페이지 이미지

Where are they? with the years beyond the Flood? | Unkindled, unconceiv'd ; and from an eye
It is the signal that demands dispatch ; Of tendemess, let heavenly pity fall
How mucli is to be done! my hopes and fears On me, more justly number'd with the dead :
Start up alarm'd, and o'er life's narrow verge

This is the desert, this the solitude :
Look down-on what; a fathomless abyss ; How populous! how vital, is the grave!
A dread eternity! hoy surely mine!

This is creation's melancholy vault,
And can eternity belong to me,

The vale funereal, the sad cypress gloom ; Poor pensioner on the bounties of an hour? The land of apparitions, empty shades;

All, all on earth is shadow, all beyond

Is substance; the reverse is folly's creed ; §. 1451. Man.

How solid all, where chánge shall be no more ! How poor!' how 'rich! how abject ! how august!

§ 148. Life and Eternity. How complicate! how wonderful is van!

This is the bud of being, the dim dawn; How pa:sing wonder He who made him such! Life's theatre as yet is shut, and death, Who centred in our make such strange extrenies! Strong death alune can heave the massy bat, From different natures marvellously mixt, This gross impediment of clay remoye, Connexion exquisite of distant worlds !

And make us embryos of existence free. Distinguish'd link in being's endless chain ! From real life, 'but little more remote Midway from nothing to the Deity! .

Is he, not yet a candidate for light, A beam ethereal sullied, and absorb'd!

The future embryo, sluinbering in his sire: Tho' sullied, and dishonor'd, still divine !

Embryos we must be, till we burst the shell. Dim miniature of greatness absolute !

Yon ambient azure shell, and spring to life, An heir of glory! a frail.child of dust!

The life of gods--0 transport! and of man. Helpless inimortal! insect infinite !

Yet man, fool man! here buries all his thoughts; A worm ! a god! I tremble at myself; Inters celestial hopes without one sigh : And in myself am lost! at home a stranger, Prisoner of earth, and pent beneath the moon, Thought wanders up and down, surpris'd aghast, Here pinions all his wishes : wing'd by heaven And wondring at her own : how reason reels! To fly at infinite, and reach it there, O what a miracle to man is man!

Where seraphs gather immortality, Triumpliantly distress'd, what joy, what dread ! On life's fair tree, fast by the throne of God. Alternately transported and alarm'd!

What golden joys ambrosial clust'ring glow What can preserve iy life, or what destroy ? In his full beam, and ripen for the Just, An angel's arm can't snatch ine from the grave; Where momentary ages are no more ! Legions of anges can't confine nie there.

Where time, and pain, and chance, and death

expire ! $ 146. Dreams.

And is it in the flight of threescore years, Tis past conjecture; all things rise in proof : To push eternity from human thought, While o'er my limbs Sleep's soft dominion And smother souls immortal in the dust! spread,

A soul immortal, spending all her fires, What tho'miv soul fantastic measures trod

Wasting her strength in strenuous idleness, D'er fairy fields; or niour'd along the gloom

Thrown into tumult, raptur'd, or alarm'd, Of pathless woods; or down the craggy steep,

At aught this scene can threaten or indulge, Hurl'd headlong, swan with pain the mantled Resembles ocean into tempest wrought,

To waft a feather or to drown a fly. pool; Or scald the cliff or danc'd on hollow winds,

Where falls this censure? Ito'erwhelms myself. With antic shapes, wild natives of the brain ?

How was my heart enerusted by the world! Her ceaseless flight, tho' deviouis, speaks het nature o bow self-feiter'd was my groveling soul ! Of subler essence than the trodden clod,

How, like a worm, was I wrapt round and round

In silken thought, which reptile Fancy spun, Active, aerial, tow'ring, unconfin'd, Unfetter'd with her gross companion's fall :

Till darken'd Reason lay quite clouded o'er

With soft conceit of endless comfort here, Ex'n silent night proclaims my soul immortal : Ex'n silent night proclaims eternal day:

Nor yet put forih her wings to reach the skies ! bor human weal, heaven husbands all events,

Our waking dreams are fatal : how I dreaint Dull sleep instructs, nor sport vain dreams in vain. Of things impossible! (could sleep do more?)

