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O ye numberless, Whom foul Oppression's ruffian gluttony Drives from life's plenteous feast! O thou poor Wretch Who nursed in darkness and made wild by want Roamest for prey, yea thy unnatural hand Dost lift to deeds of blood ! O pale-eyed Form, The victim of seduction, doomed to know Polluted nights and days of blasphemy; Who in loathed orgies with lewd wassailers Must gaily laugh, while thy remembered Home Gnaws like a viper at thy secret heart ! O aged Women! ye who weekly catch The morsel tossed by law-forced Charity, And die so slowly, that none call it murder ! O loathly Suppliants! ye, that unreceived Totter heart-broken from the closing gates Of the full Lazar-house : or, gazing, stand Sick with despair ! O ye to Glory's field Forced or ensnared, who, as ye gasp in death, Bleed with new wounds beneath the Vulture's beak! O thou poor Widow, who in dreams dost view Thy Husband's mangled corse, and from short doze Start'st with a shrick; or in thy half-thatched cot Waked by the wintry night-storm, wet and cold, Cow'rst o'er thy screaming baby! Rest awhile Children of Wretchedness! More groans must rise,
More blood must stream, or ere your wrongs be full.
Yet is the day of Retribution nigh:
The Lamb of God hath opened the fifth seal :
And upward rush on swiftest wing of fire
The innumerable multitude of Wrongs
By man on man inflicted! Rest awhile,
Children of Wretchedness! The hour is nigh;
And lo! the Great, the Rich, the Mighty Men,
The Kings and the Chief Captains of the World,
With all that fixed on high like stars of Heaven
Shot baleful influence, shall be cast to earth,
Vile and down-trodden, as the untimely fruit
Shook from the fig-tree by a sudden storm.
Even now the storm begins :* each gentle name,
Faith and meek Piety, with fearful joy
Tremble far-off-for lo! the Giant FRENZY
Uprooting empires with his whirlwind arm
Mocketh high Heaven ; burst hideous from the cell
Where the old Hag, unconquerable, huge,
Creation's eyeless drudge, black RUIN, sits
Nursing the impatient earthquake.
Pure Faith! meek Pikty! The abhorred Form
Whose scarlet robe was stiff with earthly pomp,
Who drank iniquity in cups of Gold,
* Alluding to the French Revolution.
Whose names were many and all blasphemous,
Hath met the horrible judgment! Whence that cry?
The mighty army of foul Spirits shrieked
Disherited of earth! For she hath fallen
On whose black front was written Mystery;
She that reeled heavily, whose wine was blood;
She that worked whoredom with the Demon Power
And from the dark embrace all evil things
Brought forth and nurtured: mitred ATHEISM!
And patient Folly who on bended knee
Gives back the steel that stabbed him; and pale
Hunted by ghastlier shapings than surround
Moon-blasted Madness when he yells at midnight!
Return pure Faith! return meek Piety!
The kingdoms of the world are your's : each heart
Self-governed, the vast family of Love
Raised from the common earth by common toil
Enjoy the equal produce. Such delights
As float to earth, permitted visitants !
When in some hour of solemn jubilee
massy gates of Paradise are thrown Wide open,
and forth come in fragments wild Sweet echoes of unearthly melodies, And odours snatched from beds of Amaranth,
And they, that from the crystal river of life
Spring up on freshened wing, ambrosial gales !
The favoured good man in his lonely walk
Perceives them, and his silent spirit drinks
Strange bliss which he shall recognize in heaven.
And such delights, such strange beatitude
Seize on my young anticipating heart
When that blest future rushes on my view!
For in his own and in his Father's might
The Saviour comes! While as the THOUSAND
Lead up their mystic dance, the Desert shouts !
Old Ocean claps his hands! The mighy Dead
Rise to new life, whoe'er from earliest time
With conscious zeal had urged Love's wondrous plan,
Coadjutors of God. To Milton's trump
The high Groves of the renovated Earth
Unbosom their glad echoes: inly hushed,
Adoring Newton his serener eye
Raises to heaven : and he of mortal kind
Wisest, he* first who marked the ideal tribes
Up the fine fibres through the sentient brain.
Lo! PRIESTLEY there, Patriot, and Saint, and Sage,
Him, full of years, from his loved native land
Statesmen blood-stained and Priests idolatrous
By dark lies maddening the blind multitude
Drove with vain hate. Calm, pitying he retired,
And mused expectant on these promised years.
O Years! the blest pre-eminence of Saints !
Ye sweep athwart my gaze, so heavenly bright,
The winys that veil the adoring Seraph's eyes,
What time he bends before the Jasper Throne*
Reflect no lovelier hues ! yet ye depart,
And all beyond is darkness! Heights most strange,
Whence Fancy falls, fluttering her idle wing.
For who of woman born may paint the hour,
When seized in his mid course, the Sun shall wane
Making noon ghastly! Who of woman born
May image in the workings of his thought,
How the black-visaged, red-eyed Fiend outstretchedt
Beneath the unsteady feet of Nature groans,
In feverish slumbers--destined then to wake,
When fiery whirlwinds thunder his dread name
And Angels shout, DESTRUCTION! How his arm
* Rev. Chap. iv. v. 2 and 3.-And immediately I was in the Spirit: and behold, a Throne was set in Heaven, and one sat on the Throne. And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and sardine stone, &c.
+ The final Destruction impersonated.