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Proceed who dares! I tremble as I write;
• Who burst the barriers of my peaceful grave? " Ah, cruel Death! that would no longer save, “ But grudg’d me e'en that narrow dark abode, “ And cast me out into the wrath of God; “ Where shrieks, the roaring flame, the rattling
• chain, * And all the dreadful eloquence of pain, “ Our only song; black fire's malignant light, “ The sole refreshment of the blasted sight.
“ Must all those pow’rs Heav'n gave me to supply
My soul with pleasure, and bring in my joy, " Rise up in arms against me, join the foe, " Sense, reason, memory, increase my woe? “ And shall my voice ordain'd on hymns to dwell,
Corrupt to groans, and blow the fires of hell? “ O! must I look with terror on my gain, “ And with existence only measure pain?
~ What! no reprieve, no least indulgence giv'n, “ No beam of hope from any point of heaven! “ Ah, mercy! mercy! art thou dead above “ Is love extinguish'd in the Source of Love?
“ Bold that I am, did Heaven stoop down to
" hell? “ Th’expiring Lord of life my ransom seal? “ Have I not been industrious to provoke? “ From his embraces obstinately broke? “ Pursu'd and panted for his mortal hate, “ Earn'd my destruction, labour'd out my fate? “ And dare I on extinguish'd love exclaim? Take, take, full vengeance, rouse the slack'ning
flame; “ Just is my lot-but O! must it transcend “ The reach of time, despair a distant end? “ With dreadful growth, shoot forward, and arise, “ Where thought can't follow, and bold fancy dies!
• Never! where falls the soulat that dread sound? “ Down an abyss how dark, and how profound! “ Down, down, (I still am falling, horrid pain!) “ Ten thousand, thousand fathoms still remain? “ My plunge but still begun--and this for sin? « Could I offend if I had never been, • But still increas'd the senseless happy mass,
Flow'd in the stream, or shiver'd in the grass?
~ Father of mercies! why from silent carth • Didst thou awake, and curse me into birth; • Tear me from quiet, ravish me from night, " And make a thankless present of thy light? “ Push into being a reverse of thee, “ And animate a clod with misery?
“The beasts are happy, they come forth, and keep “ Short watch on earth, and then lie down to sleep, " Pain is for man; and O! how vast a pain “ For crimes which made the Godhead bleed in
“ vain! " Annulld his groans as far as in them lay, “ And flung his agonies and death away! " As our dire punishment for ever strong, “ Our constitution too for ever young, • Curst with returns of vigour still the same, “ Pow'rful to bear, and satisfy the flame; “ Still to be caught, and still to be pursu'd ! “ To perish still, and still to be renew'd!
“ Thou, who canst toss the planets to and fro, “ Contract not thy great vengeance to my woe; “ Crush worlds; in hotter flames fall’n angels lay; « On me Almighty wrath is cast away. “ Call back thy thunders, Lord, hold in thy rage, “ Nor with a speck of wretchedness engage:
Forget me quite, nor stoop a worm to blame; “ But lose me in the greatness of thy name. “ Thou art all love, all mercy, all divine, “ And shall I make those glories cease to shine? “ Shall sinful man grow great by his offence, " And from its course turn back Omnipotence?
“ Forbid it! and O grant, Great God, at least “ This one, this slender, almost no request: " When I have wept a thousand lives away, " When torment is grown weary ~ When I have rav’d ten thousand years in fire, “ Ten thousand thousands, let me then expire!"
of his prey,
Deep anguish! but too late! the hopeless soul Bound to the bottom of the burning pool, Though loth, and ever loud blaspheming, owns He's justly doom'd to pour eternal groans; Enclos’d with horrors, and transfix'd with pain, Rolling in vengeance, struggling with his chain; To talk to fiery tempests; to implore The raging flame to give its burnings o'er; To toss, to writhe, to pant beneath his load, And bear the weight of an offended God.
The favor'd of their Judge in triumph move, To take possession of their thrones above;
Satan's accurs’d desertion to supply,
But I attempt the wondrous height in vain, And leave unfinish'd the too lofty strain; What boldly I begin, let others end; My strength exhausted, fainting I descend, And choose a less, but no ignoble theme, Dissolving elements, and worlds, in fiame.
The fatal period, the great hour is come, And nature shrinks at her approaching doom ; Loud peals of thunder give the sign, and all Heaven's terrors in array surround the ball: Sharp lightnings with the meteor’s blaze conspire, And, darted downward, set the world on fire; Black rising clouds the thicken'd æther choke, And spiry flames dart thro' the rolling smoke. With keen vibrations cut the sullen night, And strike the darken'd sky with dreadful light;