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Riding sublime, Thou bidd'st the world adore,
Mysterious round! what skill, what force divine,
Nature, attend ! join every living soul, Beneath the spacious temple of the sky, In adoration join, and, ardent, raise One general song! To Him, ye vocal gales, Breathe soft, whose SPIRIT in your freshness breathes : Oh, talk of Him in solitary glooms, . Where, o'er the rock, the scarcely waving pine Fills the brown shade with a religious awe! And ye, whose bolder note is heard afar, Who shake th' astonish'd world, lift high to heav'n Th’impetuous song, and say from whom you rage. His praise, ye brooks, attune, ye trembling rills ; And let me catch it as I muse along. Ye headlong torrents, rapid and profound; Ye softer floods, that lead the humid maze Along the vale ; and thou, majestic main,
A secret world of wonders in thyself,
53 Sound His stupendous praise ; whose greater voice Or bids you roar, or bids your roarings fall. Soft roll your incense, herbs, and fruits, and flow'rs, In mingled clouds to Him, whose sun exalts, Whose breath perfumes you, and whose pencil paints. Ye forests, bend, ye harvests, wave, to Him; Breathe your still song into the reaper's heart, As home he goes beneath the joyous moon. Ye that keep watch in heaven, as earth asleep Unconscious lies, effuse your mildest beams, Ye constellations, while your angels strike, Amid the spangled sky, the silver lyre. Great source of day! best image here below Of thy Creator, ever pouring wide, From world to world, the vital ocean round ! On Nature write with every beam His praise. The thunder rolls : be hush'd the prostrate world, 70 While cloud to cloud returns the solemn hymn. Bleat out afresh, ye hills ; ye mossy rocks, Retain the sound; the broad responsive low, Ye valleys, raise ; for the GREAT SHEPHERD reigns, And His unsuffering kingdom yet will come. Ye woodlands all, awake: a boundless song Burst from the groves; and when the restless day, Expiring, lays the warbling world asleep, Sweetest of birds, sweet Philomela, charm The listening shades, and teach the night His praise ! Ye chief, for whom the whole creation smiles, 81 At once the head, the heart, and tongue of all, Crown the great hymn! In swarming cities vast, Assembled men, to the deep organ join The long-resounding voice, oft breaking clear, At solemn pauses, through the swelling bass ;
And, as each mingling flame increases each,
Should Fate command me to the farthest verge
A Poem, in five Parts.
PART I. ANCIENT AND MODERN ITALY COMPARED.
The following Poem is thrown into the form of a Poetical Vision. Its scene,
the ruins of ancient Rome. The Goddess of Liberty, who is supposed to speak through the whole, appears, characterised as British Liberty. Gives a view of ancient Italy, and particularly of republican Rome, in all her magnificence and glory. This contrasted by modern Italy; its valleys, mountains, culture, cities, people: the difference appearing strongest in the capital city, Rome. The ruins of the great works of Liberty more magnificent than the borrowed pomp of Oppression ; and from them revived Sculpture, Painting, and Architecture. The old Romans apostrophised with regard to the several melancholy changes in Italy : Horace, Tully, and Virgil, with regard to their Tibur, Tusculum, and Naples. That once finest and most ornamented part of Italy, all along the coast of Baiæ, how changed. This desolation of Italy applied to Britain. Address to the Goddess of Liberty, that she would deduce from the first ages her chief establishments, the description of which constitute the subject of the following parts of this Poem. She assents, and commands what she says to be sung in Britain ; whose happiness, arising from freedom and a limited monarchy, she marks. An immediate Vision attends, and paints her words. Invocation.
O MY lamented TALBOT! while with thee
Should sing our darling subject to thy Shade.
Musing I lay, warm from the sacred walks,
Snatch'd by these wonders to that world where thought Unfetter'd ranges, Fancy's magic hand Led me anew o'er all the solemn scene, Still in the mind's pure eye more solemn dress'd ; When straight, methought, the fair majestic Pow'r Of Liberty appear'd. Not, as of old, Extended in her hand the cap, and rod, Whose slave-enlarging touch gave double life; But her bright temples bound with British oak, And naval honours nodded on her brow. Sublime of port : loose o'er her shoulder flow'd Her sea-green robe, with constellations gay. An island-goddess now; and her high care The Queen of Isles, the mistress of the main. My heart beat filial transport at the sight; And, as she mov'd to speak, th' awaken'd Muse Listen'd intense. A while she look'd around,