When the fierce north wind with his airy forces

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General information

This is a poem by Isaac Watts, in Horae Lyricae, entitled The Day of Judgment.

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Text and translations

English.png English text

1. WhenN 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,

2. How the poor sailors stand amazed and tremble!
While the hoarse thunder, like a bloody trumpet,
Roars a loud onset to the gaping waters,
Quick to devour them!

3. Such shall the noise be, and the wild disorder,
(If things eternal may be like these earthly)
Such the dire terror, when the great archangel
Shakes the creation:

4. Tears the strong pillars of the vault of heaven,
Breaks up old marble, the repose of princes;
See the graves open, and the bones arising,
Flames all around 'em.

5. Hark, the shrill outcries of the guilty wretches!
Lively bright horror and amazing anguish
Stare through their eye-lids, while the living worm lies
Gnawing within them.


6. Thoughts, like old vultures, prey upon their heart-strings,
And the smart twinges, when their eye beholds the
Lofty Judge frowning, and a flood of vengeance
Rolling afore him.

7. Hopeless immortals! how they scream and shiver,
While devils push them to the pit wide yawning,
Hideous and gloomy, to receive them headlong
Down to the center!

8. Stop here, my fancy: (all away, ye horrid
Doleful ideas) come, arise to Jesus!
How he sits God-like! and the saints around him
Throned, yet adoring !

9. O may I sit there when he comes triumphant,
Dooming the nations! then ascend to glory,
While our hosannas, all along the passage,
Shout the Redeemer!

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