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Walks the dire power of pestilent disease.
A thousand hideous fiends her course attend,
Sick Nature blasting, and to heartless woe,
And feeble desolation, casting down
The towering hopes and and all the pride of man.
Such as, of late, at Carthagena quench'd
The British fire. You, gallant Vernon *), saw
The miserable scene; you, pitying, saw
To infant-weakness sunk the warrior's arm;
Saw the deep-racking pang, the ghastly form,
The lip pale -quivering, and the beamless eye
No more with ardour bright: you heard the groans
Of agonizing ships from shore to shore;
Heard, nightly plung'd amid the sullen waves,
The frequent corse; while, on each other fix'do
In sad presage, the blank assistants seem'd,
Silent, to ask, whom Fate would next demand.
What need I mention those inclement skies.
Where, frequent o'er the sickening city, Plague,
The fiercest child of Nemesis divine,
Descends **)? From Ethiopia's poison'd woods,
From stilled Cairo's filth, and ferid fields
With locust - armies putrefying heap'd,
This great destroyer sprung. Her awful rage
The brutes escape: Man is her destin d prey,
Intemperate man! and, o'er his guilty domes,
She draws a close incumbent cloud of death
Uninterrupted by the living winds,
Forbid to blow a wholesome breeze; and stain'd
With many a mixture by the sun, suffus’d,
Of angry aspect. Princely wisdom, then,
Dejects his watchful eye; and from the hand
Of feeble justice, ineffectual, drop
The sword and balance: mute the voico of joy,
And hush'd the clamour of the busy world,
Emply the streets, with uncouth verdure clad:
Into the worst of deserts sudden turn'd
) Der Englische Admiral Vernon belagerte 1741 die im Spanischen Süd-Amerika belegene Stadt Carthagena.
**) These are the causes supposed to be the first origin of the Plague, in Ds. Mead's elegant book on that subject.
The cheerful haunt of men, unless escap'd
From the doom'd house, where matchless horror reigns,
Shut up by barbarous fear, the smitten wretch,
With frenzy wild, breaks loose; and, loud to heaven
Screaming, the dreadful policy arraigns,
Inhuman, and unwise. The sullen door,
Yet uninfected, on its cautious hinge
Fearing to turn, abhors society:
Dependants, friends, relations, love himself,
Savag'd by woe, forget the tender tie,
The sweet engagement of the feeling heart.
But vain their selfish care: the circling sky,
The wide enlivening air is full of fate;
And, struck by turns, in solitary pangs
They fall, unblest, untended, and unmourn'd.
Thus o'er the prostrate city black Despair
Extends her raven wing; while, to complere
The scene of desolation, stretch'd around,
The grim guards stand, denying all retreat,
And give the flying wretch a better death.
2) CBLADON AND AMBLIA *).
Young Celadon And his Amelia were a matchless pair; With equal virtue form’d, and equal grace, The same, distinguish'd by their sex alone: Hers the mild lustre of the blooming morn, And bis the radiance of the risen day.
They lov'd. But such their guileless passion was, As in the dawn of time inform'd the heart Of innocence, and undissembling truth. 'Twas friendship beighten'd by the mutual wish, Th' enchanting hope, and sympathetic glow, Beam'd from the mutual eye. Devoting all To love, each was to each a dearer self; Supremely happy in th' awaken'd power Of giving joy. Alone, amid the shades, Still in harmonious intercourse they liv'd
The rural day, and talk'd the flowing heart,
Or sigh’d, and look'd unutterable things.
So pass'd their life, a clear united stream,
By care, unruffled; till, in evil hour,
The tempest caught them on the tender' walk,
Heedless how far, and where its mazes stray'd,
While, with each other blest, creative love
Still bade eternal Eden smile around.
Presaging instant fate, her bosom heav'd
Unwonted sighs, and stealing oft a look
Of the big gloom on Celadon her eye
Fell tearful, wetting her disordered cheek.
In vain assuring love, and confidence
In heaven, repress'd her fear; it grew, and shook
Her frame near dissolution. He perceiv'd.
Th’ unequal conflict, and as angels look
On dying saints, his eyes compassion shed,
With love illumin'd high. „Fear not, he said,
„Sweet innocence! thou stranger to offence,
„And inward storm! He, who
yon skies involves
„In frowns of darkness, ever smiles on thee
„With kind regard. 'O’er thee the secret shaft
„That wastes at midnight, or th' undreaded hour
Of noon, flies harmless: and that very voice
,Which thunders terror through the guilty heart,
„With tongues of seraphs whispers peace to thine.
„ 'Tis safety to be near thee, sure, and thus
„To clasp perfection!" From his void embrace,
Mysterious heaven! that moment, to the ground,
A blacken'd corse, was struck the beauteous maid.
But who can paint the lover, as he stood,
Pierc'd by severe amazement, hating life,
Speechless, and fix'd in all the death of woe!
So, faint resemblance! on the marble-tomb,
The well - dissembled mourner stooping stands,
For ever silent, and for ever sad.
3) BATHING *). Cheard by the milder beam, the sprightly youth Speeds to the well-known pool, whose crystall depth
A sandy boitom shews. A while he stands
Gazing th' inverted landskip, half- afraid
To meditate the blue profound below;
Then plunges headlong down the circling food.
His ebon tresses, and his rosy cheek
Instant emerge; and through th' obedient wave,
At each short breathing by his lip repellid,
With arms and legs according well, he makes,
As humour leads, an easy-winding path;
While, from his polish'd sides, a dewy light.
Effuses on the pleas'd spectators round.
This is the purest exercise of health,
The kind refresher of the Summer - heats ;
Nor, when cold Winter keens the brightening flood,
Would I weak - shivering linger on the brink.
Thus life redoubles, and is oft preserv'd,
By the bold swimmer, in the swift illapse
Of accident disastrous. Hence the limbs
Knit into force; and the same Roman arm,
That rose victorious o'er the conquer'd earth,
| First learn'd, while tender, to subdue the wave.
Even from the body's purity, the mind
Receives a secret sympathetic aid.
4) PROSPBCT OF A RICH, WELL-CULTIVATED COUNTRY;
A PANEGYRIC ON GABAT-BRITAIN *).
Heavens! what a goodly prospect spreads around,
Of hills, and dales, and woods, and lawns, and spires,
And glittering towns, and gilded streams, till all
The stretching landskip into smoke decays !
Happy Britannia! Where, the queen of arts,
Inspiring vigour, Liberty abroad
Walks, unconfin'd, even to thy farthest cots,
And scatters plenty with unsparing hand.
Rich is thy soil, and merciful thy clime;
Thy streams unfailing in the summer's drought;
Unmatch'd thy guardian - oaks; thy valleys float
With golden waves: and on thy mountains flocks
Bleat numberless: while, roving round their sides,
Bellow the blackening herds in lusty droves.
Beneath thy meadows glow, and rise unquellid
Against the mower's scythe. On every hand
Thy villas shine. Thy country teems with wealth;
property assures it to the swain,
Pleas'd, and unwearied, in his guarded toil.
Full are thy cities with the sons of art;
And trade with joy, in every busy street,
Mingling are leard: ev'n drudgery himself,
As at the car he sweats, or dusty hews
The palace - stone, looks gay. Thy crowded ports,
Where rising masts an endless prospect yield,
With labour burn, and echo to the shouts
Of hurried sailor, as he hearty waves
His last adieu, and, loosening every sheet,
Resigns the spreading yessel to the wind.
Bold, firm, and graceful, are thy generous youth;
By hardship sinew'd, and by danger fir'd,
Scattering the nations where they go; and first
Or on the listed plain, or stormy seas.
Mild are thy glories too, as o'er the plans
Of thriving peace thy thoughtful sires preside;
In genius, and substantial learning, high;
For every virtue, every worth, renown'd;
Sincere, plain-hearted, hospitable, kind;
Yet, like the mustering thunder, when provok'd,
The dread of tyrants, and the sole resource
Of those that under grim oppression groan.
Thy Sons of glory many! Alfred *) thine,
In whom the splendor of heroic war,
And more heroic peace, when' govern'd well,
Combine; whose hallow'd name the Virtues saint,
And his own Muses love; the best of Kings!
With him tby Edwards **) and thy Henrys ***) shine,
*) Alfred regierte um 872; er ist als Held und Befördes rer der Gelehrsamkeit bekannt. **) Sechs Könige führen diesen Namen. Unter ihnen sind Edward I, gestorben 1509, und Edward III, gestorben 1372, am berühmtesten.
***) Ihrer sind acht, und unter ihnen zeichnen sich Henry II, IV, VII und VIII am meisten aus.