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Precedency's a jest; vassal and lord,
Soon, very soon, thy firmest footing fails; Grossly familiar, side by side consume.
And down thou drop'st into that darksome place, When self-esteem, or other's adulation,
Where nor device nor knowledge ever came. Would cunningly persuade us we are something Here the tongue-warrior lies disabled now, Above the common level of our kind; (flattery, Disarm'd, dishonour'd, like a wretch that's gagg'd, The Grave gainsays the smooth-complection’d And cannot tell his ails to passers by. [change; And with blunt truth acquaints us what we are. Great man of language! Whence this mighty
Beauty-thou pretty plaything, dear deceit! This dumb despair, and drooping of the head?
Alas! how chop-fall'n now? Thick mists and si-
The strength of action, and the force of words, Methinks I see thee with thy head low laid, The well-turn'd period, and the well-tuu'd voice, Whilst surfeited upon thy damask cheek
With all the lesser ornaments of phrase? The high-fed worin, in lazy volumes rollid, Ab! fled for ever, as they ne'er had been; Riots unscar'd. For this, was all thy caution? Raz'd from the book of Fame; or, more provoking, For this, thy painful labours at thy glass,
Perchance some hackney, hunger-bitten scribbler, T'improve those charms and keep them in repair, Insults thy memory, and blots thy tomb For which the spoiler thanks thee not? Foul feeder! With long flat narrative, or duller rhymes, Coarse fare and carrion please thee full as well, With heavy halting pace that drawl along; And leave as keen a relish on the sense.
Enough to rouse a dead man into rage, Look how the fair one weeps !-the conscious tears And warm with red resentment the wan cheek. Stand thick as dew-drops on the bells of flowers : Here the great masters of the healing-art, Honest effusion! the swoln heart in vain
These mighty mock defrauders of the tomb,
Strength, too thou surly and less gentle boast Resign to fate. Proud Æsculapius' son!
Thou wrung'st their shy-retiring virtues out,
Looks not more silly when the cheat's found out. See how be tugs for life, and lays about him, Here the lank-sided miser, worst of felons, Mad with his pains !- Eager he catches hold Who meanly stole, (discreditable shift) Of what comes next to hand, and grasps it hard, From back and belly too, their proper cheer, Just like a creature drowning! hideous sight! Eas'd of a task it irk'd the wretch to pay Oh! how his eyes stand out, and stare full ghast- To bis own carcase, now lies cheaply lodged, ly!
By clam'rous appetites no longer teas'd, Whilst the distemper's rank and deadly venom Nor tedious bills of charges and repairs. Shoots like a burning arrow cross his bowels, But ah! where are his rents, his comings-in? Aud drinks his marrow up.-Heard you that Ay! now you've made the rich man poor indeed! groan?
Robb'd of his gods, what has he left behind? It was his last-See how the great Goliath, Oh, cursed lust of gold! when for thy sake, Just like a child that brawl'd itself to rest,
The fool throws up his int'rest in both worlds: Lies still.-What mean'st thou then, O mighty First starv'd in this, then damn'd in that to come. boaster,
(bull, How shocking must thy summons be, O Death, To vaunt of nerves of thine? What means the To him that is at ease in his possessions; Unconscious of his strength, to play the coward, Who counting on long years of pleasure here, And fee before a feeble thing like man,
Is quite unfurnish'd for that world to come! That, knowing well the slackness of his arm, In that dread moment, how the frantic soul Trusts only in the well-invented knife?
Raves round the walls of her clay tenement; With study pale, and midnight vigils spent, Runs to each avenue, and shrieks for help, The star-surveying sage close to his eye
But shrieks in vain!-How wishfully she looks Applies the sight-invigorating tube, [space, On all she's leaving, now no longer her's ! And trav'lling through the boundless length of A little longer, yet a little longer, Marks well the courses of the far-seen orbs Oh! might she stay to wash away her stains, That roil with regular confusion there,
And fit her for her passage.-Mouruful sight! lo ecstacy of thought. But ah! proud man! Her very eyes weep blood; and every groan Great heights are hazardous to the weak head; She heaves is big with horrour. But the foe,
Like a staunch murd'rer, steady to his purpose, To those you left behind, disclose the secret?
