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With such mad seas the daring * Gama fought,
For many a day, and many a dreadful night,
Incessant, labouring round the stormy Cape;
By bold ambition led, and bolder thirst
Of gold. For then from ancient gloom emergʻd 1005
The rising world of trade : the Genius, then,
Of navigation, that, in hopeless floth,
Had slumber'd on the vast Atlantic deep,
For idle ages, starting, heard at laft
The + Lustanian Prince; who, Heaven-inspir’d, 1010
To love of ufeful glory rous'd mankind,
And in unbounded Commerce mix'd the world.
Increasing still the terrors of these storm's,
His jaws horrific arm'd with threefold fate,
Here dwells the direful shark. Lur'd by the scent 1015
Of steaming crowds, of rank disease, and death,
Behold! he rushing cuts the briny flood,
Swift as the gale can bear the ship along;
And, from the partners of that cruel trade,
Which spoils unhappy Guiney of her fons,
Demands his share of prey; demands themselves,
The stormy fates defcend: one death involves
Tyrants and Naves; when ftrait, their mangled limbs
Crashing at once, he dyes the purple seas
* Vasco de Gama, the first who sailed round Africa, by the Cape of Good Hope, to the East Indies.
+ Don Henry, third son to John the First, king of Portugal. His strong genius to the discovery of new countries was the chief source of all the modern improvements in navigatien.
With gore, and riots in the vengeful meal. 1025
When o'er this world, by equinoctial rains
Flcoded immense, looks out the joyless fun,
And draws the copious steam : from swampy fens,
Where putrefaction into life ferments,
And breathes destructive myriads'; or from woods,
Impenetrable fhades, receffes foul,
rank and blue corruption wrapt,
Whole gloomy horrors yet no desperate foot
Has ever dar'd to pierce; then, wasteful, forth
Walks the dire Power of pestilent disease.
A thousand hideous fiends her course attend,
Sick Nature blasting, and to heartless woe,
And feeble defolation, cafting down
The towering hopes and all the pride of Man.
Such as, of late, at Carthagena quench'd 1040
The British fire. You, gallant Vernon, faw
The miserable scene ; you, pitying, faw.
To infant-weakness sunk the warrior's arm;
Saw the deep-racking pang, the ghastly form,
The lip pale-quivering, and the beamless eye 1045
No more with ardour bright : you heard the groans
Of agonizing ships from shore to shore ;
Heard, nightly plung'd amid the fullen waves,
The frequent corse ; while, on each other fix'd,
In fad prefage, the blank assistants seem'd, 1050
Silent, to ask, whom Fate would next demand.
What need I mention those inclement skies, Where, frequent o’er the sickening city, Plague, The fiercest child of Nemesis divine,
Descends ? * From Ethiopia's poison’d woods
From stifled Cairo's filth, and fetid fields
With locuft-armies putrefying heap'd,
This great destroyer sprung. Her awful rage
The brutes escape: Man is her destin'd prey,
Intemperate Man! and, o'er his guilty domes, 1060
She draws a close incumbent cloud of death;
Uninterrupted by the living winds,
Forbid to blow a wholesome breeze; and stain'd
many a mixture by the fun, fuffus'd,
Of angry aspect. Princely wisdom, then, 1065
Dejects his watchful eye; and from the hand
Of feeble Justice, ineffectual, drop
The sword and balance : mute the voice of joy,
And hush'd the clamour of the busy world.
Empty the streets, with uncouth verdure clad; 1070
Into the worst of desarts fudden turn'd
The chearful haunt of Men, unless escap'd
From the doom'd house, where matchless horror reigns,
Shut up by barbarous fear, the smitten wretch,
With frenzy wild, breaks loose; and, loud to heaven
Screaming, the dreadful policy arraigns,
Inhuman, and unwife. The fullen door,
Yet uninfected, on its cautious hinge
Fearing to turn, abhors society :
Dependants, friends, relations, Love himself, 080
Savag'd by woe, forget the tender tie,
* These are the causes supposed to be the first origin of the Plague, in Dr. Mead's elegant book on that fubject.
The sweet engagement of the feeling heart.
But vain their selfish care : the circling sky,
The wide enlivening air, is full of fate;
And, struck by turns, in folitary pangs
They fall, unbleft, untended, and unmourn'd.
Thus o'er the proftrate city black Despair
Extends her raven wing; while, to complete
The scene of defolation, stretch'd around,
The grim guards ftand, denying all retreat, 1090
And give the flying wretch a better death.
Much yet remains unsung: the rage intense Of brazen-vaulted skies, of iron fields, Where drought and famine ftarve the blasted year : Fir’d by the torch of noon to tenfold rage, 1095 Th’infuriate hill that shoots the pillar'd flame'; And, rous'd within the fubterranean world, Th'expanding earthquake, that refiftless shakes Aspiring cities from their solid base, And buries mountains in the flaming gulph. But 'tis enough; return, my vagrant Muse: A nearer scene of horror calls thee home.
Behold, flow-settling o'er the lurid grove Unusual darknefs broods; and growing gains The full poffeffion of the sky, furcharg'd 1105 With wrathful vapour, from the secret beds, Where sleep the mineral generations, drawn. Thence nitre, fulphur, and the fiery spume Of fat bitumen, steaming of the day, With various-tinctur'd trains of latent flame, Pollute the ky, and in yon baleful cloud, VOL. 1,
A reddening gloom, a magazine of fate,
Ferment; till, by the touch ethereal rous'd,
The dash of clouds, or irritating war
Of fighting winds, while all is calm below, I115
They furious fpring. A boding silence reigns,
Dread through the dun expanse; fave the dull found
That from the mountain, previous to the storm,
Rolls o’er the muttering earth, disturbs the flood,
And shakes the forest-leaf without a breath.
Prone, to the lowest vale, th' aërial tribes
Descend: the tempest-loving raven scarce
Dares wing the dubious dusk. In rueful gaze
The cattle stand, and on the scowling heavens
Cast a deploring eye; by man forsook,
1125 Who to the crowded cottage hies him fast, Or seeks the shelter of the downward cave,
'Tis listening fear and dumb.amazement all: When to the startled eye the sudden glance Appears far fouth, eruptive through the cloud ; 1130 And following flower, in explosion vast, The Thunder raises his tremendous voice. At first, heard solemn o'er the verge of heaven, The tempest growls; but as it nearer comes, And rolls its awful burden on the wind,
1135 The lightnings flash a larger curve, and more The noise astounds : till over head a sheet Of livid flame discloses wide ; then shuts, And opens wider; fhuts and opens still Expansive, wrapping æther in a blaze.
1140 Follows the loosen'd aggravated roar,