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Far other firmament than e'er was seen,
170 Than e'er was thought by man! far other stars ! Staj s animate, that govern those of fire ; Far other sun !:-a Sun, O how unlike The Babe at Bethlehem ! how unlike the Man That groan'd on Calvary !-yet He it is ;
175 That Man of sorrows! O how changed! what porcp In grandeur terrible all Heaven descends ! And gods, ambitious, triumph in his train. A swift archangel, with his golden wing, As blots and clouds that darken and disgrace 180 The scene divine, sweeps stars and suns aside. And now, all dross removed, Heaven's own pure day, Full on the confines of our ether flames, While (dreadful contrast !) far, how far beneath! Hell, bursting, belches forth her blazing seas 185 And storms sulphureous; her voracious jaws Expanding wide, and roaring for her prey. Lorenzo! welcome to this scene; the last In Nature's course, the first in Wisdom's thought. This strikes, if aught can strike thee; this awakes 190 The most supine ; this snatches man from death. Rouse, rouse, Lorenzo' then, and follow me, Where truth, the most momentous man can hear, Loud calls my soul, and ardour wings her flight. I find my inspiration in my theme :
195 The grandeur of my subject is my Muse.
At midnight, when mankind is wrapp'd in peace, And worldly Fancy feeds on golden dreams, To give more dread to man's most dreadful hour; At midnight, 'tis presumed, this pomp will burst 200 From tenfold darkness, sudden as the spark From smitten steel ; from nitrous grain the blaze. Man, starting from his couch, shall sleep no more ! The day is broke, which never more shall close ! Above, around, beneath, amazement all'
205 Terror and glory join'd in their extremes ! Our God in grandeur, and our world on fire'
All Nature struggling in the pangs of death!
Dost thou not hear her ? dost thou not deploro
ller strong convulsions, and her final groan? 210
Where are we now ? Ah me! the ground is gone
On which we stood, Lorenzo ! while thou mayst,
Provide more firm support, or sink for ever!
Where? how ? from whence ? Vain hope ! it is too late'
Where, where, for shelter, shall the guilty fly, 215
When consternation turns the good man pale !
Great day! for which all other days were mado ,
For which earth rose from Chaos, man from earth,
And an eternity, the date of gods,
Descended on poor earth-created man!
Great day of dread, decision, and despair !
At thought of thee each sublunary wish
Lets go its eager grasp, and drops the world,
And catches at each reed of hope in Heaven.
At thought of thee !-and art thou absent then? 225
Lorenzo! no; 'tis here ;--it is begun
Already is begun the grand assize,
In thee, in all : deputed Conscience scales
The dread tribunal, and forestals our doom ;
Forestals, and, by forestalling, proves it sure.
Why on himself should man void judgment pass ?
Is idle Nature laughing at her sons :
Who Conscience sent, her sentence will support,
And God above assert that God in man.
Thrice happy they! that enter now the court 235
Heaven opens in their bosoms : but how rare,
Ah me! that magnanimity, how rare !
What hero, like the man who stands himself;
Who dares to meet his naked heart alone;
Who hears intrepid the full charge it brings, 240
Resolved to silence future murmurs there!
The coward flies, and, flying, is undone.
(Art thou a coward ? no :) the coward flies ;
Thinks, but thinks slightly; asks, but fears to know:
Asks' What is truth?' with Pilate, and retiros; 245
Dissolves the court, and mingles with the throng .
Asylum sad! from Reason, Hope, and Heaven.
Shall all but man look out with ardent eye
For that great day which was ordain'd for man?
O day of consummation! mark supreme
(If men are wise) of human thought ! nor least
Or in the sight of angels, or their King !
Angels, whose radiant circles, height o'er height,
Order o'er order rising, blaze o'er blaze,
As in a theatre, surround this scene,
Intent on: man, and anxious for his fate.
Angels look out for thee ; for thee, their Lord,
To vindicate his glory; and for thee
Creation universal calls aloud
To disinvolve the nioral world, and give
260 To Nature's renovation brighter charms.
Shall man alono, whose fate, whose final fate,
Hangs on that hour, exclude it from his thought ?
