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And double shame reflect upon an age
Few are the crimes against or God or man,
Affrighted, to its fountain your chill'd blood,
When, deck'd in all the horrid pomp of death,
And Gothick rage surpassing, to the flames
The weaker sex,—incredible—you doom;
Denouncing punishments the more severe,
As less of strength is found to bear their force?
Shame on the savage practice! Oh stand forth
In the great cause,—Compassion's, Equity's,
Your Nation's, Truth's, Religion's, Honour's cause,
— Stand forth, reflecting Eden ! Well thou'st toil'd
Already in the honourable field:
Might thy young labours animate, the hour
Auspicious is arrived. Sages esteem'd,
And venerably learn'd, as in the school
Of legal science, so in that of worth
And sentiment exalted, fill the bench:
And lo! the imperial Muscovite, intent
On public-weal, a bright example shines
Of civilizing justice. Sages, rise?
The cause, the animating pattern calls.
Oh, I adjure you, with my parting breath,
By all your hopes of mercy and of peace,
By all the blood henceforth unjustly spilt,
Or wantonly by all the sorrows deep,
And scalding tears shed for that blood so spilt!
In God's tremendous name, lo, I adjure,
Without procrastination to the task
Men, ralionals, immortals,—>Sons of God.
Oh prosperous be your labours, crown'd your zeal!
But, ah, why droops my soul? why o'er me thus
Who reprobate with horrour thy ill deed:
Of Justice and of Mercy! wilt thou too,
In fearful indignation on my soul,
My anguish'd soul, the door of pity close,
And shut me from thee ever ?—Lo! in dust,
Humiliate, prostrate, weeping 'fore thy throne—
Before thy cross, oh dying Friend of man,
Friend of repentant sinners I confess
And mourn my deep transgressions, as the sand
Innumerous, as the glowing crimson red;
With every aggravation, every guilt
Accumulate and burden'd! Against light,
'Gainst love, and clearest knowledge perpetrate!
Stampt with Ingratitude's most odious stain;
Ingratitude to thee; whose favouring love
Had bless'd me, had distinguish'd me with grace,
With goodness far beyond my wish or worth!
Ingratitude to man; w hose partial ear
Attended to my doctrine with delight;
And from my zeal conspicuous justly claim'd
Conspicuous example! Lord, 1 sink
O'erwhelm'd with self-conviction, with dismay,
With anguish and confusion past compare!
And could I weep whole seas of briny tears
In painful penitence; could I deplore
From my heart's aching fountain, drop by drop,
My crimes and follies; my deep grief and sham«
For vile dishonour on thy gospel brought;
For vile discredit to my order done;
For deep offence against my country's laws;
For deep offence to pity and to man,—
A patriarchal age would be too short
To speak xny sorrows and lament my sins;
Chief, as I am, of sinners! Guiltier far
Than he who, falling, at the cock's shrill call
Rose, and repented weeping: Guiltier far—
I dare not say, than Judas; for my heart
Hath ever loved,—could never have betray'd,
Oh never, never Thee, dear Lord! to death;
Tho' cruelly, unkindly, and unwise
That heart hath sacrificed its truth and peace,
—For what a shameful, what a paltry price !—
To sin, detested sin; and done thee wrong,
Oh blessed source of all its good, its hope!
For tho' thus sunk, thus sinful, sorrowing thus,
It dare not, cannot Judas' crime commit,
Last crime,—and of thy mercy, Lord, despair!
But conscious of its guilt: contrite and plunged