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HEAVEN.

A VISION.

1 FULL many a tedious hour, with care opprest,
2 Stretch'd on my weary bed, I wakeful lay,
3 Sad troublous thoughts, like hornets, stung my breast,
4 And brush'd the dews of balmy sleep away.
5 Ah! what avails, I cry'd, with painful toil,
6 By Virtue's stedfast star the bark to guide,
7 Far from
m Spenser's Faery Queen, Book II.
Acrasia's wily-wandering isle,
8 Where ease and pleasure the frail heart divide;
9 If Life's short voyage undistinguish'd tends
10 To darkness, and the land where all forgotten ends?
11 Shall Worth lie hid in Sorrow's baleful shade?
12 And no reward shall suffering Goodness find,
13 While Vice triumphant lifts her pamper'd head,
14
n Antecedentem scelestum deseruit poena,Hor.
Nor hears the steps of Vengeance close behind?
15 Then take me, Power of Beauty, to thy arms,
16 And lull, ah lull to peace my troubled soul!
17 Disclose, O God of Wine, thy purple charms,
18 I'll drown reflection in the mantling bowl!
19 'Gainst wind, and tide, let Stoic dulness sail,
20 Be mine the calmest sea, and Pleasure's briskest gale.
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21 Pensive I mus'd, 'till rose the blushing Morn,
22 And spread her saffron mantle o'er the skies;
23 When pitying Morpheus shook his opiate horn,
24 And slumbrous humours drown'd my weary'd eyes:
25 Yet Fancy still awake, to sooth my pain,
26 Sweet scenes of joy in liveliest hue pourtray'd;
27 She call'd forth all her bright ideal train,
28 And pleasing truths in mystic dreams convey'd:
29 Oh fail me not, thou fair enchanting Power,
30 At Sorrow's grim approach, and Care's distressful hour!
31 Born thro' the yielding air, methought I flew
32 To some more blissful clime, sequester'd far
33 From this frail world, that just appear'd to view,
34 Like the faint glimmering of a distant star.
35 Deep in the sea's encircling wave 'twas plac'd,
36 As gems in silver; hoary Ocean smil'd,
37 Chear'd with the pleasing sight;
o 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Pind.
and from his breast
38 Sent his sweet children, breezes fresh and mild:
39 No clouds nor darkness veil'd the chearful scene,
40 Nor wintry blasts deform'd the ground's eternal green.
41 Lo to the West a large and spacious plain,
42 Where meet in concert, wood, and hill, and dale;
43 Brighter than all that muse-led poets feign
44 Of Ida's grove, and Tempe's hallow'd vale:
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45 Tho' Peneus there revolves his
p 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. CALLIM. Amnis purior Electro. Virg.
amber stream,
46 And suppliant Daphne spreads her branching arms;
47 Still trembling lest the sun's prolific beam,
48 Too fiercely wanton, blast her virgin charms:
49 Would'st thou escape? Go, coy relentless maid,
50 Go chuse some worse retreat, some less luxurious shade!
51 There blooming groves, gay smiling with delight,
52 From her fair womb spontaneous Nature brings;
53 Where percht on every bough, all richly dight
54 With painted plumes, some
q Nemoris siren, innoxia siren. Strada's Nightin.
harmless siren sings:
55 Pleas'd with the wild notes Zephyr flits unseen,
56 And on his musky wings the sound conveys;
57 While trickling soft, each varying pause between,
58 The murmuring rivulets roll their silver base;
59 Winds, waters, birds in seemly sort agree,
60 And amorous Echo blends the liquid melody.
61 Nor there alone was charm'd one scanty sense:
62 The loaded trees ambrosial fruitage bear;
63 The
r Flet tamen et tepidae manant ex arbore guttae. Ovid Met.
weeping shrubs their spicy gums dispense,
64 Whose fragrance fresh imbalms the buxom air;
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65 Thousands of flowers their silken webs unfold,
66 Amaranths, immortal amaranths arise,
67 These beaming bright with
s 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Pind.
vegetable gold,
68 And these with azure, these with Tyrian dies;
69 There laughing sweetly red the roses glow,
70 While from their breathing souls celestial odours flow.
71 But hark, a voice soft-warbling strikes my ear!
72 "Behold, O man, fair Virtue's ample meed;
73 " Behold these radiant plains, this star-girt sphere,
74 "By righteous Jove her portion are decreed!
