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The History Of Job, A Sacred Poem. The Fourth Book. - Poem by Daniel Baker

Thus spake th' afflicted Hero, but was heard
Of his hard--hearted Friends with small Regard
His Suff'rings stood so full before their Eye,
They could not through that Cloud his Virtues spy.
To their weak Faith the vast, prodigious Load
Seem'd inconsistent with the Love of God.
They thought such mighty Woes must be the Sign
And just Effect of mightier Wrath Divine.
And Satan, who mean while stood by unseen,
(His Stomach boyling with invet'rate Spleen)
Embrac'd the glad Occasion to suggest
Ill Thoughts, & with rash Censures fill'd their Breast
To Suff'rings not inur'd, they neither knew
What tender Pity is to Suff'rers due,
Nor for what wise and great, tho' hidden Ends
High Heaven sometimes afflicts its dearest Friends.
Their narrow Souls concluded Job must be
(Tho' fam'd for Faith and spotless Sanctity)
Punish'd for secret Crimes and deep Hypocrisy.
With this blind Zeal inspir'd (when Job had done
His sad Complaint) thus Eliphaz begun.

Let not our Freedom, Job, ill taken be,
Nor think we come thus far to flatter thee:
We're loath t'offend, but in a Case so plain
He must be dumb that can from Speech refrain.
Slight Hurts are eas'ly cur'd, but for a Wound
So rank as thine, sharp Medicines must be found.
Art thou the Man, from whom e'erwhile the weak
And feeble Hands did Help and Comfort seek?
Whose kind, refreshing Tongue supported those
Who groan'd beneath the Weight of pressing Woes?
Whose calm Advice their stormy Griefs subdu'd,
Inspiring fainting Souls with Life renew'd?
But 'tis, I find, an easier Task to give
Instructive Rules, than by the same to live.
And thou, who oft didst preach to others, art
Thy self a Stranger to the Practick Part.
'Tis come upon thee, and thou faintest straight,
Thy Shoulders sink beneath th' unequal Weight.
Now is the time t'exert thy Strength, and all
Thy chosen Forces to thy Aid to call.
What means this raving Speech, this loud Complaint?
Tell me, who ever perish'd Innocent?
When were the Righteous cut off, and when
Did GOD forsake upright and faithful Men?
You must expect to reap, as you have till'd:
If Seeds of Wickedness upon the Field
Be cast, a Crop of Sorrows it will yield.
As rapid Lightning, on swift Whirlwinds born,
Breaks and destroys the Ranks of standing Corn,
Or rides in Triumph o'er the vanquish'd Shocks,
And all the Farmer's Hope and Labour mocks:
So by the Blast of GOD's Displeasure, all
The proud Oppressors, and their Projects fall.
On Them and Theirs, a fearful, sudden Death
The angry Nostrils of th' Almighty Breath.

In those soft Hours, that are to Sleep assign'd,
Upon this Thought I'd fixt my wakeful Mind,
When on the sudden, lo! a dreadful Fear
Surpriz'd my Heart, and upright set my Hair.
I stood amaz'd, to flee I had no Pow'r,
And ev'ry Joynt about me trembled sore.
And, Lo! before my Face a shining Spright
March'd slowly by: But in so great a Fright
I could not well discern what Form appear'd.
Only a wond'rous, unknown Voice I heard.

Oh! What is mortal Man, that he so proud
Should grow, and think himself more just, than GOD?
That he should blame GOD's Counsels & Commands,
And 'gainst his Maker lift rebellious Hands?
Behold, the glorious Angels, which are made
Of pure Etherial Substance, are afraid
To justify Themselves, for ev'n in Them
A rig'rous GOD might find some Frailty to condemn.
Conscious of native Weakness, when before
The Throne of Glory prostrate they adore,
With purple Wings their blushing Cheeks they shroud;
They tremble: And shall sinful Man be proud?
Shall they be just and pure in their own Eyes,
Their Merits boast, and GOD Himself despise,
Whose Dwelling is in Houses made with Clay,
Weak Walls, which in a Moment drop away?
Whose Garments, fretted by the Moth, may teach
Their Wearers, and a Funeral Lecture preach,
How soon their Glory, Wealth and Pomp may have
An unregarded Fall into the loansom Grave.

Thus the bright Vision spake. And if thou call
The Saints in Earth and Heav'n to witness, all
To this great Truth will seal with one Consent,
That Sin the Parent is of Punishment.
On that curst Stock no Fruit but This will grow:
Who chuses One, must take the Other too.
Fast link'd by 'ternal Sanctions they remain,
And to divorce them all Attempts are vain:
Not Death it self can break the strong wrought Chain
Hence all the Pains and Losses you endure,
Which by Complaints you strive in vain to cure.
All other Methods ineffectual are
But true Repentance, and incessant Pray'r.
If thou to GOD with all thy Heart return,
And for thy Sins with deep Contrition mourn,
He will dissolve the Knot, and set thee free
From Guilt, and its Attendant, Misery.

