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ODE TO DIVINE LOVE.
HAIL, Love Divine! Ere glowed the golden sky,
Ere yet the cherub's harp was tuned on high,
Or flamed the seraph's fire-thou madest abode
In the bless'd bosom of thy Parent God.
In that great instant of Eternity,
Where his dread will decreed that time should be,
He bound heaven, earth, and main
In thy immense, immortal, magic chain;
Thy spirit, breathing through the boundless whole,
Gave form to matter, energy to soul.
From thee thy heaven's eternal raptures flow;
And all of beauty, all of bliss below.
Yet while in sweet accordant measures move
The planetary choirs above;
While all to one great centre draw
Of love their universal law;
Shall violence, that scorns a bound,
Still waste this mourning world around?
Shall rebel vice make void the grand design,
And wild disorder break the plan divine?
The Muses' ear what clangors wound
Of clashing arms from far!
From distant shores what dismal sound
The burdened echoes bear!
The helpless virgin's agonizing cries,
The widow's shrieks that rend the skies
Bid Pity's tear to flow.
At scenes of varied misery distress'd
Deep sighs the sympathetic breast,
And feels for others' woe.
For mad Ambition see-with hell combined;
To crush the rights and freedom of mankind
In dread array she ranks her furious host.
As when the fierce Tornado sweeps
And strews a thousand keels along the foaming Heaven thunders-bellows ocean-shakes the
From isle to isle resounds the loud rough roar,
Wild Desolation rushes o'er the land,
And giant Horror strides from strand to strand;
Thus rushing onward on her clattering car
She sounds aloud the rage-inciting song,
And leads the fiends along-
Rapine, with harpy fangs, wide-wasting War,
That lets her bloodhounds loose to range before,
On human flesh to feed, and lap the gore;
Despotic Sway, relentless as the storms;
And ghastly Death, in all his thousand forms!
At her approach the beams of Science fade,
Freedom and Honour fall, and Virtue hides her
See her red banners blazing to the sky!
Embattled legions round them bleed and die.
See, see her flaming sword display'd!
O'er the green land she waves the blade,
And o'er the silver flood;
With horrid devastation wide
Blasts all the champaign's blooming pride,
And turns the stream to blood.
How waste and desolate the fair domain
Where golden Plenty smiled upon the plain,
And Peace and Freedom held their social reign!
How mute the cheering music of the groves,
The shepherd's whistle wild, and rustic loves,
To his coy damsel caroled without art,
Yet warm and guiltless from a guileless heart!
Now silent treads the swain, with listening ears,
In every brake a lurking foe he fears;
Starts the pale trembling maid
At burnish'd lances glittering in the shade!
Hark! the loud war-whoop howls from yonder wood,
Shakes every nerve, and chills the freezing blood! From distant villages the flames aspire,
Glare on the streams, and set the skies on fire. Swift as the panting deer
From the keen hound and ruthless hunter's spear The wretched relics of the slaughter fly,
Rushing through driving snow-storms wing'd with To woods and deserts drear;
Beneath the fury of the wintry sky,
There, houseless, shivering to the frozen air,
Pine the slow prey of hunger and despair.
"Tis solitude-'tis terror all around!
Grim visaged Murder stalks along the ground, And dying groans are heard, and savage yells resound:
Revenge, in woody glooms conceal'd from day,
Crouch'd like a tiger, waits the' unwary prey,
Then, sudden springing with his brandish'd dart,
Tears from the mangled breast the quivering heart.
Nor blameless youth's fair blooming years,
Nor palsied age can pity find,
Nor female grace, nor beauty's pleading tears
To aught of mercy melt the savage mind:
Stern stands the dire assassin;- Spare, O, spare
That infant innocence!'-in vain the prayer!
In vain the mother's pangs and piercing cries!
Fix'd on the bloody point it writhes, and dies!
Heaven! is thy vengeance then a sounding name?
Sleep all thy thunders? quench'd is all thy flame?
Shall bold Oppression still defy
The wrath and justice of the sky?
No! there's an awful hour;
When injured Innocence shall mourn no more.
This doom Eternal Justice has decreed,
'Proportion'd wrath to every guilty deed.'
Tremble, ye despots! throned in idle state
Like Pagan demons, mischievously great,
Drunk with ambition, by no ties confined,
Who turn the furies loose to scourge mankind,
With slaughter'd myriads load the crimson'd
And fling the brands of desolation round;
Who, like the Libyan sun's destructive rays,
Rage o'er a wasted realm, and burn where'er ye
Amid the pleasures of the genial hour, [blaze!
The glare of grandeur, and the pride of power,
Know that the' Avenging Angel waits on high
The Almighty's final frown;
The bolt already kindles in the sky
To blast your blooming wreaths, and dash your glories down.
What though triumphal monuments ye raise
To make immortal your detested praise?
Your gilded domes with rival splendours crown'd,
Soon, soon Destruction with her tongue of fire
Shall lick them from the ground.
Father of all! whose universal care
The greatest, meanest natures share;
Whose goodness on an equal plan
Regards the seraph and the man;
Whose awful fiat from primeval night
Call'd order, beauty, life, and light,
And matter, motion, form, and mind
In one amazing whole combined;
O! from thy star-emblazon'd throne
Upon a wasted world look down,
A world, thy hand with rich abundance bless'd,
And robed in Beauty's radiant vest!
Which when thine eyes delighted view'd,
And saw thy own ideas there,
Sublimely great or sweetly fair,
Thy sovereign word pronounced it good!
Arise at length in thy resistless might!
Arise in Liberty's and Virtue's right!
Silence wild Discord's loud frenetic sound!
That shakes the world around!
Sweep from the earth those prowling dogs of war,
And strike the tyrant from his trophied car!
In her own hell's eternal fetters bind
Blood-stain'd Ambition, foe to humankind!
Bid from her azure seat descend
Sweet Charity, the general friend,
With gentle influence to control
The fury-passions of the soul:
Her warm benevolence impart,
The generous aim, the feeling heart,
The tender sympathetic sigh,
And the soft dews of Pity's eye.