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Of every thought ? and wish of every hour ? Which relish fruits unripen'd by the Sun,
On the dove's neck, which wanton in his rays.
On lighten'd minds, that bask in virtue's beams,
In that, for which they long; for which they live
Their glorious efforts, wing'd with heavenly hope,
Each rising morning sees still higher rise;
While Nature's circle, like a chariot-wheel
Rolling beneath their elevated aims,
Live ever here, Lorenzo !-shocking thought! Advancing virtue, in a line to bliss;
And shall we then, for Virtue's sake, commence
By passionately loving life, we make
Lov'd lise unlovely; hugging her to death.
Life has no value as an end, but means ;
An end deplorable! a means divine ! Another vintage? Sirain a fatter year,
When 'uis our all, 'tis nothing! worse than nought;
A nest of pains: when held as nothing, much :
Then 'tis the seat of comfort, rich in peace ;
In prospect richer far; important! awful! Trembling each gulp, lest death should snatch the Not to be mention'd, but with shouts of praise ! bowl.
Not to be thought on, but with tides of joy!
Where now the barren rock ? the painted shrew ?
Have I not made my triple promise good ?
Whose worth ambiguous rises, and declines ? To what are they reduc'd? To love, and hate Waxes and wanes? (In all propitious, night The same vain world ; to censure, and espouse, Assists me here) compare it to the Moon; This painted shrew of life, who calls them fool Dark in herself, and indigent; but rich Each moment of each day; to flatter bad,
In borrow'd lustre from a higher sphere.
'Tis time, high time, to shift this disroal scene, How thin the barrier! what divides their fate ?
Starts timid Nature at the gloomy pass ?
The soft transition call it; and be cheer'd:
Such it is often, and why not to thee?
To hope the best, is pious, brave, and wise ;
And may itself procure, what it presumes.
Strange competition !"— True, Lorenzo! strange!
Life makes the soul dependent on the dust;
Death gives her wings to mount above the spheres. Rich death, that realizes all my cares, Through chinks, styl’d organs, dim life peeps al Toils, virtues, hopes; without it a chimera ! light;
Dealh, of all pain the period, not of joy ; Death bursts th' involving cloud, and all is day ; Joy's source, and subject, still subsists unhurt: the disembodied power.
One, in my soul ; and one, in her great Sire ; Death has feign'd evils, Nature shall not feel; Though the four winds were warring for my dust. Life, ill substantial, Wisdom cannot shun.
Yes, and from winds, and waves, and central night, Is not the mighty Mind, that son of Heaven? Though prison'd there, my dust 100 / reclaim, By tyrant Life dethron'd, imprison'd, paind ? (To dust when drop proud Nature's proudest By Death enlarg'd, ennobled, deificd ?
spheres.) Death but entombs the body; life the soul.
And live entire. Death is the crown of life: " Is Death then guiltless ? How he marks his way were death denied, poor man would live in vain; With dreadful waste of what deserves to shine! Were death denied, to live would not be life; Art, genius, fortune, elevated power!
Were death denied, e'en fools would wish to die. With various lustres these light up the world, Death wounds to cure : we fall; we rise, we reign! Which Death puts out, and darkens human race." Spring from our fellers; fasten in the skies; I grant, Lorenzo! this indictment just :
Where blooming Eden withers in our siglit: The sage, peer, potentate, king, conqueror! Death gives us more than was in Eden lost. Death humbles these; more barbarous life, the man. This king of terrors is the prince of peace. Life is the triumph of our mouldering clay ; When shall I die to vanity, pain, death? Death, of the spirit infinite! divine !
When shall I die ?-When shall I live for ever?
NIGHT THE FOURTA.
THE CHRISTIAN TRIUMPH.
Containing our only Cure for the Fear of Death ; and
proper Sentiments of that inestimable Blessing. Luxurious feast! a soul, a soul immortal,
TO THE HONORABLE MR. YORKE.
A MUCH-INDEBTED Muse, O Yorke! intrudes.
