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FROM THE ESSAY ON THE UNIVERSE.
Scarce had the night with sable shades appear'd,
Ere in dark skies the must'ring winds were heard;
First hoarse and low, the sullen murmur past,
Rose by degrees, and grew with every blast.
Nought then was heard the ear to entertain,
No voice of mirth, nor music's cheerful strain.
But far resounded through the dismal gloom,
The rattling clamours of the falling dome;
Or the torn roof in show'rs of clatt'ring hail,
With hideous din clos'd every deafʼning gale.
Deep terror every trembling heart amaz’d,
And fear within still fiercer tempests rais’d.
From every eye the downy slumber fled,
And only sleep's soft rule possess'd the dead.
Then rose aghast the pale adult'rous pair,
Compellid to kneel in forc'd distracted pray’r.
The sculking thief, to nightly murder prone
Dreads from the tottering battlement his own.
How different the religious face appears!
His steadfast brow an awful calmness wears,
Tow'rds the loud heav'ns his eyes expressive roll,
And danger wakes devotion in his soul,
Then Providence illustrious tokens gave
Of it's sure pow'r, and watchful care to save.
Nor could the land the spreading storm contain,
With equal fury it assaults the main.
Let, Eddistone, thy massy tow'r declare
How fierce the elemental conflict there !
From the firm rock the deep foundations torn,
And to the seas with total ruin borne.
Here the huge bark unmoor'd, its tackling lost,
By the chaf'd waves behold confus'dly tost;
Or forc'd with all its crew, a hapless band,
On the swift-splitting rock, or burying sand.
There the driv'n vessels meet with clashing weight,
And by one blow both sink in mingled fate.
How big the woes of that disastrous night! Nor ended here—the uprelieving light But only serv'd fate's terrors to disclose, And a dire scene of opening horrors rose. Lo! the tall buildings, late admir'd for strength, That grac'd but now the city's spacious length, Uncouthly shattered, shock th'averting eye, Or, with their base, in levellid ruin lie, On, the sea strand the wreck profusely strew'd Declar'd the havoc of the fatal flood. The prostrate groves their faded honours mourn, Riv'd in the midst, or from their bottoms torn. Such dire designs the airy forces form, When heav'n's dread word commands th' assisting
FROM THE SUNDAY THOUGHTS.
A Morning Walk.
Hail silent fields! with your inhabitant
Blest contemplation! friendly to the muse.
Yet grateful interruption may ye here
By change admit; of flocks that bleating feed
And herds deep lowing, and the music shrill
Heard round me, of the insect's buzzing wing,
And loud, of early birds the varied charm.
These praise their Maker all, and lift in praise
The pious heart to join in nature's prayer.
Nor things of voice alone, each humid flow'r
It's incense breathes to thee! each dewy plant,
And grassy spire, thick strung with native pearl !
Almighty Father ! flocks, and herds, and birds,
Insects and flow'rs, and plants; all nature's births,
All praise thy goodness, all but thankless man!
Man, most ungrateful! most oblig'd of all!
But see! in mild, resplendent majesty,
See! where ascending, the bright lord of day,-
His forehead hung with locks of curling gold,
Smiles from his eastern throne; dispelling fast
Th’invading mists, that with distemper'd shade
Hang on night's dusky rear, and hide from view
Surrounding prospects fair: of flow'ret-meads
And wood-clad hills, with villas intermix'd
Of ancient aspect, fram’d for rural peace;
Delightful residence and verdant groves
Of structure tall, and silver-skirting streams,
Winding through vales in Flora's wardrobe drest,
Or rich in stately grain; whose loaded plumes
Dance proudly on the breeze; and like a sea
Roll far the sounding vegetable ware.
And all beyond the mountain heights appear
By distance blue; that lose themselves in sky.
How chang'd the prospect from the scene of late, When darkness, emblem of still nature's grave, Had clos'd her in a temporary death ; Annihilating colours, sepse, and forms, On ev'ry lid had shed her poppy dews, And round creation's silent bed had drawn Her sable curtains of nocturnal gloom.
Thus looks the convert,- late in bondage lock'd
Of legal terrors,-a tremendous night!
Thus chang'd, when on his sad tenebrious soul,
Jesus, the day-star from above, shall rise
With healing balm beneath his radiant wings;
Jesus, of righteousness, that brighter sun!
Is light so grateful to the human sense?
Created light-a faint, refracted ray?
One distànt sun; the shadow but of God!
Dark adumbration of the deity ?
O! what is heav'n, that day of endless light?
Where saints shall from th' essential fountain drink
Of radiance! in God's full paternal shine ?
Ah! what is hell? of ever absent day
A night, all hopeless !-and all endless too!
Welcome bright influence! kindest gift of Him Who bade thy orb of splendours pour on earth Life, health, and joy! thy warm, thy friendly ray How grateful! while the vapour-weeping mead Reeks with chill mist, an incommodious track For the rash trav'ler yet, whose welt'ring feet Brush from the plaishy blades the tears of morn. Here let me wander, where in fragrance full Or rosy light, this more inviting hill Drinks on his sloping side, the franker beam. With pace relax'd the steep ascent I gain; But gain with toil-how like the christian's path : A sweetly-pleasing, yet laborious wayAnd now, how vast á landscape, kenn'd from hence, Breaks on my 'wilder'd eye! in roving lost, From field, farm, village, park, dale, stream, and grove. Gay primrose lawns, flaming in vernal gold, Or daisy-interlaid, of checquer'd hues :
With herds and flocks, wide feeding round at will;
And woods night-brown: where ever and anon
Some opening glade I meet, with ranging troops
Of timorous deer; viewed here and there between.
And here and there, a branch of some fair stream
Silv'ring the vale ; and over all, the tops
Of sacred spires, that tow'r in ancient state,
I catch at distant glance; a solemn sight!
Beyond them Thames, her ocean-hast'ning flood
Throws widely open to the beam of heav'n ;
Her bosom white with proudly-swelling sails,
That bear her home the treasures of the world,
Spread a full breadth, to gather all the wind
By the glad crews revisiting her shores.
Whose spirits dance with expectation warm,
Parents or friends, in transport soon to meet
Consorts or children; after absence long.
And farther on, in smallness almost lost,
Augusta, seen in soft'ning miniature,
O'er a profusive longitude of plains,
Her hundred temples rears; like needle-points
Uprising slender in th' embrighten'd air.
Where, in the midst, the work of Wren displays
Its graceful dome; and to the west, just spy'd,
The gothic abbey: where sepulchred sleeps
Through a long race, the dust of Albion's kings.
Around I gaze--around-by raptures tir'd,
Yet never full-some object new and fair,
Some fresh presented charm, where'er I turn
The scene expands--and still expands the scene,
With prospects ever fair, and ever new.
But all is seen below, a picture spread
Beneath my feet, with nought above but skies,