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Nor touches on the world without a stain.
The world's infectious ; few bring back at eve,
Immaculate, the manners of the morn.
Something we thought, is blotted; we resolved,
Is shaken ; we renounced, returns again.

Each salutation may slide in a sin
Unthouglit before, or fix a former flaw.
Nor is it strange ; light, motion, concourse, noise,
All scatter us abroad. Thought, outward-bound,
Neglectful of our home affairs, flies off

150 In fume and dissipation, quits her charge, Anu leaves the breast unguarded to the foe.

Present example gets within our guard, And acts with double force, by few repell’d. Ambition fires ambition ; love of gain

155 Strikes, like a pestilence, from breast to breast Riot, pride, perfidy, blue vapours breathe ; And inhumanity is caught from man, From smiling man! A slight, a single glance, And shot at random, often has brought horne 160 A sudden fever to the throbbing heart Of envy, rancour, or impure desire. We see, we hear, with peril; Safety dwells Remote from multitude. The world 's a school Of wrong, and what proficients swarm around ! 165 We must or imitate or disapprove; Must list as their accomplices or foes : That stains our innocence, this wounds our peaco. From Nature's birth, hence, Wisdom has been smit With sweet recess, and languish'd for the shade. 17

This sacred shade and solitude what is it?
'Tis the felt presence of the Deity!
Few are the faults we flatter when alone;
Vice sinks in her alluremenis, is unguilt,
And looks, like other objects, black by night. 175
By night an atheist half believes a God!

Night is fair Virtue's immemorial friend.
The conscinus Moon, through every distant age,

Has held a lamp to Wisdoin, and let fall,
On Conternplation's eye, her purging ray. 180
The famed Athenian, he who woo'd from Heaven
Philosophy the fair, to dwell wich men,
And forın their manners, not inflame their pride.
While v'er his head, as fearful to molest
His labouring mind, the stars in silence slido,

And scem all gazing on their future guest,
See hun soliciting his ardent suit
In private audience : all the livelong night,
Rigid in thought, and motionless, he stands;
Nor quits his theme or posture till the Sun 190
(Rude drunkard ! rising rosy from the main)
Disturbs his nobler intellectual beam,
And gives him to the tumult of the world.
Hail, precious moments! stolen from the black wasto
Of murder'd time! auspicious Midnight, hail ! 195
The world excluded, every passion hush'd,
And open’d a calm intercourse with Heaven,
Here the soul sits in council, ponders past,
Predestines future action ; sees, not feels
Tumultuous Life, and reasons with the storm, 200
All her lies answers, and thinks down her charms.

What awful joy! what mental liberty ! I am not pent in darkness ; rather say (If not too bold) in darkness I'm innbower'd. Delightful gloom! the clustering thoughts around 205 Spontancous rise, and blossom in the shade ; But droop by day, and sicken in the Sun; Thought borrows light elsewhere ; from that first fire, Fountain of animation! whence descenas Urania, iny celestial guest! who deigns

210 Nightly to visit me, so mean, Conscious how needful discipline to nian, From pleasing dalliarce with the charms of Night, My wandering thought recals, to what excites Far other beat of heart, Narcissa's tomb!

215 Or is it feeble Nature calls me back,

and now,

And breaks my spirit into grief again?
Is it a Stygian vapour


blood ?
A cold slow puddle, creeping through my veins ?
Or is it thus with all men ?-Thus with all. 220
What are we? how unequal! now we soar,
And now we sink. To be the same transcends
Our present prowess. Dearly pays the soul
For lodging ill; too dearly rents her clay.
Reason, a baffled counsellor! but adds

225 The blush of weakness to the bane of woe. The noblest spirit, fighting her hard fate In this damp dusky region, charged with storms, But feebly flutters, yet untaught to fly ; Or, flying, short her flight, and sure her fall : 230 Our utmost strength, when down, to rise again ; And not to yield, though beaten, all our praise.