Thine ear is patient of a serious song.And more than angels share, and raise, and crown, How deep implanted in the breast of man And eternize, the birth, bloom, bursts of bliss. The dread of death! I sing its sovereign cure. What need I more! O Death, the palm is thine. Why slart at Death? Where is he? Death Then welcome, Death! thy dreaded harbingers,
arriv'd, Age, and disease ; disease, though long iny guest; Is past; not come or gone, he's never here. Thai plucks iny nerves, those tender strings of life; Ere hope, sensalion fails ; black-boding man Which. pluck'd a little more, will toll the bell, Receives, not suffers, Death's tremendous blow. * That call my few friends to my funeral ;
The knell, the shroud, the matlock, and the grave; Where feeble Nature drops, perhaps, a tear, The deep damp vault, the darkness, and the worm ; While Reason and Religion, better taught, These are the bugbears of a winter's eve, Congratulate the dead, and crown his tomb
The terrors of the living, not the dead. With wreath triumphant. Death is victory; Imagination's fool, and error's wretch, It binds in chains the raging ills of life:
Man makes a death, which Nature never made ; Lust and ambition, wra!h and avarice,
Then on the point of his own fancy falls ; Dragg’d at his chariot-wheel, applaud his power. And feels a thousand deaths, in searing one. That ills corrosive, cares imporiunate,
But were Death frightful, what has age to fear? Are not immorlal too, O Death! is thine.
If prudent, age should meet the friendly foe, Our day of dissolution !--name it right;
And shelter in his hospitable gloom. "Tis our great pay-day ; 'uis our harvest, rich I scarce can meet a monument, but holds And ripe. What though the sickle, sometimes My younger; every date cries" Come away." keen,
And what recalls me? Look ihe world around, Just scars us as we reap the golden grain ? And tell me what: the wisest cannot tell. More than thy balm, 0 Gilead! heals the wound. Should any born of woman give his thought Birth's feeble cry. and Death's deep dismal groan, Full range on just dislike's unbounded field; Are slender tributes low-taxd Nature pays of things, the vanity; of men, the laws; For mighty gain: the gain of each, of life! Flaws in the best ; the many, flaw all o'er; But 0! the last the former so transcends,
As leopards, spoiled, or, as Ethiops, dark; Life dies, compar'd; life lives beyond the grave. Vivacious ill ; good dying immature ;
And feel I, Death! no joy froin thought of thee ? (How immature, Narcissa's marble tells !) Death, ihe great counsellor, who man inspires And at bis death bequeathing endless pain; With every nobler thought, and fairer deed! Ilis heart, though bold, would sicken at the sight, Death, the deliverer, who rescues man!
And spend itself in sighs, for future scenes. Death, the rewarder, who the rescued crowns ! But grant to life (and just it is to grant Death, that absolves my birib ; a curse without it! To lucky life) some perquisites of joy ;
A time there is, when, like a thrice-told tale, Unbit by rage canine of dying rich ;
O my coëvals! remnants of yourselves !
Shall we, shall aged men, like aged trees, Or hopes of plaudits from our candid Judge, Strike deeper their vile root, and closer cling, When, on their exit, souls are bid unrobe,
Still more enamour'd of this wretched soil ! Toss Fortune back her tinsel, and her plume, Shall our pale, wither'd hands, be still stretch'd out, And drop this mask of flesh behind the scene. Trembling, at once, with eagerness and age ?
With me, that time is come; my world is dead; With avarice and convulsions, grasping hard ? A new world rises, and new manners reign : Grasping at air! for what has Earth beside ? Foreign comedians, a spruce band! arrive, Man wants but little ; nor that little, long: To push me from the scene, or hiss me there. How soon must he resign his very dust, What a pert race starts up! the strangers gaze, Which frugal Nature lent him for an hour! And I at them; my neighbor is unknown; Years unexperienc'd rush on numerous ills ; Nor that the worst : Ah me! the dire effect And soon as man, expert from time, has found Of loitering here, of death defrauded long; The key of life, it opes the gates of death. Of old so gracious (and let that suffice,)
When in this vale of years I backward look, My very master knows me not.—
And miss such numbers, numbers too of such Shall I dare say, peculiar is the fate?
