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On me, more justly number'd with the dead. Could you, so rich in rapture, fear an end,
That ghastly thought would drink up all your joy, How populous, how vital, is the grave!
And quite unparadise the realms of light. This is creation's melancholy vault,
Sase are you lodg'd above these rolling spheres; The vale funereal, the sad cypress gloom ;
The baleful influence of whose giddy dance The land of apparitions, empty shades !
Sheds sad vicissitude on all beneath. All, all on Earth, is shadow, all beyond
Here teems with revolutions every hour;
And rarely for the better; or the best,
This is the bud of being, the dim dawn, Each moment has its sickle, emulous
Of Time's enormous scythe, whose ample sweep Life's theatre as yet is shut, and Death,
Strikes empires from the root; each moment plays Strong Death, alone can heave the massy bar, His little weapon in the narrower sphere This gross impediment of clay remove,
Of sweet domestic comfort, and cuts down And make us embryoes of existence free.
The fairest bloom of sublunary bliss. Froin real life, but little more remote
Bliss ! sublunary bliss !--proud words, and vain ! Is he, not yet a candidate for light,
Implicit treason to divine decree! The future embryo, slumbering in his sire. A bold invasion of the rights of Heaven! Embryoes we must be, till we burst the shell, I clasp'd the phantoms, and I found them air. Yon ambient azure shell, and spring to life, O had I weigh'd it ere my fond embrace ! The life of gods, O transport! and of man. What darts of agony had miss'd my heart! Yet man, fool man! here buries all his thoughts ; Death! great proprietor of all! 'tis thine Iniers celestial hopes without one sigh.
To tread out empire, and to quench the stars. Prisoner of Earth, and pent beneath the Moon, 'The Sun himself by thy permission shines ; Here pinions all his wishes; wing'd by Heaven And, one day, thou shalt pluck him from his sphere To fly at infinite ; and reach it there,
Amid such mighty plunder, why exhaust
Thy partial quiver on a mark so mean?
Thy shaft flew thrice ; and thrice my peace was slain Where momentary ages are no more!
And thrice, ere thrice yon Moon had fillid her horn Where Time, and Pain, and Chance, and Death expire! O Cynthia! why so pale? Dost thou lament And is it in the flight of threescore years, Thy wretched neighbor? Grieve to see thy wheel To push eternity from human thought,
Of ceaseless change outwhirl'd in human life? And smother souls immortal in the dust?
How wanes my borrou'd bliss! from forlune's smile A soul immortal, spending all her fires,
Precarious courtesy! not virtue's sure, Wasting her strength in strenuous idleness, Self-given, solar ray of sound delight. Thrown into tumult, raplur'd or alarm’d,
In every varied posture, place, and hour, At aught this scene can threaten or indulge, How widow'd every thought of every joy! Resembles ocean into tempest wrought,
Thought, busy thought! too busy for my peace! 1 To waft a feather, or to drown a fly.
Through the dark postern of time long elaps'd,
I rue the riches of my former fate;
Nighi-visions may befriend (as sung above :) I tremble at the blessings once so dear;
Hangs out the Sun his lustre but for me, Of stable pleasures on the tossing wave!
The single man? Are angels all beside ? Eiernal sun shine in the storms of life!
I mourn for millions : 'tis the common lol; How richly were my noon-tide trances hung In this shape, or in thal, has Fate entailid Wiih gorgeous tapestries of picturd joys!
The mother's throes on all of woman born, Joy behind joy, in endless perspective!
Not more the children, than sure heirs, of pain. Till at Death's toll, whose restless iron tongue War, Famine, Pest, Volcano, Storm, and Fire, Calls daily for his millions at a meal,
Intestine broils, Oppression, with her heart Starting I woke, and found myself undone. Wrapt up in triple brass, besiege mankind. Where now my frenzy's pompous furniture ? God's image disinherited of day, The cobwe'd collage, with its ragged wall Here, plung'd in mines, forgeis a Sun was made. of mouldering mud, is royalty to me!
There, beings deathless as their haughty lord, The spider's most attenuated thread
Are hammer'd to the galling oar for life; Is cord, is cable, to man's tender tie
And plow the winter's ware, and reap despair. On earthly bliss! it breaks at every breeze. Some, for hard masters, broken under arms,
Oye blest scenes of permanent delight! In battle lopt away, with half their limbs, Full, above measure! lasting, beyond bound ! Beg bitter bread through realms their valor gavid, A perpetuity of bliss is bliss.
