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HUMAN FRAILTY. Weak and irresolute is man;
The purpose of to-day,
Woven with pains into his plan,
To-morrow rends away.
The bow well bent, and smart the spring,
Vice seems already slain ;
But Passion rudely snaps the string,
And it revives again.
Some foe to his upright intent
Finds out his weaker part ;
Virtue engages his assent,
But Pleasure wins his heart.
'Tis here the folly of the wise
Through all his art we view;
And, while his tongue the charge denies,
His conscience owns it true.
Bound on a voyage of awful length,
And dangers little known,
A stranger to superior strength,
Man vainly trusts his own,
But ours alone can ne'er prevail
To reach the distant coast;
The breath of Heay'n must swell the sail,
Or all the toil is lost.
MAN WAS MADE TO MOURN: A DIRGE.
When chill November's surly blast
Made fields and forests bare,
One evening, as I wander'd forth-
Along the banks of Ayr,
I spied à man, whose aged step
Seem'd weary worn with care ;
His face was furrow'd o'er with years,
And hoary was his hair.
· Young stranger, whither wanderest thou?
Began the reverend sage;
Does thirst of wealth thy step constrain,
Or youthful pleasure's rage ?
Or, haply, press'd with cares and woes,
Too soon thou hast began
To wander forth, with me, to mourn
The miseries of man.
The Sun that overhangs yon moors,
Out-spreading far and wide,
Where hundreds labour to support
A haughty lordling's pride ;
I've seen yon weary winter-sun
Twice forty times return;
And every time has added proofs
That man was made to mourn.
O man! while in thy early years
How prodigal of time !
Mis-spending all thy precious hours,
Thy glorious youthful prime!
And see his lordly fellow-worm
The poor petition spurn, Unmindful, though a weeping wife
And helpless offspring mourn.
"If I'm design'd yon lordling's slave,
By Nature's law design'd, Why was an independent wish
E'er planted in my mind ?
If not, why am I subject to
His cruelty or scorn?
Or why has man the will and pow'r
To make his fellow mourn?
•Yet, let not this too much, my son,
Disturb thy youthful breast:
This partial view of human kind
Is surely not the last !
The poor, oppressed, honest man,
Had never, sure, been born,
Had there not been some recompence
To comfort those that mourn !
'O death! the poor man's dearest friend,
The kindest and the best!
Welcome the hour my aged limbs
Are laid with thee at rest!
The great, the wealthy, fear thy blow,
From pomp and pleasure torn:
But, oh! a bless'd relief to those
That weary-laden mourn!'
A FUNERAL HYMN.
Ye midnight shades! o'er Nature spread
Dumb silence of the dreary hour;
In honour of th' approaching dead
Around your awful terrors pour.
Yes, pour around
On this pale ground,
Through all this deep surrounding gloom,
The sober thought,
The tear untaught,
Those meetest mourners at a tomb.
Lo! as the surplic'd train draw near
To this last mansion of mankind,
The slow sad bell, the sable bier,
In holy musings wrap the mind!
And while their beam,
With trembling stream,
Attending tapers faintly dart,
Each mouldering bone,
Each sculptur'd stone,
Strikes mute instruction to the heart.
Now let the sacred organ blow
With solemn pause and sounding slow;
Now let the voice due measure keep,
In strains that sigh and words that weep,
Till all the vocal current blended roll,
Not to depress but lift the soaring soul.
To lift it in the Maker's praise
Who first inform'd our frame with breath ;
And, after some few stormy days,
Now gracious gives us o'er to Death.