Firmer in health, and greener in their age, I've been so long remember'd, I 'm sorgot.
And stricter on their guard, and fitter far An object ever pressing dirns the sight,
To play life's subile game, I scarce believe And hides behind its ardor to be seen.
I still survive; and am I fond of life,
Alive by miracle! or, what is next,
Indulge me, nor conceive I drop my theme : Firmness of nerve, and energy of thought.
Call for my bier, and point me to the dust. Ambition's ill-judged effort to be rich.
O thou great Arbiter of life and death! Alas! ambition makes my little less;
Nature's immortal, immaterial Sun! Embittering the possest. Why wish for more? Whose all-prolific beam late call’d me forth Wishing, of all employments, is the worst; From darkness, teeming darkness, where I la: Philosophy's reverse; and health's decay. The worm's inferior, and, in rank, beneath Were I as plump as stallid theology,
The dust I tread on, high to bear my brow, Wishing would waste me to this shade again. To drink the spirit of the golden day, Were I as wealthy as a South-sea dream,
And triumph in existence; and could know Wishing is an expedient to be poor.
No motive, but my bliss; and hast ordain'd Wishing, that constant hectic of a fool;
A rise in blessing! with the patriarch's joy, Caught at a court; purg'd off by purer air, Thy call I follow to the land unknown ; And simpler diet; gifts of rural life!
I trust in thee, and know in whom I trust; Blest be that hand divine, which gently laid Or life, or death, is equal; neither weighs : My heart at rest, beneath this humble shed. All weight in this—0 let me live to thee! The world's a stately bark, on dangerous seas, Though Nature's terrors, thus, may be represt; With pleasure seen, but boarded at our peril; Sull frowns grim Death ; guilt points the tyrant's Here, on a single plank, thrown safe ashore,
spear. I hear the tumult of the distant throng,
And whence all human guilt? From death forgot. As that of seas remote, or dying storms:
Ah me! too long I set at nought the swarm And meditate on scenes, more silent still;
of friendly warnings, which around me New; Pursue my theme, and fight the fear of death. And smil’d, unsmitten: small my cause to smile! Here, like a shepherd gazing from his hut,
Death's admonitions, like shafts upward shot, Touching his reed, or leaning on his staff, More dreadful by delay, the longer ere Eager ambition's fiery chase I see;
They strike our hearts, the deeper is their wound; I see the circling hunt, of noisy men,
O think how deep, Lorenzo! here it stings : Burst law's inclosure, leap the mounds of right, Who can appease its anguish? how it burns! Pursuing, and pursued, each other's prey;
What hand the barb’d, envenom'd thought can draw? As wolves, for rapine; as the fox, for wiles ; What healing hand can pour the balm of peace, Till Death, that mighty hunter, earths them all. And turn my sight undaunted on the tomb?
Why all this toil for triumphs of an hour? With joy—with grief, that healing hand I see ; What though we wade in wealth, or soar in fame? Ah! too conspicuous! it is fix'd on high. Earth's highest station ends in, “ Ilere he lies," On high ?--What means my frenzy ? I blaspheme; And “ Dust to dust " concludes her noblest song. Alas! how low ! how far beneath the skies! If this song lives, posterity shall know
The skies it form'd; and now it bleeds for me One, though in Britain born, with courtiers bred, But bleeds the balm I wanı-Yet still it bleeds ; Who thought e'en gold might come a day too late; Draw the dire steel--ah no! the dreadful blessing Nor on his subile death-bed plann'd his scheme What heart or can sustain, or dares forego! For future vacancies in church or state ;
There hangs all human hope ; that nail supports Some avocation deeming it-o die,
The falling universe : that gone, we drop;
Horror receives us, and the dismal wish
The Sun beheld it—no, the shocking scene Creation had been smmother'd in her birth
Drove back his chariot: midnight veil'd his face; Darkness his curtain, and his bed the dust;
Not such as this; not such as Nature makes; When stars and Sun are dust beneath his throne ! A midnight Nature shudder'd to behold; In Heaven itself can such indulgence dwell? A midnight new! a dread eclipse (without O what a groan was there! a groan not his. Opposing spberes) from her Creator's frown! He seiz'd our dreadful right; the load sustain'd; Sun! didst thou fly thy Maker's pain ? Or start And heav'd the shountain from a guilty world. At that enormous load of human guilt, A thousand worlds, so bought, were bought too dear; Which bow'd his blessed head; o'erwhelm'd his cross; Sensations new in angels' bosoms rise ;
Made groan the centre; burst Earth's marble womb. Suspend their song! and make a pause in bliss. With pangs, strange pangs ! deliver'd of her dead?
