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Then let religion aid where reason fails,
What shall amend, or what absolve our fate?
I said,-and instant bade the priests prepare The ritual sacrifice and solemn 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 flute, 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, Chanting by just return the holy song. Along the choir in solemn state they past,
— The anxious King came last. The sacred 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 call'd 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By whose kind power and influencing care The various creatures move, and live, and are ; But ceasing once that care, withdrawn that power, They move (alas!)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, omnipresent King, To thee, to thee, my last distress I bring.
“Thou that canst still the raging of the seas, Chain up the winds and bid the tempests cease, Redeem my shipwreck'd soul from raging gusts 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 Direct my course, and bring me safe to land. * If, while this wearied flesh draws fleeting
from instant now, great Sire ! dispel
My prayer scarce ended, a stupendous gloom Darkens the air; loud thunder shakes the dome : To the beginning miracle succeed An awful silence, and religious dread.
Sudden breaks forth a more than common day:
Cease, Man, of woman born, to hope relief
"The child to whose success thy hope is bound, 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!) VOL. XV.
Shall from thy dictates and his duty rove,
Their falling honours from his giddy head:
dred blood. Hence labouring years shall weep their destin'd
• New Egypts yet, and second bonds remain,
"These pointed spires that wound the ambient sky, Inglorious change! shall in destruction lie Low, levelld with the dust, their heights unknown, Or measur'd by their ruin. Yonder throne, For lasting glory built, design’d the seat Of kings for ever bless’d, for ever great, Remov'd by the invader's barbarous hand, Shall grace his triumph in a foreign land; The tyrant shall demand yon sacred load Of gold and vessels set apart to God; Then by vile hands to common use debas'd, Shall send them flowing round his drunken feast, With sacrilegious taunt and impious jest.
“Twice fourteen ages shall their way complete ; Empires by various turns shall rise and set, While thy abandon’d tribes shall only know A different master and a change of woe; With downcast eyelids, and with looks aghast, Shall dread the future or bewail the past.
* Afflicted Israel shall sit weeping down, Fast by the streams where Babel's waters run, Their harps upon the neighbouring willows hung, Nor joyous hymn encouraging their tongue, Nor cheerful dance their feet; with toil oppress'd, Their wearied limbs aspiring but to rest. In the reflective stream the sighing bride, Viewing her charms impair'd, abash'd shall hide Her pensive head, and in her languid face The bridegroom shall foresee his sickly race, While pondrous fetters vex their close embrace.. With irksome anguish then your priests shall
Their long-neglected feasts' despair'd return,