Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Look how the fair one weeps ! the conscious tears Perhaps some hackney, hunger bitten scribbler Stand thick as dew-drops on the bells of flow'rs: Insults thy memory, and blots thy tomb Honest effusion ! the swoln heart in vain With long flat narratives, or duller rhymes Works hard to put a gloss on its distress. With heavy halting pace that drawl along;

Strength too! thou surly, and less gentle boast Enough to rouse a dead man into rage, Of those that laugh loud at the village ring ! And warm with red resentment the wan cheek. A fit of common sickness pulls thee down, Here the great masters of the healing art, With greater ease than e'er thou didst the stripling These mighty mock-defrauders of the tomb! That rashly dar'd thee to th' unequal fight. Spite of their jalaps and catholicons, What groan was that I heard? deep groan indeed! Resign to fate. Proud Æsculapius' son, With anguish heavy laden! let me trace it : Where are thy boasted implements of art, From yonder bed it comes, where the strong man And all thy well-cramm’d'magazines of health ? By stronger arm belabourd, gasps for breath Nor hill, nor vale, as far as ship could go, Like a hard-hunted beast. How his great heart Nor margin of the gravel-bottom'd brook, Beats thick ! his roomy chest by far too scant Escap'd thy rifling hands : from stubborn shrubs To give the lungs full play! what now avail Thou wrung'st their shy retiring virtues out, The strong-built sinewy limbs, and well-spread And vex'd them in the fire: nor fly, nor insect, shoulders!

Nor writhy snake, escap'd thy deep research.See how he tugs for life, and lays about him, But why this apparatus? why this cost? Mad with his pain ! eager he catches hold Tell us thou doughty keeper froin the grave ! Of what comes next to hand, and grasps it hard, Where are thy recipes and cordials now, Just like a creature drowning! hideous sight! With the long list of vouch rs for thy cures ? Oh! how his eyes stand out and stare full ghastly! Alas ! thou speakest not. The bold impostor Whilst the distemper's rank and deadly venom Looks not more silly when the cheat's found out. Shoots like a burning arrow cross his bowels, Here, the lank-sided miser, worst of felons ! And drinks his marrow up. Heard you that Who meanly stole, discreditable shift! groan?

From back and belly too, their proper cheer; It was his last. See how the great Goliah, Eas'd of a tax it irk'd the wretch to pay Just like a child that brawl'd itself to rest, To his own carcase, now lies cheaply lodg’d, Lies still. What mean’st thou then, O mighty By clam'rous appetites no longer teasid, boaster!

Nor tedious bills of charges and repairs. To vaunt of nerves of thine? What means the But, ah! where are his rents, his comings in? bull,

Ay! now you've made the rich man poor indeed: Unconscious of his strength, to play the coward, Robbid of his gods, what has he left behind ? And flee before a feeble thing like man; () cursed lust of gold! when for thy sake That, knowing well the slackness of his arm, The fool throws up his int'rest in both worlds, Trusts only in the well-invented knife! First starv'd in this, then damn'd in that to come.

With study pale, and midnight vigils spent, How shocking must thy summons be, O Death! The star-surveying sage close to his eye To him that is at ease in his possessions ; Applies the sight-invigorating tube;

Who, counting on long years of pleasure here, And trav'lling thro' the boundless length of space, Is quite unfurnish'd for that world to come! Marks well the courses of the far-seen orbs, In that dread moment, how the frantic soul That roll with regular confusion there, Raves round the walls of her clay tenement, In ecstasy of thought. But ah! proud man! Runs to each avenue, and shrieks for help, Great heights are hazardous to the weak head! But shrieks in vain! how wishfully she looks Soon, very soon, thy firmest footing fails ; [place, On all she's leaving, now no longer hers ! And down thou dropp’st into that darksome A little longer, yet a little longer, Where nor device nor knowledge ever came. O might she stay to wash away her stains,

Here the tongue-warrior lies ! disabled now, And fit her for her passage! mournful sight! Disarmd, dishonor’d, like a wretch that's gagg’d, Her very eyes weep blood; and every groan And cannot tell his ail to passers-by. [change? She heaves is big with horror : but the foe, Great man of language, whence this mighty Like a staunch murd'rer steady to his purpose, This dumb despair, and drooping of the head ? Pursues her close through ev'ry lane of life, Though strong persuasion hung upon thy lip, Nor misses once the track, but presses on ; And sly insinuation's softer arts

