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Dies Novissima: OR, THE LAST EPIPHANY.

A Pindarick Ode, on Christ's Second Appearance to Judge the World.

I.
1 Adieu, ye toyish Reeds, that once could please
2 My softer Lips, and lull my Cares to Ease;
3 Be gone; I'll waste no more vain Hours with you,
4 And smiling Sylvia too, Adieu,
5 A brighter Pow'r invokes my Muse,
6 And loftier Thoughts, and Raptures, does infuse,
7 See! beck'ning from yon Cloud, He stands,
8 And promises Assistance with his Hands,
9 I feel the heavy rolling God,
10 Incumbent, revel in his frail Abode,
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11 How my Breast heaves, and Pulses beat!
12 I sink, I sink, beneath the furious Heat,
13 The weighty Bliss o'erwhelms my Breast,
14 And over-flowing Joys profusely waste;
15 Some nobler Bard, O Sacred Pow'r, inspire,
16 Or Soul more large, th' Elapses to receive,
17 And, brighter yet, to catch the Fire,
18 And each gay following Charm, from Death, to save,
19 In vain the Suit the God inflames my Breast,
20 I rave, with Extasies opprest,
21 I rise, the Mountains lessen, and retire,
22 And now I mix, unsing'd, with Elemental Fire,
23 The leading Deity, I have in view,
24 Nor Mortal knows as yet, what Wonders will ensue;
II.
25 We pass'd thro' Regions of unsully'd Light,
26 I gaz'd, and sicken'd at the blissful Sight,
27 A shudd'ring Paleness seiz'd my Look,
28 At last the Pest Flew off, and thus I spoke;
29 "Say, Sacred Guide, shall this bright Clime
30 "Survive the fatal Test of Time,
31 "Or perish, with our Mortal Globe below,
32 "When yon Sun no longer shines?
33 Straight I finisht, veiling low;
34 The Visionary Pow'r rejoins,
35 "'Tis not for you, to ask, nor mine, to say,
36 "The Niceties of that tremendous Day,
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37 "Know, when o'erjaded time his Rounds has run,
38 "And finish'd are the radiant Journeys of the Sun,
39 "The great Decisive Morn shall rise,
40 "And Heaven's Bright Judge appear in opening Skies,
41 "Eternal Grace, and Justice, He'll bestow
42 "On all the trembling World below;
III.
43 He said; I mus'd, and thus return'd,
44 What Ensigns, courteous Stranger, tell,
45 Shall the brooding Day reveal?
46 He answer'd mild
47 "Already, stupid with their Crimes,
48 "Blind Mortals, prostrate to their Idols, lie,
49 "Such were the boding times,
50 "E'er Ruin blasted from the Sluicy Sky,
51 "Dissolv'd they lay, in fulsom Ease,
52 "And revell'd in luxuriant Peace,
53 "In Bacchanals, they did their Hours consume,
54 "And Bacchanals led on, their swift, advancing Doom;
IV.
55 Adult'rate Christs already rise,
56 And dare to 'swage the angry Skies,
57 Erratick throngs, their Saviour's Blood deny,
58 And from the Cross, alas! He does neglected sigh,
59 The Anti-Christian Pow'r has rais'd his Hydra-Head,
60 And Ruin, only less than Jesus, Health, does spread,
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61 So long the Gore thro' poison'd Veins has Flow'd,
62 That scarcely ranker is a Fury's Blood,
63 Yet specious Artifice, and fair Disguise,
64 The Monster's Shape, and curst Designs, belies,
65 A Fiend's black Venom, in an Angel's Mien,
66 He quaffs, and scatters the contagious Spleen,
67 Straight, when He finishes his lawless Reign,
68 Nature shall paint the shining Scene,
69 Quick, as the Light'ning, which inspires the Train;
V.
70 Forward Confusion shall provoke the Fray.
71 And Nature, from her antient Order, stray,
72 Black tempests, gath'ring from the Seas around,
73 In horrid Ranges shall advance,
74 And as they march, in thickest Sables drown'd,
75 The Rival Thunder from the Clouds shall sound,
76 And Light'nings join the fearful Dance,
77 The blust'ring Armies o'er the Skies shall spread,
78 And universal terror shed,
79 Loud issuing Peals, and rising Sheets of Smoke.
80 Th' encumber'd Region of the Air shall choke,
81 The noisy Main shall lave the suff'ring Shore,
