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What sense suggests, how fondly we believe,
Frail is our state, (th' ungodly cry) how few
frame, Nor know we how, or why, or whence we came : Smoke is our breath, a spark our vital part, That warms, and moves, and animates our heart, Which once extinguish’d, we no more are seen ; Then shall we be, as if we ne'er had been. Our works shall all in dark oblivion lie, And with ourselves our very names shall die; Silent, forgot, to nothing we repair, To dust our bodies, and our souls to air.
We vanish like a cloud, that owes its birth To exhalations from the glowing earth, Drawn up, and painted by the solar rays, A beauteous being it awhile displays; But soon dissolv'd, its short-liv'd glory mourns, And to its parent earth in tears returns : View all the heavens around, nor can you find The path it pass’d, or mark its trace behind.
Come, let us then the present hour employ;
date of life, and short is ours.
Thus they, who from the ways of truth decline,
LATTÉR PART OF THE SIXTH CHAPTER
WHEN my breast labours with oppressive care,
Think not, when all your scanty stores afford
Yet, your kind heav’nly Father bends his eye
Observe the rising lily's snowy grace;
If, ceaseless, thus the fowls of heaven he feeds, If o'er the fields such lucid robes he spreads; Will he not care for you, ye faithless, say? Is he unwise? or, are ye less than they?
ODE ON AOLUS'S HARP.
ÆTHEREAL race, inhabitants of air,
Who hymn your God amid the secret grove; Ye unseen beings, to my harp repair,
And raise majestic strains, or melt in love.
Those tender notes, how kindly they upbraid !
With what soft woe they thrill the lover's heart! Sure from the hand of some unhappy maid,
Who dy'd of love, these sweet complainingspart.
But hark! that strain was of a graver tone;
On the deep strings his hand some hermit throws; Or he, the sacred bard *; who sat alone,
In the drear waste, and wept his people's woes.
Such was the song which Zion's children sung, When by Euphrates' streain they made their
plaint; And to such sadly solemn notes are strung
Angelic harps, to soothe a dying saint.
Methinks I hear the full celestial choir,
raise: Now chanting clear, and now they all conspire
To swell the lofty hymn, from praise to praise.
Let me, ye wand'ring spirits of the wind,
Who,as wild fancy prompts you touch the string, Smit with your theme, be in your chorus join'd,
For till you cease, my muse forgets to sing.