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Whence rose that secret sigh?
What sudden gloom o'erclouds thy cheerful brow!
Say, does not every pleasure wait thee now,
That e'er could charm the ear, or court the eye?
In vain does Nature lavish all her store,
The conscious spirit still aspires,
pursues some new desires,
And, every wish obtain'd, it sighs and pants for
Are these, O HOPE, the glories of thy reign,
The airy dreams of Fancy and of Youth?
Must all thy boasted pleasures lead to pain?
Thy joys all vanish at the light of truth?
Must wretched man, led by a meteor fire,
To distant blessings still aspire ?
Still with ardour strive to gain
Joys he oft pursues in vain,
Joys which quickly must expire?
And when at length the fatal hour is come,
And death prepares th' irrevocable doom,
Mourn all his darling hopes at once destroy'd,
And sigh to leave that bliss he ne'er enjoy'd?
Rise, heavenly visions, rise!
every vain delusive fear control!
Let real glory charm my wond'ring eyes,
And real happiness enchant my soul!Hail, glorious dawn of everlasting day!
Tho' faintly seen at distance here,
Thy beams the sinking heart can cheer, And light the weary pilgrim on his way:
For not in vain did Heaven inspire
That active spark of sacred fire,
Which still with restless ardour glows;
In pain, in pleasure, still the same,
It seeks that heav'n from whence it came,
And scorns all meaner joys, all transient woes.
The soul for perfect bliss design'd
Strives in vain that bliss to find,
'Till wing'd by HOPE at length it flies Beyond the narrow bounds of earth, and air, and
Still unmov'd, let HOPE remain
Fix'd on true substantial joy;
Dangers then shall threat in vain,
Pains torment, or cares annoy:
Then shall ev'ry guiltless pleasure
Smile with charms unknown before,
HOPE, secure in real treasure,
Mourn her blasted joys no more:
Then, thro' each revolving year,
Tho' earthly glories fade away,
Tho' youth, and strength, and life itself decay;
Yet still more bright the prospect shall appear,
Happier still the latest day,
Brightest far the parting ray.
O'er life's last scene celestial beams shall shine,
'Till death at length shall burst the chain,
While songs of triumph sound on high;
Then shall HOPE her power resign,
Lost in endless ecstacy,
And never fading joy, in Heaven's full glories reign..
THE FALL OF BABYLON,
A prophetic Ode, taken from the 14th Chapter of Isaiah.-J. Sargent, Esq.
Ψευδηγορειν γὰρ ἐκ ἐπίσταται στόμα
Τὸ διῶν, ἀλλὰ πᾶν ἔπος τελει' σὺ δὲ
Πάπλαϊνε καὶ φρόντιζε, μηδ ̓ αὐθαδίαν
Εὐβολίας ἀμείνον ̓ ἡγήσῃ πολέ.
Esch. Prom. Vinct. v. 1301.
THUS art thou fallen, mighty lord!
Thus shall thy curs'd dominion cease!
No more thy desolating sword
Shall scare the trembling world to peace.
Thus art thou fallen! JEHOVAH'S ire,
With famine and devouring fire,
Lays the proud city low;
Reft of her pride and golden state,
Behold she feels the captive's bitter fate,
The victor's haughty taunt, and sad reverse of woe.
Heard ye what sounds of frantic mirth:
Have burst from all the nations forth?
No more shall the oppressor's hand
With murd'rous wrath exhaust the land;
No more his iron scourge we dread,
Or fear the malice of the dead.
The stately cedars to the sky Lift their proud heads, and sing with joy : "Since thou art gone what fears inspire "The wasteful steel or bickering fire?" The towering pines with exultation bow, And wave their giant-arms o'er the green vales
Through the frighted gulf profound,
A voice of loud lament is flown;
The mighty dead,
In tumult dread,
Heroes and warriors throng around,
And sceptered monarchs leave their ghostly thrones:
I see their beck'ning forms; I hear
The dolorous sounds that thrill the air.
Art thou then fallen! is thy disdainful pride,
Like our's, confounded in eternal shame ?
Where are the bannered hosts that guard thy side,
The pomp of triumph, and the shouts of fame?
Thy glowing eye balls, veiled with murky clouds,
Substantial night and black oblivion shrouds.
Refulgent star! thy beams are shorn,
Thy orb is quenched in endless night;
No more the scattered nations mourn,
Scorched with thy sanguinary light.
With taunting scorn thy heart hath spoke,
"Who shall resist my sovereign yoke,
"My fierce resentment meet ?
"Above the heavens I'll plant my throne,
The Mighty One Himself my power shall own, While all the prostrate kingdoms crouch beneath my feet."
On the rank beach or dreary waste,
Thy cold accurs'd remains are cast;
Haply, thy mould'ring corse is found,
Disguised with many a gaping wound.
With curious awe, at length they trace
The mangled horrors of thy face.
Is this the haughty Lord who hurl'd
Destruction o'er the prostrate world?
Who drenched his spear in royal blood,
And made the earth a solitude?
Who scattered o'er the nations, with his breath, Terror, and huge despair, and agonizing death?
The kings and rulers of the land,
Each sleep within their peaceful cells;
To guard their dust,
Some storied bust
Or animated column stands ;
But thou, unhonoured, tread'st the path of Hell,
No fretted urn, with sculpture deck'd,
No tomb thy mould'ring bones protect.
In some sequestered nook or desert shore,
Naked and pale, thy lifeless trunk is cast;
The famished adder sucks the grisly gore,
And reptiles riot on the foul repast.