Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. III. Addison to Blake
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. III. The Eighteenth Century: Addison to Blake
 
Extract from The Last Day, Book I
By Edward Young (1681–1765)
 
SOONER or later, in some future date,
(A dreadful secret in the book of Fate)
This hour, for aught all human wisdom knows,
Or when ten thousand harvests more have rose;
When scenes are changed on this revolving Earth,        5
Old empires fall, and give new empires birth;
While other Bourbons rule in other lands,
And, (if man’s sin forbids not) other Annes;
While the still busy world is treading o’er
The paths they trod five thousand years before,        10
Thoughtless as those who now life’s mazes run,
Of earth dissolved, or an extinguished sun;
(Ye sublunary worlds, awake, awake!
Ye rulers of the nation, hear and shake)
Thick clouds of darkness shall arise on day;        15
In sudden night all Earth’s dominions lay;
Impetuous winds the scatter’d forests rend;
Eternal mountains, like their cedars, bend;
The valleys yawn, the troubled ocean roar
And break the bondage of his wonted shore;        20
A sanguine stain the silver moon o’erspread;
Darkness the circle of the sun invade;
From inmost Heaven incessant thunders roll
And the strong echo bound from pole to pole.
 
 
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