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meet with pardon for it, since it is visibly intended | Who heav'd the mountain, which sublimely stands,
to show the great submission and respect with which And casts its shadow into distant lands?
"Who, stretching forth his sceptre o'er the deep,
Can that wide world in due subjection keep?
I broke the globe, I scoop'd its hollow side,
And did a bason for the floods provide;
your lordship's most obedient
THRICE happy Job long liv'd in regal state,
Nor saw the sumptuous East a prince so great ;
Whose worldly stores in such abundance flow'd,
Whose heart with such exalted virtue glow'd.
At length misfortunes take their turn to reign,
And ills on ills succeed! a dreadful train!
What now but deaths, and poverty, and wrong,
The sword wide-wasting, the reproachful tongue,
And spotted plagues, that mark'd his limbs all o'er
So thick with pains, they wanted room for more! 10
▲ change so sad what mortal here could bear?
Exhausted woe had left him nought to fear;
But gave him all to grief. Low earth he press'd,
Wept in the dust, and sorely smote his breast.
His friends around the deep affliction mourn'd,
Felt all his pangs, and groan for groan return'd;
In anguish of their hearts their mantles rent,
And seven long days in solemn silence spent!
A debt of reverence to distress so great!
Then JOB contain'd no more; but curs'd his fate.
His day of birth, its inauspicious light,
He wishes sunk in shades of endless night,
And blotted from the year; nor fears to crave
Death, instant death; impatient for the grave,
That seat of peace, that mansion of repose,
Where rest and mortals are no longer foes;
Where counsellors are hush'd, and mighty kings
(O happy turn!) no more are wretched things.
His words were daring, and displeas'd his friends;
His conduct they reprove, and he defends; 30
And now they kindled into warm debate,
And sentiments oppos'd with equal heat;
Fix'd in opinion, both refuse to yield,
And summon all their reason to the field:
So high at length their arguments were wrought,
They reach'd the last extent of human thought:
A pause ensued.-When, lo! Heaven interpos'd,
And awfully the long contention clos'd.
Full o'er their heads, with terrible surprise,
A sudden whirlwind blacken'd all the skies:
(They saw, and trembled!) from the darkness broke
A dreadful voice, and thus th' Almighty spoke :
"Who gives his tongue a loose so bold and vain,
Censures my conduct, and reproves my reign;
Lifts up his thought against me from the dust,
And tells the World's Creator what is just ?
Of late so brave, now lift a dauntless
Face my demand, and give it a reply:-
Where didst thou dwell at Nature's early birth?
Who laid foundations for the spacious Earth? 50
Who on its surface did extend the line,
Its form determine, and its bulk confine?
Who fix'd the corner-stone? What hand, declare,
Hung it on nought, and fasten'd it on air;
When the bright morning-stars in concert sung,
When Heaven's high arch with loud hosannahs
When shouting sons of God the triumph crown'd,
And the wide concave thunder'd with the sound?
Earth's numerous kingdoms, hast thou view'd
And can thy span of knowledge grasp the ball? 60
I chain'd them with my word; the boiling sea,
Work'd up in tempests, hears my great decree;
Thus far, thy floating tide shall be convey'd ;
And here, O main, be thy proud billows stay'd.' 70
"Hast thou explor'd the secrets of the deep,
Where, shut from use, unnumber'd treasures sleep?
Where, down a thousand fathoms from the day,
Springs the great fountain, mother of the sea?
Those gloomy paths did thy bold foot e'er tread,
Whole worlds of waters rolling o'er thy head?
"Hath the cleft centre open'd wide to thee?
Death's inmost chambers didst thou ever see?
E'er knock at his tremendous gate, and wade
To the black portal through th' incumbent shade? 80
Deep are those shades; but shades still deeper hide
My counsels from the ken of human pride.
"Where dwells the light? In what refulgent dome? And where has darkness made her dismal home? Thou know'st, no doubt, since thy large heart is fraught
With ripen'd wisdom, through long ages brought;
Since Nature was call'd forth when thou wast by,
And into being rose beneath thine eye!
"Are mists begotten? Who their father knew?
From whom descend the pearly drops of dew? 90
To bind the stream by night, what hand can boast,
Or whiten morning with the hoary frost?
Whose powerful breath, from northern regions blown,
Touches the sea, and turns it into stone?
A sudden desert spreads o'er realms defac'd,
And lays one half of the creation waste?
"Thou know'st me not; thy blindness cannot see
How vast a distance parts thy God from thee.