75 " Mould not, ah mould not then in idle cell,
76 "But strive these rapturous mansions to attain;
77 " Here all the wise, the brave, the virtuous dwell,
78 "Eternal
t 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Ibid.
ages free from care and pain;
79 "Here in Elysian seats, their calm abodes,
80 " Live in communion blest
u 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Ibid.
, with heroes and with gods!
81 Eastward to this methought a different scene
82 Of equal beauty charm'd my raptur'd sight:
83 Wide spacious lawns with swelling hills between,
84 And groves of bliss, and gardens of delight.
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85 There lotes and palms their copious branches twine,
86 And over-arching form delicious bowers;
87 There gush nectareous rills of dulcet wine,
88 And honey'd streams revolve their milky stores;
89 Fresh bleeding myrrh and cassia shed perfume,
90 Ananas swell with sweets, and wild pomegranates bloom,
91 Fast by a fount
x Called by the Arabic writers Zenzebil, and promised by Mahomet to all the faithful.
, whose spicy waters glide
92 In amorous mazes, on the velvet ground,
93 With blushing flowers all goodly beautify'd,
94 A smiling troop of virgins dance around;
95 Fairer than Delia's silver-buskin'd train,
96 When erst, Ladona, by thy lillied banks,
97 Or cool
y
In Eurotae ripis
Exercet Diana choros
Virg.
Eurota's laurel-fringed plain,
98 To breathing lutes they tript in seemly ranks;
99 And fairer, Cypris, than thy wanton quire,
100 That melt the soul to love, and kindle fierce desire.
101 Their eyes
z See Sale's Koran, chapter the 56th.
, like pearls within their shells conceal'd,
102 Beauteous and black; their lips with rubies vye;
103 On their fair cheeks, with white and red anneal'd,
104 What thousand dimpling smiles in ambush lie!
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105 See, see they point to you embowering shade,
106 Where cool gales fan their odoriferous wings,
107 And Flora's freshest, softest couch is spread;
108 The whiles some one this lovely ditty sings!
109 Thro' all my veins what thrilling transport flew
110 To hear the nectar'd words, dropping like honey'd dew!
111 "Haste, gentle youth, for lo, the way is plain!
112 " Haste, gentle youth, and hear the Prophet's call!
113 "These are the joys that true believers gain,
114 " Immortal joys that never know to pall.
115 "Come then, ah come thy weary limbs recline
116 " On silken beds of roses sweetly strow'd,
117 "Where to thy touch compliant bows the vine,
118 " All faint, and labouring with the luscious load;
119 "Where Nymphs of Paradise their charms reveal,
120 " And with their amorous spoils thy greedy eyes regale! "
121 She ceas'd and molten with excess of joy,
122 Voluptuous Hope was busy in my breast:
123 When lo! swift-darting from th' extremest sky,
124 With seraph-plumes, an Angel stood confest!
125 A pure immortal crown adorn'd her head,
126 Of gold inwove with jewels; in her hand,
127 The book of life, and mercy was display'd,
128 With ruddy drops of dying martyrs stain'd;
129 Her eagle-eyes were quick, and passing bright,
130 Yet beam'd serene, and mild, with heaven's celestial light.
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131 "And O fond foolish man," she cry'd, "forbear
132 " Idly to glote on forms so light, and vain!
133 "What are these jocund scenes, but empty air,
134 " The fleeting coinage of a phrenzy'd brain?
135 "Yet ev'n in these, as
a 1 Cor. xiii. 12.
darkly thro' a glass,
136 "Some faint, some glimmering view the eye may gain
137 " Of those unmingled joys, that far surpass
138 "Whate'er of bliss the wit of man can feign;
139 " Those pure delights, that flow in streams divine,
140 "Where thy imperial towers, O heavenly Salem, shine!
