« ZurückWeiter »
Which spoils unhappy Guinea of her sons,
1020 Demands his share of prey demands themselves. The stormy fates descend: one death involves Tyrants and slaves ; when strait, their mangled limbs Crashing at once, he dyes the purple seas With gore, and riots in the vengeful meal.
1025 When o'er this world, by.equinoctial rains Flooded immense, looks out the joyless sun, And draws the copious steam : from swampy fens, Where putrefaction into life ferments, And breathes destructive myriads-; or from woods, 1030 Impenetrable shades, recesses foul, In vapours rank and blue corruption wrapt, Whose gloomy horrors yet no desperate foot Has ever dared to pierce ; then, wasteful, forth Walks the dire Power of pestilent disease.
1035 A thousand hideous fiends her course attend, Sick Nature blasting, and to heartless woe, And feeble desolation, casting down The towering hopes and all the pride of Man. Such as, of late, at Carthagena quenched
1040 The British fire. You, gallant VERNON, saw The miserable scene ; you, pitying, saw 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 plunged amid the sullen waves, The frequent corse ; while on each other fixed, In sad presage, the blank assistants seen
1050 Silent, to ask, whom Fate would next demand.
What nzed I mention those inclement skies,
Awful effects of the Plague.
Where, frequent o'er the sickening city, Plague,
Her awful rage
1065 Dejects his watchful eye ; and from the hand Of feeble justice, ineffectual, drop The sword and balance : mute the voice of joy, And hushed the clamour of the busy world. Empty the streets, with uncouth verdure clad ; 1070 Into the worst of deserts sudden turned The cheerful haunt of Men : unless escaped From the doomed 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,
1076 Inhuman, and unwise. The sullen door, Yet uninfected, on its cautious hinge Fearing to turn, abhors society : Dependants, friends, relations, Love himself, 1080 Savaged by woe, forget the tender tie, The sweet engagement of the feeling heart.
* These are the causes supposed to be the first origin of the Plague, in Dr. Mead's elegant book on that subject.
Earthquake and Tempest.
10 But vain their selfish care : the circling sky,
TE The wide enlivening air is full of fate ; And, struck by turns, in solitary pangs
DI They fall, unblest, untended, and unmourned.
TI Thus o'er the prostrate city black Despair
Much yet remains unsung : the rage intense
A And buries mountains in the flaming gulph. 110 T But 'tis enough ; return my vagrant Muse : A nearer scene of horror calls thee home.
T Behold, slow-settling o'er the lurid grove Unusual darkness broods; and growing gains
T The full possession of the sky, surcharged
1105 ī With wrathful vapour, from the secret beds,
10 Where sleep the mineral generations, drawn. Thence Nitre, Sulphur, and the fiery spume Of fat Bitumen, steaming on the day,
F With various-tinctured trains of latent flame, 1119 Pollute the sky, and in yon baleful cloud, A reddening gloom, a magazine of fate, Ferment ; till, by the touch ethereal roused, The dash of clouds, or irritating war,
Of fighting winds, while all is calm below,
1115 They furious spring. A boding silence reigns, Dread through the dun expanse ; save the dull sound 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.
1120 Prone, to the lowest vale, the 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,
1123 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 south, eruptive through the cloud ; 1130 And following slower, 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 ; shuts and opens still Expansive, wrapping ether in a blaze.
1140 Follows the loosened aggravated roar, Enlarging, deepening, mingling; peal on peal Crushed horrible, convulsing heaven and earth.
Down comes a deluge of sonorous hail, Or prone-descending rain. Wide-rent, the clouds 1145 Pour a whole flood; and yet, its flame unquenched,
Celadon and Amelia.
The unconquerable lightning struggles through,
Guilt hears appalled, with deeply troubled thought.
1175 And his the radiance of the risen day.
They loved : but such their guileless passion was, As in the dawn of time informed the heart