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Ofthy pure fancy, more than realiz'd!
Sublime enthusiast!, thou hadst blest a O For the sacred energy which struck
[wrapt soul The harp of Jesse's son! or for a spark Fair, good, and perfect. How had tlay Of that celestial flame which touch'd the Caught fire, and burnt with a diviner flame! lips
| For e’en thy fair idea ne'er conceiv'd Of bless'a Isaiah :* when the Seraphim Such plenitude of bliss, such boundless love, With living tire descended, and his soul As Deity made visible to sense, From sin's pollution purg'd! or one faint ray, Unhappy Brutus ! philosophic mind ! If human things to heavenly I may join, Great 'midst the errors of the Stoic school! Of that pure spirit which inflam’d the breast How had thy kindling spirit joy'd to find Of Milton, God's own poet! when retir'd That thy lov'd virtue was no empty name : In fair enthusiastic vision wrapt,
Nor hadst thou met the vision at Philippi; The nightly visitant deign'd bless his couch Nor hadst thou sheath'd thy bloody dagWith inspiration, such as never flow'd
ger's point From Acidale or Aganippe's fount! Or in the breast of Cæsar or thy own. Then, when the sacred fire within him! The pagan page how far more wise than burnt,
[their song : He spaké as man or angels might have They with the gods they worshipp'd grac'd spoke,
(guests. Our song we grace with gods we disbelieve: When man was pure, and angels were his Retain the manners, but reject the creed. It will not be. Nor prophet's burning zeal, Shall fiction only raise poetic flame, Nor muse of fire, nor yet to sweep the and shall no altar blaze, () Truth, to thee? strings
Shall falsehood only please and fable charm? With sacred energy, to me belongs ; | And shall eternal truth neglected lie? Nor with Miltonic hand to touch the chords Because immortal, slighted, or profand ? That wake to ecstacy. From me, alas! | Truth has our rev’rence only, not our love; The secret source of harmony is hid; Our praise, but not our hearts : a deity, The magic pow'rs which catch the ravish'a Confess’d, but shunn'd; acknowledged, not soul
ador’d; In melody's sweet maze, and the clear Alarm'd we dread her penetrating beams; streams
She comes too near us, and too brightly Which to pure fancy's yet untasted springs shines, Enchanted lead. Of these I little know ! | Why shun to make our duty our delight? Yet, all unknowing, dare thy aid invoke, Let pleasure be the motive, disallow Spirit of truth! to bless these worthless lays: All high incentives drawn from God's comNor impious is the hope; for thou hast said, mand;
[protene, That none who ask in faith should ask in | Where shall we trace, through all the page vain.
| A livelier pleasure and a purer source You I invoke not now, ye fabled Nine ! Of innocent delight, than the fair book I not invoke you though you well were Of holy truth presents ? for ardent youth, sought
[bards, The sprightly narrative ! for years mature, In Greece and Latium, sought by deathless The moral document, in sober robe Whose syren song enchants; and shall en-|Of grave philosophy array'd: which all chant
Had heard with admiration, had embrac'd Through time's wide circling round, tho’| With rapture, had the shades of Academc, false their faith,
[sung. Or the learn’a Porch produc'd it :-Tomes And less than human were the gods they had then Though false their faith they taught the Been multiplied on tomes, to draw the veil best they knew;
JOf graceful allegory, to unfold And (blush, Christians!) liv'd above their Some hidden source of beauty, now not felt! faith.
Do not the pow'rs of soul-enchanting They would have bless'd the beam, and song, hail'd the day
[souls. Strong imagery, bold figure, every charm Which chas'd the moral darkness from their Of eastern flight sublime, apt metaphor, O! had their minds receiv'd the clearer ray And all the graces in thy lovely train, Of Revelation, they had learn'd to scorn | Divine simplicity ! assemble all Their rites impure, their less than human in Sion's songs, and bold Isaiah's strain ? gods,
Why should the classic eye delight to Their wild mythology's fantastic maze. 15% s tantastic maze. trace
[source ; Pure Plato! how had thy chaste spirit | The tale corrupted from its prime pure hail'd
How Pyrrha and the fam'd Thessalian king A faith so fitted to thy moral sense! Restor'd the ruin'd race of lost mankind : What hadst thou felt to see the fair ro- Yet turn, incurious, from the patriarch mance
sav'd Of high imagination, the bright dream The rescued remnant of a delug'd world?