Canst thou in whirlwinds mount aloft? Canst thou
In clouds and darkness wrap thy awful brow; 100
And, when day triumphs in meridian light,
Put forth thy hand, and shade the world with night?
"Who lanch'd the clouds in air, and bid them roll
Suspended seas aloft, from pole to pole?
Who can refresh the burning sandy plain,
And quench the summer with a waste of rain?
Who, in rough deserts far from human toil,
Made rocks bring forth, and desolation smile?
There blooms the rose, where human face ne'er shone,
And spreads its beauties to the Sun alone.
"To check the shower, who lifts his hand on high,
And shuts the sluices of th' exhausted sky,
When Earth no longer mourns her gaping veins,
Her naked mountains, and her russet plains;
But, new in life, a cheerful prospect yields
Of shining rivers, and of verdant fields;
When groves and forests lavish all their bloom,
And Earth and Heaven are fill'd with rich perfume?
"Hast thou e'er scal'd my wintry skies, and seen
Of hail and snows my northern magazine? 120
These the dread treasures of mine anger are,
My funds of vengeance for the day of war,
When clouds rain death, and storms at my com-
Rage through the world, or waste a guilty land.
"Who taught the rapid winds to fly so fast,
Or shakes the centre with his eastern blast?
Who from the skies can a whole deluge pour?
Who strikes through Nature with the soleinn roar
Of dreadful thunder, points it where to fall,
And in fierce lightning wraps the flying ball?
Not he who trembles at the darted fires,
Falls at the sound, and in the flash expires.
"Who drew the comet out to such a size,
And pour'd his flaming train o'er half the skies?
Did thy resentment hang him out? Does he
Glare on the nation, and denounce, from thee?
"Who on low Farth can moderate the rein,
That guides the stars along th' ethereal plain?
Appoint their seasons, and direct their course,
Their lustre brighten, and supply their force? 140
Canst thou the skies' benevolence restrain,
And cause the Pleiades to shine in vain;
Or, when Orion sparkles from his sphere,
Thaw the cold season, and unbind the year;
Bid Mazzaroth his destin'd station know,
And teach the bright Arcturus where to glow ?
Mine is the night, with all her stars; I pour
Myriads and myriads I reserve in store.
"Dost thou pronounce where day-light shall be When clouds deform the year, she mounts the wind,
Shoots to the south, nor fears the storm behind; 150 The Sun returning, she returns again.
Lives in his beams, and leaves ill days to men.
"Though strong the hawk, though practis'd well
An eagle drops her in a lower sky;
An eagle, when, deserting human sight,
She seeks the Sun in her unwearied flight:
Did thy command her yellow pinion lift
So high in air, and set her on the clift,
Where far above thy world she dwells alone,
And proudly makes the strength of rocks her own;
Thence wide o'er Nature takes her dread survey,
And with a glance predestinates her prey?
She feasts her young with blood; and, hovering
Th' unslaughter'd host, enjoys the promis'd gore. 230
"Know'st thou how many moons, by me assign'd,
Roll o'er the mountain goat, and forest hind,
While pregnant they a mother's load sustain ?
They bend in auguish, and cast forth their pain.
Hale are their young, from human frailties freed;
Walk unsustain'd, and unassisted feed;
They live at once; forsake the dam's warm side;
Take the wide world, with Nature for their guide;
Bound o'er the lawn, or seek the distant glade ;
And find a home in each delightful shade.
Will the tall reem, which knows no Lord but me,
Low at the crib, and ask an alms of thee?
Submit his unworn shoulder to the yoke,
Break the stiff clod, and o'er thy furrow smoke?
Since great his strength, go trust him, void of care;
Lay on his neck the toil of all the year;
Bid him bring home the seasons to thy doors,
And cast his load among thy gather'd stores.
And draw the purple curtain of the morn;
Awake the Sun, and bid him come away,
And glad thy world with his obsequious ray?
Hast thou, enthron'd in flaming glory, driven
Triumphant round the spacious ring of Heaven?
That pomp of light, what hand so far displays,
That distant Earth lies basking in the blaze?
"Who did the soul with her rich powers invest,
And light up reason in the human breast?
To shine, with fresh increase of lustre bright,
When stars and Suu are set in endless night? 160
To these my various questions make reply."
Th' Almighty spoke; and, speaking, shook the sky.
What then, Chaldæan sire, was thy surprise!
