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The hundred-gated Cities then,
The Towers and Temples named of men
Eternal, and the Thrones of Kings;
The gilded summer Palaces,
The courtly bowers of love and ease,
Where still the Bird of Pleasure sings :-
Ask ye the destiny of them?
Go, gaze on fallen Jerusalem !
Yea, mightier names are in the fatal roil,
'Gainst earth and heaven God's standard is unfurl'd; The skies are shrivell'd like a burning scroll,
And the vast common doom ensepulchres the world.
Oh! who shall then survive ?
Oh! who shall stand and live ?
When all that hath been is no more :
When for the round earth hung in air,
With all its constellations fair
In the sky's azure canopy ;
When for the breathing Earth, and sparkling Cea,
Is but a fiery deluge without shore, Heaving along the abyss profound and dark, A fiery deluge, and without an ARK.
Lord of all power, when thou art there alone
On thy eternal fiery-wheeled throne,
That in its high meridian noon
Needs not the perish'd sun nor moon : When thou art there in thy presiding state,
Wide-sceptred Monarch o'er the realm of doom ;
When from the sea-depths, from earth's darkest womb, The dead of all the ages round thee wait: And when the tribes of wickedness are strown
Like forest-leaves in th' autumn of thine ire : Faithful and True ! thou still wilt save thine own!
The Saints shall dwell within th' unharming fire, Each white robe spotless, blooming every palm.
Even safe as we by this still fountain's side,
So shall the Church, thy bright and mystic Bride, Sit on the stormy gulf a halcyon bird of calm.
Yes, ʼmid yon angry and destroying signs,
O'er us the rainbow of thy mercy shines;
We hail, we bless the covenant of its beam,
Almighty to avenge, Almightiest to redeem.
A NOBLE range it was, of many a rood,
Wall'd round with trees, and ending in a wood :
Indeed, the whole was leafy; and it had
A winding stream about it, clear and glad,
That danced from shade to shade, and on its way
Seem'd smiling with delight to feel the day.
There was the pouting rose, both red and white,
The flamy heart's-ease, flush'd with purple light,
Blush-hiding strawberry, sunny-coloured box,
Hyacinth, handsome with his clustering locks,
The lady lily, looking gently down,
Pure lavender, to lay in bridal gown,
The daisy, lovely on both sides,-in short,
All the sweet cups to which the bees rescrt,
With plots of grass, and perfumed walks between
Of sweetbrier, honeysuckle, and jessamine,
With orange, whose warm leaves so finely suit,
And look as if they shade a golden fruit ;
And ’midst the flowers, turf'd round beneath a shade
Of circling pines, a babbling fountain play'd,
And 'twixt their shafts you saw the water bright,
Which through the darksome tops glimmer'd with
So now you walk'd beside an odorous bed
Of gorgeous hues, purple, and gold, and red ;
And now turn'd off into a leafy walk,
Close and continuous, fit for lovers' talk;
And now pursued the stream, and as you trod
Onward and onward o'er the velvet sod,
Felt on your face an air, watery and sweet,
And a new sense in your soft-lighting feet;
And then, perhaps, you enter'd upon shades,
Pillow'd with dells and uplands 'twixt the glades,
Through which the distant palace, now and then,
Look'd lordly forth with many-window'd ken,-
A land of trees, which, reaching round about,
In shady blessing stretch'd their old arms out,
With spots of sunny opening, and with nooks
To lie and read in, sloping into brooks,
Where at her drink you startled the slim deer,
Retreating lightly with a lovely fear.
And all about, the birds kept leafy house,
And sung and darted in and out the boughs;
And all about, a lovely sky of blue
Clearly was felt, or down the leaves laugh'd through;
And here and there, in every part, were seats,
Some in the open walks, some in retreats
With bowering leaves o'erhead, to which the eye
Look'd up half sweetly and half awfully,–
Places of nestling green, for poets made,
Where, when the sunshine struck a yellow shade,
The rugged trunks, to inward-peeping sight,
Throngd in dark pillars up the gold-green light.
But 'twixt the woods and flowery walks, half-way,
And form'd of both, the loveliest portion lay,
A spot that struck you like enchanted ground: