The old deplore their late remains of light;
And mothers lead their infants from the sight.
The ghosts of Cadmus’ race, an impious crew,
This prodigy of kindred guilt to view,
Sent from the mansion of eternal hills,
(A dark assembly) crowd Baeotia’s hills;
O’er day’s fair face a gloomy twilight cast,
And smile with joy to see their crimes surpass’d.
FROM THE NINTH BOOK OF KLOPSTOCK’S MESSIAH.
Where, in the midst of vast
The arm creative stopp’d,—dread bound of space,
Alien to God, and from his sight exil’d,
Hell rolls her sulph’rous torrents. There, nor law
Of motion, nor eternal Order reigns;
But anarchy instead, and wild uproar,
And ruinous tumult. Now with lightning speed
Th’ accursed sphere, with all its flames, flies up
Into the void abrupt, and with its roar,
With groans commixt, and shrieks, and boundless yells,
Astounds the nearest stars: calm now and slow,
With dreadful peace the universal waves
Of sulphur roll, and pour a mightier flood
On those tormented, their eternal crimes
Avenging with fresh pain and sharper darts
Of never-dying torture.—They meanwhile,
The caitiff and his puissant guide, on wing
Impetuous, skirt creation’s flaming waste,
And suns innumerable, and with prone flight
Descending down, light sheer upon the coast
Of outmost Night. The guard seraphic knows.
That power ministrant, ——
—— and with quick despatch
Unfolds the Stygian doors, that jarring hoarse
Slow on their adamantine hinges turn’d,
And open’d to their ken the dread abyss,
Unfathomably deep, mother of woes.
Not mountains pil’d on mountains would close up
Th’ infernal entrance: they would but increase
Its native ruggedness. No path leads down
To those abhorred deeps. Close by the gate
Impendent rocks with fiery whirlwinds cleft
For ever fell into the deep abyss,
Continuous ruin. ——
—— On the hideous brink
Of this great tomb, where Death nor sleeps, nor dies,
In dreadful silence, with the wretch hell-doom’d,
Stood the Death-angel. ——
TRANSLATED IN IMITATION OF WALTER SCOTT.
[Greek: Zeus d’ epei oun Troas te kai Hektora neusi pelasse], &c.
From Ida’s peak high
The tumults of the battle-field,
The fortune of the fight—
He marked, where by the ocean-flood
Stout Hector with his Trojans stood,
And mingled in the strife of blood
Achaia’s stalwart might:
He saw—and turn’d his sunbright eyes
Where Thracia’s snow-capped