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With dusky redness vail'd her silver light,
And impious mortals fear'd eternal night.
Then, lo! the trembling earth and seas that rag'd,
And dogs, and boding birds their ills presag'd.
That moment globes of flame from Etna thrown,
With heaps of sulphur mix'd, and molten stone,
From her burst entrails did she now expire,
And delug'd the surrounding fields with fire;
The natives heard the sound, with terror shock'd,
The solid Alps unusual tremblings rock'd....
Around the corpse a dismal voice was heard,
And glaring ghosts all grimly pale, appear'd;
The plaintive spectres dire events forebode,
And cry'd to heav'n for justice, drench'd in blood;
Loud thunder-claps and livid lightnings glare,
And comets trail lengths of fore-boding hair;
Extended on the rocks the body lay,*

To ev'ry wind and ev'ry wave a prey :
The silver billows mix'd with purple gore,
Assault the corpse and foaming mount the shore;
Fierce hungry vultures tear her eyes away,
Flap with their wings and scream around their prey,
While the hoarse breathings of the hollow wind,
With deep resounding waves in concert join'd;
Deep was the surge, and deep my plaintive song,
While all the solemn scene in mute attention hung;
Then ceas'd the feather'd tribe their notes to sound,
The laughing landscapes sadden'd all around.
For her sad fate I'll breathe my tuneful moan,

* One morning as I was walking round our estate, I saw a slave who had previously committed suicide, by plunging in and continuing under water till drowned.

AVENÍA's gone into a world unknown.

Sweet to the thirsty tongue, the silver stream,
To nightly wand'rers, sweet the morning's beam ;`
Sweet to the wither'd grass the vernal show'r,
To the fond lover sweet the nuptial hour;
Sweet is the garden to the lab'ring bee,

Poor injur'd maid these sweets are lost to thee:
Then fade ye flow'rs, ye warb'lers join my moan,
AVENIA'S gone into a world unknown.

As flow'rs that wither in their op'ning bloom, Robb'd of their charming dyes and rich perfume Or as the lamb that prematurely pines,

And life's untasted joy at once resigns.

2

AVENIA.

BOOK VI.

ARGUMENT.

INVOCATION...The tyrant's interrogatories and their answer ....Ironical address to him in imitation of Solomon....The conduct of oppressors proved to be spurious in the sight of Heaven; even from the works of creation....That God cannot avoid punishing the oppressor and relieving the oppressed, according to his promise, demonstrated.... The excellency of religion....Nothing else capable of producing real happiness in the mind.... A hymn to the Creator of the world, which concludes the poem.

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