Of joys perpetual in perpetual change!

of stable pleasures on the tossing wave ! $147. Vanity of Lamentation over the Dead. Eternal sunshine in the storins of life! Why then their loss deplore, that are not lost? How richly were my noon-tide trances hung Why wanders wretched thought their tombs With gorgeous tapestries of pictur'd joys ! around,

Joy behind joy, in endless perspective! In infidel distress? are angels there?

Till at Death's toll, whose restless iron tongue Slumbers, rak'd up in dust, ethereal fire? Calls daily for his millions at a meal, They live! they greatly live a life on earth Starting, I woke, and found myself undone !



Where now my plirensy's pompous

furniture! In this shape, or in that, has fate entail'd The cobweb'd cottage with its ragged wall

The mother's throes on all of woman born, Of mould'ring mud, is royalty to me!

Not more the children, than sure heirs of pain, The spider's thread is cable to man's tie On earthly bliss; it breaks at every breeze. $ 150. Oppression, Want, and Disease.

War, famine, pest, volcano, storm, and fire, $ 149. Time and Death.

Intestine broils, oppression with her heart

Wrapt up in triple brass, besiege mankind : () ye blest scenes of permanent delight!

God's image, disinherited of day, l'ull above measure : lasting bevond bound!

Here plung’d in mines, forgets a sun was made; Could you, so rich in rapture, star an end, That ghastly thought would drink up all your Are hainmer'd to the galling oar for life';

There beings, deathless as their haughty lord, joy,

And plough the winter's wave, and reap despair: And quite unparadise the realms of light.

Some, for hard masters, broken under arms, Safe are you lodg'd above these rolling spheres, In baitle topt away, with half their limbs, The baleful influence of whose giddy dance

Beg bitter bread thro' realınıs their valor sar'd, Sheds sad vicissitudes on all beneath:

If so che tyrant, or his minion doom; Here teems with revolutions every hour; Want and incurable Disease (fell pair!) And rarely for the better; or the best,

On hopeless multitudes remorseless seise More mortal than the common births of fate :

At once; and make a refuge of the grave : Each moment has its sickle, emulous OfTime's enormous scythe, whose ample sweep What numbers groan for sad admission there!

How groaning liospitals eject their dead! Strikes empires from the root; each moment/What numbers, once in Fortune's lap high fed, plies

Solicit the cold hand of charity! Ilis little weapon in the narrower sphere

To shock us more, solicit it in vain ! Of sweet domestic confort, and cuts down

Not Prudence can defend, or Virtue sare; The fairest bloom of sublunary bliss.

Disease inrades the chastest temperance ; Bliss! sublunary bliss ! proud worlds, and vain! And punishment the guiltless ; and aların Implicit treason to divine decree !

Thro' thickest shades pursues the fond of peace: A bold invasion of the rights of heaven !

Man's caution often into danger turns, I claspd the phantoms, and I found them air,

And, his guard falling, crushes him to death. () had I weigh'd it ere my fond embrace

Noi llappiness itself makes good her name; What darts of agony had miss'd


very wishes gives us not our wish; Death! great proprietor of all! 'Tis thine

How distant oft the thing we dote on most, To tread out e:npire, and to quench the stars :

From that for which we dote, felicity! The sun himself by thy permission shines;

The smoothest course of nature has its pains, And, one day, thou shalt pluck him from his And truest friends, thro' error, wound our rest; sphere.

Without misfortune, what calamities! Amid such mighty plunder, why exhaust

And what hostilities without a foe! Thy partial quiver on a mark so inean?

Nor are foes wanting to the best on earth · Why thy peculiar rancour wreck d on me?

But endless is the list of human ills, Insatiate archer! could not one sullicc?

And sighs might sooner fail, than cause to sigh. Thy shaft flew thrice, and thrice my peace was slain;

(horn. And thrice, ere thrice ron moon had fill'd her $ 151. Reflections on viewing a Map of the World. Cynthia! whiy-sa pale? dost thou lament

A part how small of the terraqueous globe Thy wretched neighbour? grieve, to see thy is tenanted by nian! the rest a waste, wheel

Rocks, deserts, frozen seas, and burning sands; Of ceaseless change outwhirld in human life?

