« ZurückWeiter »
O Britain ! infamous for suicide;
Indelible, death's image on his heart; An island in thy manners ! für disjoin'd Bleeding for others, trembling for himself. From the whole world of rationals beside, We bleed; we tremble; we forget, we smile : In ambient waves plunge thy polluted head, The sind turns fool, before the cheek is dry : Wash the dire stain, nor shock the continent. Our quick returning folly cancels all :
But thou be shock’d, while I detect the cause Is the tide rushing rases what is writ Of self-assault, expose the inonster's birth, In yielding sands, and smooths the letter'd shore. And bid abhorrence hiss it round the world. Blame not thy clime, nor chide the distant sun; lınınoral climes kind nature never made.
$ 200. Tears. The cause I sing in Eden inight prevail,
Lorenzo ! hast thou eter weigh'd a sigh? And proves it is thy folly, not thy fate.
Or studied the philosophy of tears ? The soul of man (let man in homage bow Hast thou descended deep into the breast, Who naines his soul) a native of the skies !
And seen their source? If not, descend with me Hligh-born,andfree, her freedom should maintain, and trace these briny riv'lets to their springs. Unsold, unmortgag'd for earth's little bribes.
Our funeral tears from diff'rent causes rise : Th' illustrious stranger, in this foreign land
Ofvarious kinds they flow. From tender hearts, Like strangers, jealous of her dignity,
By soft contagion callid, some burst at once, Studious of home, and ardent to return,
and stream obsequious to the leading eye. Of earth suspicious, earth's enchanted cup
Some ask more time, by curious art distill'd. With cool reserve light-touching, should indulge Some hearts, in secret hard, unapt to melt, On immortality her godlike laste ;
Struck by the public eye, gush out amain. There take large draughts ; inake her chief ban- Some weep to share the fame of the deceas'd,
So high in merit, and to them so dear : (share. But some reject this sustenance divine; They dwell on praises, which they think they To beggarly vile appetites descend ;
Soine mourn in proof that soinething they could Ask alıns of earth forgifts that came from heaven;
love. Sink into slaves ; and sell, for present hire, They weep not to relieve their grief, but show, Their rich reversion, and (what shares its fate) Some wetp in perfect justice to the dead, Their native freedoin, to the prince who sways As conscious all their love is in arrear. This nether world. And when bispayments fáil, Some mischievously weep, not unappriz'd, When his full basket gorges them no more ;
Tears, sometimes, aid the conquest of an eye. Or their palled palates loath the basket full, As seen through crystal, how their roses glow, Are, instantly, with wild demoniac rage, While liquid pearl runs trickling down their For breaking all the chains of Providence,
check. And bursting their confinement; tho' fast barr’a By kind construction some are deem'd to weep, By laws divine and human ; guarded strong
Because a decent veil conceals their joy: With horrors doubled to defend the pass,
Some weep in earnest ; and yet weep in vain; The blackest nature, or dire guilt can raise ;
As deep in indiscretion, as in woe. And moated round with fathomless destruction, Passion, blind passion! impotently pours Sure to receive, and whelm them in their all.
Tears, that deserve more tears; while reason sleeps Such Britons ! is the canse, to you unknown, Or gazes, like an idiot, unconcern'd; Or worse, oʻerlook'd ; o'erlook'd hy magistrates, Nor comprehends the meaning of the storm. Thus, criminals themselves. I grant the deed" They weep impetuous, as the summer storm, Is madness ; but the madness of the heart.
And full as short! the cruel grief soon tan'd, And what is that? our utinost bound of guilt. They make a pastime of the stingless tale! A sensual, unreflecting life is big
Far as the deep-resounding knell, they spread With monstrous births, and suicide, to crown The dreadful news, and hardly feel it more. The black infernal brood. The bold to break No grain of wisdom pays them for their woe. Heaven's law supreme, and desperately rush
When the sick soul, her wonted stay withdrawn, Thru' sacred nature's murder, on their own,
Reclines on earth, and sorrows in the dust; Because they never think of death, they die.
Instead of learning there her true support, When by the bed of languishment we sit,
She crawls to the next shrub, or bramble vile, Or, o'er our dying friends, in anguish hang,
The stranger weds, and blossoms as before, Wipe the cold dew, or stay the sinking head, In all the fruitless fopperies of life. Number their moments, and in ev'ry clock, Start at the voice of an eternitv;
$ 201. Inattention to the Voice of Death. See the diin lamp of life just fecbly lift An agonizing beam, at us to gaze.
What thus infatuates? what enchantment Then sink again, and quiver into death.
plants (That most pathetic herald of our own;) The phantom of an age, 'twixt us and death, Ilow read we such sad scenes ? as sent to man Already at the door? He knocks, we hear him, In perfect vengeance? no; in pily sent, And yet we will not hear. What mail defends To inclt him down, like wax, and then impress Our untouch'd hearts? what miracle turns off
The The pointed thought, which from a thousand $.203. The Cuprice and universal Power Is dally darted, and is daily shunn'd; [quiver3
of Death. We stånd as in a batile, throngs on throngs Like other tyrants, Death delights to smite, Around us falling; wounded oft ourselves; What smitten most proclaims the pride of power, Tho'bleeding with our wounds, imunortal still ! And arbitrary nod." His joy supreine, We see time's furrows on another's brow, To bid the wretch survive the fortunate; And death intrench’d, preparing his assault ; The feeble wrap th' athletic in his shroud ; How few themselves, in that just mirror, see! And vreeping fathers build their children's tomb;
Absurd Longevity! More, niore, it crics : Me thine, Narcissa! - what tho'short thy date? More life, more wealth, more trash of every kind! Virtue, not rolling suns, the mind matures. And wherefore mad for more, when relish fails? That life is long, which answers life's great end. Shall folle labor hard to mend the bow, The time that bears no fruit, deserves no name: While nature is relaxing ev'ry string?
The nian of wisdom is the man of ycars. Ask thought forjoy; grow rich and hoard within. In hoàry youth Methusalems may dic, Think you the soul, wlien this life's rattles cease, O how miscated on their Hattering tombs ! Has nothing of more inanly to succeed?
All more than coinmon menaces an end : Contract the taste immortal ; learn even now A blaze betokens brevity of life. To relish what alone subsists hereafter : To plant the soul on her eternal guard, Divine or none, henceforth your joys for ever. in awful expectation of our end, [but so Of age, the glory is to wish to die.
Thus runs Death's dread commission; « Strike, That wish is praise and proinise; it applauds “ As most alarins the living by the dead." Past life, and proinises our future bliss. Hence stratagem delights him, and surprise, What weakness see not children in their sires ? And cruel sport with man's securities. Grand-climacterical absurdities !
Vot simple conquest, triumph is his aim, most. Grey-hait'd authority to faults of youth, And where leasi fear'd, thereconquest triumphs. Now shocking! it inakes folly' ibrice a fool; What are his arts to lay our fears asleep!. And our first childhood might our last despise. Tiberian arts his purposes wrap up,
What folly can be ranker? like our shadows, In deep dissimulation's darkesi night.
[sluns, $ 209. Little Learning required, to be Good. When, against reason, rivl shuis the door,
When Pleasure treads the paths which Reason But you are learn d ; in volumes deep you sit; And gaiciy supplies the place of sense. In wisdom shallow : pompous ignorance ! Then foremost at the banquet and the ball, Laarnwell to know how much need notbeknown; Death leads the dance, or damps the deadly die ; And what that knowledge, which impairs your Nor ever fails the inidnight boil to crown.
Gaily carousing to his gay compeers, Our needful knowledge, like our needful food, Inly he laughs, to see them laugh at him, Unhedg'd, lies open in life's common field; Asabsent far; and when the revel burns, And bids all welcome to the vital feast. When fear is banish'd, and triumphant thought You scom what lies before you in the page Calling for all the joys beneath the moon, Of nature and experience, moral truth; Against hiin turns the key: and bids hiin sup And dive in science for distinguish'd names, With their progenitors---He drops his mask; Sinking in virtue, as you rise in fame. Frowns out at rull; they start, despair, expire ! Your learning, like the lunar beam, affords Scarce with more sudden terror and surprise, Light, but not heat ; it leaves you underout. From his black mask of nitre, touch'd by fire If you would learn death's character, attend. He bursts, expands, roars, blazes, and devours. All casts of conduct, all degrees of health, And is not this triumphant treachery, All dies of fortune, and all dates of age, And more than simple conquest in ihe fiend? Together shook in his impartial urn,
And now, gay tritler, dost thou wrap thy soul Come forth at random. Or if choice is made, In soft security, because unknown The choice is quite sarcastic, and insults Which moment is commission'd to destroy? All bold conjecture, and fond hopes of man. In death's uncertainty thy danger lies.
Is death uncertain; therefore thou be fix'd; When, on a moment's point, th' important die Fix'd as a sentinel, all eve, all ear,
Of life and death, spun duubtful, ere it fell, All expectation of the coming foe.
And turnd up lise; my title to more woe. Rouse, stand in arms, nor lean against thy spear, But why niore voc? gwre comfort let it be, Lest slumber steal one moment o'er thy soul, Nothing is dead, but that which wish'd tu die ; And fate surprise theenodding. Watch,bestrong; Nothing is dead, but wretchedness and pain : Thus give each «lay the merit, and renowit, Nothing is dead, but what encumber'd, gallid, Of dring well; tbo' doom'd but once to die; Block'd up
and barr'd from real life. Nor let life's period hidden (as from most), Wlicre duells that wish wost ardent of the wise? Hide too from thee, the precious use of life. Too dark the sun to see it ; highest stars
Does wealth with yonih avid gaiety conspire Too low to reach it; death, great death alone, To weave a triple wreath of happiness? O'er stars and sun triumphant, lands us there. That shining mark invites the tyrant's spear.
Nor dreadful our transition; tho' the mind, As if to damp our elevated aims,
An artist at creating self-alarms, And strongly preach humility to man, Rich in expedients for inquietude, O how portentous is prosperity !
ls prone to paint it dreadful. Who can take How, comet-like, it ihreatens while it shines! Deaui's porirait true? the iyrant never sat. Few years but yield us proof of Death's ambition Our skeich, all random strokes, conjecture all; To cull his victims froin the fairest fold, Close slıuts the grave, nor tells one single tale. And sheath his afts in all the price of life. Death, and bis image rising in the brain, When flooded with abundance, purpled o'er Bear faint resemblance; never are alike; With recent honors, bloom'd with ev'ry bliss ; l'ear shakes the pencil, Fancy loves excess, Set up in ostentation, made to gaze,
Dark Ignorance is lavish of her shades; The gaudy centre of the public eve;
And these the formidable picture draw. When fortune, thus, has toss'h her child in air, But grant the worst; 'tis past ; new prospects Snareh'd from the covert of an humble state, And drop a veil eternal v'er her lomb. (rise; How often have I seen him dropp'd at once, l'ar other views our contemplation claim, Our morning,s envy, and our ev'ning's sigh! Views that o'erpay the rigors of our life; As if her bou nties were the signal giv'nı, Views tl.::t suspend our agonies in death. The Pow'ry wreath, to mark the sacrifice, W rapt in the thought of imnuortality, And call Death's arrows on the destin'd prey. Long life, night lapse, age unperceiv al come ;
And find the soul unsated with her theme. $ 204. The Death of Narcissa.
Its nature, proof, importance, fire my soug. She (for I know not yet her name in heaven) Not early, like Narcissa, left the scene ;
$ 205. Rrjections on Man and Immortality, Nor sudden, like Philander. What avail : Thy nature, immortality, who knows? This seeming mitigation but in flames; And yet who knows it not? It is built This fancy'd medicine heightens the disease. In stronger thread of brighter color spun, The longer known, the closer still she grew ; And spun for ever ; black and brittle here! And gradual paring is a gradual death. Ilow short our correspondence with the sun!
O the long dark approach thro' yers of pain, And while it lasts, inglorious ! our best deeds, Death's gallery with sable terror hing; How wanting in their weight ! our highest joys, Sick hope's pale lamp its only olimmering ray! Sinal cordials to support us in our pain, There fate iny melancholy walk ordaind. And give us strength to suffer. But how great How oft I gaz'd, prophetically sad !
