"But, sent from God, his presence leaves, / To gather home his ripen'd sheaves, / To call encumber'd souls away / From fleshly bonds to boundless day, / (As when the winged hours excite, / And summon forth the morning-light) / And each to convoy to her place / Before the Eternal Father's face."
— Cowper, William (1731-1800)
Thy threats, and anger misapplied!
Art not afraid with sounds like these
To offend, where thou canst not appease?
Death is not (wherefore dream'st thou thus?)
The son of Night and Erebus;
Nor was of fell Erynnis born
On gulfs where Chaos rules forlorn:
But, sent from God, his presence leaves,
To gather home his ripen'd sheaves,
To call encumber'd souls away
From fleshly bonds to boundless day,
(As when the winged hours excite,
And summon forth the morning-light)
And each to convoy to her place
Before the Eternal Father's face.
But not the wicked;--them, severe
Yet just, from all their pleasures here
He hurries to the realms below,
Terrific realms of penal woe!
Myself no sooner heard his call,
Than, 'scaping through my prison-wall,
I bade adieu to bolts and bars,
And soar'd, with angels, to the stars,
Like him of old, to whom 'twas given
To mount, on fiery wheels, to heaven.
Boötes' waggon, slow with cold,
Appall'd me not; nor to behold
The sword, that vast Orion draws,
Or even the Scorpion's horrid claws.
Beyond the Sun's bright orb I fly,
And, far beneath my feet, descry
Night's dread goddess, seen with awe,
Whom her winged dragons draw.
Thus, ever wondering at my speed,
Augmented still as I proceed,
I pass the planetary sphere,
The Milky Way--and now appear
Heaven's crystal battlements, her door
Of massy pearl, and emerald floor.