Thus thou, with trembling heart and down-cast
"Once and again, which I in groans deplore,
My tongue has err'd; but shall presume no more.
My voice is in eternal silence bound,
And all my soul falls prostrate to the ground."
He ceas'd: when, ló! again th' Almighty spoke; The same dread voice from the black whirlwind broke. 170
"Can that arm measure with an arm divine?
And canst thou thunder with a voice like mine;
Or in the hollow of thy hand contain
The bulk of waters, the wide-spreading main,
When, mad with tempests, all the billows rise
In all their rage, and dash the distant skies?
"Come forth, in beauty's excellence array'd;
And be the grandeur of thy power display'd;
Put on omnipotence, and, frowning, make
The spacious round of the creation shake;
Dispatch thy vengeance, bid it overthrow
Triumphant vice, lay lofty tyrants low,
And crumble them to dust. When this is done,
1 grant thy safety lodg'd in thee alone;
Of thee thou art, and mayst undaunted stand
Behind the buckler of thine own right-hand.
"Fond man! the vision of a moment made!
Dream of a dream! and shadow of a shade!
What worlds hast thou produc'd, what creatures
"Who in the stupid ostrich has subdued.
parent's care, and fond inquietude?
While far she dies, her scatter'd eggs are found,
Without an owner, on the sandy ground;
Cast out on fortune, they at mercy lie,
And borrow life from an indulgent sky:
Adopted by the Sun, in blaze of day,
They ripen under his prolific ray.
Unmindful she, that some unhappy tread
May crush her young in their neglected bed.
What time she skims along the field with speed,
She scorus the rider, and pursuing steed.
"How rich the peacock! what bright glories run
From plume to plume, and vary in the Sun!
He proudly spreads them to the golden ray, 210
Gives all his colours, and adorns the day;
With conscious state the spacious round displays,
And slowly moves amid the waving blaze.
"Who taught the hawk to find, in seasons wise, Perpetual suminer, and a change of skies?
What insects cherish'd, that thy God is blam'd? 190
When pain'd with hunger, the wild raven's brood
Loud calls on God, importunate for food:
Who hears their cry, who grants their hoarse request,
And stills the clamour of the craving nest?
"Didst thou from service the wild-ass discharge,
And break his bonds, and bid him live at large, 250
Through the wide waste, his ample mansion, roam,
And lose himself in his unbounded home?
By Nature's hand magnificently fed,
His meal is on the range of mountains spread;
As in pure air aloft he bounds along,
He sees in distant smoke the city throng;
Conscious of freedom, scorns the smother'd train,
The threatening driver, and the servile rein.
"Survey the warlike horse! didst thou invest
With thunder his robust distended chest? 260
No sense of fear his dauntless soul allays;
'Tis dreadful to behold his nostrils blaze;
To paw the vale he proudly takes delight,
And triumphs in the fulness of his might;
High rais'd he snuffs the battle from afar,
And burns to plunge amid the raging war;
And mocks at death, and throws his foam around,
And in a storm of fury shakes the ground.
How does his firm, his rising heart advance
Full on the brandish'd sword, and shaken lance; 270
While his fix'd eye-balls meet the dazzling shield,
Gaze, and return the lightning of the field!
He sinks the sense of pain in generous pride,
Nor feels the shaft that trembles in his side;
But neighs to the shrill trumpet's dreadful blast
Till death; and when he groans, he groans his last.
"But, fiercer still, the lordly lion stalks,
Grimly majestic in his lonely walks ;
When round he glares, all living creatures fly;
He clears the desert with his rolling eye.
Say, mortal, does he rouse at thy command,
And roar to thee, and live upon thy hand?
Dost thou for him in forests bend thy bow,
And to his gloomy den the morsel throw,
Where bent on death lie hid his tawny brood,
And, couch'd in dreadful ambush, pant for blood;
Or, stretch'd on broken limbs, consume the day,
In darkness wrapt, and slumber o'er their prey?
By the pale Moon they take their destin'd round,
And lash their sides, and furious tear the ground. 290
Now shrieks and dying groans the desert till;
They rage, they rend; their ravenous jaws distil
With crimson foam; and, when the banquet's o'er,
They stride away, and paint their steps with gore;
In flight alone the shepherd puts his trust,
And shudders at the talon in the dust.
"Mild is my behemoth, though large his frame;
Smooth is his temper, and represt his flame,
While unprovok'd. This native of the flood
Lifts his broad foot, and puts ashore for food; 300
Farth sinks beneath him, as he moves along
To seek the herbs, and mingle with the throng.
