THE RESURRECTION A POEM.
1 THE Pencil's glowing Lines and vast Command,
2 And Mankind rising from the Painter's Hand,
3 The awful Judge array'd in beamy Light,
4 And Spectres trembling at the dreadful sight,[Page 2]
5 To sing, O! Muse, the pious Bard inspire,
6 And waken in his Breast the Sacred Fire.
7 The hallow'd Field, a bare white Wall of late,
8 Now cloath'd in gaudy Colours, shines in State;
9 And lest some little Interval confess
10 It's ancient simple Form, and homely Dress,
11 The skilful Artist laid o'er every Part,
12 The first Foundation of his future Art,
13 O'er the wide Frame his ductile Colours led,
14 And with thick Daubings all the Wall o'erspread.
15 As e'er you spangling Orbs were hung on high,
16 Lest one great Blank should yawn thro' boundless Sky,[Page 3]
17 Thro' the wide heavenly Arch, and trackless Road
18 In Azure volumes the pure Aether flow'd;
19 The Sun at length burns out, intensely bright,
20 And the pale Crescent sheds her borrow'd Light;
21 With thick-sown Stars the radiant Pole is crown'd,
22 Of milky Glories a long Tract is found,
23 O'erflows, and whitens all the Heav'ns around.
24 So when the Groundwork of the Piece was laid,
25 Nor yet the Painter had his Art display'd,
26 With slower Hand, and Pencil more divine
27 He blends each Colour, heightens ev'ry Line,[Page 4]
28 Till various Forms the breathing Picture wears,
29 And a mute Groupè of Images appears.
30 Celestial Guards the topmost height attend,
31 And Crouds of Angels o'er the Wall descend;
32 With their big Cheeks the deaf'ning Clarions wind,
33 Whose dreadful Clangors startle all Mankind;
34 Ev'n the Dead hear; the Lab'ring Graves Conceive,
35 And the swoln Clod in Picture seems to heave:
36 Ten thousand Worlds revive to better Skies,
37 And from their Tombs the thronging Coarses rise.
38 So when fam'd Cadmus sow'd the fruitful Field,
39 With pregnant Throws the quicken'd Furrow swell'd;
40 From the warm Soil sprung up a warlike Train,
41 And Human harvests cover'd all the Plain.
42 And now from ev'ry Corner of the Earth
43 The scatter'd Dust is call'd to second Birth;
44 Whether in Mines it form'd the rip'ning Mass,
45 Or humbly mix'd, and flourish'd in the Grass:
46 The sever'd Body now unites again,
47 And kindred Atoms rally into Men;[Page 6]
48 The various Joynts resume their ancient Seats,
49 And ev'ry Limb its former Task repeats.
50 Here an imperfect Form returns to Light,
51 Not half renew'd, dishonest to the Sight;
52 Maim'd of his Nose appears his blotted Face,
53 And scarce the Image of a Man we trace:
54 Here by Degrees infus'd, the vital Ray
55 Gives the first Motion to the panting Clay:
56 Here on the guilty Brow pale Horrors glare,
57 And all the Figure labours with Despair.
58 From Scenes like these now turn thy wond'ring Sight,
59 And, if thou can'st withstand such Floods of Light,[Page 7]
60 Look! where thy SAVIOUR fills the middle Space;
61 The Godhead op'ning in his awful Face;
62 See! what mild Beams their gracious Influence shed,
63 And how the pointed Radiance crowns his Head!
64 Around his Temples lambent Glories shine,
65 And on his Brow sits Majesty Divine;
66 His Eye-balls lighten the Celestial Fires,
67 And ev'ry Grace to Speak the God conspires.
68 How chang'd from him, who came to be Betray'd,
69 And who for Man the precious Ransom paid! [Page 8]
70 Who did on Earth such arduous Toils sustain,
71 And patient bore an irksom Life of Pain:
72 But Death and Hell subdu'd, the Deity
73 Ascends Triumphant to his native Sky;
74 And rising far above th' Aethereal Height,
75 The Sun and Moon diminish'd to his Sight.
76 And now to View he bare'd his bleeding side,
77 And his pierc'd Hands and Feet, in Crimson dy'd;
78 Still did the Nails the recent Scars reveal,
79 And bloody Tracks of the transfixing Steel.
80 Hither in Crouds the Blessed shape their Flight,
81 And throng the Mansions of Immortal Light;[Page 17]
82 The fruitful Matron and the spotless Maid,
83 And Infants, with a longer Life repaid,
84 Stand round; and drinking in Celestial Rays,
85 On their REDEEMER fix with ardent Gaze,
86 And all the Heav'ns resound with Hymns of Praise.
87 Each Bosom Kindles with Seraphic Joy,
88 And conscious Raptures all the Soul employ.
89 Not equal Raptures swell the Sybil's Breast,
90 When by the inmate Deity possess'd;
91 When Phoebus the Prophetic Maid inspires,
92 And her Limbs tremble with convulsive Fires.
93 But whence this sudden Blaze of dazling Light!
94 What Mitred Brow is that, which greets my Sight? [Page 18]
95 Forth from a stately Tomb he lifts his Head,
96 And to the Skies on Angels Wings is sped.
97 I know the Form — alike the Look and Mien,
* William Wainflet, Bishop of Winchester. He was the Founder of Magdalen College, and the Hall adjoining. WAINFLET in his Face is seen:
99 When will, alas! such spotless Worth be found?
100 When will a Mind with equal Virtues crown'd?
101 Fearless he sees almighty Vengeance rise,
102 And fixes on his GOD his guiltless Eyes.
103 But now far different Scenes our Wonder claim,
104 Horrent with Darkness and Malignant Flame;[Page 19]
105 The labour'd Wall delusive Picture hides
106 And liquid Sulphur rolls in burning Tides;
107 So Strong, so fierce, the painted Flames arise,
108 The pale Spectator views them with surprize;
109 Believes the blazing Wall indeed to burn,
110 And fears the Frame should into Ashes turn.
111 Hither in ghastly Crouds the Guilty haste,
112 Obscene with Horrour and with shame defac'd;
113 With haggard Looks the gloomy Fiends appear,
114 They gnash their foamy Teeth, and frown severe.
115 A stern Avenger, with relentless Mind,
116 Waving a flamy Faulchion, stalks behind;
117 With which, as once from Paradise he drove,
118 He drives the Sinner from the Joys above. [Page 20]
119 What shall he do forlorn? or whither fly,
120 To shun the Ken of an All-seeing Eye?
121 What would he give amongst the Just to shine,
122 And fall before Omnipotence Divine?
123 But oh! too late in Sighs he vents his Woe,
124 Too late his Eyes with gushing Tears o'erflow!
125 Vain are his Sighs and fruitless are his Tears,
126 Vengeance and Justice stop th' Almighty's Ears.
127 See! with what various Charms the Piece is fraught,
128 And with what pregnant Marks of Judgment wrought!
129 With how much Grace the living Colours glow!
130 Not brighter Colours paint the watry Bow;[Page 21]
131 When the fresh Show'rs her various Lustre share,
132 And ev'ry Drop with Spangles decks the Air.
133 O! may the Painter's Labours never fade,
134 Nor wastful Time their shining Charms invade,
135 'Till the first Dawn of that Eternal Light,
136 Which by his fruitful Pencil shines so Bright.