Pow’r uncontrollable, who hold’st thy
In the unbounded air, whose trackless way
Is in the firmament, unknown of fight,
Who bend’st the sheeted heavens in thy might,
And lift’st the ocean from its lowest bed
To join in middle space the conflict dread;
Who o’er the peopled earth in ruin scours,
And buffets the firm rock that proudly low’rs,
Thy signs are in the heav’ns. The upper clouds
Draw shapeless o’er the sky their misty shrowds;
Whilst darker fragments rove in lower bands,
And mournful purple cloaths the distant lands.
In gather’d tribes, upon the hanging peak
The sea-fowl scream, ill-omen’d creatures shriek:
Unwonted sounds groan on the distant wave,
And murmurs deep break from the downward cave.
Unlook’d-for gusts the quiet forests shake,
And speak thy coming—awful Pow’r, awake!
Like burst of mighty waters wakes the blast,
In wide and boundless sweep: thro’ regions vast
The floods of air in loosen’d fury drive,
And meeting currents strong, and fiercely strive.
First wildly raving on the mountain’s brow
’Tis heard afar, till o’er the plains below
With even rushing force it bears along,
And gradual swelling, louder, full, and strong,
Breaks wide in scatter’d bellowing thro’ the air.
Now is it hush’d to calm, now rous’d to war,
Whilst in the pauses of the nearer blast,
The farther gusts howl from the distant waste.
Now rushing furious by with loosen’d sweep,
Now rolling grandly on, solemn and deep,
Its bursting strength the full embodied sound
In wide and shallow brawlings scatters round;
Then wild in eddies shrill, with rage distraught,
And force exhausted, whistles into naught.
With growing might, arising in its room,
From far, like waves of ocean onward come
Succeeding gusts, and spend their wasteful ire,
Then slow, in grumbled mutterings retire:
And solemn stillness overawes the land,
Save where the tempest growls along the distant strand.
But great in doubled strength, afar and wide,
Returning battle wakes on ev’ry side;
And rolling on with full and threat’ning sound,
In wildly mingled fury closes round.
With bellowings loud, and hollow deep’ning swell,
Reiterated hiss, and whistlings shrill,
Fierce wars the varied storm, with fury tore,
Till all is overwhelm’d in one tremendous roar.
The vexed forest, tossing wide,
Uprooted strews its fairest pride;
The lofty pine in twain is broke,
And crushing falls the knotted oak.
The huge rock trembles in its might;
The proud tow’r tumbles from its height;
Uncover’d stands the social home;
High rocks aloft the city dome;
Whilst bursting bar, and flapping gate,
And crashing roof, and clatt’ring grate,
And hurling wall, and falling spire,
Mingle in jarring din and ruin dire.