Mourn Cambria, thoughtless Cambria, mourn.
From all thy sins repentant turn,
Lest they God’s wrath, and judgements dread,
Shou’d draw upon thy guilty head!
Thy sins have soar’d up to the sky,
And thence for speedy vengeance cry —
Such vengeance, as the Lord did rain
Upon the cities of the plain:
Both night and day, they call aloud
For punishment, like Abel’s blood,
And nought can still their hideous yell,
Besides God’s plagues, or living well.
The earth’s polluted by thy crimes,
(As in the Cainites early times)
Which sue to God to sweep thee hence —
Without thy timely penitence.
There’s not a Hamlet to be found,
Or petty Village, all around,
But that some monstrous crime appears
Therein, to din the Godhead’s ears.
There’s no profession, you can name,
That has not highly been to blame,
As if, with all its might, it strove
To pull down vengeance from above.
Our Gentry, now so selfish grown,
Seek no man’s profit, but their own:
God’s praise, the good of humankind,
And the true faith, they never mind.
Our Clergy sleep, both night and day,
And leave the people gad astray,
And live in ev’ry kind of vice,
Without reproof, or good advice.
The Judge and Magistrate, for fear,
The murderer and sot forbear,
And leave each tyrant to oppress
The fatherless, without redress.
Our Wardens, without check or blame,
Permit them to revile God’s name,
The Gospel under foot to tread,
And slight the consecrated bread.
The Sheriffs, and their corm’rant train,
On the fleec’d populace distrain,
And under veil of justice prey
Upon their wealth, in open day.
The Wealthy glibly swallow down
The little all, the needy own,
And by oppression drive the poor
To beg their bread, from door to door.
The vulgar, all find some pretence
To do what’s wrong, and God incense:
Blind, dull, perverse, to hell they run,
Nor will, though warn’d, perdition shun.
All ranks of men alike despise
The Gospel, and as little prize
The law of God; but with much more
Delight, their lusts and guts adore.
Nay, all degrees of men, in short,
Strive some dire vengeance to extort;
And on their pates it shall be sent,
If they do not in time repent.
Such swearing and excess, O Wales!
Such shameful wrong in thee prevails,
Such sects, such heresies, and lies,
As ne’er before, since Christ, took rise.
Though now the Deity surveys
With passive looks our sinful ways,
Yet he’s, in justice, bound to shed
Dire vengeance on each guilty head.
Though he has long from day to day
Entreated each to mend his way,
The time is come, when he begins
To think of punishing their sins.
Thou in his scales wast put of late,
And found, O Wales! far short of weight:
He’ll give thee soon a fatal blow,
If thou dost not submission show.
Because thou hast not wisdom learn’d
From England’s woes, and wert not warn’d
By her distress, thy God does keep
A heavy rod for thee in steep.
The plague to thy transgressions due,
Is prompt thy footsteps to pursue,
E’en now it hovers o’er thy head!
So very vile a life thou’st led!
Slung by a slender finespun thread,
Pendent it hovers o’er thy head,
Ready to drop by its own weight
Upon thy sin-polluted pate:
Yet heedless thou dost all the while
New plagues on plagues incessant pile,
And still dost God’s great patience wrong;
Though he has born with thee so long.
Thou still art worse from day to day,
And rovest more and more astray,
And fondly weenest God does doze,
Whilst thee, to penitence, he wooes.
Thou snor’st aloud, surcharg’d with drink,
And seemest not to know, or think,
That God now whets the shining steel,
Which in thy sleep thou soon shalt feel.
Repent sincerely, Wales, repent,
Before the plague to thee is sent —
Before God bares his sword, entreat
His pardon, prostrate at his feet.
If once the Lord shall light the fire,
What man alive can stop his ire?
If once the plague at his command
Breaks out, who can protect the land?
If once the Lord begins to slay,
And shall his shafts and sword display,
Who can the weighty stroke withstand?
Who can preserve thee from his hand?
Behold the woes on London brought,
Though she has oft for mercy sought,
As that, in time, she did not do,
God more than half her people slew!
Arise, arise, make no delay,
But wholly cast thy crimes away;
For mercy call, before thy doom,
Perhaps to-morrow it may come.
In bales of goods and merchandize,
It in the London shops now lies,
To Wales the plague will come at last,
If thou dost not repent in haste.
But shou’d it come unto thee, now;
How unprepar’d, O Wales! art thou,
At God’s tribunal to appear,
Without the robe which thou shou’dst wear?
If it shou’d to thy confines reach,
What man, alas! can guard the breach?
Not all the world combin’d can stand
Against the Lord’s correcting hand.
In vain shall either rue, or sage,
With the keen sword of God engage:
If thou dost not repent from sin,
All physic is not worth a pin.
In vain it is thy gates to keep,
The pest will o’er thy ramparts creep,
Nor pike, nor cannon can defend
Thee from the plague, which God shall send.
In vain it is from it to run,
Or seek the deadly fate to shun:
Go where thou wilt, thou still shalt find
The fleet pursuer close behind.
The best thing thou canst do at last,
To keep the plague off, is to fast —
From meat and drink, I do not mean,
But from each thought and act unclean.
If once the pest invades thy ground,
Pale famine will beseige thee round,
With sorrow, stern rebuke, and fear;
Ne’er did the plague alone appear!
Adversity and troubles fell,
In ev’ry town and house shall dwell,
Sad moans shall sound in all thy streets,
And dread shall seize ev’ry soul one meets.
Fraternal Love shall quit thy coasts,
And ev’ry social joy be lost,
Nor nature, nor affinity,
Shall, whilst it lasts, be found in thee.
To tend her child, the mother takes
No pains — the wife, her spouse forsakes,
The sire, his son, the son, his mother,
The sister quits her dying brother.
The son, his sire slays with his breath,
The mother, puts her babes to death,
The wife, her spouse kills with a sigh,
The friend, each friend that dares com nigh.
Slain are the living by the dead,
The vig’rous by the invalid,
The healthy, by the sick they drest;
So dire, so dreadful is the pest!
Who touches the infected, dies,
They kill, like Bas’lisks with their eyes,
Or blast them with their tainted breath,
Like the fell Cocatrice, to death.
The plague will make a man detest,
Like a mad dog, those he loves best:
‘Twill make him lothe his dearest friend,
As a fierce wolf, or hell-born fiend.
Hence they, like traitors, are confin’d
From all the rest of humankind,
Nor are they, any time, allow’d
To go abroad in search of food.
Their treasures kill all that come nigh,
Whoe’er receives their goods, must die,
Their cash is worth no more (tho’ great
Their wants) than pebbles in the street.
This, Wales! will make thy sons oft fast,
When they shall not a morsel taste;
Tho’, all they own’d, they gave for meat,
And did for it with tears entreat.
The plague at once will run thee o’er,
Just as the deluge did of yore
The world, or as the fire that came
And set Gomorrah in a flame.
Perhaps, when round the social hearth,
Or in the tavern, full of mirth,
Or in the market, cheap’ning wares,
The plague will catch thee unawares.
Tho’ thou shou’dst to the stews, or fair,
The field, or council-room, repair;
Where-e’er the pest shall on thee seize,
That is the place of thy decease.
There, like a beast, thou soon shalt die,
(But not without great agony)
Without a servant, or a friend,
Thy latter moments to attend.
No doctor, and no priest will come
To thee, nor dare approach thy room,
Nor any of thy nearest kin,
As if thou hadst some rebel been.
To lay thee out, none will come near,
To shrowd and place thee on the bier,
Or to attend thee to the grave:
A brute’s interment thou shalt have.
This is the death so full of woe,
Which thou art doom’d to undergo.
This is the death due to thy crimes,
If thou shalt not repent betimes.
O what a dire, and dismal end?
What agonies this death attend?
O what a curs’d and shocking case
It is to die of this disease?
This England has beheld of late,
When London felt the frowns of fate;
And this in thee, Wales, shall be seen,
If thou dost not forsake thy sin.
O think, how hateful ’tis to fall
By this most dismal death of all!
Think, how unpleasing, how unblest,
It is to suffer by the pest!
This is the death so full of woe,
Thou dost deserve to undergo!
This is the death, due to thy crimes,
If thou dost not repent betimes.
God long expects thee to begin
To quit each vice and darling sin;
Because thou hast not, he’s prepar’d
To give thy sins their just reward.
Mourn then, O thoughtless Cambria, mourn,
And from thy sins repentant turn:
Like Nineveh for mercy call,
Or soon th’ impending blow will fall.
Ere God unsheaths his glitt’ring steel,
For his forgiveness quickly kneel;
Too late God’s mercy is implor’d,
When he has drawn his glitt’ring sword.
Like Magdalene, thy Saviour greet,
And bathe with floods of tears his feet,
Then dry them with thy flowing hair:
So shall He save thee from despair!
An altar raise, like Jesse’s son,
And lay a contrite heart thereon:
Thy pray’rs shall stop the angel’s hand,
That’s lifted to destroy the land.
Like Nineveh, in sackcloth mourn,
And from thy sumless errors turn:
God will avert thy destin’d end,
If thou thy manners shalt amend.
Unto the temple oft repair,
Like Aaron there with mournful air,
Forgiveness of the Lord request,
Ere thou’rt infected by the pest.
Thy bosom beat, and God adore,
Like the poor publican of yore,
With fervent mind for mercy pray,
Ere thou art snatch’d at once away.
Daily, like royal David, feed
Upon thy tears, for each misdeed
Deluge with tears, each night, thy bed,
Ere the plague comes, and strikes thee dead.
Stand thou, like Moses, in the breach,
Nor let the pest thy people reach:
Pray God to stop the dreadful blow —
Pray hard, and He will mercy show.
A javelin, like Phineas, seize,
Slay those, whose sins brought the disease,
Iniquity, by law correct :
So God shall thee from death protect.
Quit Sodom, and to Zoar run,
By penitence perdition shun;
The warning angel’s threatnings hear,
Ere the dread pest thy towns draw near.
From swine and swinish drunkards run,
(As erst ran Luke’s repentant son)
Unto thy Sire without delay,
Ere by the plague thou’rt swept away.
Like Peter, in some private place,
Bewail the sins of all thy race:
The cock reminds thee to repent,
Ere to thy coasts the plague is sent.
Thy whole account, with th’ utmost care,
Ere thou art call’d to doom, prepare,
Trim thy dull lamp, thy white robe wear,
Before the dreadful pest comes near.
It of a sudden comes, beware!
And gives no notice to prepare:
Be then each moment on thy guard,
Lest it shou’d catch thee unprepar’d.
The readier thou art to receive
The stroke, and this vain world to leave,
God is more ready to forgive,
And leave thee here yet longer live.
May God, O Wales, to thee dispense
His Grace — God give thee penitence,
God shield thee from this pest severe;
God grant thee yet a joyful year.
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Based on Keywords: unpleasing, cambria, hell-born, heresies, merchandize, gomorrah, swinish, correcting, wardens, extort, unprepar