Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of English Verse
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.
  
Isaac Watts. 1674–1748
  
434. The Day of Judgement
  
WHEN the fierce North-wind with his airy forces 
Rears up the Baltic to a foaming fury; 
And the red lightning with a storm of hail comes 
                        Rushing amain down; 
 
How the poor sailors stand amazed and tremble,         5
While the hoarse thunder, like a bloody trumpet, 
Roars a loud onset to the gaping waters 
                        Quick to devour them. 
 
Such shall the noise be, and the wild disorder 
(If things eternal may be like these earthly),  10
Such the dire terror when the great Archangel 
                        Shakes the creation; 
 
Tears the strong pillars of the vault of Heaven, 
Breaks up old marble, the repose of princes, 
Sees the graves open, and the bones arising,  15
                        Flames all around them. 
 
Hark, the shrill outcries of the guilty wretches! 
Lively bright horror and amazing anguish 
Stare thro' their eyelids, while the living worm lies 
                        Gnawing within them.  20
 
Thoughts, like old vultures, prey upon their heart-strings, 
And the smart twinges, when the eye beholds the 
Lofty Judge frowning, and a flood of vengeance 
                        Rolling afore him. 
 
Hopeless immortals! how they scream and shiver,  25
While devils push them to the pit wide-yawning 
Hideous and gloomy, to receive them headlong 
                        Down to the centre! 
 
Stop here, my fancy: (all away, ye horrid 
Doleful ideas!) come, arise to Jesus,  30
How He sits God-like! and the saints around Him 
                        Throned, yet adoring! 
 
O may I sit there when He comes triumphant, 
Dooming the nations! then ascend to glory, 
While our Hosannas all along the passage  35
                        Shout the Redeemer. 
 
 
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