Till, forc'd at last to the tremendous verge, In ambush lay about thy flowing tongue: At once she sinks to everlasting ruin. Alas! how chop-fall’n now! thick mists and Sure, 'tis a serious thing to die! my soul! Rest, like a weary cloud, upon thy breast (silence What a strange moment must it be, when near Unceasing.. Ah! where is the lifted arm, Thy journey's end thou hast the gulph in view! The strength of action, and the force of words, That awful gulph no mortal e'er repass’d Thewell-turn'd period, and the well-tun'd voice, To tell what's doing on the other side! With all the lesser ornaments of phrase ? Nature runs back, and shudders at the sight, [ing? Ah! Aed for ever, as they ne'er had been! And ev'ry life-string bleeds at thoughts of partRaz'd from the book of fame, or, more provoking, For part they must: body and soul must part;

a

[ocr errors]

Fond couple! link'd more close than wedded pair. That does its work by halves. Why might you not
This wings its way to its Almighty Source, Tell us what 'tis to die? Do the strict laws
The witness of its actions, now its judge; Of your society forbid your speaking
That drops into the dark and noisome grave, Upon a point so nice? I'll ask no more;
Like a disabled pitcher, of no use.

Sullen like lamps in sepulchres, your shine
If death was nothing, and nought after death; Enlightens but yourselves: well-'tis no matter :
If, when men died, at once they ceas'd to be, A very little time will clear up all,
Returning to the barren womb of nothing (chee And niake us learn'd as you are, and as close.
Whence first they sprung; then might the debau- Death's shafts fly thick! Here falls the village
Untrembling mouth the heav'ns ; then might swain,

[round, the drunkard

And there his pamper'd lord! The cup goes Reel over his full bowl, and when 'tis drain'd And who so artful as to put it by ? Fill up another to the brim, and laugh (wretch Tis long since death had the majority; At the poor bug-bear Death; then might the Yet, strange! the living lay it not to heart. That's weary of the world, and tir’d of life, See yonder maker of the dead man's bed, At once give each inquietude the slip, The sexton, hoary-headed chronicle ! By stealing out of being when he pleas'd, Of hard unmeaning face, down which ne'er stole And by what way; whether by hemp or steel: A gentle tear; with mattock in his hand (ance Death's thousand doors stand open. Who could Digs thro' whole rows of kindred and acquaintThe ill-pleas'd guest to sit out his full time, [force By far his juniors ! scarce a scull's cast up, Or blame him if he goes ? Sure! he does well But well he knew its owner, and can tell That helps hiinself as timely as he can, Some passage of his life. Thus hand in hand When able. But if there is an hereafler, The sot has walked with death twice twenty And that there is, conscience uninfluenc'd,

years; And suffer'd to speak out, tells ev'ry man, And yet ne'er younker on the green laughs louder, Then must it be an awful thing to die; Orclubs a smuttier tale; when drunkards meet, More horrid yet to die by one's own hand. Vone sings a merrier catch, or lends a hand (not Self-murder! name it not; our island's shame, More willing to his cup: Poor wretch! he minds That makes her the reproach of neighb'ring states. That soon some trusty brother of the trade Shall nature, swerving from her earliest dictate, Shali do for him what he has done for thousands. Self-preservation, fall by her own act?

On this side, and on that, men see their friends Forbid it, Heav'n! let not, upon disgust, Drop off, like leaves in autumn; yet launch out

The shameless hand be foully crimson'd o'er Into fantastic schemes, which three long livers
With blood of its own lord. Dreadful attempt! In the world's hale and undegen’rate days
Just reeking from self-slaughter, in a rage Could scarce have leisure for. Fools that we are!
To rush into the presence of our Judge! Never to think of death and of ourselves
As if we challeng'd him to do his worst, At the same time! as if to learn to die
And matter'd not his wrath. Unheard-of tortures Were no concern of ours. O more than sottish!
Must be reserv'd for such: these herd together; For creatures of a day, in gamesome mood
The common damn'd shun their society, To frolic on eternity's dread brink,
And look upon themselves as fiends less foul. Unapprehensive; when for aught we know,
Our time is fix'd; and all our days are number'd; The very first swoln surge shall sweep us in.
How long, how short, we know not; this we Think we, or think we not, time hurries on
know,

