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So they, and all that pass'd that way,
Soon join'd in the pursuit.
And now the turnpike-gates again
Flew open in short space;
The toliman thinking, as before,
That Gilpin rode a race:
And so he did, and won it too;
For he got first to town:
Nor stopp'd till where he had got up,
He did again get down.
Now let us sing-" Long live the king
And Gilpin long live he:
And when he next doth ride abroad,
May I be there to see!"
VII.-The Creation of the World.
MEANWHILE the Son
On his great expedition now appear'd,
Girt with omnipotence, with radiance crown'd,
Of majesty divine; sapience and love
Immense, and all his Father in him shone
About his chariot numberless were pour'd
Cherub and seraph, potentates and thrones,
And virtues wing'd spirits and chariot's wing'd
From the armoury of God; where stand of old
Myriads, between two brazen mountains lodg'd
Against a solemn day, harness'd at hand.
Celestial equipage! and now came forth
Spontaneous, for within them spirit liv'd,
Attendant on their Lord; heaven open'd wide
Her ever-during gates, harmonious sound!
On golden hinges moving, to let forth
The King of Glory, in his powerful Word
And Spirit coming to create new worlds.
On heavenly ground they stood, and from the shore
They view'd the vast immeasurable abyss,
Outrageous as a sea: dark, wasteful, wild;
Up from the bottom turn'd by furious winds,
And surging waves, as mountains to assault
Heaven's height, and with the centre mix the pole.
Silence, ye troubled waves! and thou deep, peace'
Said then the omnific Word, your discord end:
Nor stay'd; but on the wings of Cherubim
Uplifted, in paternal glory rode
Far into Chaos, and the world unborn;
For Chaos heard his voice; him all his train
Follow'd in bright procession to behold
Creation, and the wonders of his might.
Then stay'd the fervid wheels, and in his hand
He took the golden compasscs, prepar'd
In God's eternal store, to circumscribe
This universe, and all created things.
One foot he center'd, and the other turn'd
Round through the vast profundity obscure,
And said, thus far extend, thus far thy bounds,
This be thy just circumference, O world!
Thus God the heaven created, thus the earth,
Matter unform'd and void! Darkness profound
Cover'd th' abyss; but on the watery calm
His brooding wings the spirit of God outspread,
And vital virtue infus'd, and vital warmth
Throughout the fluid mass; but downward purg'd
The black, tartareous, cold, infernal dregs,
Adverse to life; then founded, then conglob'd
Like things to light, the rest to several place
Disparted; and between, spun out the air;
And earth, self-balanced, on her centre hung.
VIII.-Overthrow of the Rebel Angels.
SO spake the Son, and into terror chang'd
His countenance, too severe to be beheld,
And full of wrath bent on his enemies.
At once the four spread out their starry wings,
With dreadful shape contiguous, and the orbs
Of his fierce chariot roll'd, as with the sound
Of torrent floods, or of a numerous host.
He on his impious foes, right onward drove,
Gloomy as night. Under his burning wheels
The steadfast empirean shook throughout,
All but the throne itself of God. Full soon
Among them he arriv'd; in his right hand
Grasping ten thousand thunders, which he sent
Before him, such as in their souls infix'd
Plagues. They, astonish'd, all resistance lost,
All corrage; down their idle weapons dropp'd:
O'er shields, and helms, and helmed heads he rode,
Of thrones and mighty seraphim prostrate,
That wish'd the mountains, now, might be again
Thrown on them as a shelter from his ire.
Nor less on either side, tempestuous fell
His arrows, from the fourfold visag'd four
Distinct with eyes, and from the living wheels
Distinct alike with multitude of eyes:
One spirit in them rul'd; and every eye
Glar'd lightning, and shot forth pernicious fire
Among th' accurs'd, that wither'd all their strength,
And, of their wonted vigour, left them drain'd,
Exhausted, spiritless, afflicted, fall'n.