Wild haunts of monsters, poisons, stings, and In ev'ry varied posture, place, and hour,

death : How widow'd

every thought of every joy! Thought, busy thought! too busy for my peace, More sad ; this earth is a true map of man :

Such is carth's melancholy map! but, far Thro' the dark postern of vme long elapsid

Se bounded are its haughty lord's delights Led softly, by the stillness of the night,

To woe's wide empire; where deep troubles toss; Sways, wretched rover! o'er the pleasing past,

Loud sorrows howl; envenom'd passions bite ; Ic. of wretchedress, perversely struy;;; quest

Ravenous calainities our vitals seise,
And finds all desert now; and inects the ghosts And threat'ning fate wide opens to devour.
Of my deparied joys, a numerous train!
1 rue the riches of my former fate;
Sweet comfort's blasted clusters make me sigh :

§ 152. Sympathy.
I tremble at the blessings once so dear ; What then am I, who sorrow for myself?
And ev'ry pleasure pains me to the heart, In age, in infancy, from other's aid
Yet why complain? or why complain for one? Is all our hope; to teach us to be kind.
I mourn for millions : 'Tis the common lot ; That, Nature's first, last lesson to mankind :


my heart !

The selfish heart deserves the pain it feels ; We penetrate, we prophesy in vain.
More generous sorrow, while it sinks, exalts, Tiine is dealt out by particles : and each,
And conscious virtue mitigates the pang. Ere mingled with the streaming sands of life,
Nor Virtue, more than Prudence, bids me give By fate's inviolable oath is sworn
Swoln thought a second channel ; who divide, Deep silence, “ Where eternity begins."
They weaken too, the torrent of their grief.
Take then, O world! thy much indebted tear: $ 155. Presumption of depending on To-morrow.
How sad a sight is human happiness [hour!
To those whose thought can pierce beyond an There's no prerogative in human hours:

By Nature's law, what may be, may be now;
O thou! whate'er thou art, whose heart exults! In human hearts what bolder thought can rise,
Wouldst thou I should congratulate thy fate?
I know thou wouldst; thy pride demands it from where is to-morrow? In another world.

Than man's presumption on to-inorrow's dawn? Let thy pride pardon, what thy nature needs, [me, for numbers this is certain ; the reverse The salutary censure of a friend : [blest; Thou happy wretch ! by blindness art thou

is sure to none; and yet on this perhaps, By dotage dandled to perpetual smiles :

This peradventure, infamous for lies, Know, smiler! at thy peril art thou pleas'd ;

As on a rock of adamant we build Thy pleasure is the promise of thy pain.

Our mountain hopes; spin out eternal schemes, Misfortune, like a creditor severe,

And, big with lite's futurities, expire.
But rises in demand for her delay;
She makes a scourge of past prosperity,

$ 156. Sudden Death. To sting thee more, and double thy distress.

Nor ev'n Philander had bespoke his shroud ;

Nor had he cause, a warning was deny'd. § 153.. The Instability and Insufficiency of As sudden, tho’ for years admonish'd home.

How many fall as sudden, not as safe!
Human Joys.
LORENZO! Fortune makes her court to thee,

Of human ills the last extreine beware,
Thy fond heart dances, while the syren sings.

Beware, Lorenzo! a slow-sudden death. I would not damp, but to secure thy joys :

How dreadful that deliberate surprise ! Think not that fear is sacred to the storm :

Be wise to-day, 'tis madness to defer ; Stand on thy guard against the smiles of fate.

Next day the fatal precedent will plead !
Is hearen tremendous in its frown! most sure : Procrastination is the thief of time,

Thus on, till wisdom is push'd out of life;
And in its favors formidable too;
Its favors here are trials, not rewards :

Year after year it steals, till all are fled,

And to the mercies of a moment leaves
A call to dụty, not discharge from care ;
And should áların us, full as much as woes ;

The vast concerns of an eternal scene!
D'er our scann'd conduct give a jealous eye;

If not so frequent, would not this be strange ? Awe Nature's tumult, and chastise her joys,

That 'tis so frequent, this is stranger still. Losi, while we clasp we kill them; nay invert, |$157. Man's Proneness to pospone Improvement. To worse than simple misery, their charms : Revolted joys, like loes in civil war,

Of man's miraculous mistakes, this bears Like bosom friendships to resentment sour’d,

The palm,

“ that all men are about to live." With rage envenom'd rise against our peace.

