« EdellinenJatka »
She pafs'd ferenely with a fingle breath;
This moment perfect health, the next was death:
One figh did her eternal blifs affure ;
So little penance needs, when fouls are almost pure.
As gentle dreams our waking thoughts pursue;
Or, one dream pass'd, we flide into a new ;
So close they follow, fuch wild order keep,
We think ourselves awake, and are asleep:
So foftly death fucceeded life in her :
She did but dream of heaven, and fhe was there.
No pains fhe fuffer'd, nor expir'd with noife;
Her foul was whisper'd out with God's ftill voice;
As an old friend is beckon'd to a feast,
And treated like a long-familiar guest.
He took her as he found, but found her fo,
As one in hourly readiness to go:
E'en on that day, in all her trim prepar'd;
As early notice she from heaven had heard,
And fome descending courtier from above
Had given her timely warning to remove;
Or counsell'd her to dress the nuptial room,
For on that night the bridegroom was to come.
He kept his hour, and found her where the lay
Cloth'd all in white, the liv'ry of the day :
Scarce had the finn'd in thought, or word, or act ;
Unless omiffions were to pass for fact:
That hardly death a confequence could draw,
To make her liable to nature's law.
And, that the dy'd, we only have to show
The mortal part of her she left below:
The reft, fo fmooth, fo fuddenly she went,
Look'd like tranflation thro' the firmament,
Or, like the fiery car on the third errand fent.
O happy foul! if thou canst view from high,
Where thou art all intelligence, all eye,
If looking up to God, or down to us,
Thou find', that any way be pervious,
Survey the ruins of thy house, and fee
Thy widow'd, and thy orphan family :
Look on thy tender pledges left behind;
And, if thou canst a vacant minute find
From heavenly joys, that interval afford
To thy fad children, and thy mourning lord.
See how they grieve, miftaken in their love,
And shed a beam of comfort from above;
Give them, as much as mortal eyes can bear,
A tranfient view of thy full glories there;
That they with mod'rate forrow may fuftain
And mollify their loffes in thy gain.
Or elfe divide the grief; for fuch thou wert,
That fhould not all relations bear a part,
It were enough to break a single heart.
Let this fuffice: nor thou, great faint, refuse
This humble tribute of no vulgar mufe:
Who, not by cares, or wants, or age depreft,
Stems a wild deluge with a dauntless breaft;
And dares to fing thy praises in a clime
Where vice triumphs, and virtue is a crime;
Where e'en to draw the picture of thy mind,
Is fatire on the moft of human kind:
Take it, while yet 'tis praife; before my rage,
Unfafely juft, break loofe on this bad age;
So bad, that thou thyfelf hadst no defence
From vice, but barely by departing hence.
Be what, and where thou art: to with thy place, Were, in the beft, presumption more than grace. Thy relics, (fuch thy works of mercy are) Have, in this poem, been my holy care. As earth thy body keeps, thy foul the sky, So fhall this verse preserve thy memory; For thou shalt make it live, becaufe it fings of thee.
WAS on a joyless and a gloomy morn,
Wet was the grafs, and hung with pearls the thorn; When Damon, who defign'd to pass the day
With hounds and horns, and chace the flying prey,
Rofe early from his bed; but foon he found
The welkin pitch'd with fullen clouds around,
An eaftern wind, and dew upon the ground.
Thus while he stood, and fighing did furvey
The fields, and curft th' ill omens of the day,
He faw Menalcas come with heavy pace;
Wet were his eyes, and chearlefs was his face :
wrung his hands, diftracted with his care,
And fent his voice before him from afar.
Return, he cry'd, return, unhappy fwain,
The fpungy clouds are fill'd with gathering rain:
The promise of the day not only crofs'd,
But e'en the spring, the fpring itself is loft.
Amyntas-oh!-he could not fpeak the reft,
Nor needed, for prefaging Damon guess'd.
Equal with heaven young Damon lov'd the boy,
The boast of nature, both his parents joy,
His graceful form revolving in his mind;
So great a genius, and a foul fo kind,
Gave fad affurance that his fears were true;
Too well the envy of the gods he knew :
For when their gifts too lavishly are plac'd,
Soon they repent, and will not make them laft.
For fure it was too bountiful a dole,
The mother's features, and the father's foul.
Then thus he cry'd; the morn bespoke the news:
The morning did her cheerful light diffufe:
But fee how fuddenly the chang'd her face,
And brought on clouds and rain, the day's difgrace:
Just fuch, Amyntas, was thy promis'd race.
What charms adorn'd thy youth, where nature fmild,
And more than man was giv'n us in a child!
His infancy was ripe: a foul fublime
In years fo tender that prevented time:
Heaven gave him all at once; then inatch'd away,
Ere mortals all his beauties could furvey:
Just like the flower that buds and withers in a day.
The mother, lovely, tho' with grief opprefs'd,
Reclin'd his dying head upon her breaft.
The mournful family flood all around;
One groan was heard, one universal found:
All were in floods of tears and endless forrow drown'd.
So dire a fadness fat on ev'ry look,
E'en death repented he had giv'n the froke.
He griey'd his fatal work had been ordain'd,
But promis'd length of life to those who yet remain'd.
The mother's and her eldest daughter's grace,
It seems, had brib'd him to prolong their space.
The father bore it with undaunted foul,
Like one who durft his deftiny controul :
Yet with becoming grief he bore his part,
Refign'd his fon, but not refign'd his heart:
Patient as Job; and may he live to fee,
Like him, a new increafing family!
Such is my wish, and fuch my phrophefy.
For yet, my friend, the beauteous mould remains ;
Long may fhe exercife her fruitful pains!
But, ah! with better hap, and bring a race
More lafting, and endu'd with equal grace!
Equal the may, but farther none can go:
For he was all that was exact below.
Damon, behold yon breaking purple cloud;
Hear'ft thou not hymns and fongs divinely loud?
There mounts Amyntas; the young cherubs play
About their godlike mate, and fing him on his way.
He cleaves the liquid air, behold he flies,
And every moment gains upon the skies.
The new come guest admires th' ætherial ftate,
The faphir portal, and the golden gate;
And now admitted in the fhining throng,
He fhows the passport which he brought along.
His pafsport is his innocence and grace,
Well known to all the natives of the place.
Now fing, ye joyful angels, and admire.
Your brother's voice that comes to mend your quire:
Sing you, while endless tears our eyes bestow;
For like Amyntas none is left below.
On the DEATH of
A very young Gentleman.
E who could view the book of deftiny,
And read whatever there was writ of thee,
O charming youth, in the first op'ning page,
So many graces in fo green an age,
Such wit, fuch modefty, fuch ftrength of mind,
A foul at once fo manly, and fo kind;