I've heard, that souls departed, have sometimes At once she sinks to everlasting ruin.
Forewarn'd men of their death : Twas kindly Sure 'tis a serious thing to die! my soul!
done, What a strange moment must it be, when near To knock, and give th’alarm. But what means Thy journey's end, thou hast the gulf in view! This stinted charity -'Tis but lame kindness That awful gulf, po mortal e'er repass'd
That does its work by halves.-Why might you not To tell what's doing on the other side.
Tell us what 't is to die? Do the strict laws Nature runs back, and shudders at the sight, Of your society forbid your speaking And every life-string bleeds at thought of parting; Upon a point so nice! I'll ask no more: For part they must; body and soul must part: Sullen, like lamps in sepulchres, your shine Fond couple? link'd more close than wedded pair. Enlightens but yourselves. Welltis no matter; This wings its way to its Almighty Source, A very little time will clear up all, The witness of its actions, now its judge;
And make us learn'd as you are and as close. That drops into the dark and noisome Grave, Death's shafts fly thick: bere falls the village Like a disabled pitcher of no use.
swain, If death was nothing, and nought after death; And there his pamper'd lord. The cup goes round: If when men died, at once they ceas'd to be, And who so artful as to put it by! Returning to the barren womb of nothing, 'Tis long since Death had the majority; Whence first they sprung, then might the de- | Yet strange! the living lay it not to heart, bauchee
(drunkard See yonder maker of the dead man's bed, Untrembling mouth the Heavens: then might the The sexton, hoary-headed chronicle, Reel over bis full bowl, and, when 't is drain'd, Of hard, unmeaning face, down which ne'er stole Fill up another to the briin, and laugh
A gentle tear, with mattock in his hand, At the poor bugbear Death: then might the wretch Digs thro'whole rows of kindred and acquaintance, That's weary of the world, and tir'd of life, By far his juniors.-Scarce a skull's cast up, At once give each inquietude the slip,
But well he knew its owner, and can tell By stealing out of being when he pleas'd,
Some passage of his life.—Thus hand in hand And by what way, whether by hemp or steel. The sot has walk'd with Death twice twenty years, Death's thousand doors stand open. Who could And yet nc'er yonker on the green laughs louder The ill-pleas'd guest to sit out his full time, (force Or clubs a smuttier tale: when drunkards meet, Or blame him if he goes ?--Sure he does well, None sings a merrier catch, or lends a hand That helps himself as timely as he can,
More willing to his cup.-- Poor wretch! he minds When able. But if there is an hereafter,
That soon some trusty brother of the trade (not, And that there is, conscience, uninfluenc'd, Shall do for him, what he has done for thousands. And suffer'd to speak out, tells ev'ry man,
On this side, and on that, men see their friends Then must it be an awful thing to die;
Drop off, like leaves in autumn; yet launch out More horrid yet to die by one's own hand. Juto fantastic schemes, which the long livers
Self-murder! - ame it not: our island's shame; In the world's hale and undegenerate days That makes her the reproach of neighbouring Could scarce bave leisure for.-Fools that we are, states,
Never to think of death and of ourselves Shall Nature, swerving from her earliest dictate, At the same time: as if to learn to die Self-preservation, fall by her own act?
