« EelmineJätka »
Fate's hasty prey! implore him, re-import A moment, and the world's blown up to thee; The period past; re-give the given hour ! The sun is darkness, and the stars are dust. Lorenzo-0 for yesterday to conne!
Such is the language of the man awake; $ 167. Vanity of Human Enjoyments, taught And is his ardor vain? Lorenzo! no! To-day is yesterday returnd; return'd Full powerd to cancel, expiate, raise, adorn, And ask them, what report they bore to
'Tis greatly wise to talk with our past hours; And reinstate us on the rock of peace.
(news. Let it not share its predecessor's fate;
And how they might have borne more welcome Nor like its elder sisters, die a fool.
Their answers form what men experience call : Shall we be pourer for the plenty pour'd?
If Wisdom's friend, her best : if not, worst foe. More wretched for the clemencies of heaven?
O reconcile them! kind Experience cries,
There'snothinghere, butwhatasnothingweighs; $ 165. The Depravity of Man.
The more our joy, the more we know it vain; Where shall I find him? angels, tell me And by success are tutord to despair." where!
Nor is it only thus, but must be so: You know him; he is near you: point him out; Who knows not this, tho' grey, is still a child. Shall I see glories beaming from his brow? Loose then from earth the grasp of fond desire, Or trace his footsteps by the rising flow'rs?
Weigh anchor, and some happier clime explore. Your golden wings, now hov'ring o'er him, shed Protection, now, are waving in applause
§ 169. Death unavoidable. To that blest son of foresight! lord of fate! Sựnce by life's passing breath, blown up from That awful independent on To-morrow!
earth, Whose work is done; who triumphs in the past ; Light as the summer's dust, we take in air Whose yesterdays look backwards with a smile; A moment's giddy fight; and fall again; Nor, like the Parthian, wound him as they fly. Join the dull mass, increase the trodden soil, If not by guilt, they wound us by their flight, And sleep till earth herself shall be no more; If folly bounds our prospect by the grave : Since then (as emmets their small world o'erAll feeling of futurity benumb'd!
thrown) All relish of realties expir'd;
We, sore amaz’d, from out earth's ruin crawl, Renounc'd all correspondence with the skies; And rise to fate extreme, of foul or fair, Embruted every faculty divine ;
As man's own choice, controller of the skies! Heart-buried in the rubbish of the world : As man's despotic will, this hour, decrees; The world, that gulph of souls, immorial souls, Should not each warning give a strong alarm? Squls elevate, angelic, wing'd with fire Warning, far less than that of bosom tom To reach the distant skies, and triumph there From bosom, bleeding o'er the sacred dead? On thrones, which shall not mourn their masters Sould not each dial strike us as we pass, chang'd,
Portentous, as the written wall, which struck, Tho' we from earth; ethereal, they that fell. O'er midnight bowls, the proud Assyrian pale? Such veneration due, ( man, to man! Like that, the dial speaks; and points to thee;
“O man, thy kingdom is departing from thee; $ 166. Instability of Life. And, while it lasts, is emptier than my shade." Wro venerate themselves the world despise. Know, like the Median, fate is in thy walls: For what, gay friend! is this escutcheon'a Man's make incloses the sure seeds of death; world,
Life feeds the murderer: ingrate! he thrives Which hangs out, Death is one eternal night? On her own meal: and then his nurse devours. A night that glooms us in the noontide ray, And wrapts our thoughts, at banquets, in the § 169. Life compared to the Sun-dial. Life's little stage is a small eminence. [shroud. That solar shadow, as it measures life, Inch high the grave above; that home oi man, It life resembles too: life speeds away Where dwells the multitude: we gaze around, From point to point, tho' seeming to stand still: We read their monuments; we sigh; and while The cunning fugitive is swift by stealth: We sigh, we sink; and are what we deplor'd; Too subtle is the movement to be seen, Lamenting, or lamented, all our lot!
