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Wrings and oppresses with enormous weight. .
And why? since time was given for use, not waste,
Enjoin'd to fly, with tempest, tide, and stars, .
To keep his speed, nor even wait for man.
Time's use was doom'd a pleasure, waste a pain,
That man might feel his error if unseen,
And feeling, fly to labour for his cure;
Not, blundering, split on idleness for ease. "
We push Time from us, and we wish him back;
Life we think long, and short; death seek and shun
Oh the dark days of vanity! while here
How tasteless! and how terrible, when gone!
Gone? they ne'er go; when past, they haunt us
The spirit walks of every day deceas'd,
And smiles an angel, or a fury frowns.
Nor death nor life delight us. If time past,
And time possess'd, both pain us, what can please?
That which the Deity to please ordain'd,
Time us'd. The man who consecrates his hours
By vigorous effort, and an honest aim,
At once he draws the sting of life and death:
He walks with nature, and her paths are peace.
'Tis greatly wise to talk with our past hours,
And ask them what report they bore to Heav'n,
And how they might have borne more welcome
news. Their answers form what men Experience call; If Wisdom's friend her best, if not, worst foe. ALL-SENSUAL man, because untouch'd, unseen, He looks on time as nothing. Nothing else Is truly man's; 'tis Fortune's.-Time's a god,
Hast thou ne'er heard of Time's omnipotence!
For, or against, what wonders can he do!
And will: to stand blank neuter he disdains.
Not on those terms was Time (Heaven's stranger!)
On this important embassy to man. [sent
Lorenzo ! no : on the long-destin'd hour,
From everlasting ages growing ripe,
That memorable hour of wondrous birth,
When the Dread Sire, on emanation bent,
And big with Nature, rising in his might,
Calld forth creation (for then Time was born)
By Godhead streaming through a thousand worlds;
Not on those terms, from the great days of Heav'n,
From old Eternity's mysterious orb
Was Time cut off and cast beneath the skies ;
The skies, which watch him in his new abode,
Measuring his motions by revolving spheres,
That horologe machinery divine.
Hours, days, and months, and years, his children,
Like numerous wings, around him, as he flies;
Or rather, as unequal plumes, they shape
His ample pinions, swift as darted flame,
To gain his goal, to reach his ancient rest,
And join anew Eternity, his sire;
In his inimutability to nest,
When worlds, that count his circles now, unhing'd,
(Fate the loud signal sounding) headlong rush
To timeless night and chaos, whence they rose.
BUT why on time so lavish is my song?
On this great theme kind Nature keeps a school
To teach her sons herself. Each night we die;
Each morn are born anew; each day a life!
And shall we kill each day? If trifling kills,
Sure vice must butcher. O what heaps of slain
Cry out for vengeance on us! Time destroy'd
Is suicide, where more than blood is spilt,
Throw years away? Throw empires and be blameless: moments seize, Heaven's on their wing: a moment we may wish, When worlds want wealth to buy. Bid day stand Bid him drive back his car and re-impart still, The period past, re-give the given hour. Lorenzo! more than miracles we want. Eorenzo! O for yesterdays to come!
DANGER OF PROCRASTINATION..
By Nature's law what may be, may be now
There's no prerogative in human hours.
In human hearts what bolder thought can rise
Than man's presumption on to-morrow's dawn?
Where is to-morrow? In another world.
For numbers this is certain ; the reverse
Is sure to none; and yet on this perhaps,
This peradventure, infamous for lies,
As on a rock of adamant we build
Our mountain hopes, spin out eternal schemes,
As we the Fatal Sisters could outspin,
And, big with life's futurities, expire. .
Not ev'n Philander had bespoke his shroud;
Nor had he cause; a warning was denied.
How many fall as sudden, not as safe?
As sudden, though for years admonish'd home
Of human ills the last extreme beware;
Beware, Lorenzo! a slow-sudden death.
How dreadful that deliberate surprise !
Be wise to-day ;' 'tis madness to defer:
Next day the fatal precedent will plead;
Thus on, till wisdom is push'd out of life.
Procrastination is the thief of time;
Year after yearit steals, till all are fled,
And to the mercies of a moment leaves
The yast concerns of an eternal scene.
If not so frequent, would not this be strange?
That 'tis so frequent, this is stranger still.
of man's miraculous mistakes, this bears
The palm, "That all men are about to live,'
For ever on the brink of being born:
All pay themselves the compliment to think
They one day shall not drivel, and their pride
On this reversion takes up ready praise;
At least their own; their future selves applauds.
How excellent that life they ne'er will lead !
Time lodg'd in their own hands is Folly's vails;
That lodg'd in Fate's to wisdom they consign;
The thing they can't but purpose, they postpone.
"Tis not in folly not to scorn a fool,
And scarce in human wisdom to do more.
All promise is pour dilatory man,
And that through every stage. When young, indeed,.
In full content we sometimes nobly rest,
Unanxious for ourselves, and only wish,
As duteous sons, our fathers were more wise.
At thirty man suspects himself a fool;
Knows it at forty, and reforms his plan;
At fisty chides his infamous delay,
Pushes his prudent purpose to resolve;
In all the magnanimity of thought
Resolves, and re-resolves; then dies the same,
MORAL REFLECTIONS ON COMPARING THE
SEASONS OF DAY AND NIGHT. By [stars] best lighted are the paths of thought, Nights are their days, their most illumin'd hours. By day the soul, o'erborne by life's career, Stunn'd by the din, and giddy with the glare, Reels far from reason, jostled by the throng. By day the soul is passive, all her thoughts Impos'd, precarious, broken, ere mature. By night, from objects free, from passion cool, Thoughts uncontroll'd, and unimpress'd, the births Of pure election, arbitrary range, Not to the limits of one world confin'd, But from ethereal travels light on earth, As voyagers drop anchor for repose.
Let Indians, and the gay, like Indians, fond
Of feather'd fopperies, the sun adore ; -
Darkness has more divinity for me;
It strikes thought inward; it drives back the soul
To settle on berself, our point supreme!
There lies our theatre; there sits our judge.
Darkness the curtain drops o'er life's dull scene;
Tis the kