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With restless rage would pull my statues down,
And cast the brass anew to his renown.
O impotent desire of worldly sway!
That I, who make the triumph of to-day,
May of to-morrow's pomp one part appear,
Ghaftly with wounds, and lifeless on the bier!
Then (vileness of mankind!) then of all these, 335
with labour fees, Would one, alas ! repeat me good, or great, Wash my pale body, or bewail my
fate? Or, march'd I chain'd behind the hostile car, The victor's pastime, and the sport of war ; 340 Would one, would one his pitying sorrow lend, Or be so poor, to own he was my friend?
Avails it then, ( Reason, to be wise;
To see this cruel scene with quicker eyes ;
To know with more distinction to complain, 345
And have superior sense in feeling pain :
Let us revolve that roll with strictest eye,
Where safe from Time distinguish'd actions lie;
And judge if greatness be exempt from pain,
Or pleasure ever may with
Adam, great type, for whom the world was made,
The fairest bleliing to his arms convey’d,
A charming wife; and air, and fea, and land),
And all that move therein to his command
Ren ler’d obedient: say, my pensive Muse, 355
What did thefe golden promises produce ?
Scarce tasting life, he was of joy bereav'd:
One day, I think, in Paradise he livd;
Destin'd the next his journey to pursue,
Where wounding thorns and curfed thistles grew. 360
Ere yet he earns his bread, a-down his brow,
Inclin'd to earth, his labouring sweat must flow;
His limbs must ake, with daily toils oppress’d,
Ere long-with'd night brings neceffary reft.
Still viewing with regret his darling Eve,
He for her follies and his own must grieve;
Bewailing till afresh their hapless choice ;
His car oft” frighted with the imag’d voice
Of Heaven, when first it thunder'd; oft his view
Aghast, as when the infant lightning few, 370
And the stern Cherub stopp'd the fatal road,
Arm’d with the flames of an avenging God.
His younger son on the polluted ground,
First-fruit of death, lies plaintive of a wound
Given by a brother's hand: his eldest birth
375 Flies, mark’d by Heaven, a fugitive o’er earth. Yet why these sorrows heap'd upon the Sire, - Becomes nor Man, nor Angel, to enquire.
Each age finn'd on; and Guilt advanc'd with Time: The son still added to the father's crime;
380 Till God arose, and, great
Lo! it repenteth me, that Man was made !
Withdraw thy light, thou Sun! be dark, ye Skies!
And from your deep abyss, ye Waters, rise !
The frighted Angels heard th' Almighty Lord;
And o'er the earth from wrathful viols pour'd
Tempests and storms, obedient to his word.
Mean time, his Providence to Noah gave
The guard of all that he design'd to save.
Exempt from general doom the Patriarch stood ; 390
Contemn’d the waves, and triumph'd o'er the flood.
The winds fall filent, and the waves decrease ;
The Dove brings quiet, and the Olive peace :
Yet still his heart does inward sorrow feel,
Which Faith alone forbids him to reveal.
395 If on the backward world his views are cast; 'Tis Death diffus'd, and universal waste. Present (rad profpc&t) can hc aught descry, But (what affects his melancholy eye) The beauties of the antient fabric lost,
400 In chains of craggy hill, or lengths of dreary coast ? While, to high Heaven his pious breathings turn’d, Weeping he hop'd, and sacrificing mourn'd; When of God's image only eight he found Snatch'd from the watery grave, and sav’d from nations drown'd;
405 And of three sons, the future hopes of Earth, The feed whence empires must receive their birth, One he foresees excluded heavenly grace, And mark'd with curses, fatal to his race !
Abraham, potent prince, tá e friend of God, Of human ills must bear the destin'd load; By blood and battles must his power maintain, And Nay the monarchs ere he rules the plain; Must deal just portions of a servile life To a proud handmaid and a peevish wife; 415 N2
Must with the mother leave the weeping fon,
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,
420 Destroy his heir, or disobey his God.
Moses beheld that God; but how beheld ?
The Deity in radiant beams conceald,
And clouded in a deep abyss of light;
While present, too severe for human sight,
Nor staying longer than one swift-wing'd night.
The following days, and months, and years,
To fierce encounter, and to toilsome deed.
His youth with wants and hardships must engage;
Plots and rebellions must disturb his
Some Corah still arose, fome rebel Nave,
Prompter to sink the state, than he to save :
And Ifrael did his rage fo far provoke,
That what the Godhead wrote, the Prophet broke.
His voice scarce heard, his dictate scarce believ'd. 435
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 h s threaten'd youth must fear
Goliah's lifted sword, and Saul's emitted spear.
Forlorn he must and persecuted fly,
445 Climb the steep mountain, in the cavern lie; And often ask, and be refus'd, to die.
For ever, from his manly toil, are known
The weight of power, and anguish of a crown.
What tongue can speak the restless Monarch's woes;
When God and Nathan were declar'd his foes ?
When every object his offence revil'd,
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 455
When the King's crime brought vengeance on the land;
And the inexorable Prophet's voice
Gave famine, plague, or war; and bid him fix his
He dy'd ; and, oh! may no refle&tion shed
Its poisonous venom on the royal dead !
Yet the unwilling truth must be express'd',
Which long has labour'd in this pentive breast :
Dying, he added to my weighit of care ;
He made me to his crimes undoubted beir;
Left his unfinish'd murder to his son,
465 And Joab's blood entailid on Judah's crown.
Young as I was, I hafted to fulfil The cruel di&tates of my parent's will. Of his fair deeds a dillant view I took ; But turn’d the tube, upɔn his faults to look ; 470 Forgot his youth, spent in his country's cause, His care of right, his reverence to the laws :