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Strikes, like a pestilence, from breast to breast; | The blush of weakness to the bane of woe.
The noblest spirit, fighting her hard fate,
In this damp, dusty region, charg'd with storma From smiling inan. A slight, a single glance, But feebly flutters, yet untaught to fly ; And shot at random, often has brought home Or, flying, short her flight, and sure her fall. A sudder fever to the throbbing heart,
Our utmost strength, when down, to rise again; Of enoy, rancor, or impure desire.
And not to yield, though beaten, all our praise. We see, we hear, with peril; safety dwells
"Tis vain to seek in men for more than man. Remole from multitude; the world's a school Though proud in promise, big in previons thought, Of wrong, and what proficients swarm around ! Experience damps our triumph. I who late, We must or imitate ; or disapprove;
Emerging from the shadows of the grave, Must list as their accomplices, or foes;
Where vrief detain'd me prisoner, mounting high. That stains our innocence; this wounds our peace. Threw wide the gates of everlasting day, From Nature's birth, hence, wisdom has been smit And call'd mankind to glory, shook off pain, With sweet recess, and languish'd for the shade. Mortality shook off, in ether pure,
This sacred shade, and solitude, what is it? And struck the stars ; now feel my spirits fail; 'Tis the felt presence of the Deity.
They drop me from the zenith ; down I rush, Few are the faults we flatter when alone,
Like him whom fable fledgd with waxen wings, Vice sinks in her allurements, is ungilt:
In sorrow drown'd--but not in sorrow lost. And looks, like other objects, black by night. | How wretched is the man who never mourn'd! By night an atheist half-believes a God.
1 dive for precious pearl in sorrow's stream: Night is fair virtue's immemorial friend ;
Not so the thoughtless man that only grieves; The conscious Moon, through every distant age, Takes all the torment, and rejects the gain, Has held a lamp to wisdom, and let fall,
(Inestimable gain !) and gives Heaven leave On contemplation's eye, her purging ray.
To make him but more wretched, not more wise. The far'd Athenian, he who wood from Heaven | If wisdom is our lesson (and what else Philosophy the fair, to dwell with men,
Ennobles man? what else have angels learnt ?) And form their manners, not inflame their pride, Grief! more proficients in thy school are made, While o'er his head, as fearful to molest
Than genius, or proud learning, e'er could boast.
This book-case, with dark booty almost burst,
Dung'd, but not dress d ; and rich to beggary.
A pomp untamable of weeds prevails. And gives him to the tumult of the world. Her servant's wealth, encumber'd wisdom mourns Hail, precious moments! stol'n from the black waste And what says genius? " Let the dull be wise." Of murder'd time! Auspicious midnight! hail' Genius, too hard for right, can prove it wrong; The world excluded, every passion husht,
And loves to boast, where blush men less inspird. And open'd a calm intercourse with Heaven. It pleads exemption from the laws of sense; Here the soul sits in council; ponders past,
Considers reason as a leveller; Predestines future action ; sees, not feels,
And scorns to share a blessing with the crowd. Tumultuous life, and reasons with the storm : That wise it could be, thinks an ample claim All her lies answers, and thinks down her charms. To glory, and to pleasure gives the rest. What awful joy! what mental liberty!
Crassus but sleeps, Arcelio is undone. I am not pent in darkness ; rather say,
Wisdom less shudders at a fool, than wit. (If not 100 bold.) in darkness I'm embower'd. | But wisdom smiles, when humbled mortals weep. Delightful gloom! the clustering thoughts around When sorrow wounds the breast, as plows the Spontaneous rise, and blossom in the shade ;
glebe, Bu: droop by day, and sicken in the sun.
And hearts obdurate feel her sofiening shower; Thought borrows light elsewhere; from that first fire, Her seed celestial, then, glad wisdom sows; Fountain of animation! whence descends
lier golden harvest triumphs in the soil. l'rania, my celestial guest! who deigns
If so, Narcissa! welcome my Relapse Nightly to visit me, so mean; and now,
I'll raise a tax on my cala:oity, Conscious how needful discipline to man,
And reap rich compensation from my pain. From pleasing dalliance with the charms of night I'll range the plenteous intellectual field; My wandering thought recalls, to what excites | And gather every thought of sovereign power Far other beat of heart! Narcissa's tomb!
