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And thou, sweet Poetry, thou loveliest maid,
Still first to fly where sensual joys invade,
Unfit, in these degenerate times of shame,
To catch the heart, or strike for honest fame; 410
Dear charming nymph, neglected and decried,
My shame in crowds, my solitary pride;
Thou source of all my bliss, and all my woe,
That found'st me poor at first, and keep'st me so;
Thou guide, by which the nobler arts excel, 415
Thou nurse of every virtue, fare thee well!
Farewell! and, O! where'er thy voice be tried,
On Torno's cliffs, or Pambamarca's side,
Whether where equinoctial fervours glow,
Or winter wraps the polar world in snow,
Still let thy voice, prevailing over time,
Redress the rigours of the inclement clime;
Aid, slighted Truth with thy persuasive strain;
Teach erring man to spurn the rage of gain ;
Teach him, that states of native strength possest, 425
Though very poor, may still be very blest;
That trade's proud empire hastes to swift decay,
As ocean sweeps the labour'd mole away;
While self-dependent power can time defy,
As rocks resist the billows and the sky. 430
A SACRED ECLOGUE.
YE Nymphs of Solyma ! begin the song:
To heavenly themes sublimer strains belong.
The mossy fountains, and the sylvan shades,
The dreams of Pindus and the Aonian maids,
Delight no more-0 thou, my voice inspire,
Who touch'd Isaiah's hallow'd lips with fire!
Rapt into future times, the bard begun:
A Virgin shall conceive, a Virgin bear a Son!
From Jesse's root behold a branch arise,
Whose sacred flower with fragrance fills the skies: 10
The Ethereal Spirit o'er its leaves shall move,
And on its top descends the mystic Dove.
Ye heavens! from high the dewy nectar pour,
And in soft silence shed the kindly shower!
The sick and weak the healing plant shall aid, 15
From storms a shelter, and from heat a shade.
All crimes shall cease, and ancient fraud shall fail ;
Returning Justice lift aloft her scale ;
Peace o'er the world her olive wand extend,
And white-robed Innocence from heaven descend. 20
Swift fly the years, and rise the expected morn!
O spring to light, auspicious Babe, be born!
See Nature hastes her earliest wreaths to bring,
With all the incense of the breathing spring:
See lofty Lebanon his head advance ;
See nodding forests on the mountains dance:
See spicy clouds from lowly Saron rise,
And Carmel's flowery top perfumes the skies !
Hark! a glad voice the lonely desert cheers ;
Prepare the way! a God, a God appears :
A God, a God! the vocal hills reply,
The rocks proclaim the approaching Deity.
Lo, earth receives him from the bending skies !
Sink down, ye mountains, and, ye valleys, rise !
With heads declined, ye cedars, homage pay; 35
Be smooth, ye rocks; ye rapid floods, give way!
The Saviour comes ! by ancient bards foretold :
Hear him, ye deaf, and all ye blind, behold!
He from thick films shall purge the visual ray,
And on the sightless eye-ball pour the day: 40
'T is he the obstructed paths of sound shall clear,
And bid new music charm the unfolding ear:
The dumb shall sing, the lame his crutch forgo,
And leap exulting like the bounding roe.
No sigh, no murmur the wide world shall hear, 45
From every face he wipes off every tear;
In adamantine chains shall death be bound,
And Hell's grim tyrant feel the eternal wound.
As the good shepherd tends his fleecy care,
Seeks freshest pasture and the purest air, 50
Explores the lost, the wandering sheep directs,
By day o'ersees them, and by night protects;
The tender lambs he raises in his arms,
Feeds from his hand, and in his bosom warms :
Thus shall mankind his guardian care engage,
The promised Father of the future age.
No more shall nation against nation rise,
Nor ardent warriors meet with hateful eyes,
Nor fields with gleaming steel be cover'd o'er,
The brazen trumpets kindle rage no more:
But useless lances into sithes shall bend,
And the broad falchion in a ploughshare end.
Then palaces shall rise; the joyful son
Shall finish what his short-lived sire begun;
Their vines a shadow to their race shall yield, C5
And the same hand that sow'd shall reap the field.
The swain in barren deserts with surprise
Sees lilies spring, and sudden verdure rise ;
And starts, amidst the thirsty wilds, to hear
New falls of water murmuring in his ear.
On rifted rocks, the dragon's late abodes,
The green reed trembles, and the bulrush nods.
Waste sandy valleys, orice perplex'd with thoin,
The spiry fir and shapely box adorn;
To leafless shrubs the flowering palms succeed, 75
And odorous myrtle to the noisome weed.
The lambs with wolves shall graze the verdant mead,
And boys in flowery bands the tiger lead;
The steer and lion at one crib shall meet,
And harmless serpents lick the pilgrim's feet. 80
The smiling infant in his hand shall take
The crested basilisk and speckled snake,
Pleased the green lustre of their scales survey,
And with their forky tongue shall innocently play.
Rise, crown’d with light, imperial Salem, rise ! 85
Exalt thy towery head, and lift thine eyes !
See, a long race thy spacious courts adorn;
See future sons, and daughters yet unborn,
In crowding ranks on every side arise,
Demanding life, impatient for the skies !
See barbarous nations at thy gates attend,
Walk in thy light, and in thy temple bend :
See thy bright altars throng'd with prostrate kings,
And heap'd with products of Sabaan springs !
For thee Idume's spicy forests blow,
95 And seeds of gold in Ophir's mountains glow. See heaven its sparkling portals wide display, And break upon thee in a flood of day!
No more the rising Sun shall gild the morn,
Nor evening Cynthia fill her silver horn; 100
But lost, dissolved in thy superior rays,
One tide of glory, one unclouded blaze
O'erflow thy courts : the Light himself shall shine
Reveal'd, and God's eternal day be thine !
The seas shall waste, the skies in smoke decay, 105
Rocks fall to dust, and mountains melt away;
But fix'd his word, his saving power remains;
Thy realm for ever lasts, thy own Messiah reigns!
THE spacious firmament on high,
With all the blue ethereal sky,
And spangled heavens, a shining frame,
Their great Original proclaim :
The unwearied sun, from day to day,
Does his Creator's power display,
And publishes to every land
The work of an Almighty hand.
Soon as the evening shades prevail,
The moon takes up the wondrous tale,
And nightly to the listening earth
Repeats the story of her birth :
Whilst all the stars that round her burn,
And all the planets, in their turn,
Confirm the tidings as they roll,
And spread the truth from pole to pole.
What though, in solemn silence, all
Move round the dark terrestrial ball!