Page images


While these a constant revel keep,
Shall Reason only teach to weep?
Hence intruder! we'll pursue
Nature, a better guide than you.

Seconul PRIEST.

Every moment, as it flows,
Some peculiar pleasure owes ;
Then let us, providently wise,
Seize the debtor as it flies.

Think not to-morrow can repay
The pleasures that we lose to-day;
To-morrow's most unbounded store
Can but


proper score.



But, hush! see foremost of the captive choir,
The master-prophet grasps his full-ton'd lyre.
Mark where he sits, with executing art,
Feels for each tone, and speeds it to the heart.
See how prophetic rapture fills his form,
Awful as clouds that nurse the growing storm;
And now his voice, accordant to the string,
Prepares our monarch's victories to sing.



From north, from south, from east, from west,

Conspiring nations come; Tremble thou vice-polluted breast,

Blasphemers, all be dumb.

The tempest gathers all around,

On Babylon it lies ;
Down with her! down-down to the ground,

She sinks, she groans, she dies.


Down with her, Lord, to lick the dust,

Ere yonder setting sun;
Serve her as she has serv'd the just!

'Tis fix'd-it shall be done.


Recitative No more! when slaves thus insolent presume, The king himself shall judge, and fix their doom. Unthinking wretches; bare not you and all, Beheld our power in Zedekiah's fall ? To yonder gloomy dungeon turn your eyes; See where dethron'd your captive monarch lies, Depriv'd of sight and rankling in his chain ; See where he mourns his friends and children slain. Yet know, ye slaves, that still remain behind More pond'rous chains, and lungeons more confin'ů. Chorus of Al. Arise, all potent ruler, rise,

And vindicate thy people's cause; Till every tongue in every land

Shall offer up unfeign'd applause.


ACT III.-Scene as before.


Yes, my companions, Heaven's decrees are past,
And our fix'd empire shall for ever last;
In vain the madd’ning prophet threatens woe,
In vain rebellion aims her secret blow;
Still shall our fame and growing power be spread,
And still our vengeance crush the traitor's head.


Coeval with man
Our empire began,
And never shall fall
Till ruin shakes all :
When ruin shakes all
Then shall Babylon fall.


Recitative. 'Tis thus that pride triumphant rears the head, A little while, and all their power is fled;

But ha! what means yon sadly plaintive train,
That this way slowly bend along the plain ?
And now, methinks, to yonder bank they bear
A pallid corse, and rest the body there.
Alas! too well mine eyes indignant trace
The last remains of Judah’s royal race:
Our monarch falls, and now our fears are o'er,
Unhappy Zedekiah is no more!

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Behold his wretched corse with sorrow worn,
His squalid limbs with ponderous fetters torn;
Those eyeless orbs that shock with ghastly glare,
Those ill-becoming rags--that matted hair.
And shall not Heaven for this its terrors show,
Grasp the red bolt, and lay the guilty low ?*
How long, how long, Almighty God of all,
Shall wrath vindictive threaten ere it fall!

. (" And shall not leaven for this its terror show,

And deal its angry vengeance on the soe!"- Orig. MS.)



As panting flies the hunted hind,

Where brooks refreshing stray; And rivers through the valley wind,

That stop the hunter's way;

Thus we, O Lord, alike distrest,

For streams of mercy long;
Those streams which cheer the sore opprest,

And overwhelm the strong.



But whence that shout ? Good heavens ! amazement all !
See yonder tower just nodding to the fall ;
See where an army covers all the ground,
Saps the strong wall, and pours destruction round!
The ruin smokes, destruction pours along,
How low the great, how feeble are the strong!
The foe prevails, the lofty walls recline-
0, God of hosts, the victory is thine !

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »