1 WHEN Idumea, and the nations round,
2 Th' inveterate foes of Israel, and of God,
3 Lie vanquish'd, dormant on the dreary waste
4 Of far extended ruin; and involv'd
5 In hideous woe, and desolation wide,
6 Then shall Judea lift her cheerful head;
7 Put forth the leaves of glad prosperity;
8 And, after all the gloomy scene of grief
9 And sad affliction, flourish and revive
10 In all the bright serenity of peace.
11 As the gay rose, when winter storms are past,
12 Warm'd with the influence of a kinder sun,
13 Comes from the bud with a vermilion blush,
14 Cheering the sight, and scattering all around
15 A balmy odour, that perfumes the skies.
16 She shall rejoice with joy unspeakable,
17 And, fraught with richest blessings from above,
18 Spring forth in all the pride of Lebanon,
19 Whose lofty cedars, wond'rous to behold,
20 In bodies huge, and to the skies erect
21 Stand eminent, branch over branch out-spread[Page 184]
22 In reg'lar distances, and verdant shades,
23 Emblem of happy state. Nor shall the hills
24 Of fragrant Carmel, rich in fruitful soil;
25 Nor Sharon's flow'ry plain in all its bloom,
26 Array'd in Nature's goodliest attire,
27 And breathing fresh a gale of heav'nly sweets,
28 Spring forth in greater glory. For the Lord
29 His goodness will declare, that knows no bounds;
30 And all the people shall behold his might,
31 And see the wonders of omnipotence.
32 Strengthen the languid nerves, ye seers! and bid
33 The trembling hand be strong. Call into life
34 The dissipated spirits; and confirm
35 The feeble knees; th' unactive joints support;
36 And bid the lazy blood flow briskly on,
37 And circulate with joy thro' every vein.
38 Comfort th' oppress'd; and smooth the ruffled mind;
39 Say to th' afflicted heart, devoid of hope,
40 Behold! th' Almighty rushes from the skies,
41 Ev'n Israel's God from his refulgent throne
42 Of glory comes, but not with radiant blaze
43 Of light, ev'n light invisible, as when
44 To Moses on Mount Horeb he appear'd,
45 And sent his faithful servant to redeem
46 Ungrateful Israel from Egyptian bonds;
47 Nor with the music of a still, soft voice,
48 As when h' inform'd the prophet of his will;
49 But in a black and dreadful hemisphere[Page 185]
50 Of darkness, arm'd with flaming thunderbolts,
51 And flashes of red lightning to increase
52 The woe, and make ev'n darkness visible.
53 The hills shall tremble at his dire approach;
54 And fearful mountains, pil'd up to the clouds,
55 Fall down precipitant with rapid force,
56 And spread a plain immense. For God will come
57 Full fraught with vengeance to consume your foes;
58 You in his bounteous mercy to protect.
59 Then shall the eyes long clos'd in blackest night.
60 To whom no gladsome dawn of light appear'd,
61 But comfortless, impenetrable shade,
62 Shake off the film of darkness, and behold
63 The long-expected day. New scenes of joy.
64 Shall then appear, and various prospects rise
65 To cheer the new-born sight. The deafen'd ear,
66 On whose dull nerves sad-moping Silence dwelt,
67 And lock'd from music's note, or voice of man,
68 Shall open glad its labyrinths of sound,
69 Again the stringed instrument shall feel,
70 And the sweet words of social converse hear.
71 The lame, infirm, creeping with slow advance,
72 Dragging with pain reluctant feet along,
73 And scarcely by the friendly crutch sustain'd,
74 Shall throw th' unserviceable prop aside,
75 And stand erect, exulting like a roe
76 Upon Mount Tabor, frisking nimbly round
77 On the soft verdant turf, with wanton tread[Page 186]
78 Skimming along the surface of the plain,
79 Or lightly bounding o'er the rising ground.
80 The dumb for melancholy silence fram'd,
81 Cut off from friendly converse with mankind,
82 Striving in vain the sad defect to mend
83 With gabb'ring noise of broken syllables
84 Confus'd, shall talk in dialects compleat;
85 And tongues, that knew not how to speak, shall sing.
86 New scenes of joy shall gladden ev'ry face;
87 And universal peace o'erspread the land.
88 The glowing ground, gaping with burning thirst,
89 Shall greedily suck in the humid tide,
90 Pouring from caverns of the craggy hills
91 In limpid streams, still warbling, as they fall,
92 Melodious murmurs down the ample glade,
93 And crystal springs refresh the thirsty land.
94 Where heretofore the curling serpent lay
95 In many a wily labyrinth self-roll'd,
96 Or swept deceitful o'er the dusty plain
97 In horrid spires, and many a tow'ring maze,
98 The trembling reed shall wave his fringed top;
99 And the tall rush in slender spires up-rise.
100 The swampy marsh shall its broad flag produce,
101 With bending willow, sport of every wind;
102 And vegetable earth new bloom display
103 Delightful, with prolific verdure cloth'd,
104 A wasteful desart now, and barren soil.
105 A way shall be prepar'd, a path direct,
106 Mark'd out by line with an unerring hand,
107 Ev'n a streight path, which God himself shall make;
108 It shall be call'd, THE WAY OF HOLINESS;
109 A way to sacred footsteps only known,
110 Where the unhallow'd shall no entrance find,
111 Nor impious feet profane the sacred ground.
112 God shall attend the motions of the just,
113 Watch o'er their steps, and guide them as they go;
114 And none shall wander from the obvious path,
115 For who can err, when God directs the way?
116 The rampant lion shall not wander there,
117 Nor fiery tiger, roaring for his prey;
118 Nor prowling wolf, that howls along the plain,
119 With the keen pangs of raging hunger stung;
120 Nor surly bear in Nebo's mountains bred,
121 Or Carmel's forest ranging merciless;
122 Such as came furious from the neighb'ring groves
123 Of ancient Bethel with voracious speed,
124 Grinning destruction as they roam'd along,
125 And slew the mockers of the good old seer.
126 But free, and unmolested shall they walk
127 Whom heav'n protects, and God vouchsafes to guide.
128 The ransom'd captives, weary of the yoke,
129 The heavy yoke of long oppressive thrall,
130 Shall cheerfully return to happier climes,
131 In melody break forth the gladden'd heart,
132 That speaks deliverance, and the voice of joy.[Page 188]
133 Judah shall witness to the grateful song;
134 And faithful Zion echo back the sound.
135 No signs of woe shall hang upon the cheek,
136 No shuddering fear, nor horrible despair;
137 But grief with all its melancholy train
138 Of huge dismay shall fly from ev'ry face.
139 Gladness shall crown the head, peace fill the heart,
140 And endless rapture dwell on ev'ry brow.