Were no concern of ours.-Oh! more than sottishi, Forbid it, Heaven. --Let not, upon disgust, For crcatures of a day in gamesome mood, T'he shameless hand be fully crimsou'd o'er To frolic on Eternity's dread briuk With blood of its own lord.Dreadful attempt ! Unapprehensive; when, for aught we know, Just reeking from self-slaughter, in a rage The very first swoln surge shall sweep us in. To rush into the presence of our judge;
Think we, or think we not, Time hurries on As if we challeng'd him to do his worst,
With a resistless, unremitting stream; And matter'd not his wrath: unheard-of tortures Yet treads more soft than e'er did midnight thief, Must be reserv'd for such: these herd together; That slides his hand under the miser's pillow, The common damnd shun their society,
And carries off his prize.-What is this world? And look upou themselves as fiends less foul. What, but a spacious burial-field unwalld, Our time is fix'd, and all our days are number'd; Strew'd with Death's spoils, the spoils of animale How long, how short, we know not:—this we know, Savage and tame, and full of dead men's bones. Duty requires we calmly wait the summons, The very turf on which we tread once liv'd; Nor dare to stir till Heav'n shall give permission: And we that live must lend our carcases Like sentries that must keep their destiu'd stand, To cover our own offspring; in their turns, And wait th' appointed hour, till they're reliev'd; They, too, must cover theirs.-T is here all meet; Those only are the brave that keep their ground, The shiv’ring Icelander, and sun-burnt Moor; And keep it to the last. To run away
Men of all climes, that never inet before; Is but a coward's trick. To run away
And of all creeds, the Jew, the Turk, the Christian. From this world's ills, that, at the very worst, Here the proud prince, and favourite yet prouder, Will soon blow o'er, thinking to mend ourselves, His sov'reign's keeper, and the people's scourge, By boldly venturing on a world unknown,
Are huddled out of sight.--Here lie abash'd
And celebrated masters of the balance,
Now vain their treaty-skill...Death scorns to treat. Of the fair spot due time to prove its sweets,
Can nought compound for the first dire offence
Fain would he trifle time with idle talk,
Not all the lavish odours of the place
Offer'd in incense can procure his pardon,
One last and farewel round.-At once he lost
Sick of bis bliss, and bent on new adventures,
(Dreadful experiment! destructive measure! That some rude interposing rock had split. Where the worst thing could happen, is success.)
Here is the large-limb'd peasant:-here the Alas! too well he sped; the good he scorn'd
Whilst the black Demon, with his Hell-scap'd train,
Admitted once into its better room,
Grew loud and mutinous, nor would be gone;
Lording it o'er the man : who now too late
Here garrulous old age winds up his tale; Beneath a vassalage so vile and cruel,
What havoc hast thou made, foul monster, Sin!
Sorrow had never been.--All-noxious thing,
That belches molten stone, and globes of fire,
Mars the adjacent fields for some leagues round,
More dreadful far than these, Sin has laid waste,
A proper name to call thee by, expressive
That toads and serpents of most deadly kind,
Compard to thee, are harmless.Sicknesses
Profusely scatters the contagion round!
My father's nakedness, and Nature's shame. At last he dips his foot; but as he dips,
From th' inoffensive stream, unmindful now O'er all those ample deserts Death hath spread; Of all the flow'rs that paint the farther bank, This chaos of mankind. - great man-eater ! And smil'd so sweet of late.—Thrice welcome Death! Whose ev'ry day is carnival, not sated yet! That after many a painful bleeding step Unheard-of epicure! without a fellow!
Conducts us to our home, and lands us safe The veriest gluttons do not always cram;
On the long-wish’d-for shore.Prodigious change! Some intervals of abstinence are sought
Our bane turn'd to a blessing!-Death, disarm’d, To edge the appetite: thou seekest none.
Loses his fellness quite.-All thanks to Him Methinks the countless swarms thou hast devour'd, Who scourg'd the venom out. Sure the last end And thousands that each hour thou gobblest up, Of the good man is peace!-How calm his exit! This, less than this, might gorge thee to the full; Night-dews fall not more gently to the ground, But, ah! rapacious still, thou gap'st for more: Nor weary worn-out winds expire so soft. Like oue, whole days defrauded of his meals, Behold him in the evening tide of life, On whom lank Hunger lays her skinny hand, A life well spent, whose early care it was And whets to keenest eagerness his cravings; His riper years should not upbraid his green: As if diseases, massacres, and poison,
By unperceiv'd degrees he wears away; Famine, and war, were not thy caterers.
