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No hopes, no prospect, of a kind reprieve,
All their endeavours to preserve our breath, To stop our speedy passage to the tomb;
Though they do unsuccessful prove, How moving, and how mournful, is the fight! Shew us how much, how tenderly, they love, How wondrous pitiful, how wondrous sad!
But cannot cut off the entail of death. Where then is refuge, where is comfort, to be had Mournful they look, and crowd about our bed : In the dark minutes of the dreadful night,
One, with officious hafte, To chear our drooping souls for their amazing flight ? Brings us a cordiał we want sense to taste; Feeble and languishing in bed we lie,
Another softly raises up our head; Despairing to recover, void of reft ;
This wipes away the sweat ; that, fighing, cries Withing for death, and yet afraid to die :
See what convulsions, what strong agonies, Terrors and doubts distract our breast,
Both soul and body undergo ! With mighty agonies and mighty pains opprcft.
His pains no intermission know;
For every gasp of air he draws, returns in fighs. Our face is moisten'd with a clammy sweat ;
Each would his kind affiftance lend, Faint and irregular the pulses beat ;
To save his dear relation, or his dearer friend; The blood unactive grows,
But still in vain with destiny they all contend. And thickens as it flows,
Our father, pale with grief and watching grows, Depriv'd of all its vigour, all its vital heat.
Takes our cold hand in his, and cries, adica ! Our dying eyes roll heavily about,
Adieu, my child ! now I must follow you: Their light just going out;
Then weeps, and gently lays it down. And for foine kind afiftance call:
Our fons, who, in their tender years, But pity, useless pity 's all
Were objects of our cares, and of our fears, Our weeping friends can give,
Come trembling to our bed, and, kneeling, cry, Or we receive ;
Bless us, O father! now before you die ; Though their desires are great, their powers are small, Bless us, and be you bless'd to all etemity. The tongue 's unable to declare
Our friend, whom equal to ourselves we love, The pains and griefs, the miseries we bear ;
Compassionate and kind, How insupportable our torments are.
Cries, will you leave me here behind ? Music no more delights our deafening ears,
Without me fly to the bless'd seats above? Restores our joys, or diffipates our fears ;
Without me, did I say? Ah, no! But all is melancholy, all is sad,
Without thy friend thou canst not go: In robes of deepest mourning clad ;
For, though thou leav'st me groveling bere below, For, every faculty, and every sense,
My soul with thee shall upward fly, Partakes the woe of this dire exigence.
And bear thy spirit company,
Through the bright parlage of the yielding ky. · Then we are sensible too late,
Ev'n death, that parts thee from thyself, thall be 'Tis no advantage to be rich or great :
Incapable to separate For, all the fulsome pride and pageantry of state
(For 't is not in the power of fate) No confolation brings.
My friend, my best, my dearest friend, and me: Riches and honours then are useless things,
But, since it must be so, farewell; Tasteless, or bitter, all;
For ever! No; for we shall meet again, And, like the book which the apostle eat,
And live like gods, though now we die like men, To the ill-judging palate sweet,
In the eternal regions, where juft spirits dwell. But turn at last to nauseousness and gall.
The soul, unable longer to maintain Nothing will then our drooping spirits chear,
The fruitless and unequal strife, But the remembrance of good actions part.
Finding her weak endeavours vain, Virtue 's a joy that will for ever last,
To keep the counterscarp of life, And makes pale death less terrible appear;
By flow degrees, retires towards the heart, Takes out his baneful fting, and pallives our fear.
And fortifies that little fort In the dark anti-chamber of the grave
With all its kind artilleries of art ; What would we give (ev'n all we have,
Botanic legions guarding every port. All that our care and industry have gaind,
But death, whose arms no mortal can repel, All that our policy, our fraud, our art, obtain'd)
A formal siege disdains to lay; Could we recall those fatal hours again
Summons his fierce battalions to the fray, Which we consum'd in senseless vanities,
And in a minute ftorms the feeble citadel. Ambitious follies, or luxurious case !
Sometimes we may capitulate, and he For then they urge our terrors, and increase our pain
Pretends to make a solid peace; Our friends and relatives stand weeping by,
But 'tis all fham, all artifice, Diffolv'd in tears, to see os die,
That we may negligent and careless be: And plunge into the deep abyss of wide eternity.
For, if his armies are withdrawn to-day, In vain they mourn, in vain they grieve :
And we believe no danger near, Thcir sorrows cannot ours relieve.
But all is peaceable, and all is clear;
His troops return some unsuspected way;
While in the soft embrace of feep we lie,
The secret murderers ftab us, and we die. Besides, the sentence is irrevocable too.
Can never miss
Where joy in full perfection fows, And in an endless circle moves, Through the vast round of bcatific love,
Which no cessation knows.
Since our first parents' fall, Inevitable death descends on all ;
A portion none of human race can miss
But that which makes it sweet or bitter, is
Loaded with crimes and infamy ;
The earnest of that vaft, ftupendous woe,
Infernal spirits hover in the air, Like ravenous wolves, to seize upon the prey, And hurry the departed fouls away To the dark receptacles of despair : Where they must dwell till that tremendous day,
When the loud trump fall call them to appear Before a Judge most terrible, and most severe ;
by whose just sentence they must go To everlasting pains, and endless woe.
But the good man, whore soul is pure,
Unspotted, regular, and free
Of mercy and of pardon sure,
And sees the dawning of a glorious day ; Sees crowds of angels ready to convey
His soul whene'er she takes her fight To the surprizing manfions of immortal light. Then the celestial guards around him stand ; Nor suffer the black dæmons of the air T'oppose his passage to the promis'd land,
Or terrify his thoughts with wild despair ;
His prayers, his charity, his virtues, press
No one of all the happy number is lost :
She palles up in triumph through the sky;
Of angels; who, with a celestial song,
OW the black days of universal doom,
Which wondrous prophecies foretold, are come: What strong convulsions, what stupendous woe,
Muít linking nature undergo ;
With fearful groans, and hideous cries,
Fill the prelaging kies ;
Unable to support the weight
Methinks I hear her fummon all
And trembling, cry aloud, Prepare,
See, see the tragical portents,
Through the dark concave of the troubled sky ;
Like baleful torches, O they come,
And, scattering round their pestilential rays, Strike the affrighted nations with a wild amaze.
Vast sheets of fame, and globes of fire, By an impetuous wind are driven
Through all the regions of the inferior heaven; Till, hid in fulphurous smoke, they seemingly expire.'
If therefore all must quit the stage,
When, or how soon, we cannot know;
In the fresh bloom of youth, or wither'd age;
For as we die, we must remain ;
Hereafter all our hopes are vain, To make our peace with Heaven, or to return again.
The heathen, who no better understood
Than what the light of nature taught, declar'd, No future misery could be prepard For the sincere, the merciful, the good ;
But, if there was a state of rest,
We have the promise of th' eternal truth,
Sad and amazing 'tis to see,
This fcorching ball !
Through the whole mournful earth?
Their malice and revenge no limits know,
Awake, ye dead, awake, he cries; But, in the universal tumult, all destroy.
(For all must come)
All that had human breath, arise,
To hear your last, unalterable doom.
At this the ghaftly tyrant, who had sway'd
So many thousand ages uncontrollid, With unrelenting fury, does inclose them round :
No longer could his sceptre hold; And whilft for mercy some aloud implore
But gave up all, and was himself a captive made. The God they ridicul'd before ;
The scatter'd particles of human clay, And others, raving with their woe,
Which in the filent grave's dark chambers lay, (For hunger, thirst, despair, they undergo)
Resume their pristine forms again, Blaspheme and curse the Power they should adore: And now from mortal, grow immortal mea. The earth, parch'd up with drought, her jaws extends, Stupendous energy of sacred Power, And opening wide a dreadful tomb,
Which can collect whatever cast
The smallest atoms, and that shape restore
Which they had worn so many years before,
That thrcugh strange accidents and numerous danger The trembling Alps abfcond their aged heads
past ! In mighty pillars of infernal fmoke, Which from their bellowing caverns broke,
See how the joyful angels fly
From every quarter of the sky,
To gather and to convey all
The pious fons of human race,
To one capacious place,
See with what tenderness and love they bear
Those righteous souls through the tumultuous No showers descend from the malignant sky,
Whilst the ungodly stand below, To cool the burning of the thirsty field ;
Raging with shame, confufion, and despair, The trees no leaves, no grass the meadows, yield,
Amidst the burning overthrow,
Expecting fiercer torment, and acuter woe.
Round them infernal spirits howling fly; To larger streams their tribute pay,
O horror, curses, tortures, chains ! they cry Nor to the ebbing ocean they;
And roar aloud with execrable blasphemy.
Who once diffolv'd in pleafure's lap,
And laugh'd at this tremendous day, For ev'n the deep itself is not secure,
To rocks and mountains now to hide them cry, Bu belching fübterraneous fires,
But rocks and mountains all in alhes lie. Increases still the scalding calenture,
Their hame 's fo mighty, and so itrong their fet, Which neither earth, nor air, nor water, can endure.
That, rather than appear
Before a God incens'd, they would be hurld The fun, by sympathy, concern'd
Among the burning ruins of the world, At those convulsions; pangs, and agonies,
And lie conceald, if posible, for ever there. Which on the whole creation seize,
Time was they would not own a Deity, Is to substantial darkness turnd.
Nor after death a future state; The neighbouring moon, as if a purple food
But now, by sad experience, find, too late, O’erflow'd her tottering orb, appears
There is, and terrible to that degree, Like a huge mass of black corrupted blood ;
That rather than behold his face, they'd cease to be. For she herself a diffolution fears.
And sure 'tis better, if Heaven would give confes, The larger planets, which once shone so bright,
To have no being ; but they must remain, With the reflected rays of borrow'd light,
For ever, and for ever be in pain.
O inexpresiible, stupendous punishment,
Which cannot be endur'd, yet must be undervei.
But now, the eastern skies expanding wide, (For fire, confusion, horror, and despair,
The glorious Judge omnipotent descends, Fill every region of the tortur'd earth and air)
And to the sublunary world his passage bends ;
Round him the bright ethereal armies flý,
And loud triumphant hallelujahs fing,
With songs of praise, and hymns of victory, The ultimate event and fate of a!! below.
To their celeftial king i
All glory, power, dominion, majesty,
To hope for pity, is in vain; Now, and for everlasting ages, be
The dye is cast, and not to be recall'd again. To the Essential Onc, and Co-eternal Three.
Two mighty books are by two angels brought : Perish that world, as 'tis decreed,
In this, impartially recorded, stands Which saw the God incarnate bleed !
The law of niture, and divine commands :
In that, each action, word, and thought,
Who all the fury of cemptation stood,
Attended by their guardian angels come
To the 'remendous bar of final doom.
In vain the grind accuser, railing, brings
Whose guilt wip'd off by penitential tears,
And their Redeemer's blood and agonies, The good behold this glorious light !
No more to their astonishment appears,
But in the secret womb of dark oblivion lies. ,
Come, now, my friends, he cries, ye fons of grace, In sacred discipline and order, stand
Partakers once of all my wrongs and share, The peers and princes of the sky,
Despis’d and hated for my name; As they excel in glory or command.
Come to your Saviour's and your God's embrace; Upon the right hand that illustrious crowd, Ascend, and those bright diadems possess, In the white bolom of a thining cloud,
For you by my eternal Father made, Whose souls abhorring all ignoble crimes,
Ere ine foundation of the world was laid ; Did, with a steady course, pursue,
And that surprizing happiness, His holy precepts in the worst of times,
Immense as my own Godhead, and will ne'er be less. Maugre what earth or hell, what man or devils could do, For when I languishing in prison lay, And now that God they did to death adore,
Naked, and starv'd almost for want of bread, For whom such torments and such pains they bore,
You did your kindly visits pay, Returns to place them on those thrones above,
Both cloath'd my body, and my hunger fed. Where, undisturb’d, uncloy'd, they will possess Weary'd with fickness, or oppress'd with grief, Divine, substantial happiness,
Your hand was always ready to supply: Unbounded as his power, and lasting as his love.
Whenc'er I wanted, you were always by,
To share my sorrows, or to give relief.
In all distress, so tender was your love, Go, bring, the Judge impartial, frowning, cries, I could no anxious trouble bear ; Those rebel fons, who did my laws despise ; No black misfortune, or vexatious care, Whom neither threats nor promises could move, But you were still impatient to remove, Not all my sufferings, nor all my love,
And mourn'd, your charitable hand should unsuccessful To save themselves from cverlasting miseries.
prove: At this ten millions of archangels flew
All this you did, though not to me
And shall for ever live
In all the glories that a God can give
Or a created being 's able to receive.
At this the architects divine on high
Innumerable thrones of glory raise, Cruih us to nothing, or suspend our woe.
On which they, in appointed order, place, But if it cannot, cannot be,
The human cohcirs of eternity, And we must go into à gulph of fire,
And with united hymns the God incarnate praise ; (For who can with Omnipotence contend?)
O holy, holy, holy, Lord,
Eternal God, Almighty Onc,
De Thou for ever, and be Thou alone,
By all thy creatures, constantly ador'd !
Ineffable, co-equal Three,
Who from non-entity gave birth
To angels and to men, to heaven and to earth,
Yet always wast Thyself, and wilt for ever be.
