A Pindarick Poem
Upon the Hurricane in November 1703, referring to this Text in Psalm 148. ver. 8. Winds and Storms fulfilling his Word.
With a HYMN compos'd of the 148th PSALM Paraphras'd.
1 YOU have obey'd, you WINDS, that must fulfill
2 The Great Disposer's righteous Will;[Page 231]
3 Throughout the Land, unlimited you flew,
4 Nor sought, as heretofore, with Friendly Aid
5 Only, new Motion to bestow
6 Upon the sluggish Vapours, bred below,
7 Condensing into Mists, and melancholy Shade.
8 No more such gentle Methods you pursue,
9 But marching now in terrible Array,
10 Undistinguish'd was your Prey:
11 In vain the Shrubs, with lowly Bent,
12 Sought their Destruction to prevent;
13 The Beech in vain, with out-stretch'd Arms,
14 Deprecates th' approaching Harms;
15 In vain the Oak (so often storm'd)
16 Rely'd upon that native Force,
17 By which already was perform'd
18 So much of his appointed Course,
19 As made him, fearless of Decay,
20 Wait but the accomplish'd Time
21 Of his long-wish'd and useful Prime,
22 To be remov'd, with Honour, to the Sea. [Page 232]
23 The strait and ornamental Pine
24 Did in the like Ambition joyn,
25 And thought his Fame shou'd ever last,
26 When in some Royal Ship he stood the planted Mast.
27 And shou'd again his Length of Timber rear
28 And new engrafted Branches wear
29 Of fibrous Cordage and impending Shrouds,
30 Still trimm'd with human Care, and water'd by the Clouds
31 But oh, you Trees! who solitary stood;
32 Or you, whose Numbers form'd a Wood;
33 You, who on Mountains chose to rise,
34 And drew them nearer to the Skies;
35 Or you, whom Valleys late did hold
36 In flexible and lighter Mould;
37 You num'rous Brethren of the Leafy Kind,
38 To whatsoever Use design'd,
39 Now, vain you found it to contend
40 With not, alas! one Element; your Friend[Page 233]
41 Your Mother Earth, thro' long preceding Rains,
42 (Which undermining sink below)
43 No more her wonted Strength retains;
44 Nor you so fix'd within her Bosom grow,
45 That for your sakes she can resolve to bear
46 These furious Shocks of hurrying Air;
47 But finding All you Ruin did conspire,
48 She soon her beauteous Progeny resign'd
49 To this destructive, this imperious Wind,
50 That check'd your nobler Aims, and gives you to the Fire.
51 Thus! have thy Cedars, Libanus, been struck
52 As the lythe Oziers twisted round;
53 Thus! Cadez, has thy Wilderness been shook,
54 When the apalling, and tremendous Sound
55 Of rattl'ing Tempests o'er you broke,
56 And made your stubborn Glories bow,
57 When in such Whirlwinds the Almighty spoke,
58 Warning Judea then, as our Britannia now. [Page 234]
59 Yet these were the remoter Harms,
60 Foreign the Care, and distant the Alarms:
61 Whilst but sheltring Trees alone,
62 Master'd soon, and soon o'erthrown,
63 Felt those Gusts, which since prevail,
64 And loftier Palaces assail;
65 Whose shaken Turrets now give way,
66 With vain Inscriptions, which the Freeze has born;
67 Through Ages past, t'extol and to adorn,
68 And to our latter Times convey;
69 Who did the Structures deep Foundation lay,
70 Forcing his Praise upon the gazing Croud,
71 And, whilst he moulders in a scanty Shroud,
72 Telling both Earth and Skies, he when alive was proud
73 Now down at once comes the superfluous Load
74 The costly Fret-work with it yields,
75 Whose imitated Fruits and Flow'rs are strew'd
76 Like those of real Growth o'er the Autumn Fields. [Page 235]
77 The present Owner lifts his Eyes,
78 And the swift Change with sad Affrightment spies:
79 The Cieling gone, that late the Roof conceal'd;
80 The Roof untyl'd, thro' which the Heav'ns reveal'd,
81 Exposes now his Head, when all Defence has fail'd.
82 What alas, is to be done!
83 Those, who in Cities wou'd from Dangers run,
84 Do but encreasing Dangers meet,
85 And Death, in various shapes, attending in the Street;
86 While some, too tardy in their Flight,
87 O'ertaken by a worse Mischance,
88 Their upward Parts do scarce advance,
89 When on their following Limbs th' extending Ruins light,
90 One half's interr'd, the other yet survives,
91 And for Release with fainting Vigour strives;
92 Implores the Aid of absent Friends in vain;[Page 236]
93 With fault'ring Speech, and dying Wishes call,
94 Those, whom perhaps, their own Domestick Wall,
95 By parallel Distress, or swifter Death retains.
96 (1) O Wells! thy Bishop's Mansion we lament,
97 So tragical the Fall, so dire th' Event!
98 But let no daring Thought presume
99 To point a Cause for that oppressive Doom.
100 Yet strictly pious KEN! had'st Thou been there.
101 This Fate, we think, had not become thy share,
102 Nor had that awful Fabrick bow'd,
103 Sliding from its loosen'd Bands;
104 Nor yielding Timbers been allow'd
105 To crush thy ever-lifted Hands,
106 Or interrupt thy Pray'r.
107 Those Orizons, that nightly Watches keep,
108 Had call'd thee from thy Bed, or there secur'd thy Sleep. [Page 237]
109 Whilst you, bold Winds and Storms! his Word obey'd,
110 Whilst you his Scourge the Great Jehova made,
111 And into ruin'd Heaps our Edifices laid.
112 You South and West the Tragedy began,
113 As, with disorder'd haste, you o'er the Surface ran;
114 Forgetting, that you were design'd
115 (Chiefly thou Zephyrus, thou softest Wind!)