To mingle interests, converse, amities, How oft I saw her dead while yet in smiles! With all ile sons of Reason, scatter'd wide In smiles she sunk her grief to lessen mine : Through habitable space, wherever born, She spoke me comfort, and increase my pain. Howe'er endow'd ! io live free citizens Like powerful armies trenching at a towni, Ofuniversal Nature! to lay hold By slow and silent, but resistless sap,
By inore thau feeble faith on the Supreme! In his pale progress gently gaining yround, To call heaven's rich imfathomable mines Death irg'd his deadly siege : in spite of art, Our own! to rise in science as in bliss, Of all the balmy blessings nature lends Initiate in the secrets of the skies ! To succour frail humanity. Ye stars! To read creation ; read its mighty plan And thou, O moon bear witness; many a night in the bare bosom of the Deity! lle tore the pillow from beneath my head, The plan and execution to collate ! Tied down iny sore attention to the shock, To see, before cach glance of piercing thought, By ceaseless depredations on a life,
All cloud, all shadow blown remote, and leave Dearer than that he left me. Dreadful post No mystery — but that of love divine, Of observation ! darker every hour!
Which lifís us on the seraph's Aaming wing, Less dread the day that drove me to the brink, From carth's Aceldamy, this field of blood, And pointed at eierniiy below.
Of inward anguish, and of outward ill; When my soul shudder'd at futurits,
From darkness, and from dust, to such a scene !
Love's element! true joy's illustrious home! The bare ideas ! solid happiness
O'er bog, and brake, and precipice, 'till death?
A name, a mortal immortality.
§ 206. Genius connected with Ignominy.
Our boast but ill deserve. A feeble aid ! Ourselves th' astonishi'd talkers and the tale!
Heart-merit wanting, mount we ne'er so high, When mount we? when these shackles cast ? When I behold a genius bright and base,
Our height is but the gibbet of our name. when quit This cell of the creation ? this small nest,
Of towering talents, and terrestrial ajıns; Stuck in a corner of the universe,
Methinks, I see, as thrown from her high sphere, Wrapt up in fleecy cloud, and fine-spun-air ?
The glorious fragments of a soul immortal, Fine-spun to sense, but gross and feculent
With rubbish mixt, and glittering in the dust. To souls celestial; souls ordain'd to breathe
Hearts are proprietors of all applause, Ambrosial gales ; and drink a purer sky;
Right ends, and means, niake wisdom: worldlya Greatly triumphant on time's farther shore.
Is but half-witted, at iis highest praise. [wise In an eternity what scenes shall strike! What webs of wonder shall unravel there!
§ 207. Exalted Station. What dull day pour on all the paths of heaven, What is station high? And light th' Almighty's footsteps in the deep!''T'is a proud mendicant; it boasts, and begs; How shall the blessed day of our discharge It begs an alıns of homage froin the throng, Unwind, at once, the labyrinth's of fate, And oft the throng denies its charity. And straighten its inextricable iaze!
Monarchs and ministers are awful nanres; If inextinguishable thirst in nan
Whoever wear them, challenge our devoir. To know ; howy rich, how full our banquet here ! Religion, public order, both exact Here, not the moral world alone unfolds; Exteriml homage, and a supple knee, The world material lately seen in shades, To beings pompously set up, to serve And in those shades, by fragnients only scen, The meanest slave; all more is merit's due ; And seen those fragments by the laboring cye, Her sacred and inviolable right, l'nbroken, now, illustrious, and entire, Nor ever paid the monarch, but the man. Its adple sphere, its universal frame,
Our hearts ne'er bow but to superior worth ;
His royal robe unborrow'd, and unbought,
And souls in ermine scorn a soul without ?
Pigmics are pigmics still, tho' percht ou alps, If admiration is a source of joy, [hearen. And pyrainids are pyramids in vales. What transport hence! Yet this the least .in Each man makes his own stature, builds himself; What this to that illusirious robe He wears, Virtue alone out-builds the pyramids ; Who toss'd this mass of wonders from his hand, Her monuments shad last, when Egypt's fall. A specimen, an earnest of his power!
Of these suretruths dost thou demand the cause! "Tis, to that glory, whence all glory Hows, The cause is lodg'din immortality. As the mead's meanest flow'ret to the sun, Hear, and assent. Thy bosom burns for pow'r; Which gave it birth. But what, şhis Sun of "Ti, thine. And art thou greater than before : heaven!
Ther thou before was something less than man. This bliss supreme of the supremely blest! Has thy new post bet ray'd the into pride ? Death, only death, the question can resolvc. That pride defames humanity, and calls (raise. By death chicap: bought ih" ideas of our jos The being mean, which staffs or strings.can
Superior wonders in himself forgot,
His admiration waste on objects round, That prince, and that alone, is truly great, Who draws the sword reluctant, gladly Absurd ! not rare! so great, so mean, is man.
