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And dauntless view, or seem to view,
(As faintly flash the lightnings blue) Thin shiv’ring Ghosts from yawning charnels throng, And glance with silent sweep the shaggy vaults along.
But such terrific charms as these,
His heart would melt with friendly woe)
Queen of the human heart I at whose command
The swelling tides of mighty Passions rise, Melpomene, support my venturous hand, And aid thy suppliant in his bold emprise.
From the gay scenes of pride
Do thou his footsteps guide To nature's aweful courts, where nurst of yore, Young Shakspere, Fancy's child, was taught his
So may his favour'd eye explore the source,
To few reveal'd, whence human sorrows charm : So may his numbers, with pathetic force, Bid Terror shake us, or Compassion warm,
As different strains controul
The movements of the soul,
Deep in the covert of a shadowy grove,
Mid broken rocks where dashing currents play;
Dear to the pensive pleasures, dear to love,
This ardent prayer was made.
When lo! the secret shade, As conscious of some heavenly presence, shookStrength, firmness, reason, all my astonish'd soul
Ah! whither Goddess ! whither am I borne ?
To what wild region's necromantic shore ? These panics whence ? and why my bosom torn With sudden terrors never felt before ?
Darkness inwraps me round,
While from the vast profound Emerging spectres dreadful shapes assume, And gleaming on my sight, add horror to the gloom.
Ha! what is he whose fierce indignant eye,
Denouncing vengeance, kindles into flame? Whose boisterous fury blows a storm so high, As with his thunder shakes his labouring frame.
What can such rage provoke?
His words their passage choak : His eager steps, nor time nor truce allow, And dreadful dangers wait the menace of his brow.
Protect me, Goddess ! whence that fearful shriek
Of consternation? as grim Death had laid His icy fingers on some guilty cheek,
And all the powers of manhood shrunk dismay'd:
Ah seel besmear'd with gore,
Revenge stands threatening o'er
Not long the space-abandon’d to Despair,
With eyes aghast, or hopeless fixt on earth, This slave of passion rends his scatter'd hair, Beats his sad breast, and execrates his birth:
While torn within, he feels
The pangs of whips and wheels; And sees, or fancies, all the fiends below, Beckoning his frighted soul to realms of endless woe.
Before my wondering sense new phantoms dance,
And stamp their horrid shapes upon my brainA wretch with jealous brow, and eyes askance, Feeds all in secret on his bosom pain.
Fond love, fierce hate, assail ;
Alternate they prevail : While conscious pride and shame with rage conspire, And urge the latent spark to fames of torturing fire.
The storm proceeds—his changeful visage trace :
From rage to madness every feature breaks.
His straw-invested head
And not a téar bedews those vacant eyes-
Yet, yet again !-a Murderer's hand
appears Grasping a pointed dagger stain'd with blood ! His look malignant chills with boding fears, That check the current of life's ebbing food.
In midnight darkest clouds
The dreary miscreant shrouds His felon step-as 'twere to darkness given To dim the watchful eye of all-pervading Heaven.
And hark ! ah Mercy! whence that hollow sound !
Why with strange horror starts my bristling hair ? Earth opens wide, and from unhallow'd ground A pallid Ghost slow-rising steals on air,
To where a mangled corse,
Expos’d without remorse, Lies shroudless, unentonb’d, he points the way Points to the prowling wolf exultant o'er his prey.
“ Was it for this, he cries, with kindly shower
Of daily gifts the traitor I caress'd ?
O kindness ill repay'd!