Why are we taught, delighted to recount Isaiah, chap. vi.
| Alcides' labours, yet neglect to note
Heroic Samson 'midst a life of toil
Of innocence, and with unhallow'd hand Herculean? Pain and peril marking both, Presents the poison'd chalice, to the brim A life eventful and disasterous death, Fill'd with delicious ruin, minist'ring Can all the tales which Grecian story The unwholesome rapture to the fever'd yields;
taste, Can all the names the Roman page records, While its fell venom, with malignant pow'r, Of vond'rous friendship and surpassing love: Strikes at the root of Virtue, with’ring all Can gallant Theseus and his brave com- Her vital energy. Oh! for some balon peer;
Of sov’reign power, to raise the drooping Orestes and the partner of his toils;
Muse Achates and his friend : Euryalus
To all the health of virtue! to infuse And blooming Nisus, pleasant in their lives, A gen'rous warmth, to rouse an holy zeal And undivided by the stroke of death; And give her high conceptions of herself, Cag each, can all, a lovelier picture yield Her dignity, her worth, her aim, her end ! Of virtuous friendship: can they all present. For me, eternal Spirit, let thy word A tenderness more touching than the love My path illume! O thou compassionate God! Of Jonathan and David ?--Speak, ye Thou know'st our frame, thou know'st we young!
are but dust;
(seek, Who, undebauched as yet by fashion's lore, From dust a Seraph's zeal thou wilt not And unsophisticate, unbiass'd judge: Nor wilt thou ask an angel's purity. Say, is your quick attention more arous'd But hear, and hearing pardon ; as I strive. By the red plagues which wasted smitten Though with a feeble voice and flagging Thebes,
(host? wing, Than heav'n's avenging hand on Pharaoh's A glowing heart, but pow'rless hand, to paint Or do the vagrant Trojans, driven by fate The faith of favour'd man to heav'n; to sing On adverse shores successive, yield a theme The ways inscrutable of heav'n to man; More grateful to the eager appetite
| May 1, by thy celestial guidance led, Of young impatience, than the wand'ring Fix deep in my own heart the truths I tribes
teach! The Hebrew leader through the desert led? | In my owo life transcribe whate'er of good The beauteous maid, * (though tender is the To others I propose! and by thy rule tale ;)
(stream'd, / Correct th' irregular, * reform the wrong, Whose guiltless blood on Aulis' altar Exalt the low, and brighten the obscure ! Smites not the bosom with a softer pang
Still may I note, how all th' agreeing parts Than her in fate how sadly similar,
Of this consummate system join to frame The Gileaditish virgin-victims both One fair, one finish'd, one harmonicus Of vows unsanctify'd. Such are the lorely themes which court the Trace the close links which form the perfect bard,
[meet ! Scarce yet essay'd in verse-for verse how In beautiful connexion ; mark the scale While heav'n-descended song, forgetting Whose nice gradations, with progression
What in me is dark
Illumine! What is low, raise and support!
MOSES IN THE BULRUSHES. ,
A SACRED DRAMA,
PERSONS OF THE DRAMA.
MELITA; and other altendants.
Scene-On the banks of the Nile.
Mir. Hop'st thou that Pharaoh
Joch. I have no hope in Pharaoh, much JOCHEBED, MIRIAM.
in God; Joch. Why was my pray'r accepted? why Much in the Rock of Ages. did heaven
Think, I think, In anger hear me, when I ask'd a son? What perils thou already hast incurr'd, Ye dames of Egypt! ye triumphant mothers! And shun the greater which may yet remain, You no imperial tyrant marks for ruin ; · Three months, three dangerous months thou You are not doom'd to see the babes you last preserv'd bore,
[you! | Thy infant's life, and in thy house conceal'd The babes you fondly nurture, bleed before him! You taste the transport of a mother's love, Should Pharaoh know ! Without a mother's anguish! wretched Is- Joch.
Oh! let the tyrant know, rael !
And feel what he inflicts! Yes, hear me, Can I forbear to mourn the different lot
[hush, Of thy sad daughters ! - Why did God's Send thy right aiming thunderbolts-but own liand
My impious murmurs! is it not thy will; Rescue his chosen race by Joseph's care? Thou, infinite in mercy? Thou perinitt'st Joseph ! th' elected instrument of heaven, The seeming evil for some latent good. Decreed to save illustrious Abraham's sons, Yes, I will laud thy grace, and bless thy What time the famine rag'd in Canaan's goodness land.
[now! For what I have, and not arraign thy wisIsrael, who then was spar'd, must perish| dom Thou great mysterious Pow'r, who hast For what I fear to lose, O, I will bless thee involv'd
That Aaron will be spar'd; that my first Thy wise decrees in darkness, to perplex born The pride of human wisdom, to confourid Lives safe and undisturbed ! that he was The daring scrutiny, and prove, the faith giv'n me Of thy presuming creatures ! hear me now: Before this impious persecution rag'd ! () vindicate thy honour, clear this doubt, Mir. And yet who knows, but the fell tyTeach me to trace this maze of Providence: rant's rage Why save the fathers, if the sons must pe- May reach his precious life. rish ?
I fear for him. Mir. Ah me, my mother! whence these For thee, for all. A doating parent lives floods of grief !
In many lives; through many a nerve she Joch. My son ! my son ! I cannot speak feels;
[spread, the rest;
[ness! From child to child the quick affections Ye who have sons can only know my fond- Forever wand'ring, yet forever fix'd. Ye who have lost them, or who fear to lose, Nor does division weaken, nor the force Can only know my pangs! none else can Of constant operation e'er exhaust guess them,
Parental love. All other passions change A mother's sorrows cannot be conceiy'd With changing circuinstances; rise or fall, But by a mother-would I were not one! Dependent on their object; claini returns; Mir. With earnest pray’rs thou didst re- Live on reciprocation, and expire quest this son,
Unfed by hope. A mother's fondness reigns And heaven has granted him.
Without a rival, and without an end.
Mir. But say what heav'n inspires to save
(oppos'd Of Egypt's cruel king, hard-hearted Pha- Which fondness prompted, prudence has jaoh;
As perilousand rash. With these poor hands That every male, of Hebrew motherborn, I've franı'd a little ark of slender reeds ; Must die! Oh! do I live to tell it thee! With pitch and slime I have secur'd the Must die a bloody death ! My child, my son, sides. My youngest born my darling must be slain! In this frail cradle I intend to lay Mir. The helpless innocent ! and must My little helpless infant, and expose him he die?
[prayers, Upon the banks of Nile. Joch. No: if a mother's tears, a mother's Mir.
'Tis full of danger. A mother's fond precautions can prevail, Joch. 'Tis danger to expose, and death to He shall not die. I have a thought, my Mi keep him. riam,
Mir. 'Yet, oh! reflect. Should the fierce And sure the God of mercies who inspir'd, crocodile, Will bless the secret purpose of my soul, The native and the tyrant of the Nile, To save his precious life,
Seize the defenceless infant !
Oh forbear! The mother's fondness would betray the Spare my fond heart, Yet not the crocodile, child.
