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Or the debating merchants share the prey,
And various limbs to various marts convey ?
Through his firm skull what steel its way can win ?
What forceful engine can subdue his skin ?
Fly far, and live ; tempt not his matchless might :
The bravest shrink to cowards in his sight;
The rashest dare not rouse him up: Who then
Shall turn on me, among the sons of men ?

“ Am I a debtor ? Hast thou ever heard
Whence come the gifts that are on me conferr'd?
My lavish fruit a thousand valleys fills,
And mine the herds that graze a thousand hills :
Earth, sea, and air, all Nature is my own;
And stars and Sun are dust beneath my throne.
And dar'st thou with the World's great Father vie,
Thou, who dost tremble at my creature's eye?

" At full my large leviathan shall rise, Boast all his strength, and spread his wondrous size. Who, great in arms, e'er stripp'd his shining mail, Or crown'd his triumph with a single scale ? Whose heart sustains him to draw near ? Behold, Destruction yawns; his spacious jaws unfold, And marshall'd round the wide expanse, disclose Teeth edg'd with death, and crowding rows on rows: What hideous fangs on either side arise ! And what a deep abyss between them lies! Mete with thy lance, and with thy plummet sound, The one how long, the other how profound. His bulk is charg'd with such a furious soul, That clouds of smoke from his spread nostrils roll, As from a furnace; and, when rous'd his ire, Fate issues from his jaws in streams of fire..

The rage of tempests, and the roar of seas,
Thy terrour, this thy great superior please ;
Strength on his ample shoulder sits in state;
His well-join'd limbs are dreadfully complete;
His flakes of solid flesh are slow to part ;
As steel his nerves ; as adamant his heart.

• When, late awak’d, he rears him from the floods, And, stretching forth his stature to the clouds, Writhes in the Sun aloft his scaly height, And strikes the distant hills with transient light, Far round are fatal damps of terrour spread, The mighty fear, nor blush to own their dread. “ Large is his front; and, when his burnish'd

eyes . Lift their broad lids, the morning seems to rise.

“ In vain may death in various shapes invade, The swift-wing'd arrow, the descending blade; His naked breast their impotence defies; The dart rebounds, the brittle falchion flies. Shut in himself, the war without he hears, Safe in the tempest of their rattling spears ; The cumber'd strand their wasted volleys strow ; His sport, the rage and labour of the foe.

“ His pastimes like a cauldron boil the flood, And blacken ocean with the rising mud; 'The billows feel him, as he works his way; His hoary footsteps shine along the sea; The foam high-wrought with white divides the green, And distant sailors point where Death has been.

“ His like Earth bears not on her spacious face ; Alone in Nature stands his dauntless race,

For utter ignorance of fear renown'd,
In wrath he rolls his baleful eye around;
Makes every swoln, disdainful heart subside,
And holds dominion o'er the sons of pride.”
Then the Chaldæan eas'd his labouring breast,
With full conviction of his crime opprest.
“ Thou canst accomplish all things, Lord of

Might!
And every thought is naked to thy sight.
But, oh! thy ways are wonderful, and lie
Beyond the deepest reach of mortal eye.
Oft have I heard of thine almighty power;
But never saw thee till this dreadful hour.
O'erwhelm'd with shame, the Lord of Life I see,
Abhor myself, and give my soul to thee.
Nor shall my weakness tempt thine anger more:
Man is not made to question, but adore."

153

THE COMPLAINT:

OR,
NIGHT-THOUGHTS.

Preface. As the occasion of this poem was real, not fictitious ;

so the method pursued in it was rather imposed, by what spontaneously arose in the author's mind on that occasion, than meditated or designed ; which will appear very probable from the nature of it. For it differs from the common mode of poetry, which is, from long narrations to draw short morals. Here, on the contrary, the narrative is short, and the morality arising from it makes the bulk of the poem. The reason of it is, that the facts mentioned did naturally pour these moral reflections on the thought of the writer..

Night THE FIRST.

ON

LIFE, DEATH, AND IMMORTALITY.

TO THE RIGHT HON. ARTHUR Onslow, SPEAKER OF

THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
TIR'D Nature's sweet restorer, balmy Sleep!
He, like the world, his ready visit pays
Where fortune smiles; the wretched he forsakes ;
Swift on his downy pinion flies from woe,
And lights on lids unsullied with a tear.

From short (as usual) and disturb'd repose,
I wake: How happy they, who wake no more !
Yet that were vain, if dreams insest the grave.

I wake, emerging from a sea of dreams
Tumultuous; where my wreck’d desponding thought,
From wave to wave of fancied misery,
At random drove, her helm of reason lost.
Though now restor’d, 't is only change of pain,
(A bitter change!) severer for severe.
The Day too short for my distress; and Night,
E'en in the zenith of her dark domain,
Is sunshine to the colour of my fate.

Night, sable goddess ! from her ebon throne,
In rayless majesty, now stretches forth
Her leaden sceptre o'er a slumbering world.
Silence, how dead! and darkness, how profound!
Nor eye, nor listening ear, an object finds;
Creation sleeps. 'Tis, as the general pulse
Of life stood still, and Nature made a pause;
An aweful pause! prophetic of her end.
And let her prophecy be soon fulfillid;
Fate ! drop the curtain; I can lose no more.

Silence and Darkness ! solemn sisters ! twins From ancient Night, who nurse the tender thought To reason, and on reason build resolve, (That column of true majesty in man,) Assist me: I will thank you in the grave; The grave, your kingdom: there this frame shall fall A victim sacred to your dreary shrine. But what are ye?

Thou, who didst put to flight Primeval Silence, when the morning stars. Exulting, shouted o'er the rising ball ! O thou, whose word from solid darkness struck That spark, the Sun ; strike wisdom from my soul;

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