If yo the tyrant, or bis minion, doom.
Want, and incurable Disease, (fell pair!)
Dear is thy welfare ; think me not unkind; On hopeless multitudes remorseless seize
I would not damp, but to secure thy joys. At once; and make a refuge of the grave. Think not that fear is sacred to the storm : How groaning hospitals eject their dead!
Stand on thy guard against the smiles of Fate. What numbers groan for sad admission there! Is Heaven tremendous in its frowns? Most sure ; What numbers, once in Fortune's lap high-fed, And in its favors forrnidable too: Solicit the cold hand of Charity!
Its favors here are trials, not rewards ; To shock us more, solicit it in vain!
A call to duty, not discharge from care; Ye silken sons of pleasure! since in pains
And should alarm us, full as much as woes ; You rue more modish visits, visit here,
Awake us to their cause and consequence ; And breathe from your debauch: give, and reduce And make us tremble, weigh'd with our desert; Surfeit's dominion o'er you : but so great
Awe Nature's tumult, and chastise her joys, Your impudence, you blush at what is right. Lest, while we clasp, we kill them ; nay, invert
Happy! did sorrow seize on such alone. To worse than simple misery, their charms
Revolled joys, like foes in civil war,
With rage envenom'd rise against our peace
All joys, but joys that never can expire And his guard, falling, crushes him to death. Who builds on less than an immortal base, Not happiness itself makes good her name; Fond as he seems, condemns his joys to death. Our very wishes give us not our wish.
Mine died with thee, Philander! thy last sigh How distant oft the thing we dote on most, Dissolv'd the charm; the disenchanted Earth From that for which we dote, felicity!
Lost all her lustre. Where her glittering towers ? The smoothest course of Nature has its pains ! Her golden mountains, where? all darken'd down And truest friends, through error, wound our rest. To naked wasle ; a dreary vale of tears; Without misfortune, what calamities!
| The great magician's dead! Thou poor, pale piece And what hostilities, without a foe!
Of outcast earth, in darkness! what a change Nor are foes wanting to the best on Earth. From yesterday! Thy darling hope so near, But endless is the list of human ills,
(Long-labor'd prize!) O how ambition Mush'd And sighs might sooner fail, than cause to sigh. Thy glowing cheek! Ambition truly great,
A part how small of the terraqueous globe Of virtuous praise. Death's subtle seed within Is tenanted by man! the rest a waste,
(Sly, treacherous miner!) working in the dark, Rocks, deserts, frozen seas, and burning sands; Smild at thy well-concerted scheme, and beckon'd Wild haunts of monsters, poisons, stings, and death. The worm io riot on that rose so red, Such is Earth's melancholy map! but, far Unfaded ere it fell; one moment's prey! More sad! this Earth is a true map of man.
Man's foresight is conditionally wise ; So bounded are its haughty lord's delights Lorenzo! wisdom into folly turns To woe's wide empire; where deep troubles toss, Oft, the first instant, its idea fair Loud sorrows howl, envenom'd passions bite, To laboring thought is born. How dim our eye! Ravenous calamilies our vitals seize,
The present moment terminates our sight; And threatening fate wide opens to devour. Clouds, thick as those on doomsday, drown the next,
What then am I, who sorrow for myself ! We penetrate, we prophesy in vain. In age, in infancy, from others' aid
Time is dealt out by particles; and each, Is all our hope; to teach us to be kind.
Ere mingled with the streaming sands of life, That, Nature's first, last lesson to mankind : By Fate's inviolable oath is sworn The selfish heart deserves the pain it feels. Deep silence,“ Where eternity begins." More generous sorrow, while it sinks, exalts ; By Nature's law, what may be, may be now ; And conscious virtue mitigates the pang.
There's no prerogative in human hours. Nor virtue, more than prudence, bids me give In human hearts what bolder thought can rise Swoln thought a second channel; who divide, Than man's presumption on to-morrow's dawn? They weaken too, ihe torrent of their grief. Where is to-morrow ? in another world. Take, then, O World! thy much-indebted tear: For numbers this is certain; the reverse How sad a sight is human happiness,
Is sure to none; and yet on this perhaps, To those whose thought can pierce beyond an hour! This peradventure, infamous for lies, O thou! whate'er thou art, whose heart exults! As on a rock of adamant, we buiid Wouldst thou I should congratulate my fate? Our mountain-hopes, spin out eternal schemes, I know thou wouldst; thy pride demands it from me. As we the fatal sisters could out-spin, Let thy pride pardon, what thy nature needs, And, big with life's futurities, expire. The salutary censure of a friend.
