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Death lurks in ambush; death, without a name,
Shall pluck thee from thy pinnacle of fame;
At eve, rejoicing o'er thy finished toil,
Thy soul shall deem the universe her spoil ;
The dawn shall see thy carcase cast away,
The wolves, at sunrise, slumber on their prey.
Cut from the living, whither dost thou go?
Hades is moved to meet thee from below:
The kings thy sword had slain, the mighty dead,
Start from their thrones at thy descending tread;
They ask in scorn—'Destroyer ! is it thus?
Art thou-thou too-become like one of us ?
Torn from the feast of music, wine, and mirth,
The worms thy covering, and thy couch the earth;
How art thou fallen from thine ethereal height,
Son of the morning ! sunk in endless night:
How art thou fallen, who saidst, in pride of soul,
I will ascend above the starry pole,
Thence rule the adoring nations with my nod,
And set my throne above the Mount of GOD!
Spilt in the dust, thy blood pollutes the ground;
Sought by the eyes that feared thee, yet not found;
Thy chieftains pause, they turn thy relics o'er,
Then pass thee by,--for thou art known no more.
Hail to thine advent ! potentate, in hell,
Unfeared, unflattered, undistinguished dwell;
On earth thy fierce ambition knew no rest,--
A worm, a flame for ever in thy breast;
Here feel the rage of unconsuming fire,
Intense, eternal, impotent desire;
Here lie, the deathless worm's unwasting prey,
In chains of darkness till the judgment-day.'
“Thus while the dead thy fearful welcome sing,
Thy living slaves bewail their vanished king.
Then, though thy reign with infamy expire,
Fulfilled in death shall be thy vain desire :
The traitors, reeking with thy blood, shall swear
They saw their sovereign ravished through the air,
And point thy star revolving o'er the night,
A baleful comet with portentous light,
'Midst clouds and storms, denouncing from afar
Famine and havoc, pestilence and war.
Temples, not tombs, thy monuments shall be,
And altars blaze on hills and groves to thee;
A pyramid shall consecrate thy crimes,
Thy name and honours, to succeeding times;
There shall thine image hold the highest place
Among the gods of man's revolted race !
“That race shall perish :-Men and Giants, all
Thy kindred and thy worshippers, shall fall ;
The babe, whose life with yesterday began,
May spring to youth, and ripen into man,
But ere his locks are tinged with fading gray,
This world of sinners shall be swept away.
JEHOVAH lifts His standard to the skies,
Swift at the signal winds and vapours rise ;
The sun in sackcloth veils his face at noon;
The stars are quenched, and turned to blood the moon ;
Heaven's fountains open, clouds dissolving roll
In mingled cataracts from pole to pole.
Earth's central sluices burst, the hills uptorn,
In rapid whirlpools down the gulf are borne ;
The voice, that taught the Deep his bounds to known
Thus far, 0 Sea! nor farther shalt thou go-
Sends forth the floods, commissioned to devour,
With boundless licence and resistless power ;
They own no impulse but the tempest's sway,
Nor find a limit but the light of day.
“The vision opens :-Sunk beneath the wave,
The guilty share a universal grave;
One wilderness of water rolls in view,
And heaven and ocean wear one turbid hue ;
Still stream unbroken torrents from the skies,
Higher beneath the inundations rise ;
A lurid twilight glares athwart the scene,
Low thunders peal, faint lightnings flash between.
Methinks I see a distant vessel ride,
A lonely object on the shoreless tide;
Within whose ark the innocent have found
Safety, while stayed Destruction ravens round:
Thus, in the hour of vengeance, GOD, who knows
His servants, spares them, while He smites His foes.
“Eastward I turn ;-o'er all the deluged lands,
Unshaken yet, a mighty mountain stands,
Where Seth, of old, his flock to pasture led,
And watched the stars at midnight from its head;
An island now, its dark majestic form
Scowls through the thickest ravage of the storm ;
While on its top the monument of fame,
Built by thy murderers to adorn thy name,
Defies the shock ;-a thousand cubits high,
The sloping pyramid ascends the sky.
Thither, their latest refuge in distress,
Like hunted wolves, the rallying Giants press :
Round the broad base of that stupendous tower
The shuddering fugitives collect their power,
Cling to the dizzy Cliff, o'er ocean bend,
And howl with terror as the deeps ascend.
The mountain's strong foundations still endure,
The heights repel the surge.-A while secure,
And cheered with frantic hope, thy votaries climb
The fabric, rising step by step sublime.
Beyond the clouds they see the summit glow
In heaven's pure daylight, o'er the gloom below;
There, too, thy worshipped image shines like fire,
In the full glory of thy fabled sire.
They hail the omen, and with heart and voice
Call on thy name, and in thy smile rejoice.
False omen! on thy name in vain they call ;
Fools in their joy,--a moment and they fall.
