« הקודםהמשך »
And will no pow'r his sinking spirit fave
[grave ? From the dark caves of death, and chambers of the
Each evening I behold the setting fun
With downward speed into the ocean run:
Yet the same light (pass but some fleeting hours)
Exerts his vigour, and renews his pow'r;
Stares the bright race again : his constant flame
Rises and sets, returning still the same.
I mark the various fury of the winds;
These neither seasons guide, nor orders binds :
They now dilare, and now contract their force :
Various their speed, but endless is their course.
From his first fountain and beginning ouze,
Down to the sea each brook and torrent flow: ;
Though sundry drops or leave, or (well the stream;
The whole still runs, with equal pace, the fame.
Still other waves fupply the rifing urns;
And the eternal flood no want of water mourns.
Why then must man obey the fad decree,
Which subjects neither fun, nor wind, nor sea ?
A flow'r, that does with opening morn arise,
And flourishing the day, at evening dies;
A winged eastern blast, just skimming o'er
The ocean's brow, and linking on the shore;
A fire, whose flames thro' crackling stubble fly i
A meteor fhooting from the summer sky;
A bowl a.down the bending mountain rollid;
A bubble breaking, and a fable told;
A noon-tide shadow, and a midnight dream
Are emblems, which with semblance apt proclaim
Our earthly course : But, O my soul ! so fast.
Must life run off; and death for ever last?
This dark opinion, sure, is too confin'd;
Else whence this hope, and terror of the mind?
Does something still, and somewhere yet remain,
Reward or punishment, delight or pain?
Say: fhall our relicks second birth receive ?
Sleep we to wake, and only die to live.?
When the fad wife has clos'd her husband's eyes,
And pierc'd the echoing vault with doleful cries.;
Lies the pale corpse not yet entirely dead?
The spirit only from the body fled,
The groffer part of heat and motion void,
To be by fire, or worm, or time destroy'd ;
The foul, immortal substance, to remain,
Conscious of joy, and capable of pain ?
And if her acts have been directed well,
While with her friendly clay she deign'd to dwell.;
Shall she with safety reach her pristine seat ?
Find her rest endless, and her bliss compleat?
And while the bury'd man we idly mourn;
Do angels joy to see his better half return?
But if she has deform'd this earthly life
With murd'rous rapine, and seditious strife;
Amaz’d, repuls’d, and by those angels driven
From the aetherial feat, and blissful bear'n,
In everlasting darkness muft she lie,
Still more unhappy, that she cannot die?
Amid two seas on one small point of land
Weary'd, uncertain, and amaz'd we stand :
On either side our thoughts incessant turn:
Forward we dread; and looking back we mourn.
Lofing the present in his dubious halte ;
And lost ourselves betwixt the future, and the past.
These cruel doubts contending in my breast,
My reason staggering, and my hopes oppress’d,
Once more I said: once more I will enquire,
What is this little, agile, pervious fire
This flutt'ring motion, which we call the mind?
How does she act ? and where is the confin'd?
Have we the pow'r to guide her, as we please ?
Whence then those evils, that obstruct our eafe?
We happiness pursue ; we fly from pain ;
Yet the pursuit, and yet the flight is vain :
And, while poor nature labours to be blest;
By day with pleasure, and by night with reft:
Some stronger pow'r eludes our fickly will;
Dalhes our rifing hope with certain ill;
And makes us with reflective trouble fee;
That all is destin'd, which we fancy free.
That Pow'r fuperior then, which rules our mind,
Is his decree by human pray’r inclin'd?
Will he for sacrifice our forrows ease?
And can our tears reverse his form decrees?
Then let religion aid, where reason fails :
Throw loads of incense in, to turn the scales:
And let the filent sanctuary show,
What from the babling schools we may not know,
How man may shun, or bear his destin'd part
of woe. What shall amend, or what abfolve our fate? Anxious we hover in a mediate ftate, Betwixt infinity and nothing: bounds, Or boundless terms, whose doubtful fenfe confounds. Unequal thoughts; whilft all we apprehend, Is, that our hopes must rife, our sorrows end; As our Creator deigns to be our friend,
I said; and instant bad the priests prepare
The ritual sacrifice, and folemn pray'r,
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.
Follow the chosen tribe from Levi sprung,
Chanting by just return the holy fong.
Along the choir in solemn state they past,
The anxious King came laft.
The sacred hymn perform’d, my promis'd vow
I paid: and bowing at the altar low,
Father of heav'n! I said, and judge of earth!
Whose word call'd out this univerfe to birth;
By whose kind pow'r and influencing care
The various creatures move, and live, and are ;
But, ceasing once that care, withdrawn that pow'rg
They move (alas !) and live, and are no more:
Omniscient Mafter, omnipresent King,
To thee, to thee, my last diftrefs I bring.
Thou, that can't still the raging of the seas,
Chain up the winds and bid the tempests cease ;
Redeem my shipwreck'd foul from raging gusts
Of cruel pallion, and deceitful lusts :
From storms of rage, and dang'rous rocks of pride,
Let thy strong hand this little veffel 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 landa
If, while this weary'd flesh draws fleeting breath, Not satisfy'd with life, afraid of death, It hap’ly be thy will, that I should know Glimpse of delight, or pause from anxious woe, From now, from instant now, great Sire, dispel The clouds that press my soul; from now reveal A gracious beam of light; from now inspire My tongue to Grg, my hand to touch the lyre ; My open'd thought to joyous prospect raise; And, for thy mercy, let me sing thy praise. Or, if thy will ordains, I still shall wait Some new Here-after, and a future ftate; Permit my strength, my weight of woe to bear; And raise my mind superior to my care. Let me, howe'er unable to explain The secret lab'rinths of thy ways to man, With humble zeal confess thy awful pow'r ; Still weeping hope, and wond ring still adore. So in my conquest be thy might declar'd: And, for thy justice, be thy name rever'd.
My pray’r scarce ended, a stupendous gloom Darkens the air ; loud thunder shakes the dome: To the beginning miracle facceed An awful Gilence, and religious dread. Sudden breaks forth a more than common day: The sacred wood, which on the altar lay, Untouch'd, unlighted glowsAmbrosial odor, such as never flows From Arab's gum, or the Sabaean rose, Does round the air evolving scenes diffuse : The boly ground is wet with heav'nly dews ;