Yet soon man's hour is up, and we are gone. Is death at distance! no: he has been on thee; Warnings point out our danger, gnomons, time: And given sure earnest of his final blow.[nowAs these are useless when the sun is set; Those hours which lately smild, where are they So those, but when more glorious reason shines. Pallid to thought, and' ghastly! drown'd, all Reason should judge in all; in reason's eye, drown'd
That sedentary shadow travels hard : In that great deep, which nothing disembogues ; But all mankind mistake their time of day; And, dying, they bequeath'd thee small renown. Even age itself: fresh hopes are hourly sown 'The rest are on ihe wing: how flect their flight! In furrow'd brows. So gentle life's descent, Already has the fatal train took fire;
We shut our eyes, and think it is a plain :
We take fair days in winter, for the spring :
His God sustains him in his final hour! We turn our blessings into bane ; since oft His final hour brings glory to his God! Man must compute that age he cannot feel : Man's glory heaven vouchisafes to call its own. He scarce believes he 's older for his years Amazement strikes ! devotion bursts to flanie! Thus, at life's latest eve, we keep in store
Christians adore! and infidels believe. One disappointment sure, to crown the rest ; At that black hour, which general horror sheds The disappointment of a promis'd hour. On the low level of the inglorious throng,
Sweet peace, and heavenly hope, and humble
Divinely beam on his exalted soul; [joy, $ 170. Death of the good Man.
Destruction gild, and crown him for the skies. So sung Philander, O! the cordial warınth, Life, take thy chance; but oh for such an end! And elevating spirit, of a friend, For twenty summers ripening by my side ; All feculence of falsehood long thrown down; 9.171. NIGHT 111. Picture of Narcissa, DescripAll social virtues rising in his soul ;
tion of her Funeral, and a Reflection upon Man. As crystal clear ; and smiling, as they rise ! Sweet harmonist! and beautiful as sweet! On earth how lost! Philander is no inore. And young as beautiful! and soft as young! How blessings brighten as they take their fight! And gay as soft! and innocent as gay! His fight Philander took; it were profane And happy (if aught happy here) as good! To quench a glory lighted at the skies, For fortune fond had built her nest on high. And cast in shadows his illustrious close. Like birds quite exquisite of note and plume, Strange! the theme most affecting, niost sublime, Transfix'd by fate (who loves a lofty mark) Momentous most to man, should sleep unsung! How fronı the summit of the grove she fell, Man's highest triumph! man's profoundest fail! And left it unbarmonious! all its charms The death-bed of the just! is yet undrawn Extinguish'd in the wonders of her song! By mortal hand; it nierits a divine:
Her song still vibrates in my ravish'd car, Angels should paint it, angels ever there ; Still melting there, and with voluptuous pain There, on a post of honor, and of joy. (O to forget her!) thrilling thro' my heart!
The chamber where the good man meets his Song, Beauty, Youth, Love, Virtue, Joy! this Is privilegʻd beyond the coinmon walk [fate Of bright ideas, How'rs of paradise, [group Of virtuous lifé, quite in the verge of heaven, As yet unforfeit! in one blaze we bind, Fly, ye profane! or else draw near with awe, Kneel, and present it to the skies; as all For, here, resistless demonstration dwells; We guess of heaven, and these were all her own: Here tir'd dissimulation drops her inask, And she was inine; and I was -
was! Here seal and apparent are the sainc.
Gay title of the deepest misery!
Whatever farce the boastful hero plays, Far lovelier! pity swells the tide of love.
And will not the severe excuse a sigh? And greater still, the more the tyrant frowns, Scorn the proud man that is as ham'd 10 weep; Philander! he severely frown'd on thee, Our tears indulg'd indeed deserve our shame. "No warning given! unceremonious fate! Ye that e'er lost an angel! pity me. "A sudden rush from life's meridian joys ! Soon as the lustre languish'd in her eye, “ A restless bed of pain! a plunge opaque, Dawning a dimmer day of human sight;
Beyond conjecture! feeble nature's dread! And on her cheek, the residence of spring, "Strong reason shudders at the dark unknown! Pale omen sat, and scatter'd fears around "A sun extinguished ! a just opening grave! On all that saw, (and who could cease to gaze "And oh! the last, lası: what? (can words ex- That once had seen?)—with Faste, parental ivaste, press ?
[friend !" I few, I snatch'd her from the rigid north, "Thought reach?) the last, last--silence of a Iler native bed, on which black Boreas blew,
Thro' nature's wreck, thro' vanquish'dagonies, And bore her nearer to the sun; the sun Like the stars struggling thro' this midnight (As if the sun conid envy) check’d his beam, gloom.