82 And from the Rocks the breaking Billows roar,
83 Black Thunder bursts, blue Light'ning burns,
84 And melting Worlds to Heaps of Ashes turns,
85 The Forests shall beneath the Tempest bend,
86 And rugged Winds the nodding Cedars rend;
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VI.
87 Reverse, all Nature's Webb shall run,
88 And spotless Misrule all around,
89 Order, its flying Foe, confound,
90 Whilst backward all the threads shall haste to be unspun,
91 Triumphant Chaos, with his oblique Wand,
92 (The Wand, with which, e'er time begun,
93 His wand'ring Slaves he did command,
94 And made 'em scamper right, and in rude Ranges run.)
95 The hostile Harmony, shall chace,
96 And as the Nymph resigns her place,
97 And panting to the neighb'ring Refuge, flies,
98 The formless Russian slaughters with his Eyes,
99 And following, storms the perching Dame's Retreat,
100 Adding the terror of his threat;
101 The Globe shall faintly tremble round,
102 And backward jolt, distorted with the wound;
VII.
103 Swath'd in substantial Shrowds of Night,
104 The sick'ning Sun, shall from the World retire,
105 Stript of his dazling Robes of Fire,
106 Which dangling once shed round a lavish Flood of Light
107 No frail Eclipse, but all Essential Shade,
108 Not yielding to Primæval Gloom,
109 Whilst Day was yet an Embryo in the Womb,
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110 Nor glimmering in it's Source, with Silver Streamers play'd.
111 A Jetty Mixture of the Darkness, spread
112 O'er murmuring Ægypt's Head,
113 And that, which Angels drew
114 O'er Nature's Face, when Jesus dy'd,
115 Which sleeping Ghosts for this mistook,
116 And rising, off their hanging Funerals, shook,
117 And fleeting pass'd, expos'd their bloodless Breasts to View,
118 Yet find it not so dark, and to their Dormitories glide.
VIII.
119 Now bolder Fires appear,
120 And o'er the palpable Obscurement sport,
121 Glaring and gay as falling Lucifer,
122 Yet mark'd with Fate as when he Fled th' Etherial Court;
123 And plung'd into the op'ning Gulph of Night;
124 A Sabre of Immortal Flame I bore,
125 And, with this Arm, his Flour'shing Plume I tore,
126 And straight the Fiend retreated from the Fight.
IX.
127 Mean time the lambent Prodigies on high,
128 Take gamesome Measures in the Sky,
129 Joy'd with his future Feast, the Thunder roars
130 In Chorus to th' enormous Harmony;
131 And hollows to his Off-spring from sulphurious Stores,
132 Applauding how they tilt, and how they fly,
133 And their each nimble Turn, and radiant Embassy.
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X.
134 The Moon turns paler at the sight,
135 And all the blazing Orbs deny their Light;
136 The Light'ning, with its livid Tail,
137 A Train of glitt'ring Terrors, draws behind,
138 Which o'er the trembling World prevail,
139 Wing'd, and blown on, by Storms of Wind,
140 They shew the hideous Leaps on either Hand
141 Of Night, that spreads her Ebon Curtains round,
142 And there erects her royal Stand,
143 In seven-fold winding Jett, her conscious temples bound.
XI.
144 The Stars, next, starting from their Sphere,
145 In giddy Revolutions leap and bound,
146 Whilst This with double Fury glares,
147 And meditates new Wars,
148 And wheels in sportive Gyres around,
149 It's Neighbour shall advance to fight,
150 And while each offers to enlarge its Right,
151 The general Ruin shall increase,
152 And banish all the Votaries of Peace;
153 No more the Stars, with paler Beams,
154 Shall tremble o'er the Midnight Streams,
155 But travel downward to behold,
156 What mimicks 'em, so twink'ling There,
157 And, like Narcissus, as they gain more near,
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158 For the lov'd Image, straight expire,
159 And agonize in warm Desire,
160 Or slake their Lust, as in the Stream they roll;
XII.
161 Whilst the World burns, and all the Orbs below,
162 In their viperous Ruins glow,
