THE interminable DESERT spreads around
Its cheerless waste, all comfort flies afar:
NIGHT spreads with giant pace her glooms profound,
Nor yields the guidance of one glimmering star.
Sad sinks the heart of SORROW with dismay;
The yell of wandering demons wounds the ear;
A thousand dangers cross the trackless way,
And fancied forms at every step appear.
Forms of stupendous frame and ghastly hue
Seem gliding thro’ some deep o’ershadowing wood,
Burst in dim legions on the uncertain view,
While in hoarse torrents rolls the foaming flood.
But ah! no hoarsely-foaming flood is there,
To yield refreshment in this dreary waste,
To the poor wanderer,—let him then prepare
To meet a danger that may prove his last.
’Twas sure some gust impetuous swept along,
And raising in its rage the sandy cloud,*
Form’d to the fearful eye that spectred throng,
And like th’ imagined torrent roar’d aloud.
’Tis past!—and Heaven all-merciful ordain’d
That ACHMED should not meet its falling force:
Else had this poor exhausted frame remain’d
An unknown victim buried in its course.
Then, ’mid succeeding dangers, wilt thou feel
One deadly terror dart across thy soul:
Say, canst thou doubt that POWER will there prevail,
Whose energy pervades the mighty whole?
What’s nature’s tumult,—man’s imagined woe,
Or the wild workings of distorted will;
Whilst PROVIDENCE in wisdom rules below,
And all above, his high behests fulfil?