For ever on the brink of being born :

All Beware what earth calls happiness ; beware

pay themselves the compliment to think All jovs, but joys that never can expire :

They, one day, shall not drivel; and their pride Who builds on less than an immortal base,

On this reversion takes up ready praise ; Fond as he seems, condemns his joys to death. At lcast their own; their future selves applauds;

Mine died with thee, Philander! 'thy last sigh How excellent that life they ne'er will lead! Dissolv'd the charm; the disenchanted earth

Time lodg’d in their own hands is folly's rails ; Lost all her lustre ; where, her glittering towers? That lodgd in fate's, 10 wisdom they consign.

(deed, Her golden mountains, where all darkend All promise is poor dilatory man, To naked waste; a dreary vale of tears! [down And that thro' every stage : when young, inThe great inagician's dead! thou poor pale piece In full content, we s metimes nobly rest, Of outcast earth, in darkness! what a change

Unanxious for ourselves; and only wish, From yesterday ! thy darling hope so near, [in As duteous sons, our fathers were more wise :

(Long-labor'd prize!) death's subtle seed with. At thirty man suspects himself a fool;
. (Sky, treach'rous miner!) working in the dark, Knows it at forty, and reforms his plan;

Smil'd at thy well-concerted scheine, and beck. At fifty chides his infamous delay,
The worm to riot on that rose so red, [on'd Pushes his prudent purpose to resolve;
l'nfaded ere it fell; one moment's prey !

In all the magnanimity of thought

Resolves, and re-resolves : then dies the same. $154. Man short-sighted. Tae present moment terminates our sight;

$ 158. Man insensible of his own Mortality. Clouds thick as those on doomsday, drown And why! because he thinks himself immortal.

Ay men ilink all men mortal, but then selves ;

I 2



the next;

Themselves, when some alarming shock of fate In act no triflc, and no blank in time. Strikes thru their wounded hearts the sudden This greatens, fills, inmortalizes all! dread;

This, the blest art of turning all to gold; But their hearts wounded, like the wounded air, This, the good heart's prerogatire to raise Soonclose; where pass'd the shaft, no trace is found: A royal tribute, from the poorest hours. As, from the wing no scar the sky retains; Immense revenue ! every moment pays. The parted wave no furrow from the keel; If nothing more than purpose in thy power, So dies in human hearts the thought of death : Thy purpose firm, is equal to the deed : Ev'n with the tender tcar which nature sheds Who does the best his circumstance allows, O'er those we love, we drop it in their grave. Does well, acts nobly, angels could no more, Can I forget Philander? that were strange ;

Our outward act, indeed, admits restraint ; O my full heart! but should I give it vent, 'Tis not in things o'er thought to domineer;

The longest night, tho' longer far, would fail, Guard well thy thoughts; our thoughts are And the lark listen to my midnight song.

heard in heaven.

On all-important time, thro' every age, $ 159. NIGHT 11. Avarice of Time recommended. Tho' much, and warm, the wise have urg'd; the He mourns the dead, who lives as they desire. Is yet unborn who duly weighs an hour. [man Where is that thrift, that ararice of Time, “I've lost a day"—the prince who nobly cry'd, (Blest av’rice!) which the thouglit of death Had been an einperor without his crown; inspires.

He spoke, as if deputed by mankind. O time! than gold more sacred ; more a load So should all speak : so reason speaks in all: Than lead, to tools ; and fools reputed wise. From the soft whispers of that god in man, What moinent granted inan without account? Why fly to folly, why to phrensy fly, What years are squander’d, wisdom's debt unpaia? For rescue from the blessing we possess ? Haste, haste, it lies in wait, he's at the door, Time, the supreine! — Time is eternity; Insidious death, should his strong hand arrest, Pregnant with all eternity can give, Nocomposition sets the prisoner free.

