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Supine on earth an awful figure lies,
While fofteft flumbers feem to feal his eyes;
The hoary fire Heav'n's guardian care demands,
And at his feet the watchful angel ftands.
The form auguft and large, the mein divine,
Betray the founder of Meffiah's line. †
Lo! from his loins the promis'd ftem afcend,
And high to heav'n its facred boughs extend:
Each limb productive of fome hero fprings,
And blooms luxuriant with a race of kings.
Th'eternal plant wide fpreads its arms around,
And with the mighty branch the myftic top is crown'd
And lo! the glories of th' illuftrious line,
At their firft dawn with ripen'd fplendors shine,
In David all exprefs'd; the good, the great,
The king, the hero, and the man complete.
Serenc he fits, and fweeps the golden lyre,
And blends the prophet's with the poet's fire.
See! with what art he ftrikes the vocal ftrings,
The God, his theme, infpiring what he fings!
Hark!or our ears delude us-from his tongue
Sweet flows, or feems to flow, fome heav'nly fong.
Oh, could thine art arreft the fleeting found,
And paint the voice in magic numbers bound;
Could the warm fun, as erft when Memnon play'd,
Wake with his rifing beam the vocal fhade;
Then might he draw the attentive angels down,
Bending to hear the lay, fo fweet, fo like their own.
On either fide the monarch's offspring fhine,
And fome adorn, and fome difgrace their line.
Here Ammon glories; proud incestuous lord!
This hand fuftains the robe, and that the fword.
Frowning and fierce, with haughty ftrides he tow'rs,
And on his horrid brow defiance low'rs.
There Abfolom the ravish'd fceptre fways,
And his ftol'n honour all his fhame difplays:
The base ufurper youth! who joins in one
The rebel fubject, and th' ungrateful fon.
Amid th' royal race fee Nathan fland:
Fervent he feems to fpeak, and lift his hand;
His looks th' emotion of his foul difclofe,
And eloquence from ev'ry gefture flows.
Such, and fo ftern he came, ordain'd to bring
Th' ungrateful mandate to th' guilty king:
When, at his dreadful voice, a sudden imart
Shot through the trembling monarch's confcious heart,
From his own lips condemn'd; fevere decree!
Had his God prov'd so stern a judge as he.
But man with frailty is ally'd by birth;
Confummate purity ne'er dwelt on earth!
Through all the foul, though virtue holds the rein,
Beats at the heart, and fprings in ev'ry vein,
Yet ever from the cleareft fource have ran
Some grofs alloy, fome tincture of the man.
But who is he, decp-mufing? in his mind,
He feems to weigh in reafon's fcales mankind;
Fix'd contemplation holds his fteady eyes-
I know the fage, the wifeft of the wife.
Bleft with all man could with, or prince obtain,
Yet his great heart pronounc'd thofe bleflings vain
And lo! bright glittring in his facred hands,
In miniature, the glorious temple stands,
Elgent frame! fupendous to behold!
Gold the ftrong valves, the roof of burnifi'd gold,
The wand'ring ark, in that bright dome enshrin'd,
Spreads the frong light eternal, unconfin'd!
Above th' unutterable glory plays,
Prefence Divine! and the full-fireaming rays
Pour through reluctant clouds intolerable blaze.
But ftern oppreffion rends Re'boam's reign;
See the gay prince, injurious, proud, and vain!
Th' imperial fceptre totters in his hand,
And proud Rebellion triumphs in the land.
Curs'd with Corruption's ever-fruitful fpring,
A beardlefs fenate, and a haughty king.
There Afa, good and great, the fceptre bears,
Juftice attends his peace, fuccefs his wars;
While virtue was his fword, and heav'n his fhield,
Without control the warrior fwept the field;
Loaded with fpoils, triumphant he return'd,
And half her fwarthy fons fad Ethiopia mourn'd.
But fince thy flagging piety decay'd,
And barter'd God's defence for human aid;
See their fair laurels wither on thy brow,
Nor herbs, nor healthful arts avail thee now;
Nor is Heaven chang'd, apoftate prince, but thou.
No mean atonement does this lapfe require;
But fee the fon, you must forgive the fire:
He, the juft prince, with ev'ry virtue blefs'd,
He reign'd, and goodness all the man poffefs'd;
Around the throne fair happiness and peace
Smooth'd ev'ry brow, and fmil'd in ev'ry face.
As when along the burning wafte he stray'd,
Where no pure ftreams in bubbling mazes play'd,
Where Drought incumbent on the thirty ground
Long fince had breath'd her fcorching blafts around,
The prophet calls, th' obedient floods repair
To the parch'd fields, for Jofaphat was there.
The new-fprung waves, in many a gurgling vein,
Trickle luxurious through the fucking plain;
Fresh honours the reviving fields adorn,
And o'er the defert Plenty pours her horn.
So from the throne his influence he sheds,
And bids the virtues raife their languid heads:
Where'er he goes, attending Truth prevails,
Oppreffion flies, and Juftice lifts her scales.
See on his arm, the royal eagle ftand,
Great type of conqueft and fupreme command ;
Th' exulting bird diftinguish'd triumph brings,
And greets the monarch with expanded wings.
Fierce Moab's fons prevent th' impending blow,'
Rush on themfelves, and fall without the foe.
The pious hero vanquish'd heav'n by pray'r;
His faith an army, and his vows a war.
There too, Ofias, fates indulgent blefs'd,
And thy days fhone, in faireft actions drefs'd:
Till that rash hand by fome blind phrenzy fway'd,
Unclean, the facred office durft invade.
Quick o'er thy limbs the fcurfy venom ran,
And hoary filth befprinkled all the man.
Tranfmiffive worth adorns the pious fon,
The father's virtues with the father's throne.
Lo! there he ftands: he who the rage fubdued
Of Ammon's fons, and drench'd his fword in blood.
And doft thou, Ahaz, Judah's fcourge, difgrace,
With thy bafe front, the glories of thy race?
See the vile king his iron fceptre bear
His only praife attends the pious heir; §
He in whofe foul the virtues all confpire,
The best good fon, from the worst wicked fire,
And lo! in Hezekiah's golden reign,
Long-exil'd Piety returns again;
Again in genuine purity fhe fhines,
And with her prefence gilds the long-neglected shrines.
Ill-ftarr'd does proud Affyria's impious lord ||
Bid Heaven to arms, and vaunt his dreadful fword;
His own vain threats th' infulting king o'erthrow,
But breathe new courage on the gen'rous foe.
Th' avenging Angel, by Divine command,
The fiery fword full-blazing in his hand,
Leant down from heaven: amid the ftorm he rode,
March'd Peftilence before him; as he trod,
Pale Defolation bath'd his fteps in blood.
Thick wrapt in night, through the proud hoft he pass'd,
Difpenfing death, and drove the furious blaft;
Nor bade Destruction give her revels o'er,
Till the gorg'a fword was drunk with human gore.
But what avails thee, pious prince, in vain
Thy fceptre refcu'd, and the Affyrian flain?
E'en now the foul maintains her latest ftrife,
And Death's chill grafp congeals the fount of life.
Yet fee, kind Heav'n renews thy brittle thread,
And rolls full fifteen fummers o'er thy head;
Lo the receding fun repeats his way,
And, like thy life, prolongs the falling day.
Though Nature her inverted course forego,
The day forget to reit, the time to flow,