'Tis vain to seek in men for more than man. Though proud in promise, big in previous thought, Experience damps our triumph. I, who late, 235 Emerging from the shadows of the grave, Where grief detain’d me prisoner, mounting high, Threw wide the gates of everlasting day, And callid mankind to glory, shook of pairs, Mortality shook off, in ether pure,

240 And struck the stars ; now feel my spirits fail ; They drop me from the zenith ; down I rush, Like him whom fable fledged with waxen wings, In sorrow drown'd—but not in sorrow lost. How wretched is the man who never morirn'd: 245 I dive for precious pearl in Sorrow'e stream: Not so the thoughtless man that only grieves, Takes all the torment, and rejects the gain, (Inestimable gain !) and gives Heaven leave To make him but more wretched, not more wise. 250

If wisdom is our lesson (and what else Ennobles man? what else have angels learn'd?) Grief! more proficients in thy school are made,

Than Genius or proud Learning e'er could boast.
Voracious Learning, often overfod,

255 Digests not into sense her motley meal. This booiscase, with dark booty almost burst, I!!!!9 fvrager on others' wisdom, leaves ller native farm, her reason, quite untillid; With nix'd manure she surfeits the rank soil, 260 Dingd, but not dress'd, and rich to beggary: 4 pomp untamable of weeds prevails : llor servant's wealth encumber'd Wisdom mourns.

And what says Genius ? • Let the doll be wise ! Genius, too hard for right, can prove it wrong,

205 And loves to boast, where blush men less inspired. It pleads exemption from the laws of Sense, Considers Reason as a leveller, And scorns to share a blessir.g with the crowd. That wise it could be, thinks an ample claim; 270 To glory and to pleasure gives the rest. Crassus but sleeps, Ardelio is undone. Wisdom less shudders at a fool than wit.

But Wisdom smiles, when humbled mortals weep. When Sorrow wounds the breast, as ploughs the glebe And hearts obdurate fcel her softening shower ; 276 Her seed celestial, tiren, glad Wisdom sows Her golden harvest triumphs in the soil. If so, Narcissa! welcome my relapse; I'll raise a tax on my calamity,

280 And reap rich compensation from my pain. I'll range the plenteous intellectual field, And gather every thought of sovereign power To chase the moral maladies of man; Thoughts which may bear transplanting to the skies, Though natives of this coarse penurious soil ;

286 Nor wholly wither there, where seraphs sing, Refined, exalted, not annullid, in Heaven: Reason, the sun that gives them birth, the same In either clime, though more illustrious there. 230

These choicely cull'd, and elegantly ranged,
Shall form a garland for Narcissa's tomb,
And, peradventure, of no fading flowers.

Say, on what themes shall puzzled choice descend :
• The' importance of contemplating the tomb; 295
Why men decline it; suicide's foul birth :
The various kinds of grief; the faults of age ;
And Death's dread character-invite my song.'

And, first, the importance of our end survey'd. Fricnds counsel quick dismission of our grief. 300 Mistaken kindness! our hearts heal too soon. Are they more kind than He who struck the blow? Who bid it do his errand in our hearts, And banish peace till nobler guests arrive, And tring it back a true and endless peace ? 305 Calamities are îriends : as glaring day Of these unnuniber'd lustres robs our sight, Prosperity puts out unnumber'd thoughts Of import high, and light divine, to man.

The man how bless'd, who, sick of yaudy scener, (Scenes apt to thrust between us and ourselves !) 3:1 Is led by choice to take his favourite walk Beneath Death's gloomy, silent, cypress shades, Unpierced by Vanity's fantastic ray; To read his monuments, to weigh his dust, 315 Visit his vaults, and dwell among the tombs! Lorenzo! read with me Narcissa's stune; (Narcissa was thy favourite) let us read Her mural stone ; few doctors preach so well ; Few orators su tenderly can touch

320 The feeling heart. What pathos in thy date ! Apt words caa strike ; and yet in thcm we sce Faint images of what we here enjoy. What cause have we to build on length of life : Temptations seize when fear is laid asleep, 325 And ill forebode is our strongest guard.

Sce from her tomb, as from an huinble shrine. Truth, radiant goddess ! sallies or, my soul,

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