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AVENIA.

BOOK VI.

NO more of wars, of carnage, or of arms;
No more of virtue's worth or beauties charms;
No more I paint the flocks, the injur'd swain,
The beauties of the land, or terrors of the main ;
But sing the mercies of the pow'rs above,
The tyrant's rage contrast with heav'nly love.
Celestial muse my ventrous flight sustain,
My plaintive muse, the sweet Columbian strain ;
Tho' envious critics with a surly frown,
Deny your humble bard the laurel crown,
He'll prove triumphant, if you deign to spread
Th' ambrosial myrtle round his honor'd head,
And now, methinks, I hear the tyrant say,
"Would God behold his creatures' misery,
And if it was obnoxious in his sight,

Would he not soon regain the captive's right;
Punish th' oppressor and th' oppress'd set free,
Redress their wrongs, and crown with liberty?
Say, would the God who heav'n and earth commands,
(If wrong) permit such guilt in Christian lands?
From whence harmonious praises daily rise,
To Him, th' Almighty Sov'reign of the skies."
I answer thus: "Behold Messiah shinę

Supreme in mercy, and in grace sublime,
On all his works his love inscrib'd we find,
His sov'reign goodness, and productive mind;
His works how various, with what pow'r endu'd,
Good in their origin, in nature good.

How wond'rous good must the great Maker shine,
All grand, all glorious, matchless and divine:
Nor Christendom alone his mercies share,.
Exhaustless blessings and continual care,
Extend to thousand worlds, in boundless space,
And circle all in one benign embrace.
The first-born sons of glory strive in vain
T'explore, the wonders of his glorious name;
They see his boundless love, and ever see
Him great in goodness, and in clemency;
But tho' his grace and love no limits know,
His justice must have satisfaction too:
These attributes in equal balance lie,
And one can not the other's rights deny.
Behold the thief who robs the houseless poor,
In safety he enjoys his ill-got store.
Behold the man who insults th' injur'd fair,
Yet unperceiv'd he breathes the vital air!
Behold the ruffian lift his murd'rous knife,
Yet he escapes in safety with his life.
But, oh! behold the proud blasphemous rout,
Who revelation and the Saviour doubt;.
Who daringly insult their gracious Lord,
Reject his counsel and condemn his word:
Harden'd in sin, th' affront him to his face,
Despise his Gospel and reject his grace.

Tho' God thus bears with them, vain tyrant know,
Sure is his veng'ance, tho' 'tis often slow.

Ev'n in this world, imperious sinners feel

How vainly guilt its horrors would conceal.
The tyrant may attempt to hide his smart,
A living plague corrodes his guilty heart.
Tho' fortune seems to smile, the culprit flies,
To crown his guilt....by suicide he dies,
And sad and sullen hates the golden skies.
With hopeless torments and determin'd woe,
Hell begins here and terminates below;
Then tyrants who the joys of heav'n forego,
And from your breasts bid weeping virtue go;
While the bright hours their golden wings display,
And draw like harnass'd doves the smiling day;
The flying moments and the syren train,
Ask thee to seize thy bliss, nor ask in vain;
To their prevailing smiles thy heart resign,
And hast❜ly make the proffer'd blessing thine,
Enslave your neighbours and augment your store,
Till the capacious wish can grasp no more.
Near some fair river on reclining land,
Midst jess'mine bowers let thy palace stand;
Let marble walls unrival'd pomp display,
And gilded tow'rs reflect augmented day :
Let burnished pillars in high rows uphold
The glitt'ring roof enrich'd with veins of gold,
And beauteous figures of the sculptor's art,
Part grace thy palace, and thy garden part.
Here let the scentful smiles of op'ning flow'rs,
Breathe from thy citron walls and jess'mine bow'rs;
Ambrosial blossoms in thy bosom smell,
And let sweet fragrance on thy garments dwell;
That lofty banquets and delicious feasts,
May crown thy table and regale thy guests,
Ransack the hills and ev'ry park and wood,
The lake unpeople and despoil the flood,

Procure each feather'd luxury that beats
Its native air, or from its clime retreats.
Let artful cooks to raise thy relish strive,
With all the spicy tastes the Indies give;
While wreaths of roses round thy temples shine,
Enjoy the sparkling blessing of the vine;
Let the warm nectar all thy veins inspire,
Solace thy heart and raise the vital fire;
Let beauteous robes thy manly limbs enfold,
Of crimson hue and fring'd with flow'rs of gold;
Let blooming tresses grace your female train,
Each nymph a garland and a golden chain;
Let blazing torches ev'ry night display,
From gilded roofs an artificial day.

As when the moon, refulgent lamp of night,
O'er heav'n's pure azure spreads her sacred light
When not a breath disturbs the deep serene,
And not a cloud o'ercasts the solemn scene,
Around her throne the vivid planets roll,
And stars unnumber'd gild the glowing pole :
O'er the dark trees a yellower verdure shed,
And tip with silver ev'ry mountain's head;
Then shine the vales, the rocks in prospect rise,
A flood of glory bursts from all the skies;
The conscious shepherds glorying in the sight,
Eye the blue vault and bless the useful light.
And now let vocal strains with martial sounds,
Ascend your court till all your court rebounds;
While beauteous youths and blushing maids advance,
And form to measur'd airs the mazy dance;
Let their bright limbs with gold and purple glow,
While from their brows the sable ringlets flow;
The female's feet, let spangled slippers grace,
While vails transparent screen each lovely face;

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Each ruddy face, as new-born lillies white,
Or winter snow, and glitt❜ring as the light,
And let their robes in gay confusion rise,

With gold and sattin mix'd, and crimson dyes,
While from their swelling breasts their robes unbound,
Float in gold waves redundant o'er the ground,
And let their rings, and bobs with amber gay,
Shoot bright refulgence like the solar ray.
When wanton ferments swell thy glowing veins,
To the warm passion give the loosen'd reins;
Thy gazing eyes with blooming beauty feast,
Receive its dart and hug it to thy breast;
From fair to fair with gay inconstance rove,
Taste ev'ry sweet and cloy thy heart with love,
And in your chariot rich with sculptur'd gold,
Display your nymphs and all their charms unfold;
While foaming coursers in the rapid race,
In silver harness'd, sweep the vernal space,
Toss their high heads and scour the flow'ry lawn,
Bright as Aurora daughter of the dawn;

Behold with joy, your steeds with silver crown'd,
Neigh, champ the bit, prance, foam and paw the ground;
Then urge the fiery steeds impetuously,

And lash the coursers till the coursers fly;

Till swift and still more swift they snorting go,
Swift as wild winds and white as winter snow;
Resplendent as imperial Sol at noon,
Or the pale radiance of the silver moon;
But midst thy boundless joy, unbridled youth,
Remember still this sad but certain truth,
That thou to God must give a strict account,
For all your deeds, and for your wealth's amount,
I view your end and tremble while I write,
Your soul, the judge, appear before my sight,

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