141 "For know, my son, that they whose worth is try'd,
142 " As gold by fire, by great and virtuous deeds,
143 "Soon as the carnal fetters are unty'd,
144 " That chain the soul, and stript these mortal weeds;
145 "Haply shall soar, in robes of glory clad,
146 " To heavenly mansions, bright abodes, prepar'd
147 "
b Prov. viii. 6. 24, 25. 27, &c.
Ere the foundations of the deep were laid,
148 "Or the firm pillars of the earth were rear'd;
149 " Ere God his golden compasses employ'd,
150 "And markt this beauteous world on chaos dark, and void.
151 "There shall they live, O happy, happy spirits!
152 " There shall they live remov'd from all the cares,
153 "And thousand ills, that feeble flesh inherits:
154 " No greedy Want, nor wayard Lust, that tears
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155 "With viperous rage the breast from whence it sprung,
156 " Their deep-embosom'd peace shall e'er torment;
157 "But hymning sweet, the angel troops among,
158 " Their undisturbed lays of pure content,
159 "The smiling hours immortal shall employ
160 " In trance of holy ease, or extacy of joy.
161 "Then shall their eyes, from cloudy films secure,
162 " With lightning-glance unmeasur'd space behold;
163 "And all the thousand stars, that pave the floor
164 " Of heaven, with orient pearl, or living gold;
165 "Then floating thro' the boundless deep of air,
166 " An azure sea, like gems of richest hue,
167 "Myriads of worlds thick-scatter'd shall appear,
168 " With all their bright inhabitants to view:
169 "Their active minds shall traverse, quick as thought,
170 " Creation's ample fields, the range 'twixt God and nought.
171 "And oh what streams of music sweet, and clear,
172 " Shall drown in deep delight their raptur'd souls!
173 "Ay me, in vain to man's unpurged ear
174 " Their heavenly notes each tuneful planet rolls!
175 "Ay me, in vain with softly-thrilling voice,
176 "
c Psal. xix. 3, 4,
Thro' every land they hymn their Maker's praise,
177 "While choirs of young-ey'd cherubims rejoice,
178 " And to their golden harps mellifluous lays
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179 "Attuning, holy, holy, holy, sing,
180 " O Lord, Almighty God, the saints' eternal king!
181 "But not in vain the tuneful planets raise
182 " To pure ethereal souls their voice divine;
183 "Nor yet in vain their great Creator's praise
184 " Do gladsome choirs of young-ey'd cherubs join:
185 "No blessed spirit but hears the sacred song,
186 " And wakes his lyre melodious part to bear
187 "In the sweet symphony; while all the throng
188 " Of angels, and arch-angels, nay, the ear
189 "Of God delighted listens to the strains.
190 " In heaven, and heaven-born minds such rapturous concord reigns!
191 "But where, ah where can glowing tints be found
192 " To paint the charms of
d Heb. xii. 22.
Sion's sacred place,
193 "
e Psal. ii. 6.
Where Christ the lamb in radiance sits enthron'd,
194 "The
f Heb. i. 3.
lively image of his Father's grace?
195 "O flower of love! O
g Rev. xxii. 16.
glorious morning star!
196 "O
h Mal. iv. 2.
sun of righteousness, whose healing wings
197 "Brought life, and peace, and mercy from afar!
198 " From thee the light, thou beaming fountain, springs,
199 "That guides poor mortals in their weary way,
200 " Thro' black Affliction's night, to Pleasure's endless day!
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201 "Jesus! and didst thou leave thy bowers of joy?
202 " And didst thou leave thy Father's dear embrace,
203 "Content with agonizing pangs to die
204 " For man's forlorn, rebellious, sinful race?
205 "What bliss to hear the high mysterious story;
206 " By all the prophets, all th' apostles sung,
207 "And noble army of martyrs, crown'd with glory;
208 " Where blest, the six-wing'd seraphims among,
209 "They drink immortal, from thy rapturous sight,
210 " Conceiveless draughts of Love's ineffable delight!
211 "Hail saints of light! who once the patient train
212 " Of silent Sorrow, thro' the thorny road
213 "Of Misery toil'd, and unappall'd by pain,
214 " With pilgrim-feet the long, long journey trod!
215 "O taught by them, thou man of earth, sustain
216 " With firm unweary'd arm the dangerous fight!
