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While pregnant, they a mother's load sustain ? By the pale moon they take their destined round, *
Will the tall reem, which knows no lord but me, Mild is my Behemoth, though large his frame;
To seek the herbs, and mingle with the throng. Bid him bring home the seasons to thy doors, See, with what strength his hardened loins are And cast his load among the gathered stores.
How like a mountain cedar moves his tail !
The bars of steel; his ribs are ribs of brass;
Give the wide forest and the mountain law.
Survey the warlike horse ! didst thou invest Graze in his shadow, and his eye obey. With thunder his robust distended chest ? The fens and marshes are his cool retreat, No sense of fear his dauntless soul allays,
His noontide shelter from the burning heat; 'Tis dreadful to behold his nostrils blaze: Their sedgy bosoms his wide couch are made, To paw the vale he proudly takes delight, And groves of willows give him all their shade. And triumphs in the fulness of his might: His eye drinks Jordan up, when, fired with High raised, he snuffs the battle from afar,
He sinks a river, and he thirsts again.
And stretch his vastness on the loaded strand. He sinks the sense of pain in generous pride,
Will he become thy servant? will he own Nor feels the shaft that trembles in his side; Thy lordly nod, and tremble at thy frown? But neighs to the shrill trumpet's dreadful blast, Or with his sport amuse thy leisure day, Till death, and when he groans, he groans his last. And, bound in silk with thy soft maidens play? But fiercer still, the lordly lion stalks,
Shall pompous banquets swell with such a prize ? Grimly majestic in his lonely walks:
And the bowl journey round his ample size? When round he glares, all living creatures fly;
Or the debating merchant share the prey, He clears the desart with his rolling eye.
And various limbs to various marts convey? Say, mortal, does he rouse at thy command,
Through his firm skull what steel its way can win? And roar to thee, and live upon thy hand ? What forceful engine can subdue his skin ? Dost thou for him in forests bend thy bow, And to his gloomy den the morsel throw,
• Pursuing their prey by night is true of most wild beasts, Where, bent on death, lie hid his tawny brood,
particularly the lion, Psal. civ. 20. The Arabians have one And, crouched in dreadful ambush, pant for blood; among their five hundred names for the lion, which signifies Or stretched on broken limbs, consume the day, the hunter by moonshine. In darkness wrapt, and slumber o'er their prey ?
1 The taking the crocodile is most difficult. Diodorus saya, they are not to be taken but by iron nels. When Augustus
conquered Egypt, he struck a medal, the impress of which Providence) has the same effech Ps. xxix. In so early an was a crocodile chained to a palm-tree, with this inscription, age to observe these things may style our author a naturalist. Nemo antea religatil.
Fly far, and live; tempt not his matchless might; (Far round are fatal damps of terror spread,
In vain may death in various shapes invade, Whence come the gifts which are on me conferred? The swift-winged arrow, the descending blade; My lavish fruit a thousand vallies fills,
His naked breast their impotence defies; And mine the herds that graze a thousand hills: The dart rebounds, the brittle faulchion flies. Earth, sea, and air, all Nature is my own, Shut in himself, the war without he hears, And stars and sun are dust beneath my throne;
Safe in the tempest of their rattling spears; And dar’st thou with the world's great Father vie, The cumbered strand their wasted vollies strow; Thou, who dost tremble at my creature's eye? His sport the rage and labour of the foe. At full my huge Leviathan shall rise,
His pastimes like a caldron boil the fiood, Boast all his strength, and spread his wondrous And blacken ocean with a rising mud; size:
The billows feel him as he works his way, Who, great in arms, e'er stript his shining mail, His hoary footsteps shine along the sea; Or crowned his triumph with a single scale? The foam high-wrought, with white divides the Whose heart sustains him to draw near? Behold green, Destruction yawns;t his spacious jaws unfold, And distant sailors point where death has been. And, marshalled round the wide expanse, disclose His like earth bears not on her spacious face; Teeth edged with death, and crowding rows on Alone in nature stands his dauntless race,
For utter ignorance of fear renowned: What hideous fangs on either sidle arise! In wrath he rolls his baleful eye around; And what a deep abyss between them lies! Makes every swoln disdainful heart subside, Mete with thy lance, and with thy plumbet sound, And holds dominion o'er the sons of Pride. The one how long, the other how profound!