See with what strength his harden'd loins are bound,
All over proof and shut against a wound.
How like a mountain cedar moves his tail!
Nor can his complicated sinews fail.
Built high and wide, his solid bones surpass
The bars of steel; his ribs are ribs of brass;
His port majestic and his armed jaw
Give the wide forest, and the mountain, law. 310
The mountains feed him; there the beasts admire
The mighty stranger, and in dread retire ;
At length his greatness nearer they survey,
Graze in his shadow, and his eye obey.
The fens and marshes are his cool retreat,
His noontide shelter from the burning heat;
Their sedgy bosoms his wide couch are made,
And groves of willows give him all their shade.
"His eye drinks Jordan up, when fir'd with drought
He trusts to urn its current down his throat; 320
In lessen'd waves it creeps along the plain:
He sinks a river, and he thirsts again.
Go to the Nile, and, from its fruitful side,
Cast forth thy line into the swelling tide:
With slender hair leviathan command,
And stretch bis vastness on the loaded strand.
Will he become thy servant? Will he own
Thy lordly nod, and tremble at thy frown?
Or with his sport amuse thy leisure day,
And, bound in silk, with thy soft maidens play? 330
Shallpompous banquets swell with such a prize?
And the bowl journey round his ample size?
Or the debating merchants share the prey,
And various limbs to various marts convey?
Through his firm skull what steel its way can win?
What forceful engine can sublue his skin?
Fly far, and live; tempt not his matchless might:
The bravest shrink to cowards in his sight;
The rashest dare not rouse hin up: Who then
Shall turn on me, among the sons of men?
"Am I a debtor? Hast thou ever heard
Whence come the gifts that are on me conferr'd?
My lavish fruit a thousand valleys fills,
And mine the herds that graze a thousand hills:
Earth, sea, and air, all Nature is my own;
And stars and Sun are dust beneath my throne.
And dar'st thou with the World's great Father vic,
Thou, who dost tremble at my creature's eye?
"At full my large leviathan shall rise,
Boast all his strength, and spread his wondrous size.
Who, great in arms, e'er stripp'd his shining mail,
Or crown'd his triumph with a single scale ?
Whose heart sustains him to draw near? Behold,
Destruction yawns; his spacious jaws unfold,
And marshal'd round the wide expanse, disclose
| Teeth edg'd with death, and crowding rows on rows:
What hideous fangs on either side arise!
And what a deep abyss between them lies!
Mete with thy lance, and with thy plummet sound,
The one how long, the other how profound. 360
His bulk is charg'd with such a furious soul,
That clouds of smoke from his spread nostrils roll,
As from a furnace; and, when rous'd his ire,
Fate issues from his jaws in streams of tire.
The rage of tempests, and the roar of seas,
Thy terrour, this thy great superior please;
Strength on his ample shoulder sits in state;
His well-join'd limbs are dreadfully complete ;
His flakes of solid flesh are slow to part;
As steel his nerves, as adamant his heart. 370
"When, late awak'd, he rears him from the floods,
And, stretching forth his stature to the clouds,
Writhes in the Sun aloft his scaly height,
And strikes the distant hills with transient light,
Far round are fatal damps of terrour spread,
The mighty fear, nor blush to own their dread.
"Large is his front; and, when his burnish'd eyes
Lift their broad lids, the morning seems to rise.
"In vain may death in various shapes invade,
The swift-wing'd arrow, the descending blade; 380
His naked breast their impotence defies;
The dart rebounds, the brittle falchion flies.
Shut in himself, the war without he hears,
Safe in the tempest of their rattling spears;
The cumber'd strand their wasted volleys strow;
His sport, the rage and labour of the foe.
"His pastimes like a cauldron boil the flood,
And blacken ocean with the rising mud;
The billows feel him, as he works his way;
His hoary footsteps shine along the sea; 390
The foam high-wrought with white divides the green,
And distant sailors point where Death has been.
"His like Earth bears not on her spacious face;
Alone in Nature stands his dauntless race,
For utter ignorance of fear renown'd,
In wrath he rolls his baleful eye around;
Makes every swoln, disdainful heart subside,
And holds dominion o'er the sons of pride."
Then the Chaldæan eas'd his labouring breast, With full conviction of his crime opprest. 400 "Thou canst accomplish all things, Lord of Might! And every thought is naked to thy sight,
But, oh! thy ways are wonderful, and lie
Beyond the deepest reach of mortal eye.
