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And thou, sweet Poetry, thou loveliest maid,
of gain ;
A SACRED ECLOGUE.
YE Nymphs of Solyma! begin the song:
The mossy fountains, and the sylvan shades,
Rapt into future times, the bard begun:
25 See nodding forests on the mountains dance : See spicy clouds from lowly Saron rise, And Carmel's flowery top perfumes the skies ! Hark! a glad voice the lonely desert cheers; Prepare the way! a God, a God appears : A God, a God I the vocal hills reply, The rocks proclaim the approaching Deity. Lo, earth receives him from the bending skies ! Sink down, ye mountains, and, ye valleys, rise !
With heads declined, ye cedars, homage pay;
35 Be smooth, ye rocks; ye rapid floods, give way! The Saviour comes ! by ancient bards foretold : Hear him, ye deaf, and all ye blind, behold! He from thick films shall purge
ray, And on the sightless eye-ball pour the day: 40 ’T is he the obstructed paths of sound shall clear, And bid new music charm the unfolding ear: The dumb shall sing, the lame his crutch forgo, And leap exulting like the bounding roe. No sigh, no murmur the wide world shall hear, 45 From every face he wipes off every tear; In adamantine chains shall death be bound, And Hell's grim tyrant feel the eternal wound. As the good shepherd tends his fleecy care, Seeks freshest pasture and the purest air,
60 Explores the lost, the wandering sheep directs, By day o'ersees them, and by night protects; The tender lambs he raises in his arms, Feeds from his hand, and in his bosom warms : Thus shall mankind his guardian care engage,
55 The promised Father of the future age. No more shall nation against nation rise, Nor ardent warriors meet with hateful eyes, Nor fields with gleaming steel be cover'd o'er, The brazen trumpets kindle rage no more:
CO But useless lances into sithes shall bend, And the broad falchion in a ploughshare end. Then palaces shall rise; the joyful son Shall finish what his short-lived sire begun; Their vines a shadow to their race shall yield,
C5 And the same hand that sow'd shall reap the field.
The swain in barren deserts with surprise
70 On rifted rocks, the dragon's late abodes,
reed trembles, and the bulrush nods. Waste sandy valleys, orice perplex'd with thorn, The spiry fir and shapely box adorn; To leafless shrubs the flowering palms succeed, 75 And odorous myrtle to the noisome weed. The lambs with wolves shall graze the verdant mead, And boys in flowery bands the tiger lead ; The steer and lion at one crib shall meet, And harmless serpents lick the pilgrim's feet. 80 The smiling infant in his hand shall take The crested basilisk and speckled snake, Pleased the green lustre of their scales survey, And with their forky tongue shall innocently play. Rise, crown'd with light, imperial Salem, rise ! 85 Exalt thy towery head, and lift thine eyes ! See, a long race thy spacious courts adorn; See future sons, and daughters yet unborn, In crowding ranks on every side arise, Demanding life, impatient for the skies!
90 See barbarous nations at thy gates attend, Walk in thy light, and in thy temple bend : See thy bright altars throng'd with prostrate kings, And heap'd with products of Sabæan springs ! For thee Idume's spicy forests blow,
95 And seeds of gold in Ophir’s mountains glow. See heaven its sparkling portals wide display, And break
thee in a flood of day!
No more the rising Sun shall gild the morn,