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O say what soft propitious hour
When Eve, her dewy star beneath,
Thou, to whom the world unknown
Lifts her red arm, expos'd and bare:
On whom that rav'ning brood of Fate,
Say, will no white-rob’d Son of Light, Swift darting from his heav'nly height, Here deign to take his hallow'd stand; Here wave his amber locks; unfold His pinions cloth'd with downy gold; Here smiling stretch his tutelary wand 2 And you, ye host of Saints, for ye have known Each dreary path in Life's perplexing maze, Though now ye circle yon eternal throne, With harpings high of inexpressive praise, Will not your train descend in radiant state, To break with Mercy's beam this gath'ring cloud of Fate?
'Tis silence all. No Son of Light Darts swiftly from his heav'nly height: No train of radiant Saints descend. “Mortals, in vain ye hope to find, “If guilt, if fraud has stain'd your mind, “Or Saint to hear, or Angel to defend.” So Truth proclaims. I hear the sacred sound . Burst from the centre of her burning throne: Where aye she sits with star-wreath'd lustre crown'd : A bright Sun clasps her adamantine zone. So Truth proclaims: her awful voice I hear: With many a solemn pause it slowly meets my ear
“Attend, ye Sons of Men; attend, and say, “Does not enough of my refulgent ray “Break through the veil of your mortality ? “Say, does not Reason in this form descry “Unnumber'd, nameless glories, that surpass “The Angel's floating pomp, the Seraph's glowing grace “Shall then your earth-born daughters vie “With me? Shall she, whose brightest eye “But emulates the di'mond's blaze, “Whose cheek but mocks the peach's bloom, ... ...Whose breath the hyacinth's perfume, Whose melting voice the warbling woodlark's lays,
“Shall she be deem'd my rival Shall a form
* Know, Mortals know, ere first ye sprung,
“Last, Man arose, erect in youthful grace,
Thy spirit o'er my soul diffuse,
My footsteps to thy temple guide, -,
But flow’rs and honey from the rock.
238 DESCRIPTIVE PIECES. Book VII
O Nymph with loosely flowing hair, With buskin'd leg, and bosom bare, Thy waist with myrtle-girdle bound, * , Thy brows with Indian feathers crown'd, Waving in thy snowy hand An all commanding magic wand; Of pow'r to bid fresh #". grow "Mid cheerless Lapland's barren snow. Whose rapid wings thy flight convey Through air, and over earth and sea, While the various landscape lies Conspicuous to thy piercing eyes; O lover of the desert, hail! Say in what deep and pathless vale, Oron what hoary mountain's side, "Midst falls of water you reside, 'Midst broken rocks, a rugged scene, ** With green and grassy dales between, "Midst forest dark of aged oak, Ne'er echoing with the woodman's stroke, Where never human art appear'd, Nor e'en one straw-roof’d cot was rear'd, Where Nature seems to sit alone, Majestic on a craggy throne ; * Tell me the path, sweet wand'rer tell, To thy unknown, sequester'd cell, Where woodbines cluster round the door, Where shells and moss o'erlay the floor, And on whose top a hawthorn blows, Amid whose thickly woven boughs Some nightingale still builds her nest, * Each ev'ning warbling thee to rest: . Then lay me by the haunted stream, Rapt in some wild, poetic dream, 2. In converse while methinks Irove With Spenser through a fairy grove; Till suddenly awak'd I hear Strange whisper'd music in my ear, . . ." And my glad soul in bliss is drown'd, By the sweetly soothing sound!