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140 THE THIRTY-FOURTH CHAPTER The beasts so long have sacrificed been; Since men their birth-right forfeit still by sin; 'Tis fit at last beasts their revenge should have, And sacrificed men their better brethren save.
So will they fall, so will they flee,
When, at the final doom,
Shall struggle with Death's pangs in vain, And the whole world their funeral pile become.
The wide-stretch'd scroll of heaven, which we
Immortal as the Deity think, With all the beauteous characters that in it (writ With such deep sense by God's own hand were (Whose eloquence, though we understand not, we
admire) Shall crackle, and the parts together shrink
Like parchment in a fire: The' exhausted sun to the'moon no more shall lend; But truly then headlong into the sea descend: The glittering host, now in such fair array, So proud, so well-appointed, and so gay, Like fearful troops in some strong ambush ta’en, Shall some fly routed, and some fall slain, Thick as ripe fruit
, or yellow leaves, in autumn fall, With such a violent storm as blows down tree
And thou, O cursed land! [stand Which wilt not see the precipice where thou dost
(Though thou stand'st just upon the brink) Thou of this poison'd bowl the bitter dregs shalt
Thy rivers and thy lakes shall so [drink.
With human blood o'erflow,
That they shall fetch the slaughter'd corpse away,
That by thine own dead shall be slain
As one who buys, surveys, a ground,
So careful and so strict he is, Lest
any nook or corner he should miss :
He walks about the perishing nation, Ruin behind him stalks and empty Desolation. Then shall the market and the pleading-place Bechoked with brambles and o'ergrown with grass:
The serpents through thy streets shall roll, And in thy lower rooms the wolves shall howl, And thy gilt chambers lodge the raven and the owl, And all the wing’d ill-omens of the air, Though no new ills can be foreboded there: The lion then shall to the leopard say,
“ Brother leopard, come away; Behold a land which God has given us in prey ! Behold a land from whence we see Mankind expulsed, his and our common enemy!" The brother leopard shakes himself, and does not
stay. The glutted vultures shall expect in vain
New armies to be slain ;
Shall find at last the business done,
The unburied ghosts shall sadly moan,
The evil spirits, that delight
relics but remain ; [shall reign. They in the dens shall lurk, beasts in the palaces
THE PLAGUES OF EGYPT.
To fly from thine own liberty !
“ Man is mine.” In black Egyptian slavery we lie; And sweat and toil in the vile drudgery
Of tyrant Sin;
To call us home,
honey flow; And even i’ the’ way to which we should be fed
With angels' tasteful bread: But we, alas! the flesh-pots love, We love the very leeks and sordid roots below.
In vain we judgments feel, and wonders see!
We will not let ourselves to go,
Ah! lest at last we perish so, Think, stubborn Man, think of the Egyptian Prince (Hard of belief and will, but not so hard as thou); Think with what dreadful proofs God did convince The feeble arguments that human power
could Think what plagues attend on thee, (show; Who Moses' God dost now refuse, more oft than
“ If from some god you come” (said the proud king
With half a smile and half a frown; “ But what god can to Egypt be unknown ?) What sign, what powers, what credence, do you
“ Behold his seal ! behold his hand !" Cries Moses, and casts down the’all-mighty wand.
The' all-mighty wand scarce touch'd the earth, When, with an undiscerned birth,
The' all-mighty wand a serpent grew,
Upwards his threatening tail he threw;
He gaped and hiss'd aloud,
[filed. Swift fled the' amazed king, the guards before him
Jannes and Jambres stopped their flight,
And with proud words allay'd the’ affright. “ The God of slaves,” said they, “how can he be More powerful than their masters' deity ?"
And down they cast their rods, [gods. And mutter'd secret sounds that charm the servile
The evil spirits their charms obey,
Were ready still at hand,
And they too gaped, and they too hiss'd,
And they their threatening tails did twist; But straight on both the Hebrew-serpent flew, Broke both their active backs, and both it slew, And both almost at once devour'd;
So much was over-power'd, By God's miraculous creation, His servant's, Nature's, slightly-wrought and fee
ble generation !
On the famed bank the prophets stood, Touch'd with their rod, and wounded, all the flood; Flood now no more, but a long vein of putrid blood.
The helpless fish were found
In their strange current drown'd:
About it blush'd and died :
Nor all thy priests, nor thou, (cried.