1 Methought a boundless plain entranc'd I view'd,
2 Beyond what waking eye could ever scan,
3 With thousand and ten thousand flocks bestrew'd,
4 Emblems, I soon descried, of fallen man.
5 Thro' tangled wilds and crooked ways with speed
6 Numbers I saw on numbers heedless run,
7 Yet oft they stopt to crop each pois'nous weed,
8 That shew'd it's gaudy colours to the sun.
[Page 2]
9 With grief I mark'd their fleeces torn and rent,
10 As thro' the brambles eagerly they rush'd,
11 Some, on their own and other's ruin bent,
12 Turn'd round enrag'd, and at each other push'd.
13 The young their folds and fertile vales forsook,
14 And vent'rous climb'd the wild and craggy rock,
15 But soon the wolf the straggling lamb o'ertook,
16 Who rashly dar'd to leave the parent flock.
17 A general bleating now assail'd mine ear
18 In tones expressive of the deepest woe;
19 "Alas!" I cried, "are there no shepherds near,
20 " No guides the strait, the even way to show? "
21 When turning to the East my enquiring eye,
22 (With double strength it's visual pow'r renew'd)
23 The plain, the beaten path I did espy
24 Tho' verdant vales with guides and folds bestrew'd.
[Page 3]
25 "Ah, wretched sheep," lamenting then I cried,
26 "Why leave ye thus your folds and fost'ring guides?
27 Undone ye are, and, lost by your own pride,
28 Ye shun those helps which bounteous Heav'n provides."
29 But oh! how can my feeble verse pourtray
30 The glorious vision, which I then survey'd,
31 When all resplendent as the blaze of day,
32 The Shepherd came in majesty array'd?
33 Such heav'nly light refulgent beam'd around,
34 Swift o'er the wide expanse I saw it spread,
35 Such words benignant in mine ears did sound,
36 As cheer'd the living and reviv'd the dead.
37 Methought all nature seem'd to bloom anew,
38 The barren desert blossom'd as the rose,
39 The parched wilderness appear'd to view
40 As pastures green, where living water flows.
[Page 4]
41 There at his soothing call, and safe from harm,
42 With tenderest care his flocks the Shepherd fed,
43 The feeble lambs he gather'd with his arm,
44 And gently those that were with young he led.
45 Obedient to the heavenly Shepherd's call,
46 Gasping with thirst I hasted to the stream,
47 There in his presence on my knees I fall,
48 Then wake, and start from my enraptur'd dream.


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Title (in Source Edition): A VISION.
Genres: dream vision

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Source edition

Alcock [née Cumberland], Mary, 1741?–1798. Poems, &c. &c. by the Late Mrs. Mary Alcock [poems only]. London: Printed for C. Dilly, Poultry, 1799, pp. []-4. vii,[25],183,[1]p. (ESTC T86344) (Page images digitized by University of Michigan Library.)

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Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. This ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

Other works by Mary Alcock (née Cumberland)