“And cursed be the woman’s art,
That lur’d me to her snare!
And cursed be the faithless heart
That left thee to despair!
“Yet now I’ll hold thee to my side,
Tho’ worthless I have been,
Nor friends, nor wealth, nor dizen’d bride,
Shall ever stand between.
“When thou art weary and depress’d,
I’ll lull thee to thy sleep;
And when dark fancies vex thy breast,
I’ll sit by thee and weep.
“I’ll tend thee like a restless child
Where’er thy rovings be;
Nor gesture keen, nor eye-ball wild,
Shall turn my love from thee.
“Night shall not hang cold o’er thy head,
And I securely lie;
Nor drizly clouds upon thee shed,
And I in covert dry.
“I’ll share the cold blast on the heath,
I’ll share thy wants and pain:
Nor friend nor foe, nor life nor death,
Shall ever make us twain.”
Spirit of strength, to whom in wrath ’tis
To mar the earth, and shake the vasty heaven:
Behold the gloomy robes, that spreading hide
Thy secret majesty, lo! slow and wide,
Thy heavy skirts sail in the middle air,
Thy sultry shroud is o’er the noonday glare:
Th’ advancing clouds sublimely roll’d on high,
Deep in their pitchy volumes clothe the sky;
Like hosts of gath’ring foes array’d in death,
Dread hangs their gloom upon the earth beneath,
It is thy hour: the awful deep is still,
And laid to rest the wind of ev’ry hill.
Wild creatures of the forest homeward scour,
And in their dens with fear unwonted cow’r.
Pride in the lordly palace is forgot,
And in the lowly shelter of the cot
The poor man sits, with all his fam’ly round,
In awful expectation of thy sound.
Lone on his way the trav’ller stands aghast;
The fearful looks of man to heav’n are cast,
When, lo! thy lightning gleams on high,
As swiftly turns his startled eye;
And swiftly as thy shooting blaze
Each half performed motion stays,
Deep awe, all human strife and labour stills,
And thy dread voice alone, the earth and heaven fills.
Bright bursts the lightning from the cloud’s
As quickly swallow’d in the closing gloom.
The distant streamy flashes, spread askance
In paler sheetings, skirt the wide expanse.
Dread flaming from aloft, the cat’ract dire
Oft meets in middle space the nether fire.
Fierce, red, and ragged, shiv’ring in the air,
Athwart mid-darkness shoots the lengthen’d glare.
Wild glancing round, the feebler lightning plays;
The rifted centre pours the gen’ral blaze;
And from the warring clouds in fury driven,[A]
Red writhing falls the keen embodied bolt of heaven.
[Footnote A: In poetry we have only to do with appearances; and the zig-zag lightning, commonly thought to be the thunder-bolt, is certainly firm and embodied, compared to the ordinary lightning, which takes no distinct shape at all.]