Pregnant with all that makes arch-angels smile Eternity's inexorable chain

Who murders time, he crushes in the birth Fast binds; and vengeance claims the full arrear. A pow'r ethereal, only not ador’d.

How lare I shudder'd on the brink! how late Life callid for her last refuge in despair!

$ 160. Inconsistency of Man. For what calls thy disease ? for moral aid. Thou think'st it folly to be wise too soon.

Ah! how unjust to nature, and himself, Youth is not rich in time; it may be,

Is thoughtless, thankless, inconsistent man !

poor : Part with it as with muoney, sparing; pay

Like children babbling nonsense in their sports, No moment, but in purchase of its worth :

We censure nature for a span too short; And what its worth, ask death-beds, they can

That span too short, we tax as tedious too ; Part with it is with life, reluctant; big [tell. Torture invention, all expedients tire, With holy hope of nobler time to come.

To lash the ling'ring moments into speed ; Is this our duty, wisdom, glory, gain?

And whirl us (bappy riddance) from ourselves. And sport we like the natives of the bough,

Art, brainless art ! our furious charioteer, When vernal suns inspire ? Amusement reigns Death, most our dread, death thus more dread

Drives headlong towards the precipice of death; Man's great demand : 'to trifle is to live: And is it then a trifle, too, to die?

O what a ridicule of absurdity! ful made. Who wants amusement in the flame of battle: Leisure is pain; take off our chariot wheels : Is it not treason to the soul immortal,

How heavily we drag the load of life! Her foes in arms, eternity the prize?

Blest leisure is our curse ; like that of Cain Will toys amuse, when wed'cines cannot cure? It makes us wander, wander earth around When spirits ebb, when life's enchanting scenes

To Ay that tyrant, Thought. As Atlas groan'd Their lustre lose, and lessen in our sight?

The world beneath, we groan beneath an hour. (As lands, and cities with their glitt'ring spires

We cry for mercy to the next amusement: To the poor shatter'd bark, by sudden storm

Yet when Death kindly tenders us relief, Thrown off to sea, and soon to perish there)

We call him cruel; years to moments shrink. Will toys amuse? --no: thrones will then be toys, Time, in advance, behind him hides his wings, And earth and skies seem dust upon the scale.

And seems to creep, decrepit with his age; Redeem we time?-its loss we dearly buy:

Behold him, when past by'; what then is seen What pleads Lorenzo for his high-prizid sports ? But his broad pinions swifter than the winds : IIe pleads time's numerous blanks ; he loudly and all inankind, in contradiction strong, pleads

Rueful, aghast! cry out at his carcer,
The straw-like trifles on life's common stream.
From whom those blanks and trifles, but from

$161. Waste of Time.
Noblank, notrifle, nature made or meant: (thee? Leave to thy foes these errors, and these ills :
Virtue, or purpos'd virtue, still be thine : To nature just, their cause and cure explore;
This cancels thy complaint at once; this leaves No niggard, nature; men are prodigals:


[ocr errors]

If time past,

We throw away our suns, as niade for sport; New wing thy short, short day's too rapid flight?
We waste, not use our tiine: we breathe, not live; Man Ries from time, and tiine from inan tog
And barely breathing, man, to live ordaind, In sad divorce this double Aight must cnd; (soon
Irings, and oppresses with enormous weight And then, where are we? where, Lorenzo! then,
And why? since time was given for use, not waste, Thy sports ? thy pomp?-I grant thee, in a state
Enjoy'd to fly, with tempest, uide, and stars, Not unambitious; in the ruffed shroud,
To keep his speed, nor ever wait for mani: Thy Parian tomb's triumphant arch bencatin
Time's use was doom'd a pleasure ; waste, a pain, Has death his fopperies! Then well may life
That man might feel his error, if unseen; Put on her plume, and in her rainbow sbire,
And, feeling, Ay to labor for his cure, [sign'd;
Life's cares are comforts ; such by heav'n de-

$ 162. False Delicacy.
le that has none, must make them, or be wretch-
Cares are employments; and without employ[ed. Ye lilies male! who neither toil, nor spin ;

Ye well-array'd! ye lilies of our land!
The soal is on a rack, the rack of rest ;
To souls inost adverse ; action all their joy.