To chase the moral maladies of man; Or is it feeble Nature calls me back.
Thoughts, which may bear transplanting to the skies And breaks my spirit into grief again?
Though natives of this coarse penurious soil: Is it a Stygian vapor in my blood ?
Nor wholly wither there, where seraphs sing, A cold, slow puddle, creeping through my veins ? Relin'd, exalted, not annullid, in Heaven. Or is it thus with all men ?—Thus with all. Rea zon, the sun that gives them birth, the same What are we? How unequal! Now we soar, In either clime, though more illustrious there. And now we sink: to be the same, transcends These choicely cull'd, and elegantly rang'd, Our present prowess. Dearly pays the soul Shall form a garland for Narcissa's tomb; For lodging ill; foo dearly rents her clay.
And, peradventure, of no fading flowers. Reann a based counsellor! but adds
| Say on what themes shall puzzled choice descena
"Th'importance of contemplating the tomb;
And, first, th' importance of our end survey d.
The man how blest, who, sick of gaudy scenes, (Scenes apt to thrust between us and ourselves !) Is led by choice to take his favorite walk, Beneath death's gloomy, silent, cypress shades, Unpierc'd hy vanily's fantastic ray; To read his monuments, 10 weigh his dust, Visit his vaults, and dweli among the tombs! Lorenzo ! read with me Narcissa's stone ; (Narcissa was thy favorite!) let us read Her moral stone! few doctors preach so well; Few orators so tenderly can touch The feeling heart. What pathos in the date ! Apt words can strike: and yet in them we see Faint images of what we, here, enjoy. What cause have we to build on length of life? Temptations seize, when fear is laid asleep; And ill foreboded is our strongest guard.,
See from her tomb, as from an humbler shrine, Truth, radiant goddess ! sallies on my soul, And puts Delusion's dusky train to flight; Dispels the mists our sultry passions raise, . From objects low, terrestrial, and obscene : And shows the real estimate of things; Which no man, unafflicted, ever saw; Pulls off the veil from Virtue's rising charms; Detects Temptation in a thousand lies. Truth bids me look on men, as autumn leaves, And all they bleed for, as the summer's dust, Driven by the whirlwind : lighted by her beams, I widen my horizon, gain new powers, See things invisible, feel things remote, Am present with futurities; think nought To man so foreign, as the joys posses; Nought so much his, as those beyond the grave
No folly keeps its color in her sight; Pale worldly wisdom loses all her charms; In pompous promise, from her schemes profound, If future fate she plans, 'tis all in leaves, Like Sibyl, unsubstantial, fleeting bliss ! At the first blast it vanishes in air. Not so, celestial: wouldst thou know, Lorenzo! How differ worldly wisdom, and divine ? Just as the waning, and the waxing Moon. More empty worldly wisdom every day; And every day more fair her rival shines. When later, there's less time to play the fool. Soon our whole term for wisdom is expir'd : (Thou know'st she calls no council in the grave ) And everlasting fool is writ in fire, Or real wisdom wafts us to the skies.
As worldly schemes resemble Sibyls' leaves, The good man's days to Sibyls' books compare, (In ancient story read, thou know'st the tale.) In price still rising, as in number less, Inestimable quite his final hour.
For that who thrones can offer, offer thrones, Insolvent worlds the purchase cannot pay. “ Oh let me die his death !" all Nature cries. * Then live his life."--All Nature falters there. Our great physician daily to consult, To commune with the grave, our only cure, What grave prescribes the best?-A friend's :
Is Death, that ever-threatening, ne'er remote.