217 "The
i Phil. iii. 14.
prize of thy high-calling dare to gain,
218 "
k Rev. vii. 9.
Victorious palms, and robes of spotless white;
219 "So in
l Rev. iii. 5.
the book of life thy name shall shine,
220 "And heaven's eternal joys and transports all be thine."
221 Scarce had she spoke, when that
m Ezek. i. 5.
cherubic car,
222 Instinct with soul, and those self-moving wheels,
223 That whirl'd the holy sage from Chebar far,
224 Appear'd: my breast the rushing impulse feels!
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225 I see, I see thy glittering turrets rise,
226 Celestial Salem, all of
n Rev. xxi. 18, 19.
lucid gold,
227 Inlaid with gems of thousand, thousand dyes!
228 And lo, the everlasting gates unfold
229 Their
o Rev. xxi. 21.
doors of pearl, and o'er my aching sight
230 Full tides of glory flow, and streams of living light!
231 Of light surpassing far thy glimmering ray,
232 (More bright, more clear, more glorious, more divine)
233 Tho' drest by thee,
p 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. Soph.
O golden eye of day,
234 In gaudy robes the sparkling diamonds shine;
235 Tho' yon fair moon to thee her lustre owes,
236 Gilding with borrow'd light the mountain's brow;
237 And Iris steals from thee each tint that glows
238 In the gay forehead of the showery bow:
239 Faint is thy feeble blaze, O beauteous Sun!
240 Such peerless beams appear from Truth's eternal throne.
241 See thro' the streets,
q Rev. xxi. 11,
like liquid jasper clear,
242 The fount of life in mazy error flows!
243 Thro' the bright
r Ibid.
crystal sands of gold appear,
244 And heaps of pearly grain; while blooming grows,
245 On either bank of dainty flowers profuse,
246 The tree of life superior o'er the rest,
247 Whose teeming branches nectar'd fruits produce:
248
s Rev. xxii, 2.
Twelve various fruits of sweetly-vary'd taste,
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249 From every leaf
t Rev. xxii. 2.
salubrious dews exhale,
250 And pure elixirs breathe in every balmy gale.
251 Lo there, diffus'd along the sacred brink,
252 Angelic choirs replete with love and joy,
253 Conceive their God, and from his presence drink
254 Beatitude past utterance! There they lie
255 On flowering beds of balsam, cassia, nard,
256 And myrrh, a wilderness of rich perfumes;
257 Embalm'd they lie, like that Arabian bird,
258 'Midst odorous shrubs, and incense-breathing gums,
259 Whose life springs recent from the sun-born fire,
260 While clouds of spicy smoke in bluish wreaths aspire.
261 But spare, O spare me, heaven! My fainting soul
262 Sickens with bliss too great for mortal sense!
263 Come, o'er my limbs thy quickening waters roll,
264 Life-giving stream, and all thy balm dispense!
265 And thou, fair tree, the source of all our woes,
266 (That bloom'd so fatal erst in Eden's glade,
267 Transplanted since to heaven) thy friendly boughs
268 Extend, and wrap me in the brownest shade!
269 O veil me from the Lamb's too glorious sight,
270 From majesty's full blaze, insufferably bright!
271 Trembling I wak'd with sweet excess of joy,
272 And on the wings of sleep, more swift than wind,
273 Away the fickle, fond delusions fly;
274 Yet leave their fairy-steps the trace behind:
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275 Hear then, ye sainted myriads, from your spheres,
276 And gently beam your kindliest influence down;
277 Lift, lift my thoughts above life's groveling cares,
278 To joys sublime, and Virtue's glorious crown!
279 O guide my virgin-soul the high abode,
280 To reach, the heaven of heavens, where reigns th' eternal God!

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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): HEAVEN. A VISION.
Author: James Scott
Themes: heaven; visions
Genres: dream vision
References: DMI 32509

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Source edition

A collection of poems in four volumes. By several hands. Vol. II. [The second edition]. London: printed for G. Pearch, 1770, pp. 177-189. 4v. ; 8⁰. (ESTC T116245; DMI 1135; OTA K093079.002)

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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.