But for thy mercy, we had ne'er poliest
These thrones, and this immense felicity;
Could ne'er have been so infinitely bleft!
Therefore all Glory, Power, Dominion, Maiesty, Our understanding they with darkness fill,
Cause strong corruptions, and pervert she will.
On these the foul, as on some flowing tide,
Must sit, and on the raging billows ride, Then the incarnate Godhead turns his face
Hurried away; for how can be with tood To those upon the left, and cries,
Th’ impetuous torrent of the boiling blood ? (Almighty vengeance flashing in his eyes)
Be gone, false hopes, for all our learning's vain; Ye impious, unbelieving race,
Can we be free where these the rule maintain ? To those eternal torments go,
These are the tools of knowledge which we use; Prepar'd for those rebellious fons of light,
The spirits heated, will strange things produce. In burning darkness and in faming night,
Tell me, whoe'er the passions could control,
Or from the body disengage the soul :
To conquer truth, and unmix'd knowledge gain: Inclofing all the miserable crowd,
Through all the bulky volumes of the dead, A mighty hurricane of thunder rose,
And through those books that modern times have bred, And huri'd them all into a lake of fire,
With pain we travel, as through moorish ground, Which never, never, never can expire ;
Where scarce one useful plant is ever found;
O'er-run with errors, which fo thick appear, Whilst with their God the righteous mount on high, Our search proves vain, no spark of truth is there. In glorious triumph passing through the sky,
What 's all the noisy jargon of the schools,
But idle nonsense of laborious fools,
Does not enlighten Reason, but confound :
A cloud of darkness rising on the mind;
In controverted points can Reason fway,
When paffion, or conceit, still hurries us away! NHAPPY man! who, through successive years, Thus his new notions Sherlock would instil,
From early youth to life's last childhood errs : And clear the greatest mysteries at will; No tooner born but proves a foe to truth ;
But, by unlucky wit, perplex': them more, For infant Reason is o’erpower'd in youth.
And made them darker than they were before. The cheats of sense will half our learning share;
South foon oppos’d him, out of chriftian zeal; And pre-conceptions all our knowledge are.
Shewing how well he could dispute and rail. Reason, 'tis true, thould over sense preside :
How shall we e'er discover which is right, Correct our notions, and our judgments guide;
When both so eagerly maintain the fight? But falle opinions, rooted in the mind,
Each does the other's arguments deride; Hoodwink the foul, and keep our Reason blind.
Each has the church and scripture on his fide. Reason 's a taper, which but faintly burns ;
The fharp, ill-natur'd combat 's but a jeft; A languid flame, that glows, and dies by turns : Both may be wrong ; one, perhaps, errs the leaft. We see 't a little while, and but a little way;
How ihall we know which articles are true, We travel by its light, as men by day:
The old ones of the church, or Burnet's new? But quickly dying, it forsakes us roon,
In paths uncertain and unsafe he treads, Like morning-Stars, that never stay till noon.
Who blindly follows other fertile heads;
What sure, what certain mark have we to know, The foul can scarce above the body rise ; And all we see is with corporeal eyes.
The right or wrong, 'twixt Burgess, Wake, and Howe? Life now does scarce one glimpse of light display; Should unturn'd nature crave the medic art, We mourn in darkness, and despair of day :
What health can that contentious tribe impart? Tliat natural night, once drest with orient bcams, Every physician writes a different bill, Įs now diminish d, and a twilight seems;
And gives no other Reason but his will. A miscellaneous composition, made
No longer boast your art, ye impious race; Of night and day, of sunshine and of shade.
Let wars 'twixt Alcalies and Acids cease; Through an uncertain medium now we look,
And proud – Il with Colbatch be at peace. And find that falsehood, which for truth we took : Gibbons and Radcliffe do but rarely guess; So rays projected from the eastern skies,
To-day they've good, to-morrow, no success. Shew the false day before the sun can rise.
Ev'n Garth and * Maurus sometimes shall prevail, That little knowledge now which man obtains,
When Gibson, learned Hannes, and Tyson, fail. From outward objects, and from sense he gains :
And, more than once, we 've seen, that blundering He, like a wretched Nave, must plod and sweat;
Sloane, By day must toil, by night that toil repeat ;
Milling the gout, by chance has hit the ftose; And yet, at last, what little fruit he gains !
The patient does the lucky error find; A beggar's harvest, glean’d with mighty pains !
A cure he works, though not the cure design d. The passions, still predominant, will rule Ungovern'd, rude, not bred in Reason's school;
# Sir Richard Blackmore.