Is it, that life has sown her joys so thick,
Is this the cause death flies all human thought Or is it judgment, by the will struck blind, That domineering mistress of the soul ! Like him so strong, by Dalilah the fair ? Or is it fear turns startled reason back, Fro:n looking down a precipice so steep? "Tis dreadful; and the dread is wisely plac d, By Nature, conscious of the make of man. A dreadful friend it is, a terror kind, A flaming sword to guard the tree of life. By that unaw'd, in life's most smiling hour, The good man would repine; would suffer joys, And burn impatient for his promis'd skies. The bad, on each punctilious pique of pride, Or gloom of humor, would give rage the rein Bound o'er the barrier, rush into the dark, And mar the schemes of Providence below
What groan was that, Lorenzo !--Furies! rise, Then sink again, and quiver into death, And drown in your less execrable yell
That most pathetic herald of our own! Britannia's shame. There took her gloomy flight, How read we such sad scenes? As sent to man On wing impetuous, a black sullen soul,
In perfect vengeance? No; in pity sent; Blasted from Hell, with horrid lust of death. |To melt him down, like wax, and then impress, Thy friend, the brave, the gallant Altamont, Indelible, Death's image on his heart; So callid, so thought-And then he fled the field. Bleeding for others, trembling for himself. Less base the fear of death, than fear of life. We bleed, we tremble, we forget, we smile. O Britain, infamous for suicide!
The mind turns fool, before the cheek is dry An island in thy manners, far disjoin'd
Our quick-returning folly cancels all;
Lorenzo! hast thou ever weigh'd a sigh?
(A science, yet unlectur'd in our schools !) And bid abhorrence hiss it round the world.
Hast thou descended deep into the breast, blame not thy cline, nor chide the distant Sun; And seen their source? If not, descend with me, The Sun is innocent, thy clime absolv'd :
And trace these briny rivulets to their springs. Immortal climes kind Nature never made.
Our funeral tears from different causes rise, The cause I sing, in Eden might prevail,
As if from separate cisterns in the soul, And proves, it is thy folly, not thy fate.
of various kinds, they flow. From tender hearts, The soul of man (let man in homage bow, By soft contagion callid, some burst at once, Who names his soul,) a native of the skies! And stream obsequious to the leading eye. High-born, and free, her freedom should maintain, Some ask more time, by curious art distill'd. Unsola, unmortgag'd for Earth's little bribes. Some hearts, in secret hard, unapt to melt, Th' illustrious stranger, in this foreign land,
Struck by the magic of the public eye, Like strangers, jealous of her dignity,
Like Moses' smitten rock, gush out amain. Studious of home, and ardent to return,
Some weep to share the fate of the deceas'd, Or Earth suspicious, Earth's enchanted cup So high in merit, and to them so dear. With cool reserve light touching, should indulge They dwell on praises, which they think they share On immortality, her godlike taste,
(there. And thus, without a blush, commend themselves. There take large draughts; make her chief banquet Some mourn, in proof, that something they could But some reject this sustenance divine ;
love: To beggarly vile appetites descend ;
They weep not to relieve their grief, but show. Ask alms of Earth, for guests that came from Heaven: Some weep in perfect justice to the dead, Sink into slaves; and sell, for present hire, As conscious all their love is in arrear. Their rich reversion, and (what shares its fate) Some mischievously weep, not unappriz'd. Their native freedom, to the prince who sways Tears, sometimes, aid the conquest of an eye. This nether world. And when his payments fail, With what address the soft Ephesians draw When his foul basket gorges them no more,
Their sable net-work o'er entangled hearts ! Or their palld palates lothe the basket full; As seen through crystal, how their roses glow, Are instantly, with wild demoniac rage,
While liquid pearl runs trickling down their chcek For breaking all the chains of Providence, Of hers not prouder Egypt's wanton queen And bursting their confinement; though fast barr'd Carousing gems, herself dissolvid in love. Bv laws divine and human; guarded strong Some weep at death, abstracted from the dead, With horrors doubled to defend the pass,
And celebrate, like Charles, their own deeease. The blackest, nature, or dire guilt can raise ; By kind construction some are deem'd to weep, And noated round with fathomless destruction, Because a decent veil conceals their joy. Sure to receive, and whelm them in their fall. Some weep in earnest, and yet weep in vain;
Such, Britons! is the cause, to you unknown, As deep in indiscretion, as in woe. Or worse, o'erlook'd; o'erlook'd by magistrates, Passion, blind passion! impotently pours Thus criminals themselves. I grant the deed Tears, that deserve more tears; while reason s.ceps Is madness: but the madness of the heart. Or gazes like an idiot, unconcern'd; And what is that? Our utmost bound of guilt. Nor comprehends the meaning of the storm ; A sensual, unreflecting life, is big
Knows nor it speaks to her, and her alone.