Oft have I heard of thine almighty power;
But never saw thee till this dreadful hour.
O'erwhelm'd with shame, the Lord of Life I see,
Abbor myself, and give my soul to thee.
Nor shall my weakness tempt thine anger more:
Man is not made to question, but adore.”
that of "Let there be light," &c. so much only, as the absolute government of nature yields to the 405 creation of it.
NOTES ON THE PARAPHRASE.
Book of Job.] It is disputed amongst the critics who was the author of the Book of Job; some give it to Moses, some to others. As I was engaged in this little performance, some arguments occurred to me which favour the former of those opinions; and because I do not find them mentioned by any one else, I have flung them into the following notes, where little else is to be expected.
Ver. 1.] The Almighty's speech, chapter xxxviii, &c. which is what I paraphrase in this little work, is by much the finest part of the noblest and most antient poem in the world. Bishop Patrick says, its grandeur is as much above all other poetry, as thunder is louder than a whisper. In order to set this distinguished part of the poem in a fuller light, and give the reader a clearer conception of it, I have abridged the preceding and subsequent parts of the poem, and joined them to it; so that this piece is a sort of an epitome of the whole Book of Job.
I use the word paraphrase, because I want another which might better answer to the uncommon liberties I have taken. I have omitted, added, and transposed. The mountain, the comet, the Sun, and other parts, are entirely added: those upon the peacock, the lion, &c. are much enlarged; and I
have thrown the whole into a method more suitable to our notions of regularity. The judicious, if they compare this piece with the original, will, I flatter myself, find the reasons for the great liberties 1 have indulged myself in through the whole.
Longinus has a chapter on interrogations, which shows that they contribute much to the sublime. This speech of the Almighty is made up of them. Interrogation seems, indeed, the proper style of Majesty incensed. It differs from other manner of reproof, as bidding a person execute himself, does from a common execution; for he that asks the guilty a proper question, makes him, in effect, pass sentence on himself.
The like spirit in these two passages is no bad concurrent argument, that Moses is author of the book of Job.
Ver. 69.] There is a very great air in all that precedes, but this is signally sublime. We are struck with admiration to see the vast and ungovernable occan receiving commands, and punctually ing them; to find it like a managed horse, raging, tossing, and foaming, but by the rule and direction of its master. This passage yields in sublimity to
Ver. 191.] Another argument that Moses was the author is, that most of the creatures here are Egyptian. The reason given why the raven is particularly mentioned as an object of the care of Providence, is, because, by her clamorous and importunate voice, she particularly seems always calling upon it; thence xogarow, à xóga, Ælian. I. ¡i. c. 48. is "to ask earnestly." And since there were ravens on the bank of the Nile more clamorous than the rest of that species, those probably are meant in that place.
Vasta velut Libyæ venantum vocibus ales Cum premitur, calidas cursu transmittit arenas, Inque modum veli sinuatis flamine pennis Pulverulenta volat. CLAUD. in Eutr. Ver. 206.] Xenophon says, Cyrus had horses that could overtake the goat and the wild ass; but none that could reach this creature. A thousand golden ducats, or a hundred camels, was the stated price of a horse that could equal their speed.
Ver. 207.] Though this bird is but just mentioned in my author, I could not forbear going a little further, and spreading those beautiful plumes
Ver. 41.] The Book of Job is well known to be dramatic, and, like the tragedies of old Greece, is fiction built on truth. Probably this most noble part of it, the Almighty speaking out of the whirl-(which are there shut up) in half a dozen lines. wind (so suitable to the after-practice of the Greek The circumstance I have marked of his opening stage, when there happened dignus vindice no- his plumes to the Sun is true: Expandit colores dus) is fictitious; but is a fiction more agreeable adverso maximè Sole, quia sic fulgentius radiant. to the time in which Job lived, than to any since. PLIN. J. x. c. 20. Frequent, before the Law, were the appearances of the Almighty after this manner, Exod. c. xix. Ezek. c. i. &c. Hence is he said to "dwell in thick darkness and have his way in the whirlwind."
Ver. 195.] There are many instances of this bird's
stupidity: let two suffice. First, It covers its head
in the reeds, and thinks itself all out of sight:
Stat lumine clauso
Ridendum revolta caput, creditqué latere
Quæ non ispa videt.
Secondly, They that go in pursuit of them, draw
the skin of an ostrich's neck on one hand, which
proves a sufficient lure to take them with the other.
six hundred heads for his supper.