116 Only our Heats, when sultry, to allay,
117 And chafe the od'rous Gums by your dispersing Play.
118 Now, by new Orders and Decrees,
119 For our Chastisement issu'd forth,
120 You on his Confines the alarmed North
121 With equal Fury sees,
122 And summons swiftly to his Aid
123 Eurus, his Confederate made,
124 His eager Second in th' opposing Fight,
125 That even the Winds may keep the Balance right,
126 Nor yield increase of Sway to arbitrary Might. [Page 238]
127 Meeting now, they all contend,
128 Those assail, while These defend;
129 Fierce and turbulent the War,
130 And in the loud tumultuous Jar
131 Winds their own Fifes, and Clarions are.
132 Each Cavity, which Art or Nature leaves,
133 Their Inspiration hastily receives;
134 Whence, from their various Forms and Size,
135 As various Symphonies arise,
136 Their Trumpet ev'ry hollow Tube is made,
137 And, when more solid Bodies they invade,
138 Enrag'd, they can no farther come,
139 The beaten Flatt, whilst it repels the Noise,
140 Resembles but with more outrageous Voice
141 The Soldier's threatning Drum:
142 And when they compass thus our World around,
143 When they our Rocks and Mountains rend,
144 When they our Sacred Piles to their Foundations send,[Page 239]
145 No wonder if our ecchoing Caves rebound;
146 No wonder if our list'ning Sense they wound,
147 When arm'd with so much Force, and usher'd with such Sound.
148 Nor scarce, amidst the Terrors of that Night,
149 When you, fierce Winds, such Desolations wrought,
150 When you from out his Stores the Great Commander brought,
151 Cou'd the most Righteous stand upright;
152 Scarcely the Holiest Man performs
153 The Service, that becomes it best,
154 By ardent Vows, or solemn Pray'rs addrest;
155 Nor finds the Calm, so usual to his Breast,
156 Full Proof against such Storms.
157 How shou'd the Guilty then be found,
158 The Men in Wine, or looser Pleasures drown'd,
159 To six a stedfast Hope, or to maintain their Ground!
160 When at his Glass the late Companion feels,
161 That Giddy, like himself, the tott'ring Mansion reels! [Page 240]
162 The Miser, who with many a Chest
163 His gloomy Tenement opprest,
164 Now fears the over-burthen'd Floor,
165 And trembles for his Life, but for his Treasure more.
166 What shall he do, or to what Pow'rs apply?
167 To those, which threaten from on High,
168 By him ne'er call'd upon before,
169 Who also will suggest th' impossible Restore?
170 No; Mammon, to thy Laws he will be true,
171 And, rather than his Wealth, will bid the World adieu.
172 The Rafters sink, and bury'd with his Coin
173 That Fate does with his living Thoughts combine;
174 For still his Heart's inclos'd within a Golden Mine.
175 Contention with its angry Brawls
176 By Storms o'er-clamour'd, shrinks and falls;
177 Nor WHIG, nor TORY now the rash Contender calls. [Page 241]
178 Those, who but Vanity allow'd,
179 Nor thought, it reach'd the Name of Sin,
180 To be of their Perfections proud,
181 Too much adorn'd without, or too much rais'd within,
182 Now find, that even the lightest Things,
183 As the minuter parts of Air,
184 When Number to their Weight addition brings,
185 Can, like the small, but numerous Insects Stings,
186 Can, like th' assembl'd Winds, urge Ruin and Despair.
187 Thus You've obey'd, you Winds, that must fulfill
188 The Great disposer's Righteous Will:
189 Thus did your Breath a strict Enquiry make,
190 Thus did you our most secret Sins awake,
191 And thus chastis'd their Ill.
192 Whilst vainly Those, of a rapacious Mind,
193 Fields to other Fields had laid,
194 By Force, or by injurious Bargains join'd,
195 With Fences for their Guard impenetrable made;[Page 242]
196 The juster Tempest mocks the wrong,
197 And sweeps, in its directed Flight,
198 Th' Inclosures of another's Right,
199 Driving at once the Bounds, and licens'd Herds along.
200 The Earth agen one general Scene appears;
201 No regular distinction now,
202 Betwixt the Grounds for Pasture, or the Plough,
203 The Face of Nature wears.
204 Free as the Men, who wild Confusion love,
205 And lawless Liberty approve,
206 Their Fellow-Brutes pursue their way,
207 To their own Loss, and disadvantage stray,
208 As wretched in their Choice, as unadvis'd as They.
209 The tim'rous Deer, whilst he forsakes the Park,
210 And wanders on, in the misguiding Dark,
211 Believes, a Foe from ev'ry unknown Bush
212 Will on his trembling Body rush,
213 Taking the Winds, that vary in their Notes,
214 For hot pursuing Hounds with deeply bellowing Throats. [Page 243]
215 Th' awaken'd Birds, shook from their nightly Seats,