Rent by an earthquake of the buried plain,
And shaken by the whole disrupted main,
The mountain trembles on its failing base,-
It slides, it stoops, it rushes from its place;
From all the Giants bursts one drowning cry;
Hark! 'tis thy name,– they curse it as they die;
Sheer to the lowest gulf the pile is hurled,
The last sad wreck of a devoted world.
“So fall transgressors :--Tyrant ! now fulfil
Thy secret purposes, thine utmost will ;
Here crown thy triumphs : life or death decree,
The weakest here disdains thy power and thee.”
Thus when the patriarch ceased, and every ear
Still listened in suspense of hope and fear,
Sublime, ineffable, angelic grace
Beamed in his meek and venerable face ;
And sudden glory streaming round his head,
O'er all his robes with lambent lustre spread;
His earthly features grew divinely bright,
His essence seemed transforming into light.
Brief silence, like the pause between the flash,
At midnight, and the following thunder-crash,
Ensued :-Anon, with universal cry,
The Giants rushed upon the prophet—“Die !”
The king leapt foremost from his throne ;-he drew
His battle-sword, as on his mark he fiew;
With aim unerring, and tempestuous sound,
The blade descended deep along the ground;
The foe was fled, and, self-o'erwhelmed, his strength
Hurled to the earth his Atlantean length;
But ere his chiefs could stretch the helping arm,
He sprang upon his feet in pale alarm;
Headlong and blind with rage he searched around,
But Enoch walked with God, and was not found.
Yet where the captives stood, in holy awe,
Rapt on the wings of Cherubim, they saw
Their sainted sire ascending through the night;
He turned his face to bless them in his flight,
Then vanished :-Javan caught the prophet's eye,
And snatched his mantle, falling from the sky;
O’er him the spirit of the prophet came,
Like rushing wind awakening hidden flame :
“Where is the GOD of Enoch now ?” he cried ;
Captives, come forth ! despisers, shrink aside!” He spake, and bursting through the Giant-throng, Smote with the mantle as he moved along ; A Power invisible their rage controlled, Hither and thither as he turned they rolled ; Unawed, unharmed the ransomed prisoners passed Through ranks of foes astonied and aghast : Close in the youth's conducting steps they trod. So Israel marched when Moses raised his rod, And led their host, enfranchised, through the wave, The people's safeguard, the pursuers' grave.
Thus from the wolves this little flock was torn, And sheltering in the mountain-caves till morn, They joined to sing, in strains of full delight, Songs of deliverance through the dreary night.
The Giants' frenzy, when they lost their prey, No tongue of man or angel might portray. First on their idol-gods their vengeance turned, Those gods on their own altar-piles they burned ; Then, at their sovereign's mandate, sallied forth To rouse their host to combat, from the north ; Eager to risk their uttermost emprise, Perish ere morn, or reign in Paradise. Now the slow tempest, that so long had lowered, Keen in their faces sleet and hailstones showered; The winds blew loud, the waters roared around, An earthquake rocked the agonizing ground;
Red in the west, the burning mount, arrayed
With tenfold terror by incumbent shade,
(For moon and stars were wrapt in dunnest gloom,)
Glared like a torch amidst creation's tomb ;
So Sinai's rocks were kindled, when they felt
Their Maker's footstep, and began to melt;
Darkness was His pavilion, whence He came,
Hid in the brightness of descending flame;
While storm, and whirlwind, and the trumpet's blast,
Proclaimed His law in thunder as He passed.
The Giants reached their camp :-the night's alarms
Meanwhile had startled all their slaves to arms;
They grasped their weapons as from sleep they sprang,
From tent to tent the brazen clangour rang;
The hail, the earthquake, the mysterious light,
Unnerved their strength ,o'erwhelmed them with affright.
“ Warriors ! to battle; summon all your powers ;-
Warriors! to conquest; Paradise is ours!”
Exclaimed their monarch ;—not an arm was raised;
In vacancy of thought, like men amazed,
And lost amidst confounding dreams, they stood,
With palsied eyes and horror-frozen blood.
The Giants' rage to instant madness grew;
The king and chiefs on their own legions flew,
Denouncing vengeance;—then had all the plain
Been heaped with myriads by their leaders slain;
But ere a sword could fall, by whirlwinds driven,
In mighty volumes through the vault of heaven,
From Eden's summit, o'er the camp accurst,
The darting fires with noonday splendour burst;
And fearful grew the scene above, below,
With sights of mystery and sounds of woe.
The embattled Cherubim appeared on high,
And coursers, winged with lightning, swept the sky;
Chariots, whose wheels with living instinct rolled,
Spirits of unimaginable mould,
Powers, such as dwell in heaven's serenest light,
Too pure, too terrible for mortal sight,
From depth of midnight suddenly revealed,
In arms against the Giants took the field.
On such a host Elisha's servant gazed,
When all the mountain round the prophet blazed :*
With such a host, when war in heaven was wrought,
Michael against the Prince of Darkness fought.