With a resistless unremitting stream,
Duty roquires we calmly wait the summons, Yet treads more soft than e'er did midnight thief,
Nor dare to stir till Heav'n shall give perinission; That slides his hand under the miser's pillow,
Like sentries that must keep their destin d stand, And carries off his prize. What is this world?
And wait th' appointed hour, till they're reliev'd. What but a spacious burial-field unwall’d,
Those only are the brave who keep their ground, Strew'd with death's spoils, the spoils of animals,
And keep it to the last.

Savage and tame, and full of dead men's bones? Is but a coward's trick: to run away

The
very

turf on which we tread once liv'd ;
From this world's ills, that at the very worst And we that live must lend our carcasses
Will soon blow o'er, thinking to mend ourselves To cover our own offspring : in their turns
By boldly vent'ring on a world unknown, They too must cover theirs. 'Tis here all meet!
And plunging headlong in the dark; 'tis mad; The shiv'ring Icelander, and sun-burnt Moor;
No frenzy half so desperate as this.

Men of all climes, that never met before ; Tell us, ye dead! will none of you in pity And of all creeds, the Jew, the Turk, the Chris To those you left behind disclose the secret?

tian. O! that some courteous ghost would blab it out, Here the proud prince, and favourite yet prouder, What 'tis you are, and we must shortly be. His sov'reign's keeper, and the people's scourge, I've heard that soals departed have sometimes Are huddled out of sight, Here lie abash'd Forewarn’d men of their death: 'twas kindly done The great negociators of the earth, To knock and give th’alarm. But what means And celebrated masters of the balance, This stinted charity? 'tis but lame kindness Deep read in stratagems, and wiles of courts :

To run away

Now vain their treaty-skill; Death scorns to Bless'd as the pleasing dreams of holy men, treat.

But fugitive, like those, and quickly gone. Here the o'erloaded slave Aings down his burthen O slippery state of things! What sudden turns, From his gall’d shoulders; and when the cruel What strange vicissitudes, in the first leaf tyrant,

Of man's sad history! To-day most happy; With all his guards and tools of pow'r about him, And, ere to-morrow's sun has set, most abject ! Is meditating new unheard-of hardships, Howscant the space between thesevast extremes ! Mocks his short arm, and quick as thought Thus far'd it with our sire: not long he enjoy'd escapes,

His paradise! Scarce had the happy tenant Where tyrants vex not, and the weary rest. Of the fair spot due time to prove its sweets, Here the warm lover, leaving the cool shade, Or sum them up, when straight he must be gone, The tell-tale echo, and the bubbling streamı, Ne'er to return again. And must he go? Time out of mind the fav'rite seats of love, Can nought compound for the first dire offence Fast by his gentle mistress lays him down Oferring man? Like one that is condemn’d, Unblasted by foul tongue. Here friends and foes Fain would he trife time with idle talk, Lie close, unmindful of their former feuds. And parley with his fate. But 'tis in vain. The lawn-rob'd prelate, and plain presbyter, Not all the lavish odours of the place, Ere while that stood aloof, as shy to meet, Offer'd in incense, can procure his pardon, Familiar mingle here, like sister-streams Or mitigate his doom. A mighty angel That some rude interposing rock had split. With faming sword foibids his longer stay, Here is the large-limb'd peasant; here the child And drives the loit'rer forth; nor must he take Of a span long, that never saw the sun, One last and farewell round. At once he lost Nor press'd the nipple, strangled in life's porch: His glory and his God. If mortal now, Here is the mother with her sons and daughters; And sorely maim'd, no wonder! Man has sinn'd. The barren wife; the long-demurring maid, Sick of his bliss, and bent on new adventures, Whose lonely unappropriated sweets