Were I, like you, opprest with Grief and Pain,
Like you, I would not murmur and complain,
But humbly fall before th' Almighty's Feet,
And to his Pleasure silently submit.
My lawless Passions I would curb, and wait
With Faith and Hope a kind Return of Fate.
For blest is he whom Heav'ns indulgent Hand
Casts down awhile, to make him firmer stand.
Justice and Mercy both His Throne attend,
And He doth both on weighty Errands send,
He makes Men Poor and Wealthy, Sick and Sound;
He strikes, & then his hand binds up, & heals the wound.
Let ne'er so many Troubles thee assail,
And round thy Temples fly as thick as Hail,
He'll scatter them; not one shall e'er prevail.
In time of Famine he thy House will feed,
And in the Day of Battel guard thy Head.
No spiteful Tongue shall blast thy growing Fame,
Nor with a secret Stab destroy thy Name.
When all things threaten Ruin, thou shalt laugh,
And from the Teeth of rav'ning Beasts be safe.
All Nature shall thy Friendship court, and where
Thy Tent is pitch'd, Health, Peace and Plenty there
Shall pay their Homage, and Attendance give.
Thou many long and prosp'rous Years shalt live:
And, having seen thy Children like to Thee,
In Virtue, Wealth and Honour, thou shalt be
Translated by officious Angels hence,
In Triumph, to receive thy Recompence;
As Reapers bind the weighty Sheaves of Corn,
And bring them home, with Songs, into the Barn.

Thus argu'd Eliphaz. A mournful Sigh
The patient Hero fetch'd, and made Reply:

O that my Suff'rings were exactly weigh'd,
And all my Sorrows in the Ballance laid!
They would be found in Weight and Number more
Than all the Sand that spreads th' extended Shore.
Who can sustain th' Almighty's Wrath? Or stand
The dreadful Stroke of His resistless Hand?
Deep in my Side His venom'd Arrows stick,
And with the Pangs of Death my Heart is sick.
As some strong Fort, that stops the Victor's Course,
At once the Fury feels of all his Force;
At once is batter'd with a thousand Rams,
Affrighted with loud Noise and hostile Flames:
So all his chosen Terrors GOD doth call;
'Gainst me they march in warlike Order all.
Me they attack with hid'ous Cries, and on
One naked Man His armed Legions run.

In such Distress, methinks, my Friends from you
Some Favour and Compassion might be due.
And so it would, did you th' Almighty dread:
But from your Breast all Tenderness is fled,
Because you fondly think your selves secure
From all the Pains and Sorrows, I endure.

As sudden Torrents, sprung from melted Snow,
Run down the Hills, and fill the Vale below,
And court the Traveller to drink, when he
Neither feles Thirst, nor fears a Scarcity
Where'er he goes: But when the Dog--Star reigns,
And burning Heat his vital Moisture drains,
And fries the Blood within his parching Veins,
When Water (like good Tidings, which a Friend
From distant Lands does unexpected send)
Is highly priz'd, they vanish, and your Eye
Can scarce the Place where once they flow'd descry.
The Troops of Tema, the rich Caravans
Of Sheba, and the wild Arabians
Come panting to the Place, where no Relief
They find, but turn again with Shame and Grief.
Grief to be disappointed thus, and Shame
T'have trusted such a false, uncertain Stream:
To me my Friends prove now exactly such,
Who, when I wanted nothing, promis'd much,
But now desert, and with my cruel Foes
Take part, and help with them t'increase my Woes.

If this were all your Bus'ness, why from home
Did you on such an unkind Errand come?
I did not send for you; but was content
Alone to bear the Sorrows GOD had sent.
I did not beg Relief, nor once demand
Deliv'rance by you from th' Oppressor's Hand.
And can you not to your old Friend afford
The not expensive Alms of one kind Word?
What desp'rate Logick teaches to conclude
Because I am distress'd, I can't be Good?
Are Wealth and Virtue, Piety and Peace
So link'd by firm, immutable Decrees,
That nothing can dissolve the fatal Band,
But both together must, or fall, or stand?
Must Misery and Trouble ever be
The Sign of an offended Deity?
Does Suff'ring always argue Guilt? And must
Unhappy Men be Bad, or Heav'n unjust?
Does not the Sun, without Controul dispence
To Good and Bad his vital Influence?
And shall we bind Eternal Providence?
GOD made that glorious Planet: And shall He
Be tied to Rules, from which his Creature's free?
Dark are the Ways of GOD, and none can prove
From them the Objects of his Hate, or Love.
Sometimes the Wicked flourish, and enjoy
More than enough their craving Sense to cloy:
While pious Men, opprest with Loads of Grief,
Complain, like me, but meet with no Relief.