Irrationals all sorrow are beneath,
And full as short! The cruel grief soon lam'? At once to shun, and meditate, his end.
They make a pastime of the stingless tale; When by the bed of languishment we sit,
Far as the deep-resounding knell they spread The seat of wisdom! is our choice, not fate,) The dreadful news, and hardly feel it more. Or, o'er our dying friends, in anguish hang,
No grain of wisdom pays them for their woe. Wipe the cold dew, or stay the sinking head, | Half-round the globe, the tears pump'd up by deal. Number their moments, and, in every clock, Are spent in watering vanities of life; Start at the voice of an eternity;
In making folly flourish still more fair, See the dim lamp of life just feebly lift
When the sick soul, her wonted stay withdrawn, An agonizing beam, at us to gaze,
Reclines on earth, and sorrows in the dust
Instead of learning, there, her true support, Ask thought for joy; grow rich, and hoard within.
That wish is praise, and promise; it applauds
What weakness see not children in their sires ? So wept Aurelia, till the destin'd youth
How shocking! it makes folly thrice a fool,
And our first childhood might our last despise. Who gave that angel boy, on whom he dotes ; Peace and esteem is all that age can hope. And died to give him, orphan'd in his birth! Nothing but wisdom gives the first; the last, Not such, Narcissa, my distress for thee.
Nothing, but the repute of being wise. I'll make an altar of thy sacred tomb,
Folly bars both ; our age is quite undone. To sacrifice to wisdom. What wast thou ?
What folly can be ranker? Like cer shadows, “ Young, gay, and fortunate !" Each yields a theme. Our wishes lengthen, as our sun declines. I'll dwell on each, to shun thought more severe; No wish should loiter, then, this side the grave. (Heaven knows I labor with severer still!)
Our hearts should leave the world, before the knell L'll dwell on each, and quite exhaust thy death. Calls for our carcasses to mend the soil. A soul without reflection, like a pile
Enough to live in tempest, die in port : Without inhabitant, to ruin runs.
Age should fly concourse, cover in retreat And, first, thy youth. What says it to grey hairs? Defects of judgment, and the will subdue; Narcissa, I'm become thy pupil now
Walk thoughtful on the silent, solemn shore Early, bright, transient, chaste, as morning dew, Of that vast ocean it must sail so soon ; She sparkled, was exhal'd, and went to Heaven. And put good-works on board ; and wait the wind Time on this head has snow'd; yet still 'eis borne That shortly blows us into worlds unknown; A loft ; nor thinks but on another's grave.
If unconsider'd too, a dreadful scene! Cover'd with shame I speak it, age severe
All should be prophets to themselves; foresee Old worn-out vice sets down for virtue fair; Their future fate ; their future fate foretaste ; With graceless gravity, chastising youth,
This art would waste the bitterness of death. That youth chastis'd surpassing in a fault.
The thought of death alone, the fear destroys. Father of all, forgetfulness of death :
A disaffection to that precious thought
Is inore than midnight darkness on the soul,
Pufl'd off by the first blast, and lost for ever
By repetition hammer'd on thine ear, Deathless ? far froin it! such are dead already : The thought of death? That thought is the machinc, Their hearts are buried, and the world their grave. The grand machine! that heaves us from the dust,
Tell me, some god! my guardian angel ! tell, And rears us into men. That thought, plied home, What thus infatuates ? what enchantment plants Will soon reduce the ghastly precipice The phantom of an age, 'twixt us and death O'er-hanging Hell, will soften the descent, Already at the door? He knocks, we hear,
And gently slope our passage to the grave; And yet we will not hear. What mail defends How warmly to be wish'd! What heart of flesh Our untouch'd hearts? What miracle turns off Would trifle with tremendous ? dare extremes ? The pointed thought, which from a thousand quivers Yawn o'er the fate of infinite? What hand, Is daily darted, and is daily shunn'd?