[peace! Denied his wonted succour; nor with more What gleams of joy! what more than Human Regret bebeld her drooping, than the bells Where the frail inortal? the poor abject worm? Of lilies ; fairest lilies, not so fair! No, not in death, the mortal to be found. Queen
en lilies! and ve painted populace His comforters he comforts ; great in ruin, Who dwell in fickis, and lead ambrosial lives : With unreluctant grandeur, gives, not yields In morn and er’ning dew your beauties bathe, His soul sublime ; and closes with his fate. And drink the sun ; which gives your cheeks to How our hearts burnt within us at the scene ! And out-blush (mine excepted) every fair [zlow; Whence this brave bound o'er limits fixt to man! You gladlier grei', ambitious of her hand,
Which often cropp'd your odors, incense meet The dead how sacred ! Sacred is the dust
So man is made, nought ininisters delight, When ev'ry passion sleeps that can offend;
. Lorenzo ? At thy friends expence be wise; Far less than this is shocking, in a race Lean not on carth, 'twill pierce thee to the Most wretched but from streams of mutual A broken reed at best, but oft a sprar; [heart : And uncreated but for love divine; [love, On its sharp point peace bleeds, and hope expires. And, but for love divine, this moment losi, Turn, hopeless thoughts! turn froin her: By fate resorb'd, and sunk in endless night. thought repella
Nap hard of heart to man! of horrid things Resenting rallies, and wakes ev'ry woe, Most horrid ! 'Mid stupendous, highly strange! Snatch'd ere thy priine, and in thy bridal hour! Yet oft his courtesies are smoother wrongs ; And when kind fortune, with thy lover, sinild: Pride brandishes the favors he confers, And when high flavor'd thy fresh op'ning joys! And contumelious his hunanity : And when blind man pronounc'd thy bliss What then his vengeance? hear it not, ye stars! complete!
And thou, pale moon! turn paler at the sound! And on a foreign shore, where strangers wept! Man is to man the sorest, surest ill, Strangers to thee; and, more surprising still, A previous blast foretels the rising storm ; Strangers to kindness wept: their eyes let full O'erwhelming turrets threaten ere they fall; Inhuman tears; strange tears! that trickled down Volcanos bellow ere they disembogne ; From marble hearts! obdurate tenderness ! Earth trembles ere her yawning jaws devour ; A tenderness that call'd them more severe; And smoke betrays the wide consuming fire : In spite of nature's soft persuasion, steeld; Ruin from man is most conccal d when near, While nature melted, superstition ravid; And sends the dreadful tidings in the blow. That mouru'd the dead, and this denied a grave. Is this the flight of fancy? Would it were !
Their sighs incens’d, sighs foreign to the will! Fieaven's Sovereign saves all beings but himself Their will the tiger suckid, outray'd the storm. That hideous sight, a naked human heart! For, oh! the curs d ungodliness of zeal! While sinful flesh relented, spirit nurs'd
§ 172. NIGHT iv. Death not to be dreaded. In blind infallibility's embrace, The sainted spirit petrified the breast :
Ilow deep implanted in the breast of man
The dread of death! I sing its sov'reign cure. Denied the charity of dust, to spread
Wly start at death? where is he? death arriv'd, O'er dust! a charity their dogs enjoy. [source? Is past: not come, or gone, be 's never here. What could I do? what succour? what re- Ere hope, sensation fails; black-boding man With pious sacrilege a grave I stole,
Receives, not suffers, death's tremendous blow, With impious piety that grave I wrong'd;
The knell, theshroud, the mattock, and the grave; Short in my duty, coward in my grief! More like her murderer than friend, I crept
The deep damp vault, the darkness, and the
These are the buybears of a winter's eve, (worin; With soft suspended step, and muffled deep
The terrors of the living, not the dead. In midnight darkness w bisper'd my last sigh. I whisper'd what should echo thro their realms; Mau makes a death which nature never made;
Imagination's fool, and error's wretch, Nor writ her name whose toinb should pierce Then on the point of his own fancy falls : the skies.
