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What harp of boundless, deep, exhaustless wo,
Shall utter forth the groanings of the damned !
And sing the obsequies of wicked souls !
And wail their plunge in the eternal fire !
Hold, hold your hands; hold angels; God laments,
And draws a cloud of mourning round his throne;
The Organ of eternity is mute ;
And there is silence in the Heaven of heavens.
Daughters of beauty! choice of beings made ! Much praised, much blamed, much loved; but
Than aught beheld ; than aught imagined else
Fairest ; and dearer than all else most dear:
Light of the darksome wilderness ! to Time
As stars to night—whose eyes were spells that
The passenger forgetful of his way;
Whose steps were majesty ; whose words were
Whose smiles were hope; whose actions, perfect
grace ; Whose love the solace, glory, and delight Of man, his boast, his riches, his renown : When found, sufficient bliss ; when lost, despair : Stars of creation ! images of love! Break
the fountains of your tears; your tears, More eloquent than learned tongue, or lyre Of purest note ; your sunny raiment stain; Put dust upon your heads; lament and weep; And utter all your ministrelsy of wo.
Go to, ye wicked, weep and howl; for all That God hath written against you is at hand. The cry
of violence hath reached his ear ; Hell is prepared; and Justice whets his sword. Weep all of every name: begin the wo, Ye woods, and tell it to the doleful winds; And doleful winds, wail to the howling hills ; And howling hills, mourn to the dismal vales ;
And dismal vales, sigh to the sorrowing brooks; And sorrowing brooks, weep to the weeping
And weeping stream, awake the groaning deep;
And let the instrument take
Responsive to the voice–harmonious wo!
Ye heavens, great archway of the universe !
Put sackcloth on; and Ocean, clothe thyself
In garb of widowhood, and gather all
Thy waves into a groan, and utter it-
Long, loud, deep, piercing, dolorous, immense :
The occasion asks it; Nature dies; and God,
And angels, come to lay her in the grave !
But we have overleaped our theme: behind
A little season waits a verse or two :
that followed the millennial rest.
Bad years they were; and first, as signal sure,
That at the core religion was diseased,
The sons of Levi strove again, for place,
And eminence, and names of swelling pomp,
Setting their feet upon the people's neck,
And slumbering in the lap of civil power ;
Of civil power again tyrannical.
And second sign, sure sign, whenever seen,
That holiness was dying in a land,
The Sabbath was profaned, and set at nought:
The honest seer, who spoke the truth of God
Plainly, was left with empty walls; and round
The frothy orator, who busked his tales
In quackish pomp of noisy words, the ear
Tickling, but leaving still the heart unprobed,
The judgment uninformed,numbers immense
Flocked, gaping wide, with passions high inflamed;
And on the way returning heated home,
Of eloquence, and not of truth, conversed-
Mean eloquence that wanted sacred truth.
Two principles from the beginning strove In human nature, still dividing man-
Sloth and activity, the lust of praise,
And indolence, that rather wished to sleep.
And not unfrequently in the same mind,
They dubious contest held; one gaining now,
And now the other crowned, and both again
Keeping the field, with equal combat fought.
Much different was their voice: Ambition called
To action; Sloth invited to repose,
Ambition early rose, and, being up,
Toiled ardently, and late retired to rest ;
Sloth lay till mid-day, turning on his couch,
Like ponderous door upon its weary hinge,
And having rolled him out with much ado,
And many a dismal sigh, and vain attempt,
He sauntered out accoutred carelessly-
With half-oped, misty, unobservant eye,
Somniferous, that weighed the object down
On which its burden fell—an hour or two,
Then with a groan retired to rest again.
The one, whatever deed had been achieved,