Ye delicate! who nothing can support, *Here, then, the ridele, mark'd above, unfolds;

Yourselves most insupportable! for whom Then time turns torment, when man turns a fool! The winter rose must blow, and silky soft We rave, we wrestle with great nature's plan ;

Favonius breathe still softer, or be chid ; We thwart the Deity; and 't is decreed,

And other worlds send odors, sauce, and song, Who thwart his will, shall contradict their own. And robes, and notions, fram'd in foreign Hence our unnatural quarrel with ourselves ;

Oye who deem one moment unamus'd, (looms ! Our thoughts at enmity; our bosom-broil. A misery, say, dreamers of gay dreams ! We push time from us ; and we wish him back; How will you weather an eternal night, Life we think long, and short ; death seek, and Where such expedients fail? where wit's a fool; Oh the dark days of vanity! while here, (shun. Mirth mourns ; dreams vanish ; laughter sinks How tasteless ! 'and how terrible, when gone!

in tears. Gone? they ne'er go; when past, they haunt us The spirit walks of ev'ry Day deceas'd, [still;

$ 163. Conscience. And smiles an angel ; or a füry frowns. O TREACHERous conscience! while she seems Vor death nor life delights us.

10 sleep,
And time possest, both pain us, what can please? On rose and myrtle, lulld with syren song;
That which the Deity to please ordain'd, While she seeins, nodding o'er her charge, too
Time us'd. The man who consecrates his hours, On headlong appetite the slacken'd' rein, (drop.
By vigorous effort, and an honest aim, The sly informer minutes every fault,
Ai once he draws the sting of life and death:

And her dread diary with horror fills :
lie walks with nature; and her paths are peace. Not the gross act alone employs her pen:
Our error's cause, and cure, are seen : see next She dawning purposes of heart explores,
Time's nature, origin, importance, speed, Uunoted, notes each moment misapply'd;
And thy great gain from urging his career. – In leaves more durable than leaves of brass
He looks on time as nothing : Nothing else
Is truly man's: what wonders can he do?

Writes our whole history'; which death shall
In ev'ry pale delinquent's private ear;

(read And will : to stand blank neuter he disdains. Vor on those terins was time (heaven's stran- Than this: and endless age in groans resound.

And judgement publish : publish to more worlds On his important embassy to man. [ger!) sent Audthink'st thou stillthou canst be wisetoo soon! When the dread sire, on emanation bent And big with nature, arising in his might, Cail'd forth creation (for then a time was born)

§ 164. Man's Supineness. Hi godhead streaming thro' a thousand worlds' Time fies, death urges, knells call, heaven No on those terins, from the great days of invites, From old eternity's mysterious orb, [heaven, Hell threatens; all exerts ; in effort, all ; . Was time cut off ; and cast beneath the skies ; More than creation labors ! - Labors more? The skies which watch him in his new abode, And is there in creation, what, amidst leasuring his motions by revolving spheres :

This tumult universal, wing'd dispatch, llours, days, and months, and years, his chil- And ardent energy, supinely yawns ! [fate, dren, play

Man sleeps ; and man alone; and man, whose Like numerous wings, around him, as he flies : Fate irreversible, entire, extreme, (gulph O rather, as unequal plumes, they shape Endless, hair-hung, breeze-shaken, o'er the His ample pinions, swift as darted 'Aanie, A moment trembles ; drops! man, the sole cause To gain his goal, to reach his antient rest, Of this surrounding storm! and yet he sleeps, And join anew eternity his sire; [hing'd As the storm rock'd to rest.-Throw years away? When worlds, that count his circles now, un- Throw'empires and be blameless! moments seise, (Fate the loud signal sounding) headlong rush Heaven's on their wing: a moment we may wish To timeless night, and chaos, whence they ruse. When worlds want wealth to buy. Bid day stand Why spur the speedy 2 why with levities Bid him drive back his car, recall, retake [still,

I 3


« 이전계속 »