Yet, like the Sun, seems larger at his setting: But know that thou must render up the dead, (High in his faith and hopes) look how he reaches And with high int'rest too. They are not thine; After the prize in view! and, like a bird But only in thy keeping for a season,
That's hamper'd, struggles hard to get away: Till the great promis'd day of restitution; Whilst the glad gates of sight are wide expanded When loud diffusive sound from brazen trump To let new glories in, the first fair fruits Of strong-lung’d cherub, shall alarm thy captives, of the fast-coming harvest.—Then! Oh, then! And rouse the long, long sleepers into life, Each earth-born joy grows vile, or disappears, Day-light and liberty.
Shrunk to a thing of nought. --Oh! how he longs Then must thy gates fily open, and reveal
To have his passport sign'd, and be dismiss'd! The mines that lay long forming under ground, 'Tis done! and now he's happy!—The glad soul In their dark cells immur'd; but now full ripe, Has not a wish uncrown'd. -Evin the lag flesh And pure as silver from the crucible,
Rests too in hope of meeting once again That twice has stood the torture of the fire
Its better half, never to sunder more; And inquisition of the forge.-We know
Nor shall it hope in vain;-the time draws on Th’ illustrious deliverer of mankind,
When not a single spot of burial earth,
Inviolate:-and faithfully shall these
Make up the full account; not the least atorn (Sure pledge of our releasement from thy thrall!) Embezzld, or mislaid, of the whole tale. Twice twenty days he sojourn'd here on Earth, Each soul shall have a body ready furnishd; And show'd himself alive to chosen witnesses, By proofs so strong, that the most slow assenting Ask not, how this can be? _Sure the same pow? Had not a scruple left. This having done, That reard the piece at first, and took it down, He mounted up to Heav'n.-Methinks I see him Can re-assemble the loose scatter'd parts, Climb the aerial beights, and glide along And put them as they were.-Almighty God Athwart the sev'ring clouds: but the faint eye, Has done much more; nor is his arm impair'd Flung backward in the chase, soon drops its hold, Through length of days: and what he can, he will. Disabled quite, and jaded with pursuing.
His faithfulness stands bound to see it done. Heav'n's portals wide expand to let him in; When the dread trumpet sounds, the slumb'rin Nor are bis friends shut out: as a great prince (Not unattentive to the call) shall wake: [dust Not for himself alone procures admission, And ev'ry joint possess its proper place, But for his train. It was his royal will, With a new elegance of form, unknown That where he is, there should bis followers be. To its first state.--Nor shall the conscious soul Death only lies between.-A gloomy path! Mistake its partner, but amidst the crowd, Made yet more gloomy by our coward fears: Singling its other half, into its arms But not untrod nor tedious; the fatigue
Shall rush with all th' impatience of a man Will soon go off: besides, there's no by-road That's new come home, who, having long been To bliss. Then why, like ill-condition’d children, absent, Start we at transient hardships in the way With haste runs over ev'ry different room, That leads to purer air, and softer skies,
In pain to see the whole. Thrice-happy meeting! And a ne'er setting Sun?-Fools that we are! Nor Time, nor Death, shall ever part them more. We wish to be where sweets unwith’ring bloom; 'Tis but a night, a long and moonless night; But straight our wish revoke, and will not go. We make the grave our bed, and then are gone. So have I seen, upon a summer's ev'n,
Thus at the shut of ev'n, the weary bird Fast by a riv'let's brink a youngster play: Leaves the wide air, and in some lonely brake How wishfully he looks to stem the tide!
Cow:rs down, and dozes till the dawn of day, This moment resolute, next unresolv'd:
Then claps his well-fledg'd wings, and bears away.