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No more imagin'd spectres walk,
How sweet these sacred hours of rest, Fair portraits of the virtuous breast, Where lawless lust, and passion rude, And folly never dare intrude!
Be others' choice the sparkling bowl;
A nobler joy my thoughts design;
That tree which bears immortal fruit,
Come then, my soul, be this thy guest,
With this companion in the shade, Surely thou couldst not be dismay'd ; But if thy Saviour here were found, All Paradise would bloom around,
Had I a firm and lasting faith,
Though tempests drive me from the shore,
Then if my God requir'd the life
Amidst the various scenes of ills,
Though Heav'n afflicts, I'll not repine :
THE COMPLAINT OF NATURE.
O man of woman born!
And shalt to dust return.
Successive o'er thy head;
That lays thee with the dead. • Alas! the little day of life
Is shorter than a span ;
To miserable man.
• Gay is thy morning; flattering Hope
Thy sprightly step attends ;
And the dark night descends.
Comes o'er the beam of light; A pilgrim in a weary land,
Man tarries but a night. - Behold! sad emblem of thy state,
The flowers that paint the field ; Or trees, that crown the mountain's brow
And boughs and blossoms yield.
Away the summer flies ;
• Nipt by the year, the forest fades;
And, shaking to the wind,
The wilderness behind.
• The winter past, reviving flowers
Anew shall paint the plain ; The woods shall hear the voice of spring,
And flourish green again :
' But man departs this earthly scene,
Ah! never to return!
The ashes of the urn.
* Th’inexorable doors of Death
What hand can e'er unfold ?
Can raise the human mould ?
• The mighty flood that rolls along
Its torrents to the main,
From that abyss again.
• The days, the years, the ages, dark
Descending down to night, Can never, never be redeem'd
Back to the gates of light.
• So man departs the living scene,
To night's perpetual gloom; The voice of morning ne'er shall break
The slumbers of the tomb.
• Where are our fathers ? Whither gone
The mighty men of old ?
In sacred books enroll'd ?
• Gone to the resting-place of man,
The everlasting home,
Where future ages come.'
And urg'd her earnest cry ;
Ascended to the sky.
In majesty he rose ;
His voice in mercy flows.
And falls a clod of clay,
To never-setting day.
• Prepar'd of old for wicked men
The bed of torment lies ; The just shall enter into bliss
Immortal in the skies.'