O for their song; to reach my lofty theme ! Hell howlid; and Heaven that hour let fall a tear; Inspire me, Night! with all thy tuneful spheres ; Heaven wept, that men might smile! Heaven bled, Whilst I with seraphs share seraphic themes !
that man And show to men the dignity of man;
Might never die -
What heart of stone but glows at thoughts like these?
To rest from wonders ? other wonders rise ; Feel the great truths, which burst the tenfold night And strike where'er they roll: my soul is caught : Of heathen error, with a golden flood
Heaven's sovereign blessings, clustering from the Of endless day: to feel, is to be fir’d; And to believe, Lorenzo! is to feel.
Rush on her, in a throng, and ciose her round, Thou most indulgent, most tremendous Power! The prisoner of amaze -in his blest life Still more tremendous, for thy wondrous love! I I see the path, and in his death the price, That arms, with awe more awful, thy commands ; And in his great ascent the proof supreme And foul transgression dips in sevenfold night! Of immortality.--And did he rise ? How our hearts tremble at thy love immense ! Hear, 0 ye nations ! hear it, О ye dead ! In love immense, inviolably just!
He rose! be rose ! he burst the bars of death. Thou, rather than thy justice should be stain'd, Lift up your heads, ye everlasting gates! Didst stain the cross; and work of wonders far And give the King of glory to come in. The greatest, that thy dearest far might bleed. Who is the King of glory ? he who left
Bold thought! shall I dare speak it, or repress ? His throne of glory, for the pang of death! Should man more execrale, or boast, the guilt Lift up your heads, ye everlasting gates! Which rous'd such vengeance? which such love in- And give the King of glory to come in. flam'd ?
Who is the King of glory? he who slew
Heaven with amazement at his love to man;
Powers most illumin'd, wilder'd in the theme.
Oh the burst gates! crush'd sting! demolish'd throne! And rescue both ? both rescue! both exalt! Last gasp! of vanquish'd Death. Shout Earth and O how are both exalted by the deed!
Heaven! The wondrous deed! or shall I call it more? This sum of good to man. Whose nature, then, A wonder in Omnipotence itself!
Took wing, and mounted with him from the tomb ! A mystery no less to gods than men!
Then, then, I rose; then first humanity
(Stupendous guest !) and seiz'd eternal youth,
This child of dust-Man, all immortal! hail; Undeified by their opprobrious praise :
Hail, Heaven! ail lavish of strange gifts to man! A God all mercy, is a God unjust.
Thine all the glory; man's the boundless bliss. Ye brainless wits! ye baptiz'd infidels !
Where am I rapt by this triumphant theme, Ye worse for mending! wash'd to fouler stains ! On Christian joy's exulting wing, above The ransom was paid down; the fund of Heaven, Th’ Aonian mount? Alas! small cause for joy! Heaven's inexhaustible, exhausted fund,
What if to pain immortal ? if extent Amazing, and amaz’d, pour'd forth the price, Of being, to preclude a close of woe? All price beyond : though curious to compute, Where, then, my boast of immortality ? Archangels fail'd to cast the mighty sum : I boast it still, though cover'd o'er with guilt; Its value vast, ungrasp'd by minds create, For guilt, not innocence, his life he pour’d, For ever bides, and glows, in the Supreme. "Tis guilt alone can justify his death!