And feels a thousand deaths, in fearing me. Presumptuous fear! how durst I dread her foes, While nature's loudest dictates I obey'd ? Pardon necessity, blest shade! Of grief
§ 173. Death desirable to the Aged. And indignation rival bursts I pour'd; But was death frightful, what has age to fear? Half exccration mingled with my pray'r ; If prudent, age should meet the friendly foe, Kindled at man, while I his God adord; And shelter in his hospitable gloom. Sore grudg‘d the savage land her sacred dust ; I scarce can meet a monument but holds Stamp'd the curs'd soil, and with humanity My younger : every date cries — "Come away!" (Denied Narcissa) wish'd them all a grave. And what recalls me? look the world around,
Glows my resentment into guilt? What guilt And tell me what: the wisest cannot tell. Can equal violations of the dead?
Should any born of woman give his thought
Full range, on just dislike's unbonnded field; Grasping at air! for what has earth beside?
Years unexperienc'd rush on numerous ills;
But grant to life some perquisites of joy; And miss such numbers, numbers too of such, A time there is, when, like a thrice-told tale, Firmer in health, and greener in their age, Long rided life of sweet can yield no more, And stricter on their guard, and fitter far But from our comment on the comedy, To play life's subtle game, I scarce believo Pleasing reflections on parts well-sustain’d, I still survive, and ain I fond of life, Or purpos'd emendations where we failid, Who scarce can think it possible I live? Or hopes of plaudits from our candid judge, Alive by miracle ! if still alive, When, on their exit, souls are bid unrobe, Who long have bury'd what gives life to live, And drop this mask of flesh behind the scene. Firmness of nerve, and energy of thought.
With me, that time is come; my world is dead: Life's lee is not more shallow, than impure, A new world rises, and new manners reign : And vapid ; sense and reason show the door, What a pert race starts up! the strangers gaze, Call for my bier, and point ine to the dust. And I at thein; my neighbour is unknown.
§ 176. Address to the Deity, $174. Folly of Human Pursuits. O THOU
arbiter of life and death! Blest be that hand divine, which gently laid
Nature's inmortal, immaterial sun! My heart at rest beneath this humble shod! Whose all-prolific bcam late called me forth The world 's a stately bark, on dangerous seas,
From darkness, teeming darkness, where I lay With pleasure seen, but boarded at our peril; The worm's inferior, and, in rank, beneath Here, on a single plank, thrown safe ashore, The dust I tread on, high to bear ny brow, I hear the tumult of the distant throng,
To drink the spirit of the golden day, As that of seas remote, or dying storms ; And triumph in existence; and could'st know And meditate on scenes, more silent still; No motive, but my bliss; with Abraham's joy, Pursue my theme, and fight the fear of death, Thy call I follow to the land unknown; Here like a shepherd, gazing from his hut, I trust in thee, and know in whom I trust; Touching his reed, or leaning on his staff, Or life or death is equal; neither weighs, Erger ambition's fiery chace I see;
All weight in this --O let me live to thee! I see the circling hunt of noisy men Burst law's inclosure, leap the mounds of right, S 177. Fears of Death extinguished by Man's Pursuing and pursued, each other's prey;
Redeniption. As wolves, for rapine; as the fox for wiles ; Tho'nature's terrors, thus, may be represt; Till death, that mighty hunter, earths them all. Still frowns grim death; gilt points the tyrant's Why all this toil for triumphs of an hour?
spear. What, tho' we wade in wealth, or soar in fame? Who can appease its anguish? how it burns! Earth's highest station ends in “ here he lies,” What hand the barb'd, envenom'd thought can Aud “ dust to dust " concludes her noblest song.
draw? If this song lives, posterity shall know What healing hand can pour the balm of peace One, tho' in Britain born, with courtiers bred, And turn my sight undaunted on the tomb? Who thought even gold might come a day too
With joy, — with grief, that healing hand I late; Nor on his subtle death-bed plann'd his scheme Onhigh? Whatmeans myphrenzy? Iblaspheine,
Ah! too conspicuous! it is fix'd on bigh: [see; For future racancies in church, or state ; Alas! how low ! how far beneath the skics! Some avocation deeming it - to die ;
The skies it forin'd; and now it bleeds for me Unbit by rage canine of dying rich: Guilt's blunder! and the loudest laugh of hell. Draw the dire steel - ah no! - the dreadful
But bleeds the balm I want, yet still it bleeds:
blessing $ 175. Folly of the Love of Life in the Aged. What heart or can sustain? or dares forego ? O my coevals! remnant of yourselves ! There hangs all human hope: that nail supports Poor human ruins, tott'ring o'er the grave! Our falling universe: that gone, we drop: Shall we, shall aged men, like aged trees, Horror receives us, and the disinal wish Strike deeper their vile root, and closer cling. Creation had been smother'd in her birth. Still more enamour'd of this wretched soil? (out, Darkness his curtain, and his bed the dust, Shall our pale, wither'd hands be still stretch'd When stars and sun are dust beneath his throne! Trembling, at once with eagerness and age? In heaven itself can such indulgence dwell? With avarice, and convulsions grasping hard? O what a groal was there? A groan not his,
He seis'd our dreadful right, the load sustain'd, (Heav'n's sov'reign blessings clust'ring from the And heav'd the mountain from a guilty world.