Then the Chaldean eased his labouring breast, His bulk is charged with such a furious soul,
With full conviction of his crime oppressed. That clouds of smoke from his spread nostrils roll “Thou can'st accomplish all things, Lord of As from a furnace; and, when roused his ire,
ht! Fate issues from his jaws in streams of fire. I And every thought is naked to thy sight: The rage of tempests, and the roar of seas,
But, oh! thy ways are wonderful, and lie Thy terror, this thy great superior please; Beyond the deepest reach of mortal eye. Strength on bis ample shoulder sits in state;
Oft have I heard of thine Almighty power, His well joined limbs are dreadfully complete;
But never saw thee till this dreadful hour. His flakes of solid flesh are slow to part;
O'erwhelmed with shame, the Lord of life I see, As steel his nerves, as adamant his heart. Abhor myself, and give my soul to thee; When, late awaked, he rears him from the floods, Nor shall my weakness tempt thine anger more: And stretching forth his stature to the clouds, Marr is not made to question, but adore.” Writhes in the sun aloft his scaly height, And strikes the distant hills with transient light, gives us as great an image of the thing it would express as
* Ilis eyes are like the eyelids of the morning. I think this
can enter the thought of man. It is not improbable that the • This alludes to a custom of this creature, which is when Egyptians stole their hieroglyphic for the morning, which is sated with fish, to come ashore and sleep among the reeds. the crocodile's eye, from this passage, though no commentator
| The crocodile's mouth is exceeding wide. When he gapes, I have seen mentions it. It is easy to conceive how the Egypsays Pliny, sit totum os. Martial says to his old woman, tians should be both readers and admirers of the writings of Cum comparata rictibus tuis ora
Moses, whom I suppose the author of this poem
I have observed already that three or four of the creatures So that the expression there is barely just.
here described are Egyptian; the two last are notoriously so; This too is nearer truth than at first view may be imagined, habitants of the Nile; and on these two it is that our author
they are the river-horse and the crocodile, those celebrated in. The crocodile, say the naturalists, lying long under water, and being there forced to hold its breath, when it emerges the chieily dwells. It would have been expected from an author breath long repressed is hot, and bursts out so violently, that more remote from that river than Moses, in a catalogue of it resembles fire and smoke. The horse suppresses not his the two largest works of his hand, viz. the elephant and the
creatures produced to magnify their Creator, to have dwelt on breath by any means so long, neither is he so fierce and ani- whale. This is so natural an expectation, that some com. mated; yet the most correct of poets ventures to use the same mentators have rendered behemoth and leviathan the elephant metaphor concerning him.
and whale, though the descriptions in our author will not ad. Collectumque premens volvit sub naribus ignem.
mit of it; but Moses being, as we may well suppose, under an By this and the foregoing note, I would caution against a false immediate terror of the hippopotamus and crocodile, from their opinion of the Eastern boldness, from passages in them ill un- daily mischiess and ravages around him, it is very accountabis derstood.
| why he should permit them to take place.
IN TWO PARTS.
AND A POSTSCRIPT.
TO MRS. B *****.
My soul shall be satisfied, even as it were with marrow and fatness; when my mouth praiseth thee with joyful lipe
Psalm Lil 6
The days how few, how short the years, Of man's too rapid race ! Each leaving as it swiftly flies, A shorter in its place. They who the longest lease enjoy, Have told us with a sigh, That to be born seems little more Than to begin to die. Numbers there are who feel this truth With fears alarmed; and yet, In life's delusion lulled asleep, This weighty truth forget. And am I not to these akin? Age slumbers o'er the quill; Its honour blots whate'er it writes, And am I writing still ? Conscious of Nature in decline, And languor in my thoughts, To soften censure and abate Its rigour on my faults, Permit me, Madam! ere to you The promised verse I pay, To touch on felt Infirmity, Sad sister of Decay. One world deceased, another born, Like Noah they behold, O'er whose white hairs and furrowed brows Too many suns have rolled. Happy the patriarch! he rejoiced His second world to see; My second world, though gay the scene, Can boast no charms for me.
Cruel to spare ! condemned to life!
A cloud impairs my sight !
Amidst the storms of life support
To me this brilliant age appears
The distance greatly would decrease
Thought is our armour ; 'Tis the mind's 'Twixt human and divine.
