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A MIDNIGHT HYMN,
HOW grand and awful is this midnight hour! The world is still....and not a sound disturbs The breeze that bathes its pinions in the dew. The moon looks dimly down; the lowering clouds Obscure her beams. The fleeting foot of Time Moves swiftly on, and steals from sleeping man. The solemn bell repeats another hour, And gives it to the numbers that have pass'd. I sit alone: But there's an eye beholds me, To which the darkness is the noon of day. 10 To thee my God, I give these solemn thoughts, And seek thy spirit in the depths of night. While rest the follies of a giddy world, While all its scenes and all its noise are filed, Truths strike the mind with more impressive force.
Almighty Power in his eternal counsels,
The sun roll'd burning from the hand of God.
Then from the dust, see man to being rise, Firm and erect, with eye upturn'd to Heaven, He spurns the earth beneath him with his feet, And sways his sceptre o'er the prostrate world.
Array'd in glory like his father God, Man thus abode not....but from honour fell.
The gates of Paradise were closed against him, Its shades no more would shelter his repose; 40 “ Where came the voice of God at early morn." Its cooling stream would no more meet his lip, Or babble to his ear. A dreary world, . Spread wide before his view, where toil and pain Stood arm’d, to bear him on the road of life; While o'er him howl'd the dark and angry sky.
O son of morn.... how art thou fall'n from Heaven And all thy former splendour dim'd and lost!
Man ruin’d in his first and high estate Affords a subject gloomy to the soul. The fall of angels was the fall of man. “ Shorn of his beams” the Sun, in dim eclipse, Lends but a feeble lustre to the earth : Or-when he sinks beneath the western wave, Pale Evening treads upon his burning footsteps And brings grim Night to throw his mantle о'er A sunken world, lock'd in a mimic death. Thus on the morning of man's towering hopes, Came the dark night of woe. His happiness Is now a little bark thrown on the floods, 60 And toss'd and dash'd by wild tempestuous winds,
By Adam's disobedence earth was curs'd. In Nature's garden thorns and thistles grew: Chill o'er the vallies swept the howling blast, The thunders roar'd....the earthquake shook the
globe;. The mountains pour'd their streams of liquid fire, And, like a Giant, fell Disease arose And blew o'er earth his pestilential breath. A train of evils followed on his steps; There came Misfortune with his iron scythe 70 Dropping with human blood; there Envy stalk'd And fan'd the flames of hell....fell Fury there Yell'd to the winds and stamp'd the hollow ground; Telling her sorrows to the listening Night, There came wan Melancholy slowly on; Folded her arms upon her heaving bosom, Her face directed to the dewy moon. There came Remorse absorb'd in gloomy thought: There rush'd Despair....his dark eye roll'd in blood; He tore the mantle from his raging breast, 80 And plung'd his dagger in his heart.... There came Poor Lunacy in tatter'd robes, and wav'd A straw, and told the kingdoms which he rul'da