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Here Ammon glories; proud, incestuous lard!
This hand fuftains the robe, and that the fword.
Frowning and fierce, with haughty strides he tow'rs,
And on his horrid brow defiance lours.
There Abfalom the ravish'd fceptre sways,
And his ftol'n honour all his fhame displays :
The base ufurper youth! who joins in one
The rebel fubject, and th' ungrateful fon.
Amid the royal race, fee Nathan stand:
Fervent he seems to speak, and lift his hand;
His looks th' emotion of his foul disclose,
And eloquence from ev'ry gefture flows.
Such, and fo ftern he came, ordain'd to bring
Th' ungrateful mandate to the guilty king:
When, at his dreadful voice, a fudden smart
Shot thro' the trembling monarch's conscious heart;
From his own lips condemn'd; fevere decree!
Had his God prov'd fo ftern a Judge as he.
But man with frailty is ally'd by birth;
Confummate purity ne'er dwelt on earth :
Thro' all the foul tho' virtue holds the rein,
Beats at the heart, and springs at ev'ry vein ;.
Yet ever from the clearest fource have ran
Some grofs allay,
But who is he
fome tincture of the man.
deep mufing? In his mind
He feems to weigh, in Reason's scales, mankind:
Fix'd Contemplation holds his steady eyes!
I know the fage; the wifeft of the wife *.
Blefs'd with all man could wish, or prince obtain,
Yet his great heart pronounc'd those bleffings vain.
And lo! bright glittering in his facred hands,
In miniature the glorious temple stands.
Effulgent frame! ftupendous to behold!
Gold the strong valves, the roof of burnislı'd gold;
The wandering ark, in that bright dome infhrin'd,
Spreads the ftrong light, eternal, unconfin'd!
Above, th' unutterable glory plays;
Prefence Divine! and the full-ftreaming rays
Pour thro' reluctant crowds intolerable blaze.
But ftern oppreffion rends Reboam'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 spring,
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 Heaven his shield,
Without controul the warrior swept the field ;
Loaded with spoils, triumphant he return'd,
And half her swarthy 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 bless'd.
He reign'd, and goodness all the man poffefs'd;
Around his 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 thirsty ground,
Long fince had breath'd her scorching blasts 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 thro' the fucking plain;
Fresh honours the reviving fields adorn,
And o'er the defart Plenty pours her horn.
So, from the throne his influence he sheds,
And bids the Virtues raise their languid heads;
Where'er he goes, attending Truth prevails,
Oppreffion flies, and Juftice lifts her scales.
See, on his arm, the royal eagle stand,
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 prayer;
His faith an army, and his vows a war.
Thee, too, Ozias, fates indulgent blefs'd,
And thy days fhone, in fairest actions dress'd;
Till that rafh hand, by fome blind frenzy fway'd,
Unclean, the facred office durft invade :
Quick o'er thy limbs the furfy venom ran,
And hoary filth befprinkled all the man.
Tranfmiflive worth adorns the pious fon *,
The father's virtues with the father's throne.
Lo! there he ftands; he who the rage subdu'd
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 beft good fon, from the moft 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 fhrines.
Ill-starr'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 generous foe.
Th' avenging Angel, by Divine command,
The fiery fword full-blazing in his hand,
Lean'd down from Heav'n: amid the storm he rode,
March'd Peftilence before him; as he trod,
Pale Defolation bath'd his steps 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'd fword was drunk with human gore.
But what avails thee, pious prince; in vain
Thy fceptre refcu'd, and th' Affyrian flain!
E'en now the foul maintains her latest ftrife,
And Death's chill grafp congeals the fount of life.
Yet fee, kind Heaven 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.
Tho' Nature her inverted course forego,
The day forget to reft, the time to flow,
Yet fhall Jehovah's fervants stand fecure,
His mercy fix'd, eternal fhall endure
On them her ever-healing rays shall shine;
More mild, and bright, and fure, O fun! than thine.
At length, the long-expected prince behold!
The last good king, in ancient days foretold,
When Bethel's altar spoke his future fame,
Rent to it's bafe at good Jofiah's name.
Bleft, happy prince! o'er whofe lamented urn,
In plaintive fong, all Judah's daughters mourn;
For whom fad Sion's foftest forrow flows,
And Jeremiah pours his sweet melodious woes,
But now fall'n Sion, once the fair and great,
Sits deep in duft, abandon'd, desolate;
Bleeds her fad heart, and ever ftream her eyes,
And anguish tears her with convulfive fighs.
The mournful captive spreads her hands in vain ;
Her hands, that rankle with the servile chain;
Till he, great chief! in Heaven's appointed time,
Leads back her children to their native clime.
Fair Liberty revives with all her joys,
And bids her envy'd walls fecurely rise.
And thou, great hallow'd dome, in ruin fpread,
Again fhall lift fublime thy facred head:
But ah! with weeping eyes, the ancients view
A faint refemblance of the old in you.
No more th' effulgent glory of thy God
Speaks awful anfwers from the mystick cloud;
No more thine altars blaze with fire divine,
And Heaven has left thy folitary shrine:
Yet, in thy courts, hereafter fhalt thou fee
Presence immediate of the Deity,
The light himself reveal'd, the God confefs'd in thee!
And now, at length, the fated term of years
The world's defire have brought; and lo! the God appears,
The heavenly babe the Virgin Mother bears,
And her fond looks confefs the parent's cares;
The pleafing burden on her breast she lays,
Hangs o'er his charms, and with a smile surveys.
The infant fmiles, to her fond bofom prefs'd,
And wantons, fportive, on the mother's breast: