Magnificence Under Ground

IN that deep Gulf, where all past Times are thrown,
Where waning Moons, and setting Suns are gone.
There, Moneths, and Days, extinguishing their Light,
Are lost, and buried in eternal Night.

Our Fathers Ages, and our Youth there cast,
Our Yesterdaies, and their thousand Years past.
All hid in that thick Darkness, which invades
New-born Man's fair Paradise, and blest Shades.

Man's Heav'n on Earth, to us as much unknown,
As that Heav'n in Reversion Man's alone.
Our Parents Labours, vanish't with their Ground,
Both under Water once, ne're since were found.
Sunk in that Floud, when th' Earth lost in the Deep,
As in the Sea of Chaos, lay asleep.
Till rising Billows, into Hills did swell,
As their sunk Spaces, into Vallies fell.

That World, the Deluge whole at once drank down,
Time yet in parts, and by degrees, does drown.
Time, which stronger than a full Sea does run,
Wih a High-Tide comes ever flowing on,
And with a lawless, and impetuous sway,
Bears all that would controul its force, away.
Those Bounds set by Fame, having once o'reflown,
Their Shipwrackt Spires, are in low Water shown.

We're there a Globe, in which we all could see
The World reverst, in Fates Geography.
Could we the Antients Drown'd Lands all there view,
And with them, all their buried Treasure too.
The vast Plantations of all Ages Dead,
The fallen Tow'rs, and Towns in Ruines spread.
The Cities, and Inhabitants, there thrust,
Cities, now measuring new Bounds in Dust;
And with their Suburbs stretching by degrees,
Until, they border on th' Antipodes;
Their enlarg'd Limits downwards cast so far,
As they Confiners, on Earth's Center were.
Compar'd with this dark Globe of all below,
How small a Point, would this Globe of ours show?
Or what of th' Old World's standing, or the New,
With what the Graves of both, conceal from view.

All that remains yet high, or strong, or fair,
In vain we equal to those Reliques there
What Death under the Tropicks has possest,
What beneath each Pole, what from East to West;
That little left unburied of the Masse,
Does in Circumference, as far surpass
As both the Northern, and the Southern Dead
In Number, all the Living Race exceed.
In this low World's dark Countries under Ground,
Geographers, another Rome have found.
Those Amphitheaters that climb'd the Sky,
Climb downwards now, and are in Earth as high.
So great their Ruines, and so proud their Fall,
Their Height reverst, they are in Depth as tall.
Troy, Thebes, and Carthage, sunk long since, did go
Metropolis'es to the World below.

Their Empire, and their Height, translated there,
Leaving no Marks of their old Greatness here.
The Tyrian Princes dead, new Honours boast,
Themselves, more richly with their Purple lost.

Egypt's black Kings enshrin'd with th' Idol-Rat,
Embalm'd, thought once immortal too, as that;
From rottenness of vulgar Graves though free,
They linger out a long Mortality,
Kept fresh some Hundred years of Death, those past,
Mixe with the Ashes of their Tombs at last.
Some place unknown, as th' Head of their own Nile,
Their Royal Dust depos'd, confounds with Vile.
Their Monuments, with them, themselves interre,
And in their Quarry fall, and Sepulcher;
Swallow'd in that vast Heap, where all things lie,
That are unborn, and all return, that die;
In that Abyss, all Springs of Beings sleep,
As Rivers, lost within their Mother-Deep.

Written by 
Richard Leigh 

Born in 1649, Richard Leigh was a talented and distinguished author and actor. This is one of a number of his poems published in 1675.

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