Beyond the blackest brand of censure bold, We stand, as in a battle, throngs on throngs
(To speak a language too well known to thee,) Around us falling ; wounded oft ourselves;
Would at a moment give its all to chance,
Aid me. Narcissa. aid me to keep pace
With Destiny ; and ere her scissars cut
of moral death, that ties met
Absurd longevity! More, more, it cries : All accident apart, by Nature sign'd,
Must I then forward only look for Death?
Backward I turn mine eye, and find him there Baubles, I mean, that strike us from without, Man is a self-survivor every year. While Nature is relaxing every string?
| Man, like a stream, is in perpetual flow
Death 's a destroyer of quotidian prey.
And opens more the character of death;
- Give Death his due, the wretched, and the old ; Each moment on the former shuts the grave. E'en let him sweep his rubbish to the grave; While man is growing, life is in decrease ;
Let him not violate kind Nature's laws, And cradles rock us nearer to the tomb.
But own man born to live as well as die." Our birth is nothing but our death begun;
Wretched and old thou giv'st him; young and gay As tapers waste that instant they take fire.
He takes; and plunder is a tyrant's joy.
All more than common, menaces an end.
Glad spirits sparkled fror: Narcissa's eye, Thoughtless of death, but when your neighbor's And made youth younger, and taught life to live knell
| As Nature's opposites wage endless war,
Death took swift vengeance. As he life detests A brother tomb to tell you ye shall die.
More life is still more odious; and, reduc'd That death you dread (so great is Nature's skill!) | By conquest, aggrandizes more his power. Know, you shall court before you shall enjoy. But wherefore aggrandiz'd? By Heaven's decree,
But you are learn'd; in volumes, deep you sit; To plant the soul on her eternal guard, In wisdom, shallow : pommus ignorance !
In awful expectation of our end. Would you be still more learned than the learn'd? Thus runs Death's dread commission: “Strike, but so Learn well to know how much need not be known, As most alarms the living by the dead." And what that knouledge, which impairs your sense. Hence stratagem delights him, and surprise, Jur needful knowledge, like our needful food, And cruel sport with man's securities. l'nhedg'd, lies open in life's common field;
Not simple conquest, triumph is his aim: And bids all welcome to the vital feast.
And, where least fear'd, there conquest triumphs moet. You scorn what lies before you in the page
This proves my bold assertion not too bold. Of Nature, and Experience, moral truth :
What are his arts to lay our fears asleep?
Tiberian arts his purposes wrap up
Who travel under cover, Death assumes
The name and look of life, and dwells among us. Your learning, like the lunar beam, affords
He takes all shapes that serve his black designs : Lishi, but not heat; it leaves you undevout, Though master of a wider empire far Frozen at heart, while speculation shines.
Than that o'er which the Roman eagle flew.
Like Nero, he's a fiddler, charioteer,
His disarray'd oblation he devours.
He most affects the forms least like himself, Together shook in his impartial urn,
His slender self. Hence burly corpulence Come forth at randon. : or, if choice is made, Is his familiar wear, and sleek disguise. The choice is quite sarcastic, and insults
Behind the rosy bloom he loves to lurk, All bold conjecture, and fond hopes of man. Or ambush in a smile; or wanton dive What countless multiiudes not only leave,
In dimples deep; love's eddies, which draw in But deeply disappoint us, by their deaths !
Unwary hearts, and sink them in despair. Though great our sorrow, greater our surprise. Such, on Narcissa's couch he loiter'd long
Like other tyrants, Deaih delights to smite, Unknown; and, when detected, still was seen What, smilten, most proclaims the pride of power, To smile ; such peace has innocence in death! And arbitrary nod. His joy supreme,
Most happy they! whom least his arts deceive. To bid the wretch survive the fortunate ;
One eye on Death, and one full fix'd on Heaven, The feeble wrap th'athletic in his shroud ;
Becomes a mortal, and immortal man.
If 'twas a dream, his genius can explain.
'Twas in a circle of the gay I stood. O how mixated on their flattering tombs!
Death would have enter'd; Nature push'd him back Narcissa's youth has lectur'd me thus far. Supported by a doctor of renown, And can her gaiely give counsel too?
His point he gain'd. Then artfully dismist That, like the Jews' fam‘d oracle of gems,
The sage ; for Death design'd to be conceal'd. Sparkles instruction; such as throws new light, He gave an old vivacious usurer