And was the ransom paid ? it was and paid Nor that, unless his death can justify (What can exalt the bounty more ?) for you! Relenting guilt in Heaven's indulgent sight
If, sick of folly, I relent; he writes
O most adorable! most unador'd! My name in Heaven, with that inverted spear Where shall thy praise begin, which ne'er should (A spear deep-dipt in blood !) which pierc'd his side,
end ? And open'd there a font for all mankind,
Where'er I turn, what claim on all applause !
And what is this?--Survey the wondrous cure : What wisdom shines! what love! this midnight pomp, And at each step, let higher wonder rise!
This gorgeous arch, with golden worlds inlaid ! Pardon for infinite offence! and pardon
Built with divine ambition ! nought to thee;
Where art thou? Shall I dive into the deep?
For their Creator! Shall I question loud A rebel, 'midst the thunders of his throne !
The thunder, if in that th' Almighty dwells ? Nor I alone! a rebel universe !
Or holds he furious storms in straiten'd reins, My species up in arms! not one exempt!
And bids fierce whirlwinds wbeel his rapid car? Yet for the foulest of the foul he dies,
What mean these questions? Trembling, I retract; Most joy'd, for the redeem'd from deepest guilt! My prostrate soul adores the present God : As if our race were held of highest rank;
Praise I a distant deity? He tunes And Godhead dearer, as more to man !" My voice (if tund;) the nerve, that wi sustains :
Bound, every heart! and every bosom, burn! Wrapt in his being, I resound his praise :
But though past all diffus'd, without a shore,
The listed from afar:) to fix a point,
A central point, collective of his sons, Praise! flow for ever (if astonishment
Since finite every nature but his own. Will give thee leave :) my praise! for ever flow; The nameless He, whose nod is Nature's birth; Praise ardeni, cordial, constant, to high Heaven And Nature's shield, the shadow of his hand; More fragrani, than Arabia sacrific'd,
Her dissolution, his suspended sinile !
The great First-Last ! pavilion'd high he sits,
As that 10 central horrors ; he looks down
On all that soars; and spans immensity.
Boundless creation! what art thou? A beam
Mutter, in dust and sin, the theme of Heaven? Removing filth, or sinking it from sight,
Down to the centre should I send my thought A scavenger in scenes, where vacant posts, Through beds of glittering ore, and glowing gems, Like gibbels yet untenanted, expect
Their beggar'd blaze wanis lustre for my lay ; Their future ornaments? From courts and thrones, Goes out in darliness : if, on towering wing, Return, apostale Praise ! thou vagabond !
I send it through the boundless vault of stars ! Thou prostitute! to thy first love returu,
The stars, though rich, what dross their gold to thee. Thy first, thy greatest, once unrival'd theme. Great! good! wise! wonderful! eternal King!
There flow redundant; like Meander, flow If to those conscious stars thy throne around,
Poor their abundance, humble their sublime,
Indebted still, their highest rapture burns ;
Their vast appointments reach it not: they see O the presumption of man's awe for man! On Earth a bounty nou indulg'd on high ; Man's Author! End! Restorer! Law! and Judge! And downward look for Heaven's superior praise ! Thine, all; day thine, and thine this gloom of night, First-born of ether! high in fields of light! With all her wealth, with all her radiant worlds: View man, to see the glory of your God! What, night eternal, but a frown from thee? Could angels envy, they had envied here ; What, Heaven's meridian glory, but thy sinile? And some did envy; and the rest, though gods, And shall not praise be thine, not human praise ? Yet still gods unredeem'd, (there triumphs man, While Heaven's high host on hallelujahs live? Templed to weigh the dust against the skies.)
O may I breathe no longer than I breathe They less would feel, though more adorn, my theme. My sonl in praise to him, who gave my soul, They sung Creation (for in that they shardi) And all her infinite of prospect fair,
How rose in melody, that child of love! Cut through the shades of Hell, greal love! by thee, Creation's great superior, man! is thine ;