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Nothing hangs tedious, nothing old revolves
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;
Each bounteous dawn its novelty presents
To worth maturing, new strength, lustre, fame;
While Nature's circle, like a chariot-wheel
Rolling beneath their elevated aims,
Makes their fair prospect fairer every hour,
Advancing virtue in a line to bliss;

Virtue, which Christian motives best inspire!
And bliss, which Christian schemes alone ensure!
And shall we then, for virtue's sake, commence
Apostates, and turn infidels for joy?

A truth it is few doubt, but fewer trust,
'He sins against this life who slights the next.'
What is this life? how few their favorite know?
Fond in the dark, and blind in our embrace,
By passionately loving life we make
Lov'd Life unlovely, hugging her to death.
We give to time eternity's regard,

And dreaming, take our passage for our port.
Life has no value as an end, but means;

An end deplorable! a means divine!

When 'tis our all, 'tis nothing; worse than nought;
A nest of pains; when held as nothing, much.
Like some fair humorists, life is most enjoy'd
When courted least; most worth when disesteem'd;
Then 'tis the seat of comfort, rich in peace;
In prospect richer far; important! awful!
Not to be mention'd but with shouts of praise !
Not to be thought on but with tides of joy!
The mighty basis of eternal bliss!

Where now the barren rock? the painted shrew?
Where now, Lorenzo, life's eternal round?
Have I not made my triple promise good?
Vain is the world, but only to the vain.
To what compare we then this varying scene,
Whose worth, ambiguous, rises and declines?
Waxes and wanes? (in all propitious Night

Assists me here) compare it to the moon;
Dark in herself, and indigent, but rich
In borrow'd lustre from a higher sphere.
When gross guilt interposes, labouring earth,
O'ershadow'd, mourns a deep eclipse of joy:
Her joys, at brightest, pallid to that font
Of full effulgent glory whence they flow.
Nor is that glory distant. Oh, Lorenzo !
A good man and an angel! these between
How thin the barrier? what divides their fate?
Perhaps a moment, or perhaps a year;
Or if an age, it is a moment still;

A moment, or eternity's forgot.

Then be what once they were who now are gods;
Be what Philander was, and claim the skies."
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.
Life is much flatter'd, Death is much traduc'd;
Compare the rivals, and the kinder crown.

⚫ Strange competition !'-True, Lorenzo! strange! So little life can cast into the scale.

Life makes the soul dependent on the dust, Death gives her wings to mount above the spheres. Through chinks, stil'd organs, dim life peeps at light; Death bursts the' involving cloud, and all is day: All eye, all ear, the disembody'd power.

Death has feign'd evils nature shall not feel;
Life, ills substantial wisdom cannot shun.
Is not the mighty mind, that sun of Heav'n!
By tyrant Life dethron'd, imprison'd, pain'd?
By Death enlarg'd, ennobled, deified?
Death but intombs the body, life the soul.

Is Death then guiltless? How he marks his way With dreadful waste of what deserves to shine! Art, genius, fortune, elevated power!

With various lustres these light up the world,

Which Death puts out, and darkens human race."

I grant, Lorenzo! this indictment just:

The sage, peer, potentate, king, conqueror !
Death humbles these; more barbarous Life, the man.
Life is the triumph of our mouldering clay;
Death of the spirit infinite! divine!

Death has no dread but what frail life imparts,
Nor life true joy but what kind death improves.
No bliss has life to boast, till death can give
Far greater. Life's a debtor to the grave;
Dark lattice! letting in eternal day.

Lorenzo! blush at fondness for a life
Which sends celestial souls on errands vile,
To cater for the sense, and serve at boards
Where every ranger of the wilds, perhaps
Each reptile, justly claims our upper-hand.
Luxurious feast! a soul, a soul immortal,
In all the dainties of a brute bemir'd!
Lorenzo! blush at terror for a death

Which gives thee to repose in festive bowers,
Where nectars sparkle, angels minister,
And more than angels share, and raise, and crown,
And eternize, the birth, bloom, bursts of bliss.
What need I more?-O Death! the palm is thine.
Then welcome, Death! thy dreaded harbingers,
Age and disease; Disease, though long my guest,
That plucks my nerves, those tender strings of life,
Which pluck'd a little more will toll the bell
That calls my few friends to my funeral;
Where feeble Nature drops, perhaps, a tear,
While Reason and Religion, better taught,
Congratulate the dead, and crown his tomb
With wreath triumphant. Death is victory;
It binds in chains the raging ills of life:
Last and Ambition, Wrath, and Avarice,
Dragg'd at his chariot-wheel, applaud his power.
That ills corrosive, cares importunate,
Are not immortal too, O Death! is thine.
Our day of dissolution !-name it right,

'Tis our great pay-day; 'tis our harvest, rich

And ripe. What though the sickle, sometimes keen,

Just scars us as we reap the golden grain ;

More than thy balm, O Gilead! heals the wound.
Birth's feeble cry, and Death's deep dismal groan,
Are slender tributes low-tax'd Nature pays
For mighty gain: the gain of each a life!
But, O the last the former so transcends,
Life dies compar'd; Life lives beyond the grave.
And feel I, Death! no joy from thought of thee?
Death the great counsellor, who man inspires
With every nobler thought and fairer deed!
Death! the deliverer, who rescues man!

Death! the rewarder, who the rescued crowns!
Death! that absolves my birth, a curse without it!
Rich Death! that realizes all my cares,

Toils, virtues, hopes; without it a chimera!
Death of all pain the period, not of joy;
Joy's source and subject still subsist unhurt;
One in my soul, and one in her great sire,

Though the four winds were warring for my dust.
Yes, and from winds and waves, and central night,
Though prison'd there, my dust, too, I reclaim,
(To dust when drop proud Nature's proudest spheres)
And live entire. Death is the crown of life:
Were death denied, poor man would live in vain :
Were death denied, to live would not be life:
Were death denied, ev'n fools would wish to die.
Death wounds to cure; we fall, we rise, we reign!
Spring from our fetters, fasten in the skies,
Where blooming Eden withers in our sight.
Death gives us more than was in Eden lost:
This king of terrors is the prince of peace.
When shall I die to vanity, pain, death?
When shall I die?-when shall I live for ever?

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MY verse is Satire; Dorset! lend your ear,
And patronise a Muse you cannot fear.

To poets sacred is a Dorset's name,

Their wonted passport through the gates of Fame:
It bribes the partial reader into praise,

And throws a glory round the shelter'd lays:
The dazzled judgment fewer faults can see,
And gives applause to Blackmore, or to me.
But you decline the mistress we pursue;
Others are fond of Fame, but Fame of you.
Instructive Satire! true to Virtue's cause!
Thou shining supplement of public laws!
When flatter'd crimes of a licentious age
Reproach our silence, and demand our rage;
When purchas'd follies, from each distant land,
Like arts, improve in Britain's skilful hand;
When the Law shows her teeth but dares not bite,
And South-Sea treasures are not brought to light;
When Churchmen scripture for the classics quit,
Polite apostates from God's grace to wit:
When men grow great from their revenue spent,
And fly from bailiffs into parliament;
When dying sinners, to blot out their score,
Bequeath the Church the leavings of a whore;
To chafe our spleen, when themes like these increase,
Shall panegyric reign, and censure cease?

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