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The tempest mounts the sky! with hurrying sweep,
Driving across the heavens, cloud on cloud,
Which ever and anon the lightnings steep
In a red glare of flame, as they were proud
To make more visible the gloomy shroud,
That wraps the thunders:—Now its might is nigh!
And faster peal and flame alternate crowd,
And the loosed winds sweep onward fearfully,
Outpouring on the earth the fountains of the sky.

'T is terrible—yet most sublimely grand!
Magnificently awful! how the heart
Shrinks from all earthly splendour, as we stand,
And view the pomp of the proud storm—I start,
As the fork'd flames their glance of brightness dart,
Yet scarce in terror, for the tempest's might,
Yields of its own sublimity a part,
To the wrapt thoughts, and urges up their flight,
With free and eagle wing, above their wonted height.

Yet soon to stoop again—the green earth lies
Spread out before me, and the heart will yield
To the sweet sympathy of human ties,
And downward bend from the excursive field
Of reverie, where it had been upheld
With a strong writhe of thought, to blend again
With human sorrows—woes that might be heal'd,
If man would be no more the scourge of man,
And loose his brother's limbs from slavery's crushing chain.

Yet even now, amid the heavy clouds
That long have wrapt the Afric's sky in gloom,
Ten-fold more deep than that which darkly shrouds
The face of nature, there at length hath come
The breaking in of light, which shall illume
With a strong glow, ere long, its whole expanse,
And, shining on destroy'd oppression's tomb,
O'er all the earth its holy light advance,
Brilliant and clear and wide as the first sunbeam's glance.