« ZurückWeiter »
Weep, from thy soul, till earth be drown'd, Weep, till thy sorrows drench the ground. Canst thou, ungrateful man! bis torment see, Nor drop a tear for him, who pours his blood for thee?
THE GENEALOGY OF CHRIST, AS IT IS REPRE
SENTED ON THE EAST WINDOW OF WINCHESTER COLLEGE CHAPEL.
At once to raise our rev'rence and delight,
To elevate the mind and please the sight,
in virtue at th'attentive eye,
And waft the soul on wings of ecstasy;
For this the painter's art with nature vies,
And bids the visionary saint arise :
Who views the sacred forms in thought aspires,
and, as he gazes, fires; Feels the same ardour to his breast convey'd; Is what he sees, and emulates the shade.
Thy strokes, great artist, so sublime appear, They check our pleasure with an awful fear; While through the mortal line the God you trace, Author himself and heir of Jesse's race, In raptures we admire thy bold design, And, as the subject, own the hand divine. While through thy work the rising day shall stream, So long shall last thine honour, praise, and name. And may thy labours to the Muse impart Some emanation from her sister art, To animate the verse, and bid it shine In colours easy, bright, and strong as thine !
Supine on earth an awful figure lies, While softest slumbers seem to seal his eyes ; The hoary sire Heaven's guardian care demands, And at his feet the watchful angel stands. The form august and large, the mien divine, Betray the founder of Messiah's line.* Lo! from his loins the promis'd stem ascend, And high to Heaven its sacred boughs extend: 1 Each limb productive of some hero springs, And blooms luxuriant with a race of kings. Th'eternal plant wide spreads its arms around, And with the mighty branch the mystic top is
crown'd. And lo! the glories of th' illustrious line At their first dawn with ripen'd splendours shine, In David all express’d; the good, the great, The king, the hero, and the man complete. Serene he sits, and sweeps the golden lyre, And blends the prophet's with the poet's fire. See! with what art he strikes the vocal strings, The God, his theme, inspiring what he sings! Hark—or our ears delude us—from his tongue Sweet flows, or seems to flow, some heavenly song. Oh could thine art arrest the fleeting sound, And paint the voice in magic numbers bound; Could the warm sun, as erst when Memnon play'd, Wake with his rising beam the vocal shade; Then might he draw th' attentive angels down, Bending to hear the lay, so sweet, so like their On either side the monarch's offspring shine, And some adorn, and some disgrace their line.
Here Ammon glories ; proud incestuous lord !
This hand sustains the robe, and that the sword.
Frowning and fierce, with haughty strides he tow'rs.
And on his horrid brow defiance low'rs.
There Absalom the ravish'd sceptre sways,
And his stolen honour all his shame displays:
The base usurper youth! who joins in one
The rebel subject and th' ungrateful son.
Amid the royal race, see Nathan stand :
Fervent he seems to speak, and lift his hand;
His looks th' emotion of his soul disclose,
And eloquence from ev'ry gesture flows.
Such, and so stern he came, ordain'd to bring
Th' ungrateful mandate to the guilty king:
When, at his dreadful voice, a sudden smart [heart,
Shot through the trembling monarch's conscious
From his own lips condemn’d; severe decree!
Had his God prov'd so stern a judge as he:
But man to frailty is allied by birth;
Consummate purity ne'er dwelt on Earth ;
Through all the soul though virtue holds the rein,
Beats at the heart, and springs in ev'ry vein,
Yet ever from the clearest source have ran
Some gross alloy, some tincture of the man.
But who is he deep musing ? in his mind, He seems to weigh in reason's scales mankind; Fix'd contemplation holds his steady eyes I know the sage*, the wisest of the wise. Blest with all man could wish, or prince obtain, Yet his great heart pronounc'd those blessings vain. And lo! bright glittering in his sacred hands, In miniature the glorious temple stands.
Effulgent frame! stupendous to behold!
Gold the strong valves, the roof of burnish'd gold.
The wand'ring ark, in that bright dome enshrin'd,
Spreads the strong light, eternal, unconfin'd,
Above th’ unutterable glory plays,
Presence divine ! and the full streaming rays
Pour through reluctant clouds intolerable blaze.
But stern oppression rends Reboam's reign:
See the gay prince, injurious, proud, and vain!
Th’imperial sceptre totters in his hand,
And proud rebellion triumphs in the land,
Curs'd with corruption's ever-fruitful spring,
A beardless senate, and a haughty king.
There Asa, good and great, the sceptre bears,
Justice attends his peace, success his wars ;
While virtue was his sword, and Heav'n his shield,
Without control the warrior swept the field;
Loaded with spoils, triumphant he return'd,
And half her swarthy sons sad Ethiopia mourn'd.
But since thy flagging piety decay'd,
And barter'd God's defence for human aid;
See their fair laurels wither on thy brow,
Nor herbs nor healthful arts avail thee now,
Nor is Heav'n chang'd, apostate prince, but thou.
No mean atonement does this lapse require ;
But see the son, you must forgive the sire;
He*, the just prince—with ev'ry virtue bless'd
He reign'd, and goodness all the man possessid,
Around his throne fair happiness and peace
Smooth'd ev'ry brow, and smil'd in ev'ry face.
As when along the burning waste he stray'd,
Where no pure streams in bubbling mazes play'd,
Where drought incumbent on the thirsty ground
Long since had breath'd herscorching blasts around:
The prophet* calls, th’ obedient floods repair
To the parch'd fields, for Josaphat was there.
The new-spring waves, in many a gurgling vein,
Trickles luxurious through the sucking plain ;
Fresh honours the reviving fields adorn,
And o'er the desert plenty pours her horn.
So, from the throne his influence he sheds,
And bids the virtues raise their languid heads:
Where'er he goes, attending Truth prevails,
Oppression flies, and Justice lifts her scales.
See, on his arın the royal eagle stand,
Great type of conquest and supreme command ;
Th' exulting bird distinguish'd triumph brings,
And greets the Monarch with expanded wings.
Fierce Moab's sons prevent th' impending blow,
Rush on themselves, and fall without the foe.
The pious hero vanquish'd Heaven by pray’r ;
His faith an army, and his vows a war.
Thee too, Ozias, fates indulgent bless'd,
And thy days shone in fairest actions dress'd;
Till that rash hand, by some blind frensy sway'd,
Unclean, the sacred office durst invade :
Quick o'er thy limbs the scurfy venom ran,
And hoary filth besprinkled all the man.
Transmissive worth adorns the pious sont,
The father's virtues with the father's throne.
Lo ! there he stands : he who the rage subdued
Of Ammon's sons, and drench'd his sword in blood.
And dost thou, Ahaz, Judah's scourge, disgrace
With thy base front the glories of thy race ?