When lieaven makes him the soul of all he sees? sheaths;
What wealth in senses such as these! what On empire builds what empire far outweighs, And inakes his throne a scaffold to the skies.
In fancy, tir'd to form a fairer scene (wealth Why this so rare ? because forgot of all
Than sense surveys! in inemory's firin record, The day of death; that venerable day, [nounce From the dark shadows of o'erwhelming years ?
Which, should it perish, could this world recall
, Which sits as judge: that day which shall pro- In colors fresh, originally bright On all our days, absolve them, or condemn. Lorenzo! never shut ihy thought against il;
Preserve its portrait, and report its fate !
What wealth in intellect, that sovereign power! Bc levees ne'er so full, afford it room, And give it audience in the cabinet.
Which sense, and fancy, summons to the bar; Tivat friend consulted, flatteries apart,
Interrogates, approves, or reprehends : Will tell thee fair, if thou art great, or mean.
And from the mass those underlings import,
From their inaterials sifted, and retin'd,
Forms art, and science, government, and law.
What wealth in souls that soar, dive, range Point to the centre their inverted spires :
around. When blind ambition quite mistakes her road, Disdaiving limit, or from place, or time, And downward pores, for that which shines Substantial happiness, and true renown; (above, Th'almighty fiat, and the trumpet's sound!
Ard hear at once, in thought extensive, hear Then, like an idiot gazing on the brook,
Bold, on creation's outside walk, and view We leap at stars, and fasten in the mud ;
What was, and is, and more than e'er shall be; At glory grasp, and sink in infamy.
Commanding, with omnipotence of thought,
Creations new, in fancy's field to rise ! $ 209. The Torment of Ambition.
Souls, that cangrasp whate'erth'Almighty made; AMBITION! powerful source of good and ill! And wander wild through things impossible ; Thy strength in man, like length of wing in What wealth, in faculties of endless growth, birds,
In liberty to choose, in power to reach,
$ 211. The l'unity of Wealth.
HIGH-BUILT abundance, heap on heap! fos
To breed new wants, and beggar us the more ;
Soon as this feeble pulse, which leaps so long, $ 210. True Riches.
Alnost by miracles is tir'd with play, With error in ambition, justly charg'd, Like rubbishi, from disploding engines thrown, Find we Lorenzo wiser in his wealth? Our magazines of hoarded trifles fly ; Where thy true treasure; Gold says, not in Fly diverse ; fly to foreigners, to focs; me,”
New masters court, and call the former fool, And, “ not in me,” thediamond. Gold is poor ; f(How justly?) for dependence on their stay; India's insolvent : seck it in thyself ;
Wide scartér first, our play-things, then ourdust. Seek in thy naked sell, and find it there : Much learning shows how little mortals knew : In being so descended, form’d, endow'd ; Much wealth, how little worldlings can enjoy: Sky-born, sky-guided, sky-returning race ! At best it babies us with endless toys; Erect, inmortal, rational, divine !
And keeps us children till we drop to dust. In senses, which inherit earth and heavens ; As monkies at a mirror stand amaz'd, Enjoy the various riches nature yields: They fail to find what they so plainly see ; Far nobler! give the riches they enjoy ; Thus men in shining riches see the face Give taste to fruits; and harmony to grores; Their radiant beams to gold, and gold's bright But gaze, and touch, and peep, and peep again,
Of happiness, nor know it is a shade ; Take in at once the landscape of the world, (fire; And wish, and wonder it is absent still. Ata'small inlet, which a grain might close, How few can rescue opulence from want! And half create the wond'rous world they see. Who lives to nature, rarely can be
poor; Our senses, as our reason, are divine.
Who lives to fancy, never can be rich. But for the magic organ's powerful charm, Poor is the man in debt; the man of gold, Earth were a rude, nncolor'd chaos still: In debt to fortune, trembles at her pow'r. Ours is the cloth, the pencil, and the paiut, The man of reason smiles at her, and death. Thich beantifies creation’s'ample dome. as ther; -halt man, bie thoughts al sett abroad, of such inherent strength and majesty,
O what a patrimony, this! a being