The cloudy blackness gathers over the sky
Shadowing these realms with that portentous storm
Ere long to burst, and haply to deform
Fair nature's face: for indignation high
Might hurl promiscuous vengeance with wild hand,
And fear, with fierce precipitation throw
Blind ruin wide: while hate with scowling brow
Feigns patriot rage. O Priestley! for thy wand,
Or Franklin! thine, with calm expectant joy
To tame the storm, and with mysterious force
In viewless channel shape the lightning's course
To purify creation, not destroy.
So should fair order from the tempest rise
And freedom's sun-beams gild unclouded skies.
Robert Lovell (1770?-1796)
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