My Innocence and Fame are all that's left
To comfort me: And must I be bereft
Of those dear Jewels, which I value more
Then all the Treasures I possest before?
Hard--hearted Friends! Let me appeal from you,
To Him that rules on high, and humbly sue
For one fair Hearing, at his right'ous Seat,
Where Truth and Mercy, Peace and Justice meet.

Lord, wherefore thus dost thou contend with me?
Am I a Match fit to encounter Thee?
The mighty Whale, whom all the swimming Race
As Monarch of the wat'ry World obeys,
Sinks at thy Presence, like a Lump of Lead,
And calls for deeper Seas, to hide his fearful Head.
The mighty Ocean, where that Monster reigns,
And takes his Pastime on the liquid Plains,
Starts at thy Word, and flying back, does own
It self unable to abide thy Frown.
Yet me Thou dost constrain to stand the Force
Of thy fierce Anger; me without Remorse
Thy Fury tears, and does protract my Breath,
Meerly to suffer Torments, worse than Death.
I can endure no longer. O forbear,
And for thy Wrath some hardier Subject rear.
Remove thy Hand, and let thine Anger cease,
That I may breath a little while in Peace.
Or, if not That, at least This Mercy show,
Dispatch me soon, with one kind, killing Blow.

As weary Slaves hate the laborious Light,
And wish the quick Return of shady Night;
And toyling Lab'rers wait to see the Day
Fall from the Sky, that they may take their Pay,
So do I covet Death, and long to be
From Life, and its Companion, Sorrow, free.
I loath its very Name; its real Pains,
And fancy'd Joys my Soul alike disdains.
Inspir'd with noble Ardour, Death, to thee
Life's only Remedy, I gladly flee.
Come, gentle Friend, and on thy welcome Breast
Receive my Head, and charm it into Rest.
Life is a perfect Cheat: 'Tis only Thou
That canst the Gifts, she promises, bestow.
In vain of Goods, of Health and Liberty
The Living boast: For none are Rich or Free,
Healthful or Sound, but such as are made so by Thee.

He scarce had done, when Bildad Silence broke,
And rising up, in mighty Passion spoke.

How long wilt thou thus wildly talk? How long
Against thy Maker bend thy Frantick Tongue?
Shall GOD pervert the Rules of Equity,
Or his fix'd Methods change, to pleasure thee?
Doubtless thy Children fell beneath the Stroke
Of that just Vengeance, which they did provoke
By lewd Excesses: doubtless Heav'n was Just
To punish thus their Riot, and their Lust.
And thou thy self art not exempt from Sin,
But secret Crimes by Thee have harbour'd been.
Thy Substance could not prosper, nor thy Wealth
Continue, got by Rapine, or by Stealth.
By Strength of Hand thou hast opprest the Poor,
And robb'd thy Brother, to encrease thy Store.
But to the Rich thy Friendship thou hast sold,
And further'd his unlawful Claims, for Gold.
Thou hast despised GOD, and thought that He
Thro' the thick Cloud thy Follies could not see,
Or full employ'd above, no time could find
To look below, and visit Humankind.
Such horrid Crimes thou hast indulg'd, or now
Thou hadst not suffer'd thus, nor fall'n so low.
Thy pious Works, and boasted Innocence
Appear but Splendid Cheats, and meer Pretence.
Had they been True, th' Almighty would arise
For Thee, and save thee from thine Enemies.
Thy Body he would heal, thy Loss restore,
And make thee happier, than thou wast before.

This Truth to past and present times well known,
Succeeding Ages shall receive and own.
By long Experience prov'd, it shall extend
Its Light from Times first Spring unto its End.
That GOD will never help, nor prosper those
Whom proud and wicked Works have made his Foes.
But they that worship Him, and keep his Laws
Adhering constant to his right'ous Cause,
His choicest Favours shall enjoy, and prove
The darling Objects of his tender Love.

O then these bold and impious Words forbear,
And turn them into meek and ardent Pray'r.
Return to GOD, and set thy Conscience free
From secret Sins and close Hypocrisy.
Then shalt thou find an happy Change, and see
A joyful End of all thy Misery.
By Help Divine thy Fortunes thou shalt raise,
Enjoying long, serene, and healthful Days,
And turn thy loud Complaints to louder Songs of Praise.

He spoke, and down he sate: then Job arose,
And thus a second time did interpose.

