The Judgment

Hark! the Judgment trump has blown!
How it rolls along the air!
Time and Hope for ever flown,
Sinners for your doom prepare.

Slowly o'er the lurid sky
Rolls a dark, terrific storm,
Showing to the startled eye
On its skirts a giant form.

Hark! the rattling hail descends,
See! the forky lightnings glow,
As that form in anger bends,
Frowning on the world below.

Riding on the whirlwind's wing,
Canopied in clouds he flies;
With his voice the mountains ring,
With his presence glow the skies.

Earthquakes roar and rock the ground,
Tyrants bow before his rod,
Nations tremble at the sound,
When they hear the voice of God.

Lo! the God! He comes in wrath:
Vengeance drives his iron car,
Lightnings pave his flaming path,
As he hurries to the war.

“I have waited long and spared
Ingrates, on my bounty fed;—
Now my red right arm is bared,
Now your day of hope is fled.

“I have bid my sun to shine,
I have bid my dews to fall,
I have sent my love divine,—
You have spurned and wasted all.

“Now the day of trial o'er,
I my fatal shaft let fly;
Mercy can endure no more,—
Time must end and you must die.”

Ripe with sin the harvest bends;—
See the mighty reaper stand!
There his burning scythe he sends,
And with fury sweeps the land.

See the fields and forests glow!
See the mounting flame aspire!
Hark the sinner's yell of woe,
Gasping in a world of fire!

Helpless wretches! whither fly?
In what den a shelter find?
See! the blasting bolt is nigh,
Flame before, and wrath behind.

Like the chaff by whirlwinds driven,
Like the earthquake-shattered rock,
Like the oak by tempest riven,
Torn and splintered with the shock;

So they fly, a quivering throng,
Urged by shame, despair, and fear;
Hurried by the sword along,
Flashing, falling on their rear.

Hear the crackling whirlwind roar;
Sheets of flame ascend the sky;
Now the feeble cry is o'er,
Quenched in dark eternity.

Now the hills and mountains melt,
Rocks in flashing torrents run,
To earth's heart the rage is felt,—
Now the work of wrath is done.

Curling like a lettered scroll,
Crisped and crackling in the flame,
Now heaven's vaulted arches roll;
Falls the universal frame.

Now the circling blue has fled,
Suns wax faint and stars grow dim,
Heaven and earth away have sped,
Time's last trump their dying hymn.

Matter now has ceased to be,
All is pure ethereal light;
Saints, from all that bound them free,
To the empyrean wing their flight.

In that fount their beings blend,
All their thoughts, their views, the same;
See creation's essence end
In one flood of viewless flame!
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