216 Their unavailing Pinions ply,
217 Repuls'd, as they attempt to fly
218 In hopes they might attain to more secure Retreats.
219 But, Where ye wilder'd Fowls wou'd You repair?
220 When this your happy Portion given,
221 Your upward Lot, your Firmament of Heaven,
222 Your unentail'd, your undivided Air,
223 Where no Proprietor was ever known,
224 Where no litigious Suits have ever grown,
225 Whilst none from Star to Star cou'd call the space his Own;
226 When this no more your middle Flights can bear,
227 But some rough Blast too far above conveighs,
228 Or to unquitted Earth confines your weak Essays.
229 Nor You, nor wiser Man cou'd find Repose,
230 Nor cou'd our Industry produce
231 Expedients of the smallest Use,
232 To ward our greater Cares, or mitigate your Woes.
233 (2) Ye Clouds! that pity'd our Distress,
234 And by your pacifying Showers
235 (The soft and usual methods of Success)
236 Kindly assay'd to make this Tempest less;
237 Vainly your Aid was now alas! employ'd,
238 In vain you wept o'er those destructive Hours,
239 In which the Winds full Tyranny enjoy'd,
240 Nor wou'd allow you to prevail,
241 But drove your scorn'd, and scatter'd Tears to wail
242 The Land that lay destroy'd.
243 Whilst You obey'd, you Winds! that must fulfill
244 The just Disposer's Righteous Will;
245 Whilst not the Earth alone, you disarray,
246 But to more ruin'd Seas wing'd your impetuous Way.
247 (3) Which to foreshew, the still portentous Sun
248 (4) Beamless, and pale of late, his Race begun,
249 Quenching the Rays, he had no Joy to keep,
250 In the obscure, and sadly threaten'd Deep. [Page 245]
251 Farther than we, that Eye of Heaven discerns,
252 And nearer plac'd to our malignant Stars,
253 Our brooding Tempests, and approaching Wars
254 Anticipating learns.
255 When now, too soon the dark Event
256 Shews what that faded Planet meant;
257 Whilst more the liquid Empire undergoes,
258 More she resigns of her entrusted Stores,
259 The Wealth, the Strength, the Pride of diff'rent Shores
260 In one Devoted, one Recorded Night,
261 Than Years had known destroy'd by generous Fight,
262 Or Privateering Foes.
263 All Rules of Conduct laid aside,
264 No more the baffl'd Pilot steers,
265 Or knows an Art, when it each moment veers,
266 To vary with the Winds, or stem th'unusual Tide.
267 Dispers'd and loose, the shatter'd Vessels stray,
268 Some perish within sight of Shore,[Page 246]
269 Some, happier thought, obtain a wider Sea,
270 But never to return, or cast an Anchor more!
271 Some on the Northern Coasts are thrown,
272 And by congealing Surges compass'd round,
273 To fixt and certain Ruin bound,
274 Immoveable are grown:
275 The fatal Goodwin swallows All that come
276 Within the Limits of that dangerous Sand,
277 Amphibious in its kind, nor Sea nor Land;
278 Yet kin to both, a false and faithless Strand,
279 Known only to our Cost for a devouring Tomb.
280 Nor seem'd the HURRICANE content,
281 Whilst only Ships were wreckt, and Tackle rent;
282 The Sailors too must fall a Prey,
283 Those that Command, with those that did Obey;
284 The best Supporters of thy pompous Stile,
285 Thou far Renown'd, thou pow'rful BRITISH Isle!
286 Foremost in Naval Strength, and Sov'reign of the Sea!
287 These from thy Aid that wrathful Night divides,
288 Plung'd in those Waves, o'er which this Title rides. [Page 247]
289 What art thou, envy'd Greatness, at the best,
290 In thy deluding Splendors drest?
291 What are thy glorious Titles, and thy Forms?
292 Which cannot give Security, or Rest
293 To favour'd Men, or Kingdoms that contest
294 With Popular Assaults, or Providential Storms!
295 Whilst on th'Omnipotent our Fate depends,
296 And They are only safe, whom He alone defends.
297 Then let to Heaven our general Praise be sent,
298 Which did our farther Loss, our total Wreck prevent.
299 And as our Aspirations do ascend,
300 Let every Thing be summon'd to attend;
301 And let the Poet after God's own Heart
302 Direct our Skill in that sublimer part,
303 And our weak Numbers mend!
(1) The Bishop's Palace at Wells was blown down, and kill'd Bishop Kidder with his Lady.
(2) We had a great Shower of Rain in the midd'st of the Storm.
(3) The Ancients look'd repon the Sun (or Phoebus) as Prophetick.
(4) One Day of the Summer before the Storm, we had an unusual Appearance of the Sun (which was observ'd by many People in several Parts of Kent, It was of a pale dead Colour, without any Beams or Brightness for some Hours in the Morning, altho' obstructed by no Clouds; for the Sky was clear.