I know that GOD is just, and never can
Do Wrong to me, or any mortal Man.
His Wisdom and his Pow'r my Soul adores,
And ev'n the least rebellious Thought abhors.
Alas! who dares contend with Him, or hope
By Force, or Fraud, his awful Hand to stop,
At whose Command the Mountains quit their Place,
And fly, like frighted Lambs, before his Face?
Who from her Base the pond'rous Earth does shake,
That like thin Reeds her strongest Pillars quake.
Without whose Leave the Sun dares not to rise,
Nor lead the beaut'ous Day along the Skies.
Who th' airy Regions, like a Curtain spreads,
And on the foaming Billows boldly treads.
Whose Nod the Heav'ns obey, and all the Host
Of Stars, that deck and guard th' Etherial Coast.

How then shall I (poor Worm) presume to mount
The Throne of GOD, and call Him to account?
Had I an hundred Tongues, for my Defence
In flowing Rhet'rick dipt, & arm'd with massy Sense,
I should no sooner to his Presence come,
But all those Tongues would falter, and be dumb;
Or else, instead of Pleading, humbly fall
To Pray'r, and for some Ease and Pity call.
For me the Tempest of his Fury shocks,
And breaks in Pieces with redoubled Strokes.
To breath I am not able: Such Excess
I feel of Pain, as no Words can express.

I know no Cause, why me th' Almighty hath
Thus singled out, to bear his burning Wrath:
Nor can I of one Sin my self accuse
In all that heavy Roll, which you produce.
But this I know, and will affirm it still,
That Judgments fall alike on Good and Ill.
His Shafts at Random fly, his careless Steel
As well the Righteous as the Wicked feel.
And in his furious March, no Difference
He makes at all 'twixt Guilt and Innocence.
Fair Provinces, and vast Estates on those
That scorn his Laws his lavish Hand bestows.
Observe the mighty Men, and you will find
The greater Number of the worser kind.
But those that serve him, and that love him best,
With Pains and Sorrows are, like me, opprest.

I once as Rich and Happy was as you,
And in Prosperity surpass'd by few:
But now 'tis gone, 'tis gone.
As well--built Navies, favour'd by the Wind,
Cut thro' the yielding Waves, & leave no Path behind
As hungry Eagles hasten to their Prey
And print no track of their äerial Way:
So are my Joys all fled, and nothing now
Remains, that once I happy was, to shew.

If This the Portion be by Heav'n bestow'd
On just and pious Men, who will be Good?
Who will reform his Ways, or take the Pain
To wash his Hands, and cleanse his Heart in vain,
If, notwithstanding all this Care, he must
Fall under Suff'rings, due to the unjust?
'Tis a strange Riddle, this: And oh that I
Might once obtain of GOD the Liberty
To talk about it! I would fill my Mouth
With Arguments, and boldly speak the Truth.
But GOD is not a Man: His dreadful Brow
So over--aws me, that I know not how
To speak. But let him take his Rod away,
And all his armed Terrors from him lay,
And He shall find I something have to say.

These Words so harsh to Zophar seem'd, that he
No longer could endure such Blasphemy,
(For so he thought it) but concern'd to take
Th' Almighty's Part, he thus in Anger spake.

Must your unruly Tongue be thus allow'd
Without Rebuke, t'accuse Almighty GOD?
Must your bold Slanders Heav'n and Earth belye
As cruel and unjust, while we sit silent by?
Are your Afflictions, think you, a Defence
For Passion, Pride, and impious Insolence?
Must we sit still, and not reply, for Fear
Of adding to the Load, you justly bear?
Justice Divine you boldly have deny'd;
And all your Words and Actions justify'd.
You mock at GOD, and think we do you wrong,
If we refute and check your lawless Tongue.
But, oh that GOD himself his Lips would ope,
And thy false Mouth with righteous Answers stop!
That He would teach you a more equal Sense
Of his just Laws, and careful Providence!
That He would make you know, that tho' the Score
Of your Complaints be great, your Sins are more,
And if he should increase your Pains, you must
Submit, and still confess Him to be Just!

You say (but falsely) that the self same Fate
Does on the Right'ous and the Wicked wait.
That they who just and upright Ways pursue,
The Pay receive that is to Sinners due.
But did not Pride and Rage thy Soul enthrall,
This groundless Slander thou wouldst soon recall.
For doubtless GOD in pious Men delights,
They are his special Friends, and Favourites.
Blessings he spreads around them ev'ry Day,
And shines upon them with a vig'rous Ray.
Peace he creates, and Plenty, for the Sake
Of such, and prospers all they undertake.
Their Houses He protects from Harm, nor dare
Disease, nor doubtful Danger enter there.
But wicked Men, and Hypocrites, like you,
Meet the Reward to their Offences due.
In vain they look for Happiness, in vain
Of dismal Pains and Losses they complain:
None hears their Cry. Their proud Designs are crost,
Their Hearts are broken, all their Hopes are lost,
They faint, like those that render up the Ghost.

