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Who swam to sov’reign rule through seas of blood ;
short, Who fix'd his iron talons on the poor, And grip'd them like some lordly beast of prey ; Deaf to the forceful cries of gnawing hunger, And piteous plaintive voice of misery, (As if a slave was not a sbred of nature, of the same common nature with his lord) Now tame and humble, like a child that's whipp'd, Shakes hands with dust, and calls the worm his
kinsman; Nor pleads his rank and birthright. Under ground Precedency's a jest ; vassal and lord, Grossly familiar, side by side consume.
When self-esteem, or others' adulation, Would cunningly persuade us we were something Above the common level of our kind, The grave gainsays the smooth complexion'd flatt'ry, And with blunt truth acquaints us what we are.
Beauty-thou pretty play-thing, dear deceit, That steals so softly o'er the stripling's heart, And gives it a new pulse, unknown before, The grave discredits thee : thy charms expung'd, Thy roses faded, and thy lilies soil'd, What bast thou more to boast of? Will thy lovers Flock round thee now, to gaze and do thee homage ? Methinks I see thee with thy head low laid,
Wbilst surfeited upon thy damask cheek
Strength too.--thou surly, and less gentle boast.
shoulders ? See how he tugs for life, and lays about him, Mad with his pain !---Eager he catches hold Of what comes next to hand and grasps it hard, Just like a creature drowning ; hideous sight! Oh! how his eyes stand out, and stare full ghastly! While the distemper's rank and deadly venom Shoots like a burning arrow 'cross his bowels, And drinks his marrow up.--- Heard you that groan ? It was his last.---See how the great Goliah, Just like a child that brawld itself to rest, Lies still..--What mean'st thou then, I mighty
To vaunt of nerves of thine ? what means the bull,
With study pale, and midnight vigils spent,
space, Marks well the courses of the far-seen orbs That roll with regular confusion there, In ecstacy of thought. But ah ! proud man, Great heights are hazardous to the weak head ; Soon, very soon thy firmest footing fails ; And down thou dropp’st into that darksome place, Where nor device nor knowledge ever came.
Here, the tongue-warrior lies disabled now, Disarm’d, dishonour'd, like a wretch that's gagg’d, And cannot tell his ail to passers by. Great man of language-whence this mighty change, This dumb despair, and drooping of the head : Though strong persuasion hung upon thy lip, And sly insinuation's softer arts In ambush lay about thy flowing tongue : Alas! how chop-fall'n now! thick mists and silence Rest, like a weary cloud, upon thy breast Unceasing. Ah! where is the lifted arm, The strength of action, and the force of words, The well-turn'd period, and the well-tun'd voice, With all the lesser ornaments of phrase ? Ah ! fled for ever, as they ne'er had been, Raz'd from the book of fame : or, more provoking, Perchance some backney hunger-bitten scribbler Insults thy memory, and blots thy tomb With long flat parrative, or duller rhymes, With heavy halting pace that drawl alone ;
Enough to rouse a dead man into rage,
Here the great masters of the healing art,
Here the lank-sided miser, worst of felons, Who meanly stole (discreditable shift) From back, and belly too, their proper cheer ; Eas'd of a tax it irk'd the wretch to pay To his own carcass ; now lies cheaply lodg’d, By clam'rous appetites no longer teaz’d, Nor tedious bills of charges and repairs. But ah ! where are his rents, his comings in ? Ay! now you've made the rich man poor indeed; Robb’d of his gods, 'what has he left behind ? Oh cursed lust of gold ; when for thy sake, The fool throws up his interest in both worlds : First starv'd in this, then damn'd in that to come.
How shocking must thy summons be, O death ! To him that is at ease in his possessions ; Who, counting on long years of pleasure here, Is quite unfurnish'd for that world to come! In that dread moment, how the frantic soul
Raves round the walls of her clay tenement,
Sure 'tis a serious thing to die ! my soul,
If death were nothing, and nought after death's If when men dy'd, at once they ceas'd to be, Returning to the barren womb of nothing, Whence first they sprung, then might the debauchee Untrembling mouth the heav'ns :--then might the
drunkard Reel over his full bowl, and, when 'tis drain'd, Fill up another to the brim, and laugh At the poor bugbear death :---then might the wretch That's weary of the world, and tir'd of life, At once give each inquietnde the slip,