Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

THE LAST DAY.

A POEM.

IN THREE BOOKS.

Venit summa dies................... Virg.

BOOK 1.

Ipse pater, media nimborum in nocte corusca Fulmina molitur dextra. Quo maxima motu Terra tremit: fugere feræ ; et mortalia corda Per gentes humilis stravit pavor.................Virg.

WHILE others sing the fortune of the great Empire and arms, and all the pomp of stare, With Britain's hero* set their souls on fixe, And grow immortal as his deeds inspire;, I draw a deeper scene ; a scene tliat yields A louder trumpet, and more dreadful fields; The world alarm’d, both earth and heaven o'erthrown, And gasping Nature's last tremendous groan; Death's ancient sceptre broke, the teeming tomb, The righteous Judge, and man's eternal doom.

* The duke of Marlborough.

'Twixt joy and pain I view the bold design,
And ask my anxious heart if it be mine.
Whatever great or dreadful has been done
Within the sight of conscious stars or sun
Is far beneath my daring. I look down
On all the splendors of the British crown.
This globe is for my verse a narrow bound ;
Attend me, all ye glorious worlds around !
0! all ye angels, howsoe'er disjoin'd,
Of ev'ry various order, place, and kind,
Hear, and assist, a feeble mortal's lays;
'Tis our eternal King I strive to praise.

But chiefly thou, great Ruler! Lord of all!
Before whose throne archangels prostrate fall,
::If at-thy.nod, from discord, and from night,
-Sprang beautý, ånd yon sparkling worlds of light;
Exalt e’en; mo; all inward tumults quell;
The clouds and darkness of my mind dispel;
Tomy great subject thou my breast inspire,
And raise my; labering soul with equal fire.

Man bear thy brow aloft, view ev'ry grace In God's great offspring, beauteous Nature's face; See Spring's gay bloom, see golden Autumn's store, See how Earth smiles, and hear old Ocean roar, Leviathans but heave their cumbrous mail, It makes a tide, and wind-bound navies sail,

Here forests rise, the mountain's awful pride ;
Here rivers measure climes, and worlds divide ;
There vallies, fraught with gold's resplendent seeds,
Hold kings' and kingdoms' fortunes in their beds :
There to the skies aspiring hills ascend,
And into distant lands their shades extend.
View cities, armies, fleets; of fleets the pride,
See Europe's law in Albion's channel ride,
View the whole earth's vast landscape unconfin'd,
Or view in Britain all her glories join'd.

Then let the firmament thy wonder raise ;
'Twill raise thy wonder, but transcend thy praise.
How far from east to west! the lab’ring eye
Can scarce the distant azure bounds descry:
Wide theatre! where tempests play at large,
And God's right hand can all its wrath discharge.
Mark how those radiant lamps inflame the pole,
Call forth the seasons, and the year control :
They shine thro' time with an unalter'd ray,
See this grand period rise, and that decay:
So vast, this world's a grain; yet myriads grace,
With golden pomp, the throng'd ethereal space;
So bright, with such a wealth of glory stor’d,
"Twere sin in Heathens not to have ador'd.

How great, how firm, how sacred, all appears! How worthy an immortal round of years!

Yet all must drop, as autumn's sickliest grain,
And earth and firmament be sought in vain :
The track forgot where constellations shone,
Or where the Stuarts fill'd an awful throne :
Time shall be slain, all Nature be destroy'd,
Nor leave an atom in the mighty void.

Sooner or later, in some future date,
(A dreadful secret in the book of Fate !)
This hour, for aught all human wisdom knows,
Or when ten thousand harvests more have rose;
When scenes are chang' on this revolving earth,
Old empires fall, and give new empires birth ;
While other Bourbons rule in other lands,
And (if man's sins forbid not) other Annes;
While the still busy world is treading o'er
The paths they trod five thousand years before,
Thoughtless as those who now life's mazes run;
Of earth dissolv'd, or an extinguish’d sun;
(Ye sublunary Worlds! awake, awake!
Ye Ralers of the nations! hear, and shake!)
Thick clouds of darkness shall arise on day,
In sudden night all earth's dominions lay,
Impetuous winds the scatter'd forests rend,
Eternal mountains, like their cedars, bend ;
The vallies yawn, the troubled ocean roar,
And break the bondage of his wonted shore;

« ZurückWeiter »