Evil he would needs try: nor tried in vain. Smild like yon knot of cowslips on the cliff, (Dreadful experiment! destructive measure ! Not to be come at by the willing hand. Where the worst thing could happen, is suc. Here are the prude severe, and gay coquette,

cess.) The sober widow, and the young green virgin, Alas! too well he sped : the good he scorn'd Cropp'd like a rose before 'tis fully blown, Stalk'd off reluctant, like an ill-us'd ghost, Or half its worth disclos'd. Strange medley here! Not to return; or, if it did, its visits Here garrulous old age winds up his tale ; Like those of angels short, and far between : And jovial youth, of lightsome vacant heart, Whilst the black dæmon, with his hell-scap'd Whose ev'ry day was made of melody, [shrew, Admitted once into its better room, [train, Hears not the voice of mirth; the shrill-iongued Grew loud and mutinous, nor would be gone; Meek as the turtle-dove, forgets her chiding. Lording it o'er the man, who now too late Here are the wise, the gen'rous, and the brave; Saw the rash error which he could not mend; The just, the good, the worthless, the profane; An error fatal not to him alone, The downright clown, and perfecily well-bred, But to his future sons, his fortune's heirs. The fool, the churl, the scoundrel, and the Inglorious bondage ! human nature groans mean,

Beneath a vassalage so vile and cruel, The supple statesman, and the patriot stern; And its yast body bleeds through ev'ry vein. The wrecks of nations, and the spoils of time, What havock hast thou made, foul monster, With all the lumber of six thousand years.

Sin ! Poor man! how happy once in thy first state! Greatest and first of ills! the fruitful parent When yet but warm from thy great Maker's Of woes of all dimensions ! But for thee, hand,

Sorrow had never been. All noxious things He stamp'd thee with his image, and well pleas d Of vilest nature, other sorts of evils, Smild on his last fair work! Then all was well. Are kindly circumscrib’d, and have their bounds. Sound was the body, and the soul serene ; The fierce volcano, from its burning entrails Like two sweet instruments ne'er out of tune, That belches molten stone and globes of fire, That play their several parts. Norhead, nor heart, Involv'd in pitchy clouds of smoke and stench, Offer'd to ache; por was there cause they should, Mars the adjacent fields for some leagues round, For all was pure within : no fell remorse, And there it stops. The big-swoln inundation, Nor anxious castings up of what may be, Of mischief more diffusive, raving loud, Alarm’d his peaceful bosom: summer seas Buries whole tracts of country, threat'ning more; Show not more smooth when kiss'd by southern But that too has its shore it cannot pass. winds,

More dreadful far than these, Sin has laid waste, Just ready to expire. Scarce importun'd, Not here and there a country, but a world; The gen'rous soil with a luxuriant hand Dispatching at a wide-extended blow Offer'd the various produce of the year, Entire maukind, and for their sakes defacing And ev'ry thing most perfect in its kind. A whole creation's beauty with rude hands; Bless'd, thrice blessed days! but ah, how short! Blasting the fruitful grain, the loaded branches,

And marking all along its way with ruin. Disabled quite, and jaded with pursuing.
Accursed thing! O where shall fancy find Heaven's portals wide expand to let him in ;
A proper name to call thee by, expressive Nor are his friends shut out: as some great prince
Of all thy horrors? pregnant womb of ills ! Not for himself alone procures admission,
Of temper so transcendently malign,

But for his train; it was his royal will,
That toads and serpents of most deadly kind That where he is, there should his followers be.
Compard to thee are harmless. Sicknesses Death only lies between ! a gloomy path!
Of ev'ry size and symptom, racking pains, Made yet more gloomy by our coward fears!
And bluest plagues are thine! See how the fiend But not untrod, nor tedious: the fatigue
Profusely scatters the contagion round! (heels, Will soon go off. Besides, there's no by-road
Whilst deep-mouth'd slaughter, hellowing at her to bliss. Then why, like ill-conditioned chil-
Wades deep in blood new spilt; yet for to-morrow Start we at transient hardships in the way [dren,
Shapes out new work of great uncommon daring, That leads to purer air and softer skies,
And inly pines till the dread blow is struck. And a ne'er-setting sun? Fools that we are !
But hold! I've gone too far; too inuch dis- We wish to be wheresweets unwith'ring bloom;
cover'd