When, sent by Fate, we meet our foes
In sore Affliction's field:
It plucks the frightful mask from ills,
Forbids pale fear to hide,
Beneath that dark disguise a friend,
Which turns Affection's tide.
Affection frail! trained up by Sense,
From Reason's channel strays,
And whilst it blindly points at peace, How proud the poet's billows swell!
peace to pain betrays.
From daily-dying flowers,
To nourish rich immortal blooms,
In amaranthine bowers:
Whence throngs, in ecstacy, look down
On what once shocked their sight,
And thank the terrors of the past
For ages of delight.
All withers here; who most possess
Are losers by their gain; Yet write I must; a lady* sues ;
Stung by full proof, that, bad at best,
Life's idle, all is vain :
Vain, in its course, life's murm'ring stream; Hers teeming with the best!
Did not its course offend,
But murmur cease, life, then, would seem
Still vainer from its end.
How wretched! who, through cruel fate,
Have nothing to lament,
With the poor alms this world affords,
Deplorably content ?
Had not the Greek his world mistook,
His wish had been most wise;
To be content with but one world,
Like him, we should despise.
Of earth's revenue would you state
A full account and fair ?
We hope, and hope, and hope, then cast
The total up-despair.
Since vain all here, all future, vast,
Embrace the lot assigned;
Heaven wounds to heal; its frowns are friends; But what can heart or head suggest ?
Its strokes severe most kind.
But in lapsed nature rooted deep,
Blind Error domineers,
And on fools' errands in the dark,
Bids us for ever pains deplore,
Our pleasures over-prize;
These oft persuade us to be weak,
Those urge us to be wise.
From Virtue's rugged path to right,
| Twill sound severe—yet rest assured By pleasure are we brought
I'm studious of your peace; To flowery fields of wrong, and there
Though I should dare to give you joyPain chides us for our fault:
Yes, joy of his decease. Yet whilst it chides it speaks of peace,
An hour shall come, (you question this) If folly is withstood,
An hour, when you shall bless, And says, Time pays an easy price,
Beyond the brightest beams of life, For our eternal good.
Dark days of your distress. In earth's dark cot, and in an hour,
Hear then, without surprise, a truth, And in delusion great,
A daughter truth to this, What an economist is man!
Swift turns of fortune often tie To spend his whole estate,
A bleeding heart to bliss. And beggar an eternity!
Esteem you this a paradox ? For which, as he was born,
My sacred motto read; More worlds than one against it weighed,
A glorious truth, divinely sung As feathers he should scorn.
By one whose heart had bled. Say not your loss in triumph leads,
To resignation swift he flew;
In her a friend he found;
A friend which blessed him with a smile, Joys bankrupts of this life.
When gasping with his wound. But not deferred your joy so long,
On earth nought precious is obtained It bears an early date;
But what is painful too; Affliction's ready pay in hand
By travel, and to travel born, Befriends our present state.
Our sabbaths are but few. What are the tears which trickle down
To real joy we work our way, Her melancholy face,
Encountering many a shock, Like liquid pearl ? like pearls of price,
Ere found what truly charms, as found
A Venus in the block.
In some disaster, some severe
Appointment for our sins, And keeps insatiate keen desire
That mother-blessing, (not so called From launching in extremes.
True happiness, begins.
No martyr e'er defied the flames Through Time's dark womb, our judgment right,
By stings of life unvexed; If our dim eye was thrown,
First rose some quarrel with this world, Clear should we see the will divine Has but forestalled our own.
Then passion for the next.
You see then pangs are parent pangs, At variance with our future wish,
The pangs of happy birth; Self-severed, we complain:
Pangs, by which only can be born If so, the wounded, not the wound,
True happiness on earth. Must answer for the pain.
The peopled earth look all around, The day shall come, and swift of wing,
Or through times records run, Though you may think it slow,
And say, what is a man unstruck ? When, in the list of Fortune's smiles,
It is a man undone. You'll enter frowns of wo.
This moment am I deeply stung-, For mark the path of Providence;
My bold pretence is tried. This course it has pursued,
When vain man boasts, heaven puts to proof " Pain is the parent, wo the womb,
The vauntings of his pride. Of sound important good :"
Now need I, Madam! your support.Our hearts are fastened to this world
How exquisite the smart! By strong and endless ties;
How critically timed the news*
Which strikes me to the heart!
*The death of Mr. Richardson.