cross, A thousand worlds so hought, were bought too Rush on her, in a throng, and close her round, Sensations new in angels' bosonis rise ! [dear. The prisoner of amaze! - In bis blest life, Suspend their song; and silence is in heaven. I see the path, and, in his death, the price,
O for their song to reach my lofty theme ! And in his great ascent, the proof supreme Inspire me, Night, with all thy tuneful spheres! Of immortality. — And did he rise ? Much rather, Thou! who dost those spheres Hear, Oye nations ! hear it, Oye dead! inspire;
He rose ! he rose ! he burst the bars of death Lest I blaspheme my subject with my song. Lift up your heads, ye everlasting gates,
Thou most indulgent, most tremendous, power! And give the king of glory to come in! Still more tremendous, for thy wond'rous love! Who is the king of glo.y? he who left Thatarms, with awe more awful, thycommands; His throne of glory, for the pang of death : And foul transgression dips in sevenfold night, Lift up your heads, ye everlasting gates, How our hearts tremble at thị love immense ! And give the king of glory to coine in! In love immense, inviolably jusı! (stretch'd arms. Who is the king of glory? le who slew
O'er guilt, (how mountainous!) with out. The ravenous foe, that gorg'd all human race? Stern justice, and soft-smiling love, embrace, The king of glory, he, whose glory fillid Supporting, in full majesty, thy throne, Heaven with amazement at his love to inan; When seem'd its majesty to need support, And with divine complaceney beheld Or that, or man inevitably lost.
Powers most illumin'd wilder'd in the theme. What, but the fathomless of thought divine The theme,the joy, howthen shallmansustain? Could labor such expedient from despair, Oh the burst gates! crush'd sting! demolish'd And rescue both ? Both rescue! both exalt!
sheaven, O how are both exalted by the deed! Last gasp! of vanquish'd death. Shout earth and A wonder in omnipotence itself!
This sum of good to man: whose nature, then, A mystery, no less to gods than men! Took wing, and mounted with him from the
Not, thus, our infidels th'Eternal draw, Then, then, I rose; then first humanity (tomb! A God all o'er, consuminate, absolute, Triumphant pass'd the crystal ports of light, Full orb'd, in his whole round of rays complete: And seis’d eternal youth. Mortality They set at odds heaven's jarring attributes ; Was then transferr'd to death; and heaven's du. And with one excellence another wound; Unalienably seal'd 10 this frail frame, Tration Maim heaven's perfection, break its equal beams, This child of dust. — Man, all-immortal! hail; Bid mercy triumph over God himself, Hail, heaven! all lavish of strange gifts to man! Undeify'd by their opprobrious praise ; Thine all the glory! man's the boundless bliss. A God all mercy, is a God unjust.
Where am I rapt by this triumphant theine,
And was the ransom paid? It was: and paid 'Tis guilt alone can justify his death;
a tear; Heav'n wept, that man might smile! heaven bled, And, at each step, let higher wonder rise! That man might never die
Pardon for infinite offence! and pardon What beart of stone but glows at thoughts “ Thro' means that speak its value infinite! like these?
[mount "A pardon bought with blood! with blood diSuch contemplations mount us; and should vine! The mind still higher; nor even glance on man, “ With blood divine of him I made my foe; Unraptur'd, uninflam'd ; where roll my thoughts “ Persisted to provoke! tho' woo'd-and aw'd, To rest from wonders ? Ilow my soul is caught ! Bless'd, and chastis'd, a flagrant rebel still