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All, all is lost. The Syrian army fails,
First and Second PRIEST.
Thrice hapny, who in happy hour
To Heaven their praise bestow,
Before they feel the blow.
Now, now's our time! ye wretches bold and blind,
0, Lucifer, thou son of morn,
Heaven, men, and all,
Now press thy fall,
O, Babylon, how art thou fallen!
Thy streets forlorn,
To wilds shall turn,
Such be her fate! But listen! from afar
leads his formidable band. Give, give your songs of Zion to the wind, And hail the benefactor of mankind : He comes pursuant to divine decree, To chain the strong, and set the captive free.
Chorus of YOUTHS.
Rise to transports past expressing,
Sweeter from remember'd woes;
Comes to give the world repose.
Chorus of VIRGINS.
Cyrus comes the world redressing,
Love and pleasure in his train ;
Comes to soften every pain.
Hail to him with mercy reigning,
Skill'd in every peaceful art;
Only binds the willing heart.
But chief to Thee, our God, defender, friend,
Let praise be given to all eternity ;
us, and all, begin and end in Theo.
[This poem was written in February, 1774, but was not published until after the author's decease. It arose not from a scene at the Literary Club in Gerrard-street, as sometimes said, but from a more miscellaneous meeting, consisting of a few of its members and their friends who assembled to dine at the St. James's Coffeehouse. Much mirth and convivial pleasantry appear to have resulted from their meetings. The late Sir George Beaumont mentioned that whatever was the dinner hour, whether in a private or public party, Goldsmith always came late and generally in a bustle. A peculiarity like this drew attention upon him at table, and became a source of banter to his companions. This led to further observation : his person, dialect, and manners, his genius mingled with peculiarities, his negligences and blunders, often no doubt the effect of abstraction, furnished a theme for jocular notice, too tempting to be lost by men drawn together to amuse and be amused; and the remark of some one, how he would be estimated by posterity, first gave rise to the idea of characterizing him by epitaphs. It does not appear that many were written, or none that deserved remembrance, except that by Garrick, of which the following is stated to be an exact copy :
Here lies Poet Goldsunith, for shortnes called Noll,
See Life, ch. xxi.)