תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

the

Sleep on, rest quiet as thy conscience take,
For, though thou sleep'st thyself, thy God's awake.
Above the subtle foldings of the sky;
Above the well-set orbs' soft harmony;
Above those petty lamps that gild the night;
There is a place o'erflown with hallow'd light;
Where heaven, as if it left itself behind,
Is stretch'd-out far, nor its own bounds can find :
Here peaceful flames swell up the sacred place,
Nor can the glory contain itself in the endless
For there no twilight of the sun's dull ray [space;
Glimmers
upon pure

and native day;
No pale-faced moon does in stolen beams appear,
Or with dim taper scatter darkness there;
On no smooth sphere the restless seasons slide,
No circling motion doth swift time divide;
Nothing is there to come, and nothing past,
But an eternal Now does always last.
There sits the’Almighty, First of all, and End;
Whom nothing but himself can comprehend;
Who with his word commanded all to be,
And all obey'd him, for that word was He:
Only he spoke, and every, thing that is
From out the womb of fertile nothing ris'.
Oh, who shall tell, who shall describe thy throne,
Thou great Three-One !
There thou thyself dost in full presence show,
Not absent from these meaner worlds below;
No, if thou wert, the elements’ league would cease,
And all thy creatures break thy Nature's peace;
The sun would stop his course, or gallop back,
The stars drop out, the poles themselves would

crack; Earth's strong foundations would be torn in twain, And this vast work all ravel out again

can he

To its first nothing: for his spirit contains
The well-knit mass; from him each creature gains
Being and motion, which he still bestows;
From him the effect of our weak action flows :
Round him vast armies of swift angels stand,
Which seven triumphant generals command;
They sing loud anthems of his endless praise,
And with fix'd

eyes

drink in immortal rays: Of these he callid out one; all heaven did shake, And silence kept whilst its Creator spake. “ Are we forgotten then so soon

? Look on his crown, and not remember me That gave

it ? can he think we did not hear (Fond man!) his threats? and have we made the ear, To be accounted deaf? No, Saul ! we heard ; And it will cost thee dear : the ills thou'st fear’d, Practised, or thought on, I'll all double send; Have we not spoke it, and dares man contend ?

dust! didst thou but know the day When thou must lie in blood at Gilboa, Thou, and thy sons, thou wouldst not threaten still; Thy trembling tongue would stop against thy will. Then shall thine head fix'd in cursed temples be, And all their foolish gods shall laugh at thee. That hand which now on David's life would prey, Shall then turn just, and its own master slay; He whom thou hatest, on thy loved throne shall sit, And expiate the disgrace thou dost to it. Haste then; tell David what his king has sworn, Tell him whose blood must paint this rising morn; Yet bid him go securely, when he sends; 'Tis Saul that is his foe, and We his friends : The man who has his God, no aid can lack, And We, who bid him go, will bring him back.”

Alas, poor

[ocr errors]

He spoke; the heavens seem'd decently to bow,
With all their bright inhabitants; and now
The jocund spheres began again to play,
Again each Spirit sung Halleluia ;
Only that Angel was straight gone; even so
(But not so swift) the morning-glories flow
At once from the bright sun, and strike the ground;
So winged lightning the soft air does wound.
Slow Time admires, and knows not what to call
The motion, having no account so small.
So flew this Angel, till to David's bed
He came, and thus his sacred message said:

Awake, young man, hear what thy king has

sworn; He swore thy blood should paint this rising morn: Yet to him go securely, when he sends; "Tis Saul that is your foe, and God your

friends :
The man who has his God, no aid can lack;
And he who bids thee go, will bring thee back.”.

Up leap'd Jessides, and did round him stare,
But could see nought; for nought was left but air:
Whilst this great vision labours in his thought,
Lo! the short prophecy to' effect is brought:
In treacherous haste he's sent for to the king,
And with him bid his charmful lyre to bring.
The king, they say, lies raging in a fit,
Which does no cure but sacred tunes admit;
And true it was, soft music did appease
The' obscure fantastic rage of Saul's disease.

Tell me, oh Muse! (for thou, or none, canst tell,
The mystic powers that in bless'd numbers dwell;
Thou their great nature know'st, nor is it fit
This noblest

gem

of thine own crown to' omit)

Tell me from whence these heavenly charms arise; Teach the dull world to’admire what they despise!

As first a various unform’d hint we find Rise in some godlike poet's fertile mind, Till all the parts and words their places take, And with just marches verse and music make; Such was God's poem, this world's new essay; So wild and rude in its first draught it lay; The’ungovern’d parts no correspondence knew, An artless war from thwarting motions grew; Till they to number and fix'd rules were brought By the Eternal Mind's poetic thought. Water and Air he for the tenor chose, Earth made the bass, the treble Flame arose; To the’ active moon a quick brisk stroke he gave, To Saturn's string, a touch more soft and grave. The motions straight, and round, and swift, and

slow, And short, and long, were mix’d and woven som Did in such artful figures smoothly fallAs made this decent-measured Dance of All. And this is music: sounds that charm our ears Are but one dressing that rich science wears. Though no man hear ’t, though no man it rehearse, Yet will there still be music in my verse; In this at world so much of it we see, The lesser, Man, is all o'er harmony; Storehouse of all proportions! single quire ! Which first God's breath did tunefully inspire! From hence bless'd music's heavenly charms arise, From sympathy, which them and man allies. Thus they our souls, thus they our bodies, win, Not by their force, but party that's within:

VOL. 11.

Thus the strange cure, on our spilt blood apply'd,
Sympathy to the distant wound does guide:
Thus, when two brethren-strings are set alike,
To move them both, but one of them we strike :
Thus David's lyre did Saul's wild rage control,
And tuned the harsh disorders of his soul.
WHEN Israel was from bondage led,

Led by the Almighty's hand

From out a foreign land,
The great sea beheld, and fled;
As men pursued, when that fear past they find,
Stop on some higher ground to look behind,
So, whilst through wondrous ways

The sacred army went,
The waves afar stood up to gaze,

And their own rocks did represent,
Solid as waters are above the firmament.

1

Old Jordan's waters to their spring

Start back with sudden fright;

The spring, amazed at sight,
Asks what news from sea they bring.
The mountains shook; and to the mountains' side
The little hills leap'd round, themselves to hide ;
As young affrighted lambs,

When they aught dreadful spy,
Run trembling to their helpless dams :

The mighty sea and river, by,
Were glad, for their excuse, to see the hills too fly.
What ail'd the mighty sea to flee?

Or why did Jordan's tide

Back to his fountain glide ? Jordan's tide, what ailed thee ?

[ocr errors]
« הקודםהמשך »