They have so little brain, that Heliogabalus had
Here we may observe, that our judicious as well as sublime author just touches the great points of distinction in each creature, and then hastens to another. A description is exact when you cannot add, but what is common to another thing; nor withdraw, but something peculiarly belonging to the thing described. A likeness is lost in too much description, as a meaning often in too much illus
Ver. 205.] Here is marked another peculiar quality of this creature, which neither flies nor rubs directly, but has a motion composed of both, and, using its wings as sails, makes great speed.
Ver. 219.] Thuanus (de Re Accip.) mentions a hawk that flew from Paris to London in a night. And the Eygptians, in regard to its swiftness, made it their symbol for the wind; for which reason wo may suppose the bawk, as well as the crow above mentioned, to have been a bird of note in Egypt.
Ver. 227.] The eagle is said to be of so acute a that, when she is so high in air that man cannot see her, she can discern the smallest fish under water. My author accurately understood the nature of the creatures he describes, and seems
to have been a naturalist as well as a poet, which the next note will confirm.
Ver, 231.] The meaning of this question is, Knowest thou the time and circumstances of their bringing forth? For to know the time only was easy, and had nothing extraordinary in it; but the circumstances had something peculiarly expressive of God's providence, which makes the question proper in this place. Pliny observes, that the hind with young is by instinct directed to a certain herb called seselis, which facilitates the birth. Thunder also (which looks like the more immediate hand of Providence) has the same effect. Ps. xxix. In so early an age to observe these things, may style our author a naturalist.
Ver. 377.] "His eyes are like the eye-lids of the morning." I think this gives us as great an image of the thing it would express, as can enter the thought of man. It is not improbable that the Egyptians stole their hieroglyphic for the morning, which is the crocodile's eye, from this passage, though no commentator, I have seen, mentions it. It is easy to conceive how the Egyptians should be both readers and admirers of the writings of Moses, whom I suppose the author of this poem.
so that the expression here is barely just.
Ver. 364.] This too is nearer truth than at first view may be imagined. The crocodile, say the naturalists, lying long under water, and being there forced to hold its breath, when it emerges, the breath long represt is hot, and bursts out so violently, that it resembles fire and smoke. The horse suppresses not his breath by any means so long, neither is he so fierce and animated; yet the most correct of poets ventures to use the same metaphor concerning him:
Collectumque premens volvit sub naribus ignem. By this and the foregoing note I would caution against a false opinion of the eastern boldness from passages in them ill understood.
I have observed already that three or four of the creatures here described are Egyptian; the two last are notoriously so, they are the river-horse and the crocodile, those celebrated inhabitants of the Nile; and on these two it is that our author chiefly dwells. It would have been expected from an author more remote from that river than Moses, in a catalogue of creatures produced to magnify their Creator, to have dwelt on the two largest works of his hand, viz.the elephant and the whale. This is so natural an expectation, that some commentators have rendered behemoth and leviathan, the elephant and whale, though the descriptions in our author will not admit of it: but Moses being, as we may well suppose, under an immediate terrour of the hippopotamus and crocodile, from their daily mischiefs and ravages around him; it is very accountable why he should permit them to take place.
ON DR. YOUNG'S TRANSLATION OF PART OF JOB.
BY DR. COBDEN.
THE poem, which, originally great,
Had long sustain'd poor Job's unhappy fate,
Fallen from its grandeur, clad in mean array,
And in the dust of prose inglorious lay;
Like him now shines, with former greatness blest,
And in its native majesty confest.
ON MICHAEL ANGELO'S FAMOUS PIECE OF THE CRUCIFIXON ;
WHO IS SAID TO HAVE STABBED A PERSON THAT HE* MIGHT DRAW IT MORE NATURALLY1. WHILST his Redeemer on his canvass dies, Stabb'd at his feet his brother weltering lies: The daring artist, cruelly serene, Views the pale cheek and the distorted mien; He drains off life by drops, and, deaf to cries, Examines every spirit as it flies: He studies torment, dives in mortal woe, To rouse up every pang repeats his blow; Each rising agony, each dreadful grace, Yet warm transplanting to his Saviour's face. Oh glorious theft! oh nobly wicked draught! With its full charge of death each feature fraught, Such wondrous force the magic colours boast, From his own skill he starts in horrour lost.
'Though the report was propagated without the least truth, it may be sufficient ground to justify a poetical fancy's enlarging on it.