Not e'en Philander had bespoke his shroud : Thou happy wretch ! by blindness thou art blest; Nor had he cause; a warning was denied : By dotage dandled to perpetual smiles.
How many fall as sudden, not as safe! Know, smiler! at thy peril art thou pleas'd! As sudden, though for years admonish'd home, Thy pleasure is the promise of thy pain.
of human ills the last extreme beware, Misfortune, like a creditor severe,
Beware, Lorenzo! a slow sudden death. But rises in demand for her delay ;
How dreadful that deliberate surprise! She makes a scourge of past prosperity,
Be wise to-day; 'tis madness to defer; To sting thee more, and double thy distress. Next day the fatal precedent will plead ;
Lorenzo, Fortune makes her court to thee, Thus on, till wisdom is push'd out of life. Thy fond heart dances, while the Syren sings. Procrastination is the thief of time;
Year after year it steals, till all are ned,
NighT THE SECOND.
TIME, DEATH, AND FRIENDSHIP.
This midnight sentinel, with clarion shrill,
He that is born, is ’listed ; life is war; And scarce in humari wisdom, to do more.
Eternal war with woe. Who bears it best,
Deserves it least.-On other themes I'll dwell.
And thine, on themes may profit; profit there
Where most they need. Themes, too, the genuine As duteous sons, our fathers were more wise.
growth At thirty man suspects himself a fool;
Of dear Philander's dust. He thus, though dead, Knows it at forly, and reforms his plan;
May still befriend—What themes ? Time's wondrous At fifty chides his infamous delay,
price, Pushes his prudent purpose to resolve ;
Death, friendship, and Philander's final scene. In all the magnanimity of thought
So could I touch these themes, as might obtain Resolves; and re-resolves; then dies the same. Thine ear, nor leave thy heart quite disengag'd,
And why? Because he thinks himself immortal. The good deed would delight me; half impress
He mourns the dead, who lives as they desire.
As rumor'd robberies endear our gold ?
O time! than gold more sacred; more a load
The longest night, though longer far, would fail, No composition sets the prisoner free.
Eternity's inexorable chain
Life callid for her last refuge in despair! The sullen gloom, sweet Philomel ! like thee, That time is mine, 0 Mead! to thee I owe; And call the stars to listen: every star
Fain would I pay thee with eternity.
But ill my genius answers my desire;
For what calls thy disease, Lorenzo ? not
For Esculapian, but for moral aid.
And what its worth, ask death-beds; they can tell
Part with it as with life, reluctant; big
Time higher aim'd, still nearer the great mark
Is this our duty, wisdom, glory, gain?
(These Heaven benign in vital union binds) Soar'd where I sink, and sung immortal man! And sport we like the natives of the bough, Haw had it blest mankind, and rescued me! When vernal suns inspire ? Amusement reigns
Man's great demand : to trifle, is to live:
How heavily we drag the load of life! And is it then a trifle, too, to die?
Blest leisure is our curse; like that of Cain, Thou say'st I preach, Lorenzo! 'tis confcst. It makes us wander; wander Earth around What if, for once, I preach thee quite awake? To fly that tyrant, Thought. As Atlas groan'd Who wants amusement in the flame of battle? The world beneath, we groan beneath an hour. Is it not treason to the soul immortal,
We cry for mercy to the next amusement; Her foes in arms, eternity the prize ?
The next amusement mortgages our fields; Will toys amuse, when medicines cannot cure ? Slight inconvenience! Prisons hardly frown, When spirits ebb, when life's enchanting scenes From hateful Time if prisons set us free. Their lustre lose, and lessen in our sight,
Yet when Death kindly tenders us relief, As lands, and cities with their glitering spires, We call him cruel; years to moments shrink, To the poor shatter'd bark, by sudden storm Ages to years. The telescope is turn'd. Thrown off to sea, and soon to perish there? To man's false optics (from his folly false) Will toys amuse? No: thrones will then be toys, Time, in advance, behind him hides his wings, And earth and skies seem dust upon the scale. And seems to creep, decrepit with his age;
Redeem we time ! - Its loss we dearly buy. Behold him, when past by ; what then is seen, What pleads Lorenzo for his high-priz'd sports ? But his broad pinions swifter than the winds ? He pleads time's numerous blanks; he loudly And all mankind, in contradiction strong, pleads
Rueful, aghast! cry out on his career. The straw-like trifles on life's common stream. Leave to thy foes these errors, and these ills; From whom those blanks and trifles, but from thee? To Nature just, their cause and cure explore. No blank, no trifle, Nature made, or meant. Not short Heaven's bounty, boundless our expense ; Virtue, or purpos'd virtue, still be thine ;
No niggard, Nature; men are prodigals. This cancels thy complaint at once. This leaves We waste, not use our time ; we breathe, not live. In act no trifle, and no blank in time.
