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When beasts of mischief prowl, with smile behold
Thy clust'ring vineyard and thy crowded fold.
Thy foot shall be in cov’nant with the stone,
And furious dragons thy dominion own.
Know also ; that thy long-extended race
Shall multiply as grass before thy face:
Know further; peace thy household reign shall bless,
And all thy counsels crowu thee with success.
And thou all hoary to the grave be borne,
As to its heap the mellow'd ear of corn.
Thus speaks our searching thought, instruction sure
Apply, embrace it, and its good secure.
CHAP. III. SEC. 1.-Job expostulates with his Maker ; bitterly
complains of the severity towards him, earnestly supplicates relief on this trying occasion ; he little expected from Eliphaz such harsh constructions of his complaints, much less that his innocence would be questioned ; he therefore expresses the various emotions and resentful feelings of conscious integ. rity, stuny with unjust censures and groundless
criminations. O FOR a balance puis’d with equal hand! Lay all my sorrows there, 'gainst ocean's sand: Light is the sand whereon the billows roll, When weigh'd with all the sorrows of my soul. Ah! therefore, therefore, does my boiling woe " In such a vehemence of words o'erflow. . I feel, I feel the Almighty's venom'd dart, His arrows fire my veins and drink my heart: 'Gainst me his terrors set in thick array, War behind war, unbounded wrath display. As the tir'd swain pants for umbrageous eve, To rest from labour and his bire receive ;
So I but I am destin'd to sustain
Long months of woe, and tedious nights of pain :
Laid on my pillow, soon I wish to rise ;
() when will midnight gloom forsake the skies ?
I toss from side to side ; 'and tossing still
Morn eyes me, as she climbs her eastern hill ;
A mass of putrefaction shrouded o'er
With ulc'rous wounds, and worms and dirt and gore.
My days, alas ! how rapid have they pass'd !
The threaded sbuttle never flies so fast :
My web is finish’d. No remaining clew
(Such hope for folly) shall the work renew.
What else but sorrow is the time of man :
A hireling's life his predetermined span ?
O think, my time is but a breath ; its good
A flitting vision not to be review'd :
Shewn to the world ; ere men can look me round,
Thy glance but strikes me and I am not found.
A morning mist, soon vanish'd out of sight,
Is man descending to the world of night
Ne’er to return : his house no more will own
The voice forgotten and the step unknown.
O tort'ring thought ! I will not now control
Th' intolerable anguish of my soul :
Give, give my tongue, th? unruly passion vent,
In bitterness of heart I will lament.
Ah!, whepsoe’er my aching eyes I close,
And hope the anodyne of sweet repose ;
Dream, on thy errand sent, dire forms uprears,
And shakes my soul with visionary fears :
Death, even by the strangling cord, were bliss
To breathing in a skeleton like this.
O how it would my longing soul elate,
Might I with God himself my cause debate !
And plead not guilty: his absolving voice
With sweet salvation will ny soul rejoice :
None but the wicked his tribunal dread,
Guilt in his presence dares not lift its head.
Hear, hear, my pleading hear; the plann'd defence,
Assur’d of noble triumph, I commence :
Stand forth, accuser ; thy indietment prove,
I'll yield to die ; nor will one murmur inove.
On two conditions (O indulge that grace)
I'll seek no shelter from thy awful face :-
Remove thy crushing hand far off; and dart -
No dreadful radiance to distract my heart :
Thou then arraign ; I'll answer with my plea :
O deign thou answer, while I question thee :
What is this mortal ? that thy lofty thought
Bestows such honour on a thing of nought,
As to pursue bim with a jealous eye,
Visit each morning and each moment try ?
What, and how many, are my sins ? reveal
My crimes, my treasons, which thy rolls conceal.
What provocation veils thy face in frown?
Why me proscribe as rebel to thy crown ?
Shall pow'r almighty give the whirlwind law
To toss a leaf and persecute a straw ?
Decrees severe ! my youthful follies--these
Now feel thy vengeance-O seyere decrees !
With bonds, and stripes, and durance hard, by thee
The punishment of slaves is laid on me :
To rottenness and worms a living prey,
Like a moth-eaten vest I waste away.
O that, indulgent to my earnest cry,
God would extend his thund'ring'arm on high ;
Unpitiful bis flaming trident throw,
And driving through its mark the mortal blow,
At once destroy me. In that horrid death, Exulting hope shall spend my latest breath: For never, never hath my faithful breast The mandates of his holy will supprest. What is my strength ? what beckons me to stay Still ling'ring here, and hope, some healing day? Is my flesh fashion'd of unfeeling brass ? My sinews stubborn as the marble mass ? In this weak wasted body, can'I find Recruit from one sound vital left behind ? Behold my putrid frame; it was not cast A substance through whole centuries to last : O stay thy hand, a dying mortal spare ; The bubble life will quickly burst in air: And you, my friends, refrain, awhile refrain, And yield me a short breathing pause from pain.' That I have sinn'd, all-watching Power, I own; But can my sins alarm th' eternal throne ? Why am I made the object to employ Thy shafts? the nuisance,which thou wouldst destroy? A friend the sorrow of his friend should feel, Relieve by pity and by counsel heal : Else, void of bowels, and too hard for tears, No arbiter of human woes he fears. You all now fail me like the floods which roar Down the steep hills with temporary store : Thick with the vernal thaw their torrents grow, And foam impetuous with dissolving spow. Anon, the fury of the scorching beams · Drains their full channels, and imbibes their streams : Short and more short the shrinking currents run, Steal into air and perish in the sun. Parch'd Sheba looks, and Tema's thirsty bands Hope the cool waters in the distant sands:
They come ; they view, confounded at their trust,
Where foam'd their floods, a smothering vale of dust.
Alike my trust in you ; illusion all !
Friends while I stood, but starting at my fall.
Ask'd I or gift or ransom ? or implor'd
Your arm to save me from the lifted sword ?
Candour is all I ask; with candour taught,
I'm mute; I never will defend a fault :
Whom should a just rebuke, well tim’d, displease?
But what conviction in harangues like these ?
Have ye caballid for this ? and thou their chief?
At sounds to quarrel, breath of hopeless grief ?
Cruel! you wound the fatherless ; you bend
The bow of satire at your bleeding friend.
O come, vouchsafe to view me; can you trace
Guilt's evident confusion in my face ?
Review my plaint, nor call rebellion mine ;
Again review, its innocence will shine :
Or rather, will not generous mercy plead,
Cancel my trespass, and my healing speed ?
Lest, when the morrow's dawning beams appear,
My friends should seek me and not find me here.
CHAP. IV. sec. I.--Zophar, having attended to Job's defence
against the reasonings of Eliphaz and Bildad, who proceeded on the principle, that misfortune is a proof of guilt, and consequently that Job was not a good man, prosecutes the argument against him with vehemence and violence, on the same false ground, and exhorts him to repentance, &c.
ZOPHAR, inflam'd replies, Is noise defence ?
Artful harnogue a proof of innocence ?