163 They sink, and unsupported leave the Skies,
164 Which fall abrupt, and tell their torment in the Noise,
165 Then see th' Almighty Judge, sedate, and bright,
166 Cloath'd in Imperial Robes of Light,
167 His Wings the Winds, rough Storms the Chariot bear,
168 And nimbler Harbingers before him Fly,
169 And with officious Rudeness brush the Air,
170 Halt as he halts, then doubling in their Flight,
171 In horrid Sport, with one another vie,
172 And leave behind quick-winding tracts of Light;
173 Then urging, to their Ranks they close,
174 And shiv'ring lest they start, a Sailing Caravan compose.
XIII.
175 The mighty Judge rides in tempestuous State,
176 Whilst menial Guards of Flame his Orders wait,
177 His waving Vestments shine,
178 Bright as the Sun, which lately did its Beams resign,
179 And burnish'd Wreaths of Light shall make his Form Divine,
180 Strong Beams of Majesty around his temples play,
181 And the transcendent Gaity of his Face allay,
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182 His Father's reverend Characters he'll wear,
183 And both o'erwhelm with Light, and over awe with Fear;
184 Myriads of Angels shall be there,
185 And I, perhaps, close the tremendous Rear;
186 Angels, the first and fairest Sons of Day,
187 Clad with eternal Youth, and, as their Vestments, gay;
XIV.
188 Nor, for Magnificence alone,
189 To brighten and enlarge the Pageant Scene,
190 Shall we encircle his more dazling throne,
191 And swell the Lustre of his pompous train,
192 The nimble Ministers of Bliss or Woe,
193 We shall attend, and save, or deal the Blow,
194 As He admits to Joy, or bids to Pain.
XV.
195 The welcome News,
196 Thro' ev'ry Angel's Breast, fresh Raptures shall diffuse,
197 The Day is come,
198 When Satan, with his Pow'rs, shall sink to endless Doom,
199 No more shall we his hostile troops pursue,
200 From Cloud to Cloud, nor the long Fight renew;
XVI.
201 Then Raphael, big with Life, the Trump shall sound;
202 From falling Spheres, the joyful Musick shall rebound,
203 And Seas and Shores shall catch, and propagate it round,
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204 Louder he'll blow, and it shall speak more shrill,
205 Than when, from Sinai's Hill,
206 In Thunder, thro' the horrid redd'ning Smoke,
207 Th' Almighty spoke;
208 We'll shout around with Martial Joy
209 And thrice the vaulted Skies shall rend, and thrice our Shouts reply,
210 Then first th' Arch-Angel's Voice, aloud,
211 Shall chearfully salute the Day, and Throng,
212 And Hallelujahs fill the Crowd,
213 And I, perhaps, shall close the Song.
XVII.
214 From it's long Sleep, all Human Race shall rise,
215 And see the Morn, and Judge advancing in the Skies,
216 To their Old Tenements, the Souls return,
217 Whilst down the Steep of Heav'n, as swift, the Judge descends,
218 These look illustrious bright, no more to mourn,
219 Whilst, see! distracted Looks yon stalking Shade attend,
220 The Saints no more shall conflict on the Deep,
221 Nor rugged Waves insult the lab'ring Ship,
222 But from the Wreck in Triumph they arise,
223 And borne to Bliss, shall tread Empyreal Skies.

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Title (in Source Edition): Dies Novissima: OR, THE LAST EPIPHANY. A Pindarick Ode, on Christ's Second Appearance to Judge the World.
Author: John Pomfret
Themes: God; religion
Genres: Pindaric ode; ode

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Source edition

Poems upon Several Occasions. By the Reverend Mr. John Pomfret. The Sixth Edition, Corrected. With some Account Of his Life and Writings. To which are added, His Remains. London: printed for D. Brown without Temple Bar, J. Walthoe in the Temple Cloysters, A. Bettesworth, and E. Taylor, in Pater-Noster-Row, and J. Hooke in Fleetstreet, 1724, pp. 8-17. [12], 132, vi, 17p. (ESTC N21233)

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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.