Time wasted is existence, usd is life, This greatens, fills, immortalizes all;
And bare existence, man, to live ordain'd, This, the blest art of turning all to gold;
Wrings, and oppresses with enormous weight. This the good heart's prerogative to raise
And why? since Time was given for use, not waste, A royal tribute from the poorest hours ;
Enjoin'd to fly; with tempest, tide, and stars, Immense revenue! every moment pays,
To keep his speed, nor ever wait for man; If nothing more than purpose in thy power; Time's use was doom'd a pleasure; waste, a pain ; Thy purpose firm, is equal to the deed :
That man might feel his error, if unseen: Who does the best his circumstance allows, And, feeling, fly to labor for his cure; Does well, acts nobly; angels could no more. Not, blundering, split on idleness for ease. Our outward act indeed admits restraint;
Life's cares are comforts ; such hy Heaven design'd; "Tis not in things o'er thought to domineer ;
He that has none, must make them, or be wretched. Guard well thy thought ; our thoughts are heard in Cares are employments, and without employ Heaven.
The soul is on a rack; the rack of rest, On all-important time, through every age,
To souls most adverse; action all their joy. Though much, and warm, the wise have urg'd; the Here then, the riddle, mark'd above, unfolds
When time turns torment, when man turns a fool. Is yet unborn, who duly weighs an hour.
We rave, we wrestle, with greal Nature's plan; " I've lost a day"—the prince who nobly cried We thwart the Deity; and 'tis decreed, Had been an emperor without his crown ;
Who thwart his will, shall contradict their own. of Rome? Say, rather, lord of human race: Hence our unnatural quarrels with ourselves; He spoke, as if deputed by mankind.
Our thoughts at enmity ; our bosom-broil ; So should all speak: so Reason speaks in all : We push Time from us, and we wish him back: From the soft whispers of that God in man, Lavish of lustrums, and yet fond of life; Why fly to folly, why to frenzy fly,
Life we think long, and short ; Death seek, and For rescue from the blessing we possess ?
shun: Time, the supreme !—Time is Eternity;
Body and soul, like peevish man and wife, Pregnant with all eternity can give;
United jar, and yet are loth to part. Pregnant with all that makes archangels smile. Oh the dark days of vanity! while here, Who murders time, he crushes in the birth How tasteless! and how terrible, when gone! A power ethereal, only not adorn’d.
Gone! they ne'er go; when past, they haunt us Ah! how unjust to Nature and himself,
Nor death, nor life delight us.
If time past, That span 100 short, we tax as tedious too; And time possest, both pain us, what can please? Torture invention, all expedients tire,
That which the Deity to please ordain'd, To lash the lingering moments into speed,
Time us'd. The man who consecrates his hours And whirl us (happy riddance!) from ourselves. By vigorous effort, and an honest aim, Art, brainless Art! our furious charioteer
At once he draws the sting of life and death ; (For Nature's voice'unstifled would recall) He walks with Nature; and her paths are peace. Drives headlong towards the precipice of death; Our error's cause and cure are seen : see next Death, most our dread; death thus more dreadful Time's nalure, origin, importance, speed ; made :
And thy great gain from urging his career.-O what a riddle of absurdity!
All-sensual man, because untouch'd, unseen, Leisure is pain; takes off our chariot-wheels; He looks on Time as nothing. Nothing else
Is truly man's; 'tis fortune's—Time's a god. And her dread diary with horror fills.
