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DIES IRÆ.

437

Trumpet, scattering sounds of wonder,
Rending sepulchers asunder,
Shall resistless summons thunder.

All aghast then Death shall shiver,
And great Nature's frame shall quiver,
When the graves their dead deliver.

Book, where actions are recorded,
All the ages have afforded,
Shall be brought and dooms awarded.

When shall sit the Judge unerring,
He'll unfold all here occurring,
No just vengeance then deferring.

What shall I say, that time pending ?
Ask what advocate's befriending,
When the just man needs defending ?

Dreadful King, all power possessing,
Saving freely those confessing,
Save thou me, O Fount of Blessing !

Think, O Jesus, for what reason
Thou didst bear earth's spite and treason,
Nor me lose in that dread season !

Seeking me thy worn feet hasted ;
On the cross thy soul death tasted, -
Let such travail not be wasted !

Righteous Judge of retribution ?
Make me gift absolution
Ere that day of execution !

Culprit-like, I plead, heart-broken,
On my cheek shame's crimson token:
Let the pardoning word be spoken !

Thou, who Mary gav'st remission,
Heard'st the dying thief's petition,
Cheer'st with hope my lost condition.

Though my prayers be void of merit,
What is needful, thou confer it,
Lest I endless fire inherit !

Be the Lord, my place decided
With thy sheep, from goats divided,
Kindly to thy right hand guided !

When the accursed away are driven,
To eternal burnings given,
Call me with the blessed to heaven !

I beseech thee, prostrate lying,
Heart as ashes, contrite, sighing,
Care for me when I am dying !

Day of tears and late repentance !
Man shall rise to hear his sentence:
Him, the child of guilt and error,
Spare, Lord, in that hour of terror !

ABRAHAM COLES.

God

From the Russian.

O

All space doth occupy, all motion guide ; Unchanged through time's all-devastating flight;

Thou only God! There is no God beside ! Being above all beings ! Mighty One!

Whom none can comprehend and none explore; Who fill'st existence with thyself alone ;

Embracing all, -supporting,-ruling o'er,Being whom we call God,-and know no more !

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In its sublime research, philosophy

May measure out the ocean-deep-may count The sands or the sun's rays—but God ! for thee

There is no weight nor measure :-none can mount Up to thy mysteries; Reason's brightest spark,

Though kindled by thy light, in vain would try
To trace thy counsels, infinite and dark :

And thought is lost ere thought can soar so high,
Even like past moments in eternity.

Thou from primeval nothingness didst call

First chaos, then existence;-Lord, in thee Eternity had its foundation ;-all

Sprung forth from thee:-of light, joy, harmony Sole Origin :-all life, all beauty thine.

Thy word created all, and doth create ; Thy splendor fills all

space with rays divine; Thou art, and wert, and shalt be! Glorious! Great! Light-giving, life-sustaining Potentate!

Thy chains the unmeasured universe surround:

Upheld by thee, by thee inspired with breath!
Thou the beginning with the end hast bound,

And beautifully mingled life and death!
As sparks mount upward from the fiery blaze,

So suns are born, so worlds spring forth from thee; And as the spangles in the sunny rays

Shine round the silver snow, the pageantry
Of heaven's bright army glitters in thy praise,

A million torches lighted by thy hand

Wander unwearied through the blue abyss : They own thy power, accomplish thy command,

All gay with life, all eloquent with bliss

What shall we call them? Piles of crystal light

A glorious company of golden streams-
Lamps of celestial ether, burning bright-

Suns lighting systems with their joyous beams?
But thou to these art as the noon to night.

Yes! as a drop of water in the sea,

All this magnificence in thee is lost:-
What are ten thousand worlds compared to thee?

And what am I then ?-Heaven's unnumbered host, Though multiplied by myriads, and arrayed

In all the glory of sublimest thought,
Is but an atom in the balance, weighed

Against thy greatness, is a cipher brought
Against infinity! What am I then? Naught!

Naught! But the effluence of thy light divine,

Pervading worlds, hath reached my bosom too; Yes! in my spirit doth thy spirit shine

As shines the sunbeam in a drop of dew.
Naught! but I live and on hope's pinions fly,

Eager towards thy presence; for in thee
I live and breathe, and dwell; aspiring high,

E’en to the throne of thy divinity.
I am, O God! and surely thou must be !

Thou art ! directing, guiding all, thou art !

Direct my understanding then to thee;
Control my spirit, guide my wandering heart ;

Though but an atom midst immensity,
Still I am something, fashioned by thy hand !

I hold a middle rank 'twixt heaven and earth,
On the last verge of mortal being stand,

Close to the realms where angels have their birth, Just on the boundaries of the spirit-land !

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The chain of being is complete in me;

In me is matter's last gradation lost,
And the next step is spirit--deity !

I can command the lightning, and am dust!
A monarch and a slave; a worm, a god !

Whence came I here, and how? so marvellously
Constructed and conceived ? unknown ! this clod

Lives surely through some higher energy;
For from itself alone it could not be !

Creator, yes! Thy wisdom and thy word

Created me! Thou source of life and good !
Thou spirit of my spirit, and my Lord !

Thy light, thy love, in their bright plenitude
Filled me with an immortal soul, to spring

Over the abyss of death, and bade it wear
The garments of eternal day, and wing

Its heavenly flight beyond this little sphere,
Even to its source-to thee-its author there.

O thoughts ineffable! O visions blest !

Though worthless our conceptions all of thee,
Yet shall thy shadowed image fill our breast,

And waft its homage to thy Deity.
God! thus alone my lowly thoughts can soar;

Thus seek thy presence–Being wise and good!
Midst thy vast works admire, obey, adore ;

And when the tongue is eloquent no more,
The soul shall speak in tears of gratitude.

GABRIEL ROMANOWITCH DERZHAVIN. Translated by John Bowring.

19*

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