« הקודםהמשך »
• (Should Aeeting Vi&t’ry to the vanquish'd go,
• O impotent desire of worldly sway !
May of to-morrow's pomp one part appear,
Then, (vileness of mankind !) then, of all these
• Avails it then, O Reason, to be wise ?
• Let us revolve, that roll with strictest eye
• Adam, great type, for whom the world was made,
One day, I think, in Paradise he liv'd,
• Ere yet he earns his bread, a-down his brow,
Bewailing ftill afresh their hapless choice,
His ear oft frighted with the imag’d voice • Of Heav'n, when firft it thunder'd; oft his view
Aghat, as when the infant lightning flew, / • And the stern cherub stopp'd the fatal road, • Arm'd with the flames of an ävenging God. • His younger fon on the polluted ground, • First-fruit of death, lies plaintive of a wound • Giv'n by a brother's hand; his eldest birth • Flies, mark'd by Heav'n, a fugitive o’er earth : • Yet why these sorrows heap'd upon the fire, • Becomes nor man nor angel to enquire. Each
finn'd on, and guilt advanc'd with time; · The son still added to the father's crime: « Till God arose ; and, great in anger, faid, “ Lo ! it repenteth me that man was made. “ Withdraw thy light, thou fun! be dark, ye skies! “ And, from your deep abyss, ye waters, rise !"
· The frighted angels heard th’ Almighty Lord,
The guard of all that he design'd to fave:
· The winds fall filent, and the waves decrease ;
• If on the backward world his views are cast, • 'Tis death diffus'd, and universal waste.
Present, (sad prospect !) can he aught descry • But (what affects his melancholy eye) - The beauties of the ancient fabrick loft, • In chains of craggy hill, or lengths of dreary coast? • While to high heav'n his pious breathings turn'd,
Weeping he hop'd, and facrifcing mourn'd; • When of God's image only eight he found • Snatch'd from the wat’ry grave, and sav'd from nations drown'd; • And of three sons, the future hopes of earth, • The seed whence empires must receive their birth, • One he foresees excluded heav'nly grace, • And mark'd with curses fatal to his race.
• Abraham, potent prince, the friend of God! • Of human ills must bear the destin'd load; • By blood and battles must his pow'r maintain, « And say the monarchs ere he rules the plain ; • Muft deal just portions of a servile life • To a proud handmaid and a peevith wife ; • Must with the mother leave the weeping son, - In want to wander and in wilds to groan; • Must take his other child, his age's hope, « To trembling Moriam's melancholy top, - Order'd to drench his knife in filial blood, Destroy his heir, or disobey his God.
Mofes beheld that God; but how beheld ? “The Deity, in radiant beams conceal'd, · And clouded in a deep abyss of light? • While present, too fevere for human right, « Nor staying longer than one swift-wing'd night: · The following days, and months, and years, decreed • To fierce encounter, and to toilfome deed. · His youth with wants and hardships must engage ; « Plots and rebellions must disturb his
Some Corah ftill arose, fome rebel llave,
Prompter to sink the state, than he to fave; 6 And Israel did his rage so far provoke, • That what the Godhead wrote the prophet broke. 6 His voice scarce heard; his dictatės scarce believ'd, • In camps, in arms, in pilgrimage, he liv'd ; • And dy'd obedient to severest law, • Forbid to tread the promis'd land he saw.
• My father's life was one long line of care ; • A scene of danger, and a state of war. • Alarm’d, expos'd, his childhood must engage • The bear's rough gripe, and foaming lion's rage. • By various turns his threaten'd youth must fear • Goliah's lifted sword, and Saul's emitted spear. « Forlorn he must, and persecuted, fly, • Climb the steep mountain, in the cavern lie; * And often ak, and be refus'd to die.
• For ever from his manly toil are known * The weight of pow'r, and anguilh of a crown. • What tongue can speak the reftlefs monarch's woess • When God and Nathan were declar'd his foes ? • When ev'ry object his offence revild; • The husband murder'd, and the wife defil'd; * The parent's fins impress'd upon the dying child ? • What heart can think the grief which he sustain'd, • When the king's crime brought vengeance on the land; • And the inexorable prophet's voice • Gave famine, plague, of war, and bid him fix his choice. • He dy'd; and, oh! may no reflection shed
It's pois'nous venom on the royal dead. • Yet the unwilling truth must be express’d, " Which long has labour'd in this penfive breaft: • Dying, he added to my weight of care ; • He made me to his crimes undoubted heir ; • Left his unfinisa'd murder to his son, • And Joab's blood entail'd on Judah's crown.
• Young as I was, I hasted to fulfil
my rage conceal.
Purpose to say, whilft swearing to forgive. • Treaties, persuafions, fighs, and tears, are vain ; • With a mean lye curs’d vengeance I sustain, · Join fraud to force, and policy to pow'r,
Till of the destin'd fugitive secure, 1 In solemn state to parricide I rise, * And, as God lives, this day my brother dies
• Be witness to my tears, celestial Muse! • In vain I would forget, in vain excuse * Fraternal blood by my direction spilt ; • In vain on Joab's head transfer the guilt. • The deed was acted by the subject's hand, • The sword was pointed by the king's command, * Mine was the murder; it was mine alone :
Years of contrition must-the crime atone ;