(hin! Nor all the deadly monsters of the deep, Farewell ! God of my fathers, Oh, protect To me are half so terrible as Pharaoh, That heathen king, that royal murderer!! Mir. Should he escape, which yet I dare
PART II. not hope,
[waves Enter Miriam after having deposited the Fach sea-born monster, yet the winds and
child, He cannot 'scape, Joch. Know, God is every where;
Mir. Yes, I have laid him in his wat’ry
bed, Not to one narrow, partial spot confin'd : No, not to chosen Israel : he extends
His wat'ry grave, I fear !-I tremble still ; Through all the vast infinitude of space :
| It was a cruel task-still I must weep! At his command the furious tempests rise
| But ah, my mother! who shall sooth thy The blasting of the breath of his displeasure.
griefs ! He tells the world of waters when to roar;
The flags and sea-weeds will awhile sustain And, at his bidding, winds and seas are
Their precious load; but it must sink ere long!
[leave thee; calm : In him, not in an arm of flesh, I trust;
Sweet babe, farewell! Yet think not I will
No, I will watch thee till the greedy waves In him, whose promise never yet has fail'd,
Devour thy little bark : I'll sit me down, I place my confidence, Mir, What must I do?
And sing to thee, sweet babe ; thou can'st Command thy daughter; for thy words have But 'twill amuse me, while I watch thy fate,
not hear; wak'd An holy boldness in my youthful breast.
[ She sits down on a bank, and sings, Joch. Go then, my Miriam, go, and take
SONG. the infant, Buried in harmless slumbers there he lies: 1 Thou, who canst make the feeble strong, Let me not see hin-spare my heart that! O God of Israel, hear my song! pang.
Not mine such notes as Egypt's daughters Yet sure, one little look may be indulg'a, raise ; And I may feast my fondness with his sniiles, \'Tis thee, O God of Hosts, I strive to praise, And snatch one last, last kiss.—No more my
| Ye wirds, the servants of the Lord,
Ye wirds, the seman That rapture would be fatal- I should keep Ye waves, obedient to his word, I could not doom to death the babe I clasp'd: spare the babe committed to your trust; Diderer mother kill her sleeping boy ?" | And Israel shall confess the Lord is just ! I dare not hazard it-The task be thine.
III. Oh! do not wake my child; remove him Though doom'd to find an early grave, softly;
This infant, Lord, thy power can save, And gently lay him on the river's brink. I And he, whose death's decreed by PharaMir. Did those magicians, whom the sons o h's hand, of Egypt
| May rise a prophet to redeem the land. Consult and think all-potent, join their skill;
[She rises and looks out. And was it great as Egypt's sons believe; What female form bends thitherward her Yet all their secret wizard arts combin'd,
steps ? To save this little ark of bulrushes,
. Of royal port she seems; perhaps some Thus fearfully expos'd, could not effect it. friend, Their spells, their incantations, and dire Rais'd by the guardian care of bounteous charms
Heaven, Could not preserve it.
To prop the falling house of Levi. --Soft! Joch. -, Know this ark is charm'd
l'll listen unperceir'd; these trees will hide With incantations Pharaoh ne'er employ'd;
[She stands behind. With spells, which impious Egypt never knew :
| Enter the PRINCESS OF EGYPT, attended by With invocations to the living God,
a train of ladies. I twisted every slender recd iogether,
Prin, No farther, virgins; here I mean And with a pray'r did every ozier weave. to rest, Mir. I go.
To taste the pleasant coolness of the breeze; Joch. Yet e'erthou go'st, observe me well: Perhaps to bathe in this translucent stream. When thou hast laid him in his wat'ry bed, Did not our holy law* enjoin th' ablution O leave him not : but at a distance wait, Frequent and regular, it still were needful And mark what Heaven's high will deter-|To mitigate the fervours of our clime. mines for him,
Melita, stay—the rest at distance wait. Lay him among the flags on yonder beach,
[They all go out, except one. Just where the royal gardens meet the Nile. I dare not follow him, Suspicion's eye
• The ancient Egyptians used to wash their bodies Would note my wild demeanor! Miriam, yes, four times every twenty-four hours.
The PRINCESS looks out.' The more they are oppress'd: he dreads
their numbers. Sure, or I much mistake, or I perceive
Prin. Apis forbid! Pharaoh afraid of IsUpon the sedgy margin of the Nile
rael! A chest ; entangled in the reeds it seems : Vet should thic outcast pace this honlios Discern’st thou anght?
| Ere grow to such a formidable greatness, Mel. Something, but what I know not.
J(Which all the gods avert whom Egypt Prin. Go and examine what this sight
worship) may mean,
[Exil maid. This infant's life can never serve their cause. Miriam behind
Norcan his single death prevent their great
ness. O blest, beyond my hopes! he is dis Mel. Trust not to that vain hope. By · cover'd;
(ger? weakest means My brother will be sav'd !-- who is this stran- | And most unlikely instrument, full oft Ah! 'tis the princess, cruel Pharaoh's Are great events produc'd. This rescued
daughter. If she resemble her inhuman sire,
Perhaps may live to serve his upstart race She must be cruel too; yet fame reports her more than an host. Most merciful and mild. Great Lord of all, Prin,
How ill it does beseem By whose good Spirit bounteous thoughts are Thy tender years and gentle womanhood, given
(now, To steel thy breast to Pity's sacred touch ! And deeds of love perform'd-be gracious So weak, so unprotected is our sex, And touch her soul with mercy !
So constantly expos'd, so very helpless, Re-enter MELITA.
That did not Heaven itself enjoin compas
Well, Melita! Yet human policy should make us kind, Hast thou discover'd what the vessel is ? Lest in the rapid turn of Fortune's wheel, Mel. Oh, princess, I have seen the stran- We live to need the pity we refuse. gest sight!
Yes, I will save him- Mercy, thou hast conWithin the vessel lies a sleeping bibe,
quered! A fairer infant have I never seen!
Lead on-and from the rushes we'll remove Prin. Who knows but some unhappy He- The fecble ark which cradles this poor brew woman
babe, Has thus expos'd her infant, to evade
[The PRINCESS and her maid go out, The stern decree of my too cruel sire.
Miriam comes forward.
How poor were words to speak my boundPowerless to save, yet hating to destroy.
• less joy ! Mel. Should this be so, my princess knows
The princess will protect him ; bless her, the danger.
Heaven ! Prin. No danger should deter from acts
[She looks out after the princess, and of mercy.
describes her action.
| With what impatient steps she seeks the Miriam behind.
shore ! A thousand blessings on her princely head! I Now she approaches where the ark is laid! Prin, Too much the sons of Jacob have
With what compassion, with what angel
sweetness, endur'd From Royal Pharaoh's unrelenting hate;
She bends to look upon the infant's face! Too much our house has crush'd their alien She takes his little hand in hers-he wakesrace.
"She smiles upon him-hark, alas ! he cries; Is't not enough that cruel task-masters
Weep on, sweet babe! weep on, till thou Grind them by hard oppression ? not enoughl.. hast touch'd That iron bondage bows their spirits down? Each chord of pity, waken'd every sense Is't not enough my sire his greatness owes,
Of melting sympathy, and stolen her soul! His palaces, his tanes magnificent,
She takes him in her arms— lovely prinThose structures which the world with
[clasps him wonder views,
How goodness heightens beauty! now she To much insulted Ísrael's patient race ?
With fondness to her heart, she gives him To them his growing cities owe their splen
heir splend' now : dour :
Wit tender caution to her damsel's arms : Their toils fair Rameses and Pythom built: She points her to the palace, and again And shall we fill the measure of our crimes. This way the princess bends her gracious And crown our guilt with murder and l...
steps; shall I
The virgin train retire and bear the child. Sanction the sin I hate ? forbid it, Mercy! |
Re-enter the PRINCESS. Mel. I know thy royal father fears the Prin. Did ever innocence and infant strength
[quence? Of this still growing race, who flourish more Plead with such dumb but powerful elo