I think of nothing else ; I see ! I feel it !
All Nature, like an earthquake, trembling round ! 265
All deities, like summer's swarms, on wing'
All basking in the full meridian blaze !
I see the judge enthroned ! the flaming guard !
The volume open'd! open'd every heart !
A sunbean, pointing out each secret thought' 270
No patron ! intercessor pone now pass'd
The sweet, the clement, mediatorial hour !
For guilt no plea! to pain no pause! no bound !
inexorable all ! and all extreme !
Nor man alone ; the foe of God and man, 275
From his dark den, blaspheming, drags his chain,
And rears his brazen front, with thunder scarr’d,
Receives his sentence, and begins his hell.
All vengeance past, now, seems abundant grace.
Like meteors in a stormy sky, how roll
His baleful eyes! hɛ curses whom he dreads,
And deems it the first moment of his fall.
'Tis present to my thought and yet where is it!
Angels can't tell me ; angels cannot guess
The period, from created beings lock'd
In darkness; but the process and the place
Are less obscure ; for these may man inquire.
Say, thou great close of human hopes and fears !
Great key of hearts! great finisher of fates !
Great end! and great beginning! say, where art thou ?
Art thou in time, or in eternity ?
Nor in eternity ror time I find thee :
These, as two monarchs, on their borders meet,
(Monarchs of all elapsed or unarrived!)
As in debate, how best their powers allicd 295
May swell the grandeur, or discharge the wrath
Of him, whom both their monarchies obey.
Time, this vast fabric for him built (and door'd
With him to fall) now bursting o'er his head,
His lamp, the Sun, extinguish'd, from beneath 300
The frown of hideous darkness calls his sons
From their long slumber, from earth's heaving womb,
To second birth contemporary throng !
Roused at one call, upstarted from one bed,
Fress'd in one crowd, appallid with one amaze
He turns them o'er, Eternity! to thee :
Then (as a king deposed diedaios to live)
He falls on his own scythe, nor falls alone ;
His greatest foe falls with him ; Time, and he
Who murder'd all Time's offspring, Death, expire 310
Time was ! Eternity now reigns alone!
Awful Eternity! offended queen!
And her resentment to mankind how just !
With kind intent, soliciting access,
How often has she knock'd at human hearts ! 315
Rich to repay their hospitality,
How often call'd! and with the voice of God!
Yet bore repulse, excluded as a cheat !
A dream! while foulest foe nd welcome there
A dream, a cheat, now all things but her smile. 320
Fur, lo ! her twice ten thousand gates thrown wide,
As thrice from Indus to the frozen pole,
With banners streaming as the comet's blaze,
And clarions louder than the deep in storms,
Sonorous as immortal breath can blow,
Pour forth their myriads, potentates, and powers,
Ot'light, of darkness, in a miudle field,
Wide as creation ! populous as wide !
A neutral region ! there to mark the event
Of that great drama, whose preceding scenes 330
Detain'd them close spectators, through a length
Of ages, ripening to this grand result;
Ages as yet uinumber'd but by God,
Who now, pronouncing sentence, vindicates
The rights of virtue, and his own renown. 335
Eternity, the various sentence pass'd, Assigns the sever'd throng distinct abodes, Sulphureous or ambrosial. What ensues ? The deed predominant ! the deed of deeds! Which makes a hell of hell, a heaven of heaven. 340 The goddess, with determined aspect, turns Her adamantine key's enormous size Through Destiny's inextricable wards, Deep.driving every bolt on both their fatas; Then, from the crystal battlements of heaven.
345 Down, down she hurls it through the dark profound, Ten thousand thousand fathom, there to rust, And ne'er unlock her resolution more. The deep resounds, and hell, through all her glooms, Returns, in groans, the melancholy roar.
350 O how unlike the chorus of the skies ! O how unlike those shouts of joy, that shake The whole ethereal! how the concave rings ! Nor strange! when deities their voice exalt; And louder far than when Creation rose,
355 To see Creation's godlike aim and end, So well accomplish'd ! so divinely clo To see the mighty Dramatist's last act (As ineet) in glory rising o'er the rest.