But straight our wish revoke, and will not go. My father's nakedness, and nature's shame. So have I seen, upon a summer's even, Here let me pause! and drop an honest tear, Fast by a riv'let's brink a youngster play! One burst of filial duty, and condolence, How wishtully he looks to stem the tide! O'er all those ample deserts Death has spread, This moment resolute, next unresolvd, This chaos of mankind. O great man-eater ! At last he dips his foot ; but as he dips Whose ev'ry day is carnival: not sated yet ! His fears redouble, and he runs away Unheard-of epicure! without a fellow! From th' inoffensive stream, unmindful now The veriest gluttons do not always cram; Of all the flow'rs that paint the further bank, Some intervals of abstinence are sought And smild so sweet of late. Thrice welcome To edge the appetite : thou seekest none. That, after many a painful bleeding step, [Death! Methinks the countless swarms thou hast de Conducts us to our home, and lands us safe vour'd,

On the long-wish’d-for shore. Prodigious And thousands that each hour thou gobblest up, change! This, less than this, might gorge thee to the full. Our bane turn’d to a blessing! Death disarm'd But, ah ! rapacious still, thou gap'st for more: Loses his fellness quite ! all thanks to Him Like one, whole days defrauded of his meals, M'ho scourg'd the venom out! Sure the last end On whom lank hunger lays his skinny hand, Of the good man is peace. How calm his exit! And whets to keenest eagerness his cravings Night-dews fall not more gently to the ground, (As if Diseases, Massacres, and Poison Nor weary worn-out winds expire so soft. Famine, and War, were not thy caterers)! Behold hím! in the ev’ning tide of life,

But know that thou must render up the dead, A life well-spent, whose early care it was, And with high interest too! they are not thine; His riper years should not upbraid his green : But only in thy keeping for a season,

By unperceiv'd degrees he wears away; Till the great promis'd day of restitution ; Yet like the sun seems larger at his setting! When loud diffusive sound from brazen trump High in his faith and hopes, look! how he reaches Of strong-lung’d cherub shall aların thy captives, After the prize in view ! and, like a bird And rouse the long, long sleepers into life, That's hainper'd, struggles hard to get away! Day-light, and liberty.

Whilst the glad gates of sight are wide expanded Then must thy gates Hy open,

and reveal To let new glories in, the first fair fruits The mines that lay long forming under ground, Of the fast-coming harvest ! Then! ( then! In their dark cells immur'd; but now full ripe, Each earth-born joy grows vile, or disappears, And pure as silver from the crucible,

Shrunk to a thing of nought. O how he longs That twice has stood the torture of the fire,

To have his passport signed, and be dismiss'd! And inquisition of the forge. We know, 'Tis done, and now he's happy! The glad soul Th' Illustrious Deliv'rer of mankind,

Has not a wish uncrown'd. Ev'n the lag flesh The Son of God, thee foil'd. Him in thy pow'r Rests too in hope of meeting once again Thou couldst not hold: self-vigorous he rose Its better half, never to sunder more. And, shaking off thy fetters, soon retook Nor shall it hope in vain : the time draws on Those spoils his voluntary yielding lent, When not a single spot of burial carth, (Sure pledge of our releaseinent from thy thrall!) Whether on land, or in the spacious sea, Twice twenty days he sojourn'd here on earth, But must give back its long committed dust And show'd himself alive to chosen witnesses Inviolate : and faithfully shall these By proofs so strong, that the most slow assenting Make up the full account; not the least atom Had not a scruple left. This having done, Embezzled, or mislaid, of the whole tale. He mounted up to heav'n. Methinks I see him Each soul shall have a body ready furnished; Climb the aërial heights, and glide along And each shall have his own. Hence, ye proAthwart the severing clouds : but the faint eye, phane ! Flung backward in the chace, soon drops its hold, | Ask not, how this can be ? Sure the same pow'r

a

That reard the piece at first, and took it down, For him alone, Hope leads from goal to goal'
Can re-assemble the loose scatter'd parts, And opens still, and opens on his soul :
And put them as they were. Almighty God Till lengthen'd on to Faith, and unconfind,
Has done much more ; nor is his arm impair'd It pours the bliss that fills up all the mind.
Thro' length of days; and what he can he will; He sees why Nature plants in Man alone
His faithfulness stands bound to see it done. Hope of known bliss, and faith in bliss unknown
When the dread trumpet sounds, the slumb'ring (Nature, whose dictates to no other kind
Not unattentive to the call, shall wake; [dust, Are giv’n in vain, but what they seek they find).
And ev'ry joint possess its proper place, Wise is her present; she connects in this
With a new elegance of form, unknown His greatest Virtue with his greatest Bliss ;
To its first state. Nor shall the conscious soul At once his own bright prospect to be blest,
Mistake its partner ; but amidst the crowd, And strongest motive to assist the rest.
Singling its other half, into its arins