Thus Zophar did his eager Passion vent,
And when his Zeal and Anger all was spent,
Illustrious Job resum'd the Argument.

How long will ye my Meaning thus pervert,
And with your cruel Slanders break my Heart?
If yours were mine, and mine were your Estate,
I could deride, and triumph o'er your Fate,
As you o'er mine: But I would rather prove
The milder ways of Gentleness and Love.
My healing Tongue should minister Relief,
I'd not augment, but try to mitigate your Grief.
O miserable Comforters! Go on
And mock your Friend, as hitherto y'have done.
A larger Field, I'm sure, you cannot meet
To exercise a keen, Satyrick Wit.

You are the Men of Parts, no doubt, to whose
Grave Sense and Judgment all our Reason bows.
You are the Men t'whom all Respect is due:
Wisdom with you was born, and it shall die with you.
Yet shall not all your wise Discourses make
My stedfast Soul its first Resolves forsake.
Your learned Pleas give not the least Pretence
To question, or suspect my Innocence.
While Breath remains, while God enables me
To speak a Word, that Word shall justify
My Life and Practice to have been sincere,
And always guided by th' Almighty's Fear.
Say what you will: Yet my own Tongue shall ne'er
Consent, nor 'gainst my self false Witness bear,
For in just Ways my Feet have ever trod,
I still have kept the Precepts of my GOD,
And lov'd them better than my daily Food.
Yet will not this exempt me from the Pains,
Contempt and Sorrow that my Soul sustains.
Th' Almighty will do what he will; nor can
His Sentence be controul'd by mortal Man.

Some wicked Men remove their Neighbour's Bound,
Usurp his Land, & reap another's Ground.
His Flocks they seize by Force, thereon to feed
And feast themselves, and justify the Deed.
The Orphan's Ass (his whole Estate) away
Some drive, and make the Widow's Ox a Prey.
The helpless Traveller some rob and kill,
And all their Houses Spoil and Rapine fill.
The Land with Thefts and Murders they molest,
And with Pyratick Force the Seas infest.
Others, with Lust and lawless Passion led,
In secret creep to the loose Harlot's Bed.
All Night dissolv'd in Joys obscene they lie,
But curse the dawning Morn's discov'ring Eye.
Vain Fools, to fear the Face of Men, but slight
The quick Remarks of GOD's all--piercing Sight.

Yet all these prosper in their wicked Ways,
And Mirth and Musick entertain their Days.
Their ill--got Substance thrives, their Goods abound,
And Health and Safety compass them around.
Their Sins and Joys with equal Pace advance,
And to the tuneful Harp their Children dance.
In Peace and Pleasure num'rous Days they spend,
No Mark of Vengeance does their Lives attend:
No Pains unusual torture them in Death,
But softly, and with Ease they yield their Breath,
And large Possessions to their Sons bequeath,

But Right'ous Men their Age in Sorrow wast,
And hardly once the Sweets of Living tast.
Their Life from first to last they justly may
Account a rainy, blustring Winter's Day;
And when the long Fatigue at last is done,
Black Clouds and Storms disturb their dying Sun.
In Arbitrary Manner GOD bestows
Both Good and Evil here, and no Man knows
His Friends, by present Dealings, from his Foes.

Learn Wisdom then, and own that Providence
Acts by a Law superior far to Sense.
'Tis Faith alone can solve the knotty Doubt,
And vig'rous Hope must make the Riddle out.
Th' important Secret only GOD reveals,
And in the Breast of his choice Servants seals,
That Wicked Men, by Heav'ns severe Decree,
Are spar'd, to fill up their Iniquity.
Which done, their seeming Joys shall end with Speed,
And real Sorrows in their Place succeed.
Their Wealth is in a Moment gone, and now
Begins a Tragick Scene of endless Woe.
But Pious Souls by Suff'rings are prepar'd
For future Happiness, a rich Reward.
Affliction is the Fire, wherein their Mind
From Sin, and drossy Mixtures is refin'd.
That in their Father's Kingdom they may shine
(Like Angels) all Immortal and Divine.

O that my Words were Printed in a Book,
Or deep engraven on the solid Rock:
That they might stand for ever firm, and be
The Witness of my Faith to late Posterity!
For I believe, and surely know, that my
Redeemer lives, and reigns above the Sky;
To Him all Pow'r belongs, and he will save
My Soul, and raise my Body from the Grave.
Altho' my Flesh, now pain'd with Sickness, must
Hereafter fall, and crumble into Dust;
Altho' my Skin, now spread with Sores, must feed
The hungry Worms, that in dark Charnels breed;
Yet at the Latter Day I shall arise,
And meet my GOD descending from the Skies.
These Eyes, which now continual Floods of Tears
Consume, and frustrate Expectation wears:
These very Eyes shall see my dearest Lord,
The Joy of Heav'n and Earth, who by his Word
Made Both, all Fair and Good, and will restore
Their Beauty, faded now, and make them more
Compleatly Bright and Lovely, than before.
Health, Peace, and Pleasure I shall tast again,
Though now my Reins be rack'd with dismal Pain,
And when this weeping Seed--time once is past,
A joyful Harvest shall succeed at last.

He spake. But so the Combat did not cease,
Nor the good Man obtain desired Peace.
Much was disputed yet on either Side,
Much was objected, and as much reply'd.
They urge, He answers, They rejoyn, and He
By Reason's Force refutes their Sophistry,
Till Satan, conscious nothing could prevail
To make the patient Hero curse and rail
Against his GOD, with Shame and Anger fled,
And in the burning Lake plung'd deep his desp'rate Head,
He gone, who fill'd their Breasts, the Sages straight
Lay down their Arms, and with Attention wait,
While GOD--like Job thus clos'd the long Debate.

Those joyful Days, oh! that I could recall,
When with GOD's Favour, like a mighty Wall,
Encompass'd safe I dwelt, when round my Head
A glorious Light, by his Command, was spread,
To guide my Steps, and keep me free from Strife,
And all the Troubles of uncertain Life!
When GOD was present still to give me Aid,
And round about me all my Children play'd,
When mighty Woods of Corn the thankful Soil
Produc'd, rewarding well the Ploughman's Toil,
When from the flinty Rock did freely stream
Floods of soft Oyl, and Brooks of tastful Cream!
Thrice happy Days, farewel.

When to the Court I pass'd in Princely State,
And in the Hall of Judgment took my Seat,
Such dazling Majesty and Grace Divine
Did in my Face and grave Deportment shine,
As fill'd th' Assembly with an awful Dread:
The Youth no sooner saw me, but they fled.
The Elders 'rose, and reverently bow'd,
And in my Presence all uncover'd stood.
A Sacred Silence seiz'd the Place, and none
Would interpose a Word, till I had done.
The Princes held their Peace, and only gaz'd,
The Nobles, dumb as Statues, stood amaz'd.
When Sentence I pronounc'd, they waited by,
And prais'd my Wisdom and Integrity.

For when the injur'd Poor for Justice cry'd,
And Fatherless, who had no Help beside,
I stood up boldly to defend their Cause,
And sav'd them from the proud Oppressor's Claws.
Vast Numbers from the Pit my Hand did raise,
Rewarded with loud Pray'rs and grateful Praise.
I made the mournful Widow's Heart rejoice,
And sing my Virtues with a chearful Voice.
I put on Justice, and it cloath'd me round,
And stood with Truth, as with a Girdle, bound:
These Ornaments, I thought, became me more
Than did my Purple, and the Crown I wore.
My Feet I to the Lame did lend, and they
That wanted Eyes had Mine, to guide their Way.
I was a Father to the Poor, and he
Justice and Mercy found at once from me.
His Cause I undertook, and if some Doubt
Arose, I labour'd till I found it out.
When wicked Men devour'd the Poor, their Jaws
I broke, and pluck'd the Prey from out their Paws.
Their Course I stop'd, and made them to restore
What they by Fraud or Force had got before.
Such worthy Deeds to Good Men much Endear'd
My Name, and they that did not Love me, Fear'd.

With Peace and Plenty, Love and Glory blest
I thought my self so certainly possest
Of Happiness, it could not slip away,
But must perforce, without inviting stay.
After a long and pleasant Life, I thought
I should with Honour to the Grave be brought.

For as a Tree, by some fair River's Side
Thrives, and extends its goodly Branches wide;
Its Root the Water sucks, its tender Boughs
Lie safe all Night beneath indulgent Dews.
So did I live and prosper; so Divine
And gentle Blessings did about me shine.

The Farmer longs not for mild Showers of Rain,
To sprout his Seed, or plump his rip'ning Grain,
So much as Men did for my Friendship thirst,
And thought them happiest, whom I favour'd first.
My Will was theirs. They pay'd a sacred Awe
To all I spoke, and took it for a Law.
Great Kings, whom Hosts and armed Troops obey,
Command not with so absolute a Sway.
These high Prerogatives I long enjoy'd,
And for the Publick Welfare all employ'd.
And, like the Sun, a gen'ral Influence
To all around I freely did dispence.
Comforts I cast abroad, and they that sad
Into my Presence came, went thence reviv'd and glad.

But now the Case is alter'd: Now in me
A sad and lamentable Change you see.
My Light is faded now, and I'm become
The Scorn of Boys, and all the vulgar Scum;
Base Sons of Earth, a vile and hateful Stock,
Scarce equal to the Dogs that kept my Flock.
Vain useless Fellows, void of Strength and Wit;
Neither for Bus'ness, nor for Labour fit.
Condemn'd to beg their Bread, or else to eat
Dry Roots and Mallow--tops, instead of Meat.
In Desert Lands they lurk'd alone, and took
Their Lodging in some Cave, or hollow Rock.
From Cities driv'n, they wandred up and down,
And underneath the Bushes made their moan.
Whene'er th' appear'd, Men shouted out, as if
Some Monster they had seen, or seiz'd a Thief.
But now they boldly leave their Dens, and meet
In sawcy Crowds, and fill the open Street.
They laugh and jeer aloud, and mournful Job
Is made the By--word of th' insulting Mob.
My Sorrows are their Mirth: They sport with me,
And make lewd Ballads of my Misery.
They treat me with Contempt, and vile Disgrace,
And fling their filthy Spittle in my Face.

GOD hath withdrawn his Favour from my House,
And let this Rout of lawless Villains loose,
To triumph in my Fall, and vex me more
Than all the Troubles I sustain'd before.
The Children rise, and push away my Feet,
And tread me down, like Mortar, in the Street.
My weary Bones with Pain and Anguish ake,
And wild Distractions keep me still awake.
All Joy and Comfort is for ever gone,
And last Year's Clouds may be recall'd as soon.

Thus ruin'd, thus forsaken, I complain
And cry to Thee, O GOD; but cry in vain.
Thou wilt not hear my Voice, but dost oppose
Thy self against me, and support my Foes.
Thou didst exalt me once on high; but now
Thy cruel Hand is turn'd, and lays me low.
Come, gentle Death; but Thee, no Friend I have,
No Hope of Ease, no Refuge, but the Grave.
From Pain and Trouble, from Contempt and Grief
That Sanctuary will afford Relief.
So far his Wrath will not extend: But there
Free from the present Sense, and future Fear
Of Evil I shall rest. For though the Gate
Of Death be terrible, and sadly straight.
In th' inner Rooms mild Peace and Safety dwell,
And when I thither come, I shall be well.

I ever bore a soft and tender Mind,
And shew'd that Mercy which I cannot find.
Sad Objects I could ne'er behold, but from
My melting Eyes a Flood of Tears would come.
And am I thus requited? Am I now
The only Man, to whom no Pity's due?
My Morning--Sun arose so Bright and Gay,
I promis'd to my self a long and happy Day:
But envious Clouds have soon o'ercast my Light,
And chang'd my Day into a Stormy Night.
Thus like a mournful Owl my Days I spend,
And bitter Sobs my dying Heart--strings rend:
Or like some Dragon, whom the Passers by
Espying start, and from the Monster fly.
My Songs are turn'd to Sighs; my Musick's dumb,
And dismal howling Notes supply its Room.

Yet still my Righteousness I must maintain,
And vindicate my Honour from the Stain
You cast upon't: For ev'ry Sense of mine
Stands bound, by Cov'nant, to the Law Divine.
Upon mine Eyes a strict Command I've laid,
Lest by those busy Wanderers betray'd
I should be tempted to deceive a Maid.
For well I know there's One above, whose Eye
Does all our Faults, however secret, spy.
He numbers all my Steps, nor can my Feet
To wicked ways decline but he will see't.
Unknown to Men much Lewdness may be wrought:
From Him we cannot hide a single Thought.
O dismal Portion! sad Reward of those
Who, drunk with Lust's enchanting Philtres, choose
Short Pleasures first, and then Eternal Woes.

If e'er I broke my Faith, or by Deceit
And guileful Projects did my Neighbour cheat;
Let GOD, who knows my Heart, my Actions weigh
In equal Scales; let Him my Life survey.
I dare appeal to his all--seeing Eye
To search and witness mine Integrity.

If Fear, or Favour, ever could divert
My Soul from Rules of Justice; if my Heart
Have hanker'd after Bribes; or if a Stain
Have cleaved to my Soul by wrongful Gain,
Then let me sow, and let another eat,
And, while I starve, be pamper'd with my Meat.

If, by unchast Affections lewdly sway'd,
My Neighbour's Honour I did e'er invade,
If e'er by me his Door besieg'd has been
To Wrong his Bed, or tempt his Wife to Sin;
Then let my Wife revenge the vile Disgrace,
And fill a Stranger's Arms, before my Face.
Let her prove false, and be another's Spouse,
And with a spurious Brood defile my House.
For this I ever thought an heinous Deed,
'Gainst which the Publick Justice should proceed.
Or, if all Courts the rampant Vice out--braves,
And they that should revenge it, prove its Slaves,
Yet Wrath Divine will on th' Adult'rer seize,
Consume his Flesh, and wast his whole Encrease.
Lust is a Flame, which, kindled in a Town,
Brings hotter Flames from Heav'n to burn it down.

If, like a Tyrant, o'er my Slaves I reign'd,
And would not hear their Voice when they complain'd,
Let GOD, my Master, turn away his Ear,
And, when I make my Pray'rs, refuse to hear:
For tho' these helpless Creatures Men despise,
They have a Friend and Patron in the Skies;
Who will redress their Wrongs, and for their Sake
On their imperious Lords just Vengeance take.
He made us both, and stands engag'd to be
As well to them a Father, as to me.
From the same Stock we both derive our Birth;
Our Souls from GOD, our Bodies from the Earth.
The same Respect from Him all Persons have,
The Poor and Rich, the Master and the Slave.

If I have made the Poor to wait in vain,
Or caus'd the helpless Widow to complain;
If by my self my Dainties I have eat,
And fed not hungry Orphans with my Meat;
If naked, starving Wretches, with my Fleece
Made warm and glad, did not my Bounty bless;
If by strong Arm I have oppressed those,
Whose Weakness made them fearful to oppose,
Let that presumptuous Arm, in Pieces broke,
Fall from my Shoulder, by a mighty Stroke.
For well I know, that injur'd Innocence,
Tho' here despis'd, in Heav'n has a Defence,
To punish such outragious Insolence.

If I have put my Trust in Gold, or said
To Silver, Thou art my Defence and Aid;
If I rejoyc'd, because my Wealth was great,
Or foolish Love on doubtful Riches set;
If when I saw the Sun or Moon arise,
And walk in Brightness thro' the lofty Skies,
I have ador'd those glorious Lights, or giv'n
Religious Worship to the Host of Heav'n;
Let GOD, thus rivall'd, thus affronted, rise,
And this Contempt in jealous Wrath chastise.

If I rejoyc'd my Foes undone to see,
Or basely triumph'd in their Misery;
If Strangers did not always prove me kind,
And in my House, a court'ous Harbour find;
Let me a Lodging want, and fall beneath
The scornful Spight of those that wish my Death.

If I have study'd to disguise my Heart,
And set my Praises off with Flow'rs of Art;
Or if (like Adam) I conceal'd my Sin,
And with slight Fig--Leaves hid my naked Skin;
Then let my Mouth be stopt for evermore,
And let my Foot ne'er stir from out the Door.

Oh! that the solemn Truths I now declare
By some impartial Judge examin'd were!
That GOD himself would please to interpose
And judge between me and my cruel Foes!
That in his Court a Bill might be produc'd
Of all the Crimes, whereof I stand accus'd!
I'd not decline the Charge, but boldly stand,
And answer ev'ry thing they could demand.
With Princely Freedom I would open lay
My Life, and ask them what they had to say.
And, trusting to the Goodness of my Cause,
I would not doubt to merit loud Applause.

For if my Land complain, if any Spot
Of all my vast Estate, unjustly got,
Cry out against me; if a Furrow may
Be claim'd, for which I did not fully pay;
Let all my Labours prove in vain, and let
A Crop of Thistles grow instead of Wheat:
And, when with Barley I have sown my Field,
Wild Oats, and hateful Cockle let it yield.

So Job concluded his Defence, and they
Reply'd no more, finding no more to say.

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Poems About Justice

  1. 451. The History Of Job, A Sacred Poem. The F.. , Daniel Baker
  2. 452. Illusions , Talmadge Rogalla
  3. 453. In These Words , Kreshnik musa
  4. 454. No , Stephanie0Nadine Kjaerbaek
  5. 455. You Do? , chris bowen, a.k.a to wit
  6. 456. Many Voices , shimon weinroth
  7. 457. Justifying , shimon weinroth
  8. 458. There Is... , David Lessard
  9. 459. The Honourable Mheshimiwa(Part Three) , ibrahim tendera oroni
  10. 460. The Poor Man In Court , Elias Foukis
  11. 461. Where Is Justice? , Thawee Angel Lee
  12. 462. Not Ego Season , Trunami ...
  13. 463. The Magic , Salman Javid
  14. 464. If A Woman Could Once Again Rule Egypt , Suzy Kassem
  15. 465. A Soldiers Lament , chas garcia
  16. 466. (aab) For Tomorrow Is Gone , Edwin Alba Empestan
  17. 467. Imapired Justice , Ch J Satyananda Kumar
  18. 468. The Way To Rule A Village , William Hutton
  19. 469. Inside , Michael .k. Ruffy
  20. 470. Justice , GIDEON BORE
  21. 471. Never Fair , Ontibile Laone Kebadirang
  22. 472. The Cycle Of Life Is A Cycle None The Less , moemedi lynx magoro
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