Our dawning purposes of heart explores,
And steals our embryoes of iniquity. Lorenzo! no: On the long-destin'd hour,
As all-ra pacious usurers conceal From everlasting ages growing ripe,
Their doomsday-book from all-consuming heirs; That memorable hour of wondrous birth, Thus, with indulgence most severe, she treats When the Dread Sire, on emanation bent,
Us spendthrifts of inestimable time; And big with Nature, rising in his might,
Unnoted, notes each moment misapplied ; Call’d forth creation (for then Time was born) In leaves more durable than leaves of brass By Godhead streaming through a thousand worlds ; Writes our whole history: which Death shall read Not on those terms, from the great days of Heaven, In every pale delinquent's privale ear; From old Eternity's mysterious orb,
And Judgment publish ; publish to more worlds Was Time cut off, and cast beneath the skies ; Than this; and endless age in groans resound. The skies, which watch him in his new abode, Lorenzo, such that sleeper in thy breast ! Measuring his motions by revolving spheres ; Such is her slumber; and her vengeance such That horologe machinery divine.
For slighted counsel ; such thy future peace! Hours, days, and months, and years, his children play, And think'st thou still thou canst be wise too soon? Like numerous wings around him, as he flies : But why on time so lavish is my song ? Or, rather, as unequal plumes, they shape
On this great theme kind Nature keeps a school, His ample pinions, swift as darted flame,
To teach her sons herself. Each night we die, To gain his goal, to reach his ancient rest, Each morn are born anew: each day, a life! And join anew Eternity, his sire;
And shall we kill each day? If Trifting kills ; In his immutability to nest,
Sure Vice must butcher. O what heaps of slain When worlds, that count his circles now, unhing's Cry out for vengeance on us! Time destroy'd (Fate the loud signal sounding) headlong rush Is suicide, where more than blood is spilt. To timeless night and chaos, whence they rose. Time flies, Death urges, knells call, Heaven invites
Why spur the speedy? Why with levities Hell threatens : All exerts; in effort, all ; New-wing thy short, short day's too rapid flight? More than creation labors -labors more? Know'st thou, or what thou dost, or what is done? And is there in creation what, amidst Man flies from Time, and Time from man ; too soon This tumult universal, wing'd dispatch, In sad divorce this double flight must end; And ardent energy, supinely yawns ? And then, where are we? where, Lorenzo! then Man sleeps; and man alone ; and man, whose fate, 'I hy sports ? thy pomps ?– I grant thee, in a state Fate irreversible, entire, extreme, Not unambitious; in the ruffled shroud,
Endless, hair-hung, breeze-shaken, o'er the gulf Thy Parian tomb's triumphant arch beneath. A moment trembles; drops! and man, for whom Has Death his fopperies? Then well may Life All else is in alarm! man, the sole cause Put on her plume, and in her rainbow shine. of this surrounding storm! and yet he sleeps, Ye well-array'd! ye lilies of our land !
As the storm rock'd to rest.—Throw years away? Ye lilies male! who neither toil, nor spin,
Throw empires, and be blameless. Moments seize , (As sister lilies might) if not so wise
Heaven's on their wing: a moment we may wish, As Solomon, more sumptuous to the sight! When worlds want wealth to buy. Bid Day stand Ye delicate! who nothing can support,
still, Yourselves most insupportable! for whom
Bid him drive back his car, and re-import The winter rose must blow, the Sun put on The period past, re-give the given hour. A brighter beam in Leo; silky-soft
Lorenzo, more than miracles we want;
Lorenzo–O for yesterdays to come!
And is his ardor vain, Lorenzo ? No;
That more than miracle the gods indulge ;
And reinstate us on the rock of peace.
Let it not share its predecessor's fate; To drag your patient through the tedious length Nor, like its elder sisters, die a fool. Of a short winter's day—say, sages! say, Shall it evaporate in fume? fly off Wit's oracles! say, dreamers of gay dreams! Fuliginous, and stain us deeper still ? How will you weather an eternal night,
Shall we be poorer for the plenty pour'd ? Where such expedients fail ?
More wretched for the clemencies of Heaven? O treacherous Conscience! while she seems to sleep Where shall I find him? Angels! tell me where. On rose and myrlle, lull'd with syren song; You know him: he is near you: point him out: Wrile she scems, nodding v'er her charge, to drop Shall I see glories beaming from his brow? On headlong appelite the slacken'd rein,
Or trace his footsteps by the rising flowers ? And give us up to license unrecallid,
Your golden wings, now hovering o'er him, shed Unmark'd ;-see, from behind her secret stand, Protection ; now, are waving in applause The sly informer minutes every fault,
To that blest son of foresight! lord of fate !