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Th’expanding earthquake, that resistless shakes
Aspiring cities from their solid base,
And buries mountains in the flaming gulph, 1100
But 'tis enough; return, my vagrant Muse,
A nearer scene of horror calls thee home.

Behold, slow-settling o'er the lurid grove
Unusual darkness broods; and growing gains
'The full procession of the sky, surcharg'd 1105
With wrathful vapour, from the secret beds,
Where sleep the mineral generations, drawn.
Thence Nitre, Sulphur, and the fiery spume
Of fat Bitumen, steaming on the day,
With various-tinctur'd trains of latent flame, 1110
Pollute the sky, and in yon

baleful cloud, A reddening gloom, a magazine of fate, Ferment, till, by the touch ethereal rous'd, The dash of clouds, or irritating war, Of fighting winds, while all is calm below, 1115 They furious spring ; a boding silence reigns, Dread thro’ the dun expanse ; save the dull sound That from the mountain, previous to the storm, Rolls o'er the muttering earth, disturbs the flood, And shakes the forest leaf without a breath. 1120 Prone, to the lowest vale, the aërial tribes Descend: the tempest-loving raven scarce Dares wing the dubious dusk. In rueful gaze The cattle stand, and on the scowling heavens Cast a deploring eye; by Man forsook,

1125 Who to the crowded cottage hies him fast, Or seeks the shelter of the downward cave.

'Tis listening fear, and dumb amazement all: When to the startled eye the sudden glance


Appears far south, eruptive thro' the cloud; 1130
And following slower, in explosion vast,
The Thunder raises his tremendous voice.
At first, heard solemn o'er the verge of heaven,
The tempest growls; but as it nearer comes,
And rolls its awful burden on the wind,

The lightnings flash a larger curve, and more
The noise astounds: till over head a sheet
Of livid flame discloses wide; then shuts,
And opens wider; shuts and opens still
Expansive, wrapping ether in a blaze.

Follows the loosen'd aggravated roar,
Enlarging, deepening, mingling : peal on peal
Crush'd horrible, convulsing heaven and earth.

Down comes a deluge of sonorous hail, 1144
Or prone-descending rain. Wide rent, the clouds,
Pour a whole flood; and yet, its flame unquench’d,
Th' unconquerable lightning struggles through,
Ragged and fierce, or in red whirling balls,
And fires the mountains with redoubled rage. 1149
Black from the stroke, above, the smouldering pine
Stands a sad shatter'd trunk; and, stretch'd below,
A lifeless group the blasted cattle lie:
Here the soft flocks, with that same harmless look
They wore alive, and ruminating still
In fancy's eye; and there the frowning bull, 1155
And ox half-rais’d. Struck on the castled cliff,
The venerable tower and spiry fane
Resign their aged pride. The gloomy woods
Start at the flash, and from their deep recess,
Wide-flaming out, their trembling inmates shake. 1160
Amid Carnarvon’s mountains rages loud


The repercussive roar : with mighty crush,
Into the fiashing deep, from the rude rocks
Of Penmanmaur heap'd hideous to the sky,
Tumble the smitten cliffs; and Snowdon's peak, 1165
Dissolving, instant yields his wintry load.
Far-seen, the heights of heathy Cheviot blaze,
And Thule bellows thro’ her utmost isles.

Guilt hears appall’d, with deeply troubled thought. · And yet not always on the guilty head

1170 Descends the fated flash. Young Celadon And his Amelia were a matchless pair; With equal virtue form’d, and equal grace, The same, distinguish'd by their sex alone: Hers the mild lustre of the blooming morn, And his the radiance of the risen day.

They lov’d: but such their guileless passion was,
As in the dawn of time inform’d the heart
Of innocence, and undissembling truth.
''Twas friendship heightened by the mutual wish, 1180
Th’ enchanting hope, and sympathetic glow,
Beam'd from the mutual eye. Devoting all
To love, each was to each a dearer self ;
Supremely happy in th' awakened power
Of giving joy. Alone, amid the shades,
Still in harmonious intercourse they liv'd
The rural day, and talk'd the flowing heart,
Or sigh'd or look'd unutterable things.

So pass'd their life, a clear united stream,
By care unruffled; till, in evil hour,
The tempest caught them on the tender walk,
Heedless how far, and where its mazes stray'd,
While, with each other blest, creative love



Still bade eternal Eden smile around. Presaging instant fate her bosom heav'd 1195 Unwonted sighs, and stealing oft a look Of the big gloom on Celadon her eye Fell tearful, wetting her disorder'd cheek. In vain assuring love, and confidence In Heav'n, repress’d her fear; it grew, and shook Her frame near dissolution. He perceiv’d 1201 Th’unequal conflict, and as angels look On dying saints, his eyes compassion shed, With love illumin’d high. “ Fear not,” he said, “ Sweet innocence! thou stranger to offence, 1205 “ And inward storm! He, who yon skies involves “ In frowns of darkness, ever smiles on thee “ With kind regard. O'er thee the secret shaft “ 'That wastes at midnight, or th’undreaded hour “ Of noon, flies harmless: and that very voice, 1210 “ Which thunders terror thro' the guilty heart, “ With tongues of seraphs whispers peace to thine. “ 'Tis safety to be near thee sure, and thus “ To clasp perfection!” From his void embrace, Mysterious heaven! that moment to the ground, A blacken'd corse, was struck the beauteous maid. But who can paint the lover, as he stood, Pierc'd by severe amazement, hating life? Speechless, and fix'd in all the death of woe! So, faint resemblance! on the marble tomb, 1220 The well-dissembled mourner stooping stands, For ever silent, and for ever sad.

As from the face of heaven the shatter'd clouds Tumultuous

rove, th’interminable sky Sublimer swells, and o'er the world expands


A purer azure. Thro' the lightened air
A higher lustre and a clearer calm,
Diffusive, tremble; while, as if in sign
Of danger past, a glittering robe of joy,
Set off abundant by the yellow ray,

1230 Invests the fields; and nature smiles revived.

'Tis beauty all, and grateful song around, Join'd to the low of kine, and numerous bleat Of flocks thick-nibbling thro’ the clover'd vale. 1234 And shall the hymn be marr'd by thankless Man, Most-favour’d; who with voice articulate Should lead the chorus of this lower world? Shall he, so soon forgetful of the hand That hush'd the thunder, and serenes the sky, Extinguish'd feel that spark that tempest. wak’d, 1940 That sense of powers exceeding far his own, Ere yet his feble heart has lost its fears?

Cheer'd by the milder beam, the sprightly youth Speeds to the well-known pool, whose crystal depth A sandy bottom shews. A while he stands

1245 Gazing th’inverted landscape, half afraid To meditate the blue profound below; Then plunges headlong down the circling flood. His ebon tresses, and his rosy cheek, Instant emerge; and thro' th' obedient wave, At each short breathing by his lip repellid, With arms and legs according well, he inakes, As humour leads, an easy-winding path ; While, from his polished sides, a dewy light Effuses on the pleas’d spectators round.

This is the purest exercise of health, The kind refresher of the summer heats;



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