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Hail, genial hope! the balm of all our care;
Strong as its rock, and as its fountain clear.
Confiftent act; that as it trufts, obeys;
Whose meek compliance is its fureft praise:
Repentant hope; more ftudious to perform,
Than rafhly vow; or with prefumption warm
On her own ftrength, for fafety to depend,
Whose boast is shame, and fhame shall be its end.
Hail, wond'rous grace! of love the art divine!
Her judgments, MERCIES; and her threats, benign,
Pierc'd with her cries, the left her radiant feat,
To blefs her foes, and raise them at her feet:
Bids them arife, but take the warning given,
Nor once ungrateful, war again with heaven.
Such warning OURS, to fave from foul despair;
Who fpar'd the laft, now fpares another year.
But tried once more, and once more tried in vain,
All hope is dafh'd; juftice remounts again
Her penal throne; prefenting from afar
The scourge of famine, and the sword of war.
Bids death advance in all its ghaftly forms,
The whirlwind rattles, and the tempeft ftorms.
Red Æther's lightning ftreams along the vale,
The skies roll thunder, and the clouds drop hail.
Huge piles of fmoke the hemifphere becloud;
The fun fhines darknefs, and its rival blood.
The falling ftars defert the spangled sphere,
And, faint, expire amidst the kindling air.
The impetuous ocean from its centre, roars,
And o'er the land a diftant deluge pours.
Her barriers shake, the Alpin'd cliffs divide,
Rush from their height, and plunge the embillow'd
Suffufive blafts from mines fulphureous blow; [tide.
Rocks whirl o'er rocks, and feas to mountains grow.
The eternal hills, convulfive on their bafe,
Rife with the ftorm, and quit their natal place.
A horrid gloom o'er nature's face is spread,
And Tophet rous'd prepares to meet her dead.
Mens hearts for fear of greater evils fail,
While guilt o'er hope, and death o'er life prevail.
Old Time aghaft, now rends his hoary hairs;
Yields his domain, and dies amidst his years.
The final trump, of seven-fold thunder found,
Blows, "Cut it down; why cumbers it the ground?
"Too long already has the land been fpar'd;
"Double their guilt, be doubled its reward!"
Thus nature staggers, and creation fails!
While mercy, hopeless, drops the o'er-balanc'd fcales;
Turns from her charge, and pointing to the rod,
Cries, "There, ye rebels, go and meet your GOD!"
ON SEEING A GROUP OF TREES.
AINT emblem that, of EDEN's happy shade, For pureft love and contemplation made: Where facred goodness, manifeft, began To shine diftinguish'd in the creature man: Where evil firft of innocence took place, And, but for Chrift, had damn'd a ruin'd race!
ROM the third morning dawn'd the orient light,
When Abraham gain'd the deftin'd mountain's
And Ifaac, now their journey's period found,
Had thrown his cumbrous burthen to the ground,
His load of wood, with folemn right affign'd
To burn the facrifice by GOD enjoin'd,
And now the ready care and zealous toil
Of fire and fon had rear'd the facred pile,
When thus (yet oft' with fighs his utt'rance broke,
And oft' with gushing tears) the patriarch fpoke.
66 Thou, in whom heaven's beft love to me was
Kind, good, and duteous; O my darling fon! [fhown,
Firm to my foul, whom all dear ties engage,
Crown of my hopes, and comfort of my age;
Now be the ardor of thy faith display'd,
And fummon all my virtue to thy aid,
To hear the doom by GOD's own voice decreed,
That thou, O can I speak it! thou must bleed:
Thy harmless life, fo runs the dread command,
Muft here be offer'd by thy father's hand.
Fain, fain, heaven knows, by strong reluctance preft,
And partial nature pleading in my breast,
Fain would I have miftook the facred call:
"Twas dream, 'twas fancy, 'twas illufion all.
Can GOD, I reafon'd, his own law control,
Imprefs'd fo deeply on the human foul;
His law, which as the wrath divine they dread,
Prohibits man man's vital blood to fhed?
Did he establifh this a rule to bind
Through all fucceffive ages all mankind?
And can he, faithful, gracious, juft, and mild,
Can he command me to deftroy my child?
Alas! why not? who fhall maintain the strife
With him, fole fov'reign, arbiter of life?
On these plain terms he gives us all to fee
New-born th' ætherial light, and bids us be;
That whenfoever he, or soon, or late,
Shall fummon us to leave our earthly state,
The body its congenial duft must claim,
The foul return to GOD from whom it came.
And fure for this, the time, the means, the way,
'Tis his to choofe, his providential fway
Inflicts the fudden ftroke, or flow decay:
To each inferior cause he gives its weight,
And arms with all its darts the hand of fate.
"Then, great Creator, fince 'tis thy decree
That Ifaac now mufi fall, and fall by me,
Proftrate and mute, I bow before thy throne,
Thy name be hallow'd, and thy will be done.
Oft' thy dread voice has fill'd me with delight,
Or in the trance, or vifion of the night;
And still as I obey'd it hast thou shed
Riches, and peace, and honor round my head.
And fhall I now refift the well-known call?
And grudge one gift to thee who gav'st me all?
Haft thou fo bleft my whole long life-time paft,
And fhall I now forfake thee at the last ?
Yet, my good GOD, all gracious as thou art,
Forgive the yearnings of a parent's heart;
That my poor fervice may be rightly paid,
Support my frailnefs with thy heavenly aid,
And fuffer not, by this hard inftance try'd,
My ftedfaft faith in thee to start afide."
Thus far his grief the rev'rend fire expreft,
A fpacious flood of tears forbad the reft.
When Ifaac thus; "Ill muft it surely fuit,
When GOD commands, for mortals to difpute;
His will once spoke the whole creation awes,
And what am I, to make a moment's pause?
But here fo plainly stands his love exprest,
Here to obey, is only to be bleft;
'Tis only earlier to be call'd away
TO GOD's own prefence, and the realms of day,
Snatch'd from the ill to come, nor doom'd to know
The various bitterness of human woe.
Can I beneath good Abraham's forming hand,
In heavenly truth and steady virtue train'd,
Taught, O my GOD, with one perpetual aim,
To love thy fervice, and to fear thy name;
Can I not hope, unbodied when I roam
Where fp'rits immortal find their deftin'd home
In that new world thy goodness still to share,
And praise and bless my kind preserver there?
Can I thy mercy not securely trust
To hide my human frailties in the duft,