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Winds scatter through the mighty void the dry ;
Nor man alone; his breathing bust expires,
But, O Lorenzo ! far the rest above, Of ghastly nature, and enormous size, One form assaults my sight, and chills my blood, And shakes my frame. Of one departed world I see the mighty shadow: oozy wreath And dismal sea-weed crown her; o'er her urn Reclin'd, she weeps her desolated realms, And bloated sons; and, weeping, prophesies
Anotlier's dissolution, soon, in flames
For, know'st thou not, or art thou loth to know,
See'st thou, Lorenzo ! what depends on man ? The fate of Nature; as for man, her birth. Earth's actors change Earth's transitory scenes, And make creation groan with human guilt. How must it groan, in a new deluge whelm'd, But not of waters! at the destin'd hour, By the loud trumpet summon’d to the charge, See, all the formidable sons of fire, Eruptions, earthquakes, comets, lightnings, play Their various engines; all at once disgorge Their blazing magazines; and take, by storm, This poor terrestrial citadel of man.
Amazing period! when each mountain-height Out-burns Vesuvius; rocks eternal pour Their melted mass, as rivers once they pour'd; Stars rush; and final ruin fiercely drives Her ploughshare 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 sun ! — A sun, O how unlike The babe at Bethlem ! how unlike the man That groan'd on Calvary! - Yet he it is; Tiat Man of Sorrows! O low chang'a! 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 scene divine, sweeps stars and suns aside. And now, all dross remov'd, Heaven's own pure day, Full on the confines of our ether, flames, While (dreadful contrast !) far, how far beneath! Hell, bursting, belches forth her blazing seas, And storms sulphureous; 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 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; 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, 't is presum'd this pomp will burst From tenfold darkness; sudden as the spark From smitten 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 ! Terrour 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’st, 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, man from Earth; And an eternity, the date of Gods, Descended on poor earth-created man! Great day of dread, decision, and despair ! At thought of thee, each sublunary wish Lets go 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? Lorenzo ! no; 't is here; it is begun ;
;Already is begun the grand assize,
In thee, in all : deputed conscience scales
Shall all, but man, look out with ardent eye,