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Some wailing, look to Heaven, beseeching mercy;
And some went howling, and in wild despair
Their garments rent, and for a refuge sought
Amid the dismal havoc, but in vain.
With downcast eyes, all weeping, others sat;
Others, again, as rueful statues stood,
And wrung their hands in wordless agony.
While fits of frenzy, and of hellish fury,
Sedition, hatred, murder, and revenge
Others then seized, and hence impelled to acts
From which imagination yet recoils;
Armed with the various implements of death,
As banded desperadoes, how they rushed,
Amid the tumult dread, on all they met;
Thus in a common carnage ruthless blending
Their fellow-citizens of all conditions,
Alike regardless both of sex and age.
While everywhere-oh! horrible indeed-
Fed by their countless hecatombs of victims,
The gloomy, all-devouring faggots blazed;
Great armies too, in battle-like array,
All countries seemed to devastate and plunder,
Which ever and anon in mortal conflict
With others would exultingly engage.
Methought, in short, the world had turned a hell; .
And under the dominion of the devil,
Its denizens of every class and colour
Apparently were held; all law, all rule,
Restraint, and human sympathy seemed lost.
At length a change succeeded, and drew
From the horrific scene at last the sun.
Loud howled the wind, which to a tempest rose;
While rolled the thunder, and amid the storm
Of furious hail, the vivid lightning gleamed;
And, as if under Nature's final throes,
Heavens, how the very earth, from shore to shore,
Portentous shook, and trembled to its centre !
Great chasms yawned, and to their basements rocked
Convulsed the lofty everlasting mountains;
Thus indicated all, in heaven and earth,
The end of all things had at length arrived.
And hence another change came o'er my dream.
Hushed were the thunders, and the tempest ceased-
All, all, was still and silent as the grave.
Meanwhile through the impenetrable gloom,
Midway in heaven-methinks I yet behold Him
Borne on a sunbeam of celestial lustre,
A mighty Herald bright in burning glory,
With dazzling pinions cleaving the dark clouds,
And rolling them in mountains by his breath,
In pomp divine and majesty descended;
And from beneath His wings a trump tremendous,
Of burnished gold, He took, and which He sounded
Much louder than ten thousand peals of thunder,
Which shook the very pillars of the sky,
And penetrated, with a power divine,
Even Nature's deepest, innermost recesses.
O most momentous, memorable hour!
How did its thrilling energy pervade,
Yea, rend the iron prison-house of Death,
And summon forth, to life and liberty,
Its lonely, slumbering, earth-forgotten captives,
Of every circumstance, and class, and clime,
Age, creed, and character ! Again to heaven
Instinctively my wondering eyes I turned,
And, oh! ecstatic, ever-rapturous sight,
And hallowed while I live, in recollection,
Refulgent, brighter than a thousand suns,
Millions unnumbered of ethereal natures,
All gay with life and immortality,
Led by a potent all-victorious hero
Through the unknown, untravelled vast of space,
In pageantry unrivalled and divine,
Fleet as the lightning to this nether world
Winging their mystic way were then beheld,
And with intense and glowing radiations
Earth and immensity alike illuming.
Meanwhile a gorgeous and resplendent throne,
Immaculate and shining as the snow,
Wreathed on the height and lackered by the sun,
The world polluted as a rainbow spanned,
On which descended, in empyreal glory,
That princely Leader of the host divine,
Wearing a jewell’d crown of starry brightness,
Before whose sheen, as wax before the fire,
The everlasting mountains seemed to melt,
The ocean as in terror to recede,
And Nature tremble to her inmost core.
Around Him then, in filial exultation
And joy, this retinue illustrious thronged,
Above all fear secure, victorious waving
Palms of immortal and eternal triumph,
Shouting hosannahs, and in thrilling rapture
Ascribing honour, majesty, dominion,
Glory, and blessing unto Him alone.
At the same moment, wonderful, amazing,
From every corner of the rugged earth,
And every quarter of the secret deep,
Crowds, countless as the very stars of heaven,
By some strange, supernatural propulsion,
Towards that peerless Monarch on the throne
Were pouring fast. O can I e'er forget
That sweet placidity of soul, that trust,
That thrilling joy, and transport some betrayed,
Contrasted with the sullen gloom, and anguish,
Regret, remorse, and terror, and despair
That marked the guilty and the ever-wretched,
As every eye seemed as if spell-bound fixed
On that ineffable, illustrious One,
Whose throne the endless millions clustered round,
But into two grand classes stood divided,
Each as eternally to each opposed
As vice to virtue? By that King of kings
How was the one acknowledged and accepted,
And smiling welcomed with, “O come, ye blessed,”
And on His right hand honoured and adorned
With the insignia of His royal friendship
Divine, and destined ever to endure !
While, oh! the others, how my nature trembles
As memory the melancholy picture
Of their sad fate, with all its dismal shades, :
Still mournfully recalls; how self-condemned,
Vile outcasts, rebels, how aghast they stood,
Detested by the virtuous universe !
Methinks I hear yet, pealing in mine ear,
That deep-toned awful knell, “ Depart, ye cursed,”
As one of whom I felt myself included.
The final destinies of all awarded,
On harps of gold loud hallelujahs sounding,
All crowned with immortality, the just
In one vast happy and harmonious whole
Heaven's azure heights triumphantly ascended
In nameless glory, headed by their King.
Next from that solemn and momentous bar,
'Mid hopeless wailings, on the whirlwind's wing
That hideous, sable, wrath-doomed throng was borne,
By Heaven accursed, fiendish legions led
Through scenes of universal conflagration,
To realms of black unmitigated misery;
Remorse and suffering, and despair eternal,
Where mercy never smiles, hope never dawns,
And Heaven hath ceased for ever to be gracious.
O I remember, and will ne'er forget,
That paralyzing horror and dismay
Which seized my guilty and polluted soul
When first those rueful, melancholy regions
Of endless sin and death, by Heaven decreed
For the apostate, God-abandoned felons,
In all their terrors, burst upon my view;
Nor when with that accursed rebel host,