's Creator what is just ? Of late so brave, now lift a dauntless eye, Face my demand, and give it a reply: Where didst thou dwell at Nature's early birth? Who laid foundations for the spacious Earth ? Who on its surface did extend the line, Its form determine, and its bulk confine? Who fix'd the corner-stone? What hand, declare, Hung it on nought, and fasten’d it on air ; When the bright morning stars in concert sung, When Heaven's high arch with loud hosannahs
rung, When shouting sons of God the triumph crown'd, And the wide concave thunder'd with the sound ?
Earth's numerous kingloms, hast thou view'd them
all ? And can thy span of knowledge grasp the ball ? Who heav'd the mountain, which sublimely stands, And casts its shadow into distant lands?
“ Who, stretching forth his sceptre o'er the deep, Can that wide world in due subjection keep ? I broke the globe, I scoop'd its hollow side, And did a bason for the floods provide ; I chain'd them with my word ; the boiling sea, Work'd up in tempests, hears my great decree ; • Thus far, thy floating tide shall be convey'd; And here, O main, be thy proud billows stay'd.'
“ Hast thou explor'd the secrets of the deep, Where, shut from use, unnumber'd treasures sleep? Where, down a thousand fathoms from the day, Springs the great fountain, mother of the sea? Those gloomy paths did thy bold foot e'er tread, Whole worlds of waters rolling o'er thy head ?
“ Hath the cleft centre open'd wide to thee ? Death's inınost chambers didst thou ever see? E’er knock at his tremendous gate, and wade To the black portal through th' incumbent shade ? Deep are those shades; but shades still deeper hide My counsels from the ken of human pride. [dome?
“ Where dwells the light? In what refulgent And where has darkness made her dismal home? Thou know'st, no doubt, since thy large heart is
fraught With ripen’d wisdom, through long ages brought; • Since Nature was call’d forth when thou wast by, And into being rose beneath thine eye!
“ Are mists begotten ? Who their father knew? From whom descend the pearly drops of dew? To bind the stream by night, what hand can boast, Or whiten morning with the hoary frost ? Whose powerful breath, from northern regions blown, Touches the sea, and turns it into stone: A sudden desert spreads o'er realms defac'd, And lays one half of the creation waste ?
“ Thou know'st ine not; thy blindness cannot
How vast a distance parts thy God from thee.
“ To check the shower, who lifts his hand on high, And shuts the sluices of th' exhausted sky, When Earth no longer mourns her gaping veins, Her naked mountains, and her russet plains; But, new in life, a cheerful prospect yields Of shining rivers, and of verdant fields ; When groves and forests lavish all their bloorn, And Earth and Heaven are fill’d with rich perfume ?
“ Hast thou e'er scald my wintry skies, and seen Of hail and snows my northern magazine ? These the dread treasures of mine anger are, My funds of vengeance for the day of war, When clouds rain death, and storms at my com
mand Rage through the world, or waste a guilty land.
“ Who taught the rapid winds to fly so fast, Or shakes the centre with his eastern blast ? Who from the skies can a whole deluge pour ? Who strikes through Nature with the solemn roar Of dreadful thunder, points it where to fall, And in fierce lightning wraps the flying ball ? Not he who trembles at the darted fires, Falls at the sound, and in the flash expires.
“ Who drew the comet out to such a size,
“ Who on low Earth can moderate the rein,
pour Myriads, and myriads I reserve in store. (born,
“ Dost thou pronounce where day-light shall be And draw the purple curtain of the morn;
Awake the Sun, and bid him come away,
• Who did the soul with her rich powers invest,
What then, Chaldæan sire, was thy surprise ! Thus thou, with trembling heart and down-cast
eyes : “ Once and again, which I in groans deplore, My tongue has err'd; but shall presume no more. My voice is in eternal silence bound, And all my soul falls prostrate to the ground.”
He ceas'd: when, lo, again th' Almighty spoke; The same dread voice from the black whirlwind
“ Come forth, in beauty's excellence array'd;