Self-love, thus push'd to social, to divine, Shall rush, with all the impatience of a man Gives thee to make thy neighbour's blessing That's new come home, who, having long been Is this too little for the boundless heart? [thine. absent,

Extend it, let thy enemies have part : With haste runs over ev'ry different room, Grasp the whole worlds of Reason, Life, and In pain to see the whole. Thrice happy meeting! In one close system of Bevevolence : [Sense, Nor time, nor death, shall ever part them more. Happier as kinder, in whate'er degree,

'Tis but a night; a long and moonless night; And height of Bliss but height of Charity. We make the grave our bed, and then are gone. Gud loves from Whole to Parts : but þumán soul

Thus, at the shut of even, the weary bird Must rise from Individual to the Whole. Leaves the wide air, and in some lonely break Self-love but serves the virtuous mind to wake, Cow'rs down, and doses till the dawn of day; As the small pebble stirs the peaceful lake; Then claps his well-fledg’d wings, and bears The centre mov’d, a circle straight succeeds, away.

Another still, and still another spreads;

Friend, parent, neighbour, first it will embrace; $ 27. Ilappiness to be found in Virtue alone. His country next; and next all human race:

Pope.

Wide, and more wide, th' o'erflowings of the Know then this truth (enough for inan to Take ev'ry creature in, of ev'ry kind;

[mind “ Virtue alone is Happiness below." [know) Earth smiles around, with boundless bounty The only point where human bliss stands still,

blest, And takes the good without the fall to ill; And Heav'n beholds its image in his breast. Where only inerit constant pay receives, Is blest in what it takes, and what it gives ;

$ 28. On the Eternity of the Supreme Being. The joy unequal'd if its end it gain,

Smart. And, if it lose, attended with no pain :

Hail, wond'rous Being, who in pow'r suWithout satiety, though e'er so bless'd, And but more relish'd as the more distress'd. Exists from everlasting! whose great name The broadest mirth unfeeling Folly wears, Deep in the human heart, and ev'ry atom Less pleasing far than Virtue's very tears : The Air, the Earth, or azure Main contains, Good from each object, from each place acquir’d, In undecipher'd characters is wrotem. For ever exercis’d, yet never tir’d;

Incomprehensible ! - what can words, Never elated while one man's oppress'd; The weak interpreters of mortal thoughts, [rove Never dejected while another's bless'd; Or what can thoughts (tho' wild of wing they And where no wants, no wishes can remain, Thro' the vast concave of th' æthereal round)? Since but to wish more Virtue is to gain. If to the Heav'n of Heav'ns they wing their way

See! the sole bliss Heav'n could on all bestow, Advent'rous, like the birds of night they're lost, Which who but feels can taste; but thinks, can And delug'd in the flood of dazzling day know :

May then the youthful, uninspired Bard Yet poor with fortune, and with learning blind, Presume to hymn th' Eternal? may The bad must miss; the good, untaught, will Where Seraph and where Cherubim on high find;

Resound th' unceasing plaudits, and with them Slave to no sect, who takes no private road, In the grand chorus mix his feeble voice? But looks through Nature up to Nature's God; He may—if thou, who from the witless babe Pursues that chain which links th' immense de- Ordainest honor, glory, strength, and prạise, sign,

Uplift th' unpinion' Muse, and deign'st to Joins heav'n and earth, and mortal and divine; | Great Poet of the Universe! his song. [assist, Sees, that no being any bliss can know,

Before this earthly Planet wound her course But touches some above, and some below; Round Light's perennial fountain ; before Light Learns from this union of the rising whole, Herself 'gan shine, and at th' inspiring word The first, last purpose, of the human soul ; Shot to existence in a blaze of day;

a And knows where Faith, Law, Morals, all began, Before the Morning Stars together sang." All end in Love of God, and Love of Man. And haild Thee architect of countless worlds,

preme

he soar

[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »