Which late they fann'd: now other scenes than
Of woody pride, succeed, or flow'ry vales :
As when a sudden tempest veils the sky,
Before serene, and streaming lightnings fly;
The prospect shifts, and pitchy volumes roll,
Along the drear expanse, from pole to pole;
Terrific horrors all the void invest,
Whilst the arch-spectre issues forth confest.
The bard beholds him beckon to the tomb
Of yawning night, eternity's dread womb;
In vain attempts to fly; th’impassive air
Retards his steps, and yields him to despair; . .
He feels a gripe that thrills through ev'ry vein,
And panting struggles in the fatal chain.
Here paus’d the fell destroyer to survey
The pride, the boast of man, his destin'd prey;
Prepar’d to strike, he pois'd aloft the dart,
And plung'd the steel in virtue's bleeding heart.
Abhorrent, back the springs of life rebound,
And leave on Nature's face a grisly wound;
A wound enrolld among Britannia's woes,
That ages yet to follow cannot close.
Oh, Goldsmith! how shall sorrow now essay
To murmur out her slow incondite lay?
In what sad accents mourn the luckless hour
That yielded thee to unrelenting pow'r;