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No more imagin'd spectres walk,
No more the doubtful echoes talk ;
Soft zephyrs fan the neighbouring trees,
And meditation mounts the breeze.
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 ;
And mirth, the poison of the soul;
Or midnight dance, and public shows,
Parents of sickness, pains, and woes :
A nobler joy my thoughts design ;
Instructive solitude be mine :
Be mine that silent calm repast,
A cheerful conscience to the last.
That tree which bears immortal fruit,
Without a canker at the root;
That friend which never fails the just,
When other friends desert their trust.
Come then, my soul, be this thy guest,
And leave to knaves and fools the rest.
With this thou ever shalt be gay,
And night shall brighten into day.
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,
To credit what th' Almighty saith,
I could defy the midnight gloom,
And the pale monarch of the tomb.
Though tempests drive me from the shore,
And foods descend, and billows roar;
Though death appears
every form, My little bark should brave the storm.
Then if my God requir'd the life
Of brother, parent, child, or wife ;
Lord! I should bless the stern decree,
And give my dearest friend to thee.
Amidst the various scenes of ills,
Each stroke some kind design fulfils ;
And shall I murmur at my God,
When sovereign love directs the rod ?
Peace, rebel-thoughts-I'll not complain.
My Father's smiles suspend my pain;
Smiles that a thousand joys impart,
the balm that heals the smart.
Though Heav'n afflicts, I'll not repine :
Each heartfelt comfort still is mine;
Comforts that shall o'er death prevail,
And journey with me through the vale.
Dear Jesus, smooth that rugged way,
And lead me to the realms of day,
To milder skies, and brighter plains,
Where everlasting sunshine reigns.
THE COMPLAINT OF NATURE.
Few are thy days and full of wo,
O man of woman born!
Thy doom is written, Dust thou art,
And shalt to dust return.
* Determin'd are the days that fly
Successive o'er thy head ;
The number'd hour is on the wing,
That lays thee with the dead. • Alas ! the little day of life
Is shorter than a span ;
Yet black with thousand hidden ills
To miserable man.
• Gay is thy morning; flattering Hope
Thy sprightly step attends ;
But soon the tempest howls behind,
And the dark night descends.
* Before its splendid hour the cloud
Comes o'er the beam of light;
A pilgrim in a weary land,
ÍMan 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.
« When chill the blast of winter blows,
Away the summer flies ;
The flowers resign their sunny robes.
And all their beauty dies.
• Nipt by the
the forest fades; And, shaking to the wind, The leaves toss to and fro, and streak
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 !
No second spring shall e'er revive
The ashes of the urn.
" Th’inexorable doors of Death
What hand can e'er unfold ?
Who from the cearments of the tomb
Can raise the human mould ?
• The mighty flood that rolls along
Its torrents to the main,
The waters lost can ne'er recal
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 ?
The patriarchs, prophets, princes, kings,
In sacred books enrolld ?
• Gone to the resting-place of man,
The everlasting home,
Where ages past have gone before,
Where future ages come.'
Thus Nature pour'd the wail of wo,
And urg'd her earnest cry ;
Her voice in agony extreme
Ascended to the sky.
Th’ Almighty heard: then from his throne
In majesty he rose ;
And from the Heaven, that open’d wide,
His voice in mercy flows.
• When mortal man resigns his breath,
And falls a clod of clay,
The soul immortal wings its flight,
To never-setting day.
• Prepard of old for wicked men
The bed of torment lies ; The just shall enter into bliss Immortal in the skies.'