« הקודםהמשך »
Once more, I said, once more I will enquire,
What is this little, agile, pervious fire,
This futtering motion, which we call the Mind ?
How does she acts and where is the confin'd ?
Have we the power to guide her as we please ?
Whence then those evils, that obstruct our ease ?
We happiness pursue; we fly from pain ;
Yet the pursuit, and yet the flight, is vain :
Nature labours to be blest,
By day with pleasure, and by night with rest; 630
Some stronger power eludes our fickly will,
Dashing our rising hope with certain ill ;
And makes us with reflective trouble see,
That all is destin’d, which we fancy free.
That Power superior then, which rules our mind,
Is his decree by human prayer inclin’d ?
Will he for sacrifice our sorrows ease?
And can our tears reverse his firm decrees?
Then let Religion aid, where Reason fails ;
Throw loads of incense in, to turn the scales ;
And let the silent sanctuary show,
What froin the babbling schools we may not know,
How Man may Thun or bear bis destin'd
What shall amend, or what absolve, our fate?
Anxious we hover in a mediate state,
Betwixt infinity and nothing; bounds,
Or boundless terms, whose doubtful sense confounds..
Unequal thought! whilst all we apprehend
Is, that our hopes inust risc, our forrrows end;
As our Creator deigns to be our friend. 650
I said ; and instant bad the Priests prepare
The ritual sacrifice and folemn prayer.
Select from vulgar herds, with garlands gay,
A hundred bulls ascend the sacred way.
The artful youth proceed to form the choir;
They breathe the Aute, or strike the vocal wire.
The maids in comely order next advance;
They beat the timbrel, and instruct the dance,
Follows the chosen tribe from Levi sprung,
Chaunting, by just return, the holy song.
660 Along the choir in solemn state they past:
-The anxious King came last.
The facred Hymn perform’d, my promis'd vow
I paid : and, bowing at the altar low,
Father of Heaven! (I said) and Judge of Earth!
Whose word callid out this universe to birth;
By whose kind power and influencing care
The various creatures move, and live, and are ;
But, ceasing once that care, withdrawn that power,
They move (alas !) and live, and are no more :
Omniscient Master, omni-present King,
To thee, to thee, my last distress I bring.
Thou, that canst still the raging of the feas,
Chain up the winds, and bid the tempests cease!
Redeem my shipwreck'd soul from raging gufts
Of cruel passion and deceitful lusts :
From storms of rage and dangerous rocks of pride,
Let thy strong hand this little vessel guide
(It was thy hand that made it) through the tide
Impetuous of this life: let thy command
680 Direct course, and bring me safe to land !
If, while this weary'd Aesh draws fleeting breath, Not satisfy'd with life, afraid of death, It haply be thy will, that I should know Glimpse of delight, or pause from anxious woe; 685 From Now, from inftant Now, great Sire! dispel The clouds that press my soul; from Now reveal A gracious beam of light; from Now inspire My tongue to sing, my hand to touch the lyre; My open thought to joyous prospects raise;
690 And for thy mercy let me fing thy praise. Or, if thy will ordains, I still shall wait Some new Hereafter, and a future state ; Permit me strength, my weight of woe to bear ; And raise my mind superior to my care. Let me, howe'er unable to explain The secret labyrinths of thy ways to man, With humble zeal confess thy awful power ; Still weeping hope, and wondering still adore. So in ?r?y conquest be thy might declar'd :
700 And for thy justice be thy name rever'd.
My prayer scarce ended, a stupendous gloom
Darkers the air ; loud thunder Thakes the dome.
To the beginning miracle succeed
An awful tilence and religious dread.
Sudden breaks forth a more than common day
The sacred wood, which on the altar lay,
Untouch'd, unlighted, glows-
Ambrosial odour, fuch as never flows
From Arab's gum, or the Sabxan rose,
nie Does round the air evolving scents diffuse : The holy ground is wet with heavenly dews : Celestial music (such Jessides' lyre, Such Miriam's timbrel, would in vain require) Strikes to my thought through my admiring ear,
With ecstacy too fine, and pleasure hard to bear.
And lo! what sees my ravish'd eye? what feels
My wondering soul? An opening cloud reveals
An heavenly form embody'd, and ártay’d
With robes of light. I heard. Thé Angel said: 720
Cease, man of woman born, to hope relief,
From daily trouble and continued grief;
Thy hope of joy deliver to the wind;
Suppress thy passions, and prepare thy mind;
Free and familiar with misfortune grow;
Bé us'd to sorrow, and inur'd to woe;
By weakening toil and hoary age o'ercome,
See thy decrease, and hasten to thy tomb;
Leave to thy children tumult, strife, and war,
Portions of toil, and legacies of care;
Send the successive ills through ages down;
And let each weeping father tell his son,
That, deeper struck, and more distinctly griev'd,
He must augment the sorrows he receiv’d.
The child, to whose success thy hope is bound, 735 Ere thou art scarce interr’d, or he is crown'd, To lust of arbitrary sway inclin'd (That cursed poison to the prince's mind!)
Shall from thy dietate and his dury tove,
And lose his great defence, his people's love ; 740
Ill-counsel'd, vanquith't, fugitive, disgrac'd,
Shall mourn the fame of Jacob's strength effac'd ;
Shall figh the King diminish'd, and the crown
With lessen d rays defcending to his son ;
Shall see the wreaths, his grandfire knew to reap 745
By active toil and military sweat,
Pining, incline their fickly leaves, and shed
Their falling honours from his giddy head;
By arms or prayer unable to afswage
Domestic horror; and inteftine rage
Shall from the victor and the vanquish'd fear,
From Ifrael's arrow, and from Judah's fpear;
Shall cast his weary'd limbs on Jordan's flood,
By brother's arms disturb’d, and stain'd with kindred.
blood. Hence labouring years shall weep their destin'd race, Charg'd with ill omens, fully'd with disgracé. Time, by neceflity compellid, shall go Through scenes of war, and epochas of woe. The empire, lessen’d in a parted stream, Shall lose its course Indulge thy tears : the Heathen shall blafpheme : Judah shall fall, oppressd by grief and shame; And men shall from her ruins know her fame.
New Egypts yet and second bonds remain, A harsher Pharaoh, and a heavier chain.
765 Again, obedient to a dire command, Thy captive sons shall leave the promis'd land.