Yet half his strength he put not forth; but check'd
His thunder in mid-volley; for he meant
Not to destroy, but to root them out of heaven.
The overthrown he rais'd; and as a herd
Of goats or timorous flock together throng'd,
Drove them before him thunderstruck, pursu'd
With terrors and with furies, to the bounds
And crystal wall of heaven; which, opening wide,
Roll'd inward, and a spacious gap disclos'd
Into the wasteful deep. The monstrous sight
Struck them with horror backward; but far worse
Urg'd them behind. Headlong themselves they threw
Down from the verge of heaven; eternal wrath
Burnt after them to the bottomless pit.
IX.-Alexander's Feast; or, the Power of Music.-An Ode
for St. Cecilia's Day.
"TWAS at the royal feast, for Persia won
By Philip's warlike son.-
Aloft in awful state,
The godlike hero sat
On his imperial throne.
His valiant peers were plac'd around,
Their brows with roses and with myrtles bound;
So should desert in arms be crown'd.
The lovely Thais by his side,
Sat like a blooming eastern bride,
In flower of youth and beauty's pride.-
Happy, happy, happy pair!
None but the brave,
None but the brave,
None but the brave, deserve the fair.
Timotheus plac'd on high,
Amid the tuneful choir,
With flying fingers touch'd the lyre:
The trembling notes ascend the sky,
And heavenly joys inspire.
The song began from Jove,
Who left his blissful seats above;
(Such is the power of mighty love!)
A dragon's fiery form bely'd the god;
Sublime on radiant spheres he rode.
When he to fair Olympia press'd,
And stamp'd an image of himself, a sovereign of the world.
The list'ning crowd admire the lofty sound;
A present deity, they shout around;
A present deity; the vaulted roofs rebound.
With ravish'd ears the monarch hears,
Assumes the god, affects to nod,
And seems to shake the spheres.
The praise of Bacchus, then, the sweet musician sung;
Of Bacchus, ever fair and ever young.
The jolly god in triumph comes!
Sound the trumpet; beat the drums;
Flush'd with a purple grace,
He shows his honest face:
Now give the hautboys breath--He comes! he comes!
Bacchus, ever fair and young,
Drinking joys did first ordain:
Bacchus' blessings are a treasure;
Drinking is the soldier's pleasure:
Rich the treasure ;
Sweet the pleasure;
Sweet is pleasure, after pain.
Sooth'd with the sound, the king grew vain;
Fought all his battles o'er again;
And thrice he routed all his foes, and thrice he slew the slain.
The master saw the madness rise;
His glowing cheeks, his ardent eyes;
And while he heaven and earth defy'd,
Chang'd his hand and check'd his pride.
He chose a mournful muse,
Soft pity to infuse :
He sung Darius, great and good,
By too severe a fate,
Fall'n, fall'n, fall'n, fall'n,
Fall'n, from his high estate,
And welt'ring in his blood:
Deserted at his utmost need
By those his former bounty fed,
On the bare earth expos'd he lies,
With not a friend to close his eyes.-
With downcast look the joyless victor sat,
Revolving, in his alter'd soul,
The various turns of fate below;
And now and then, a sigh he stole,
And tears began to flow.
The mighty master smil'd to see
That love was in the next degree:
"Twas but a kindred sound to move;
For pity melts the mind to love.
Softly sweet, in Lydian measures,
Soon he sooth'd his soul to pleasures,
War, he sung, is toil and trouble;
Honour but an empty bubble;
Never ending, still beginning,
Fighting still, and still destroying.
If the world be worth thy winning,
Think, oh, think it worth enjoying!
Lovely Thais sits beside thee:
Take the good the gods provide thee,
The many rend the skies with loud applause;
So love was crown'd; but music won the cause.--
The prince, unable to conceal his pain,
Gaz'd on the fair,
Who caus'd his care;
And sigh'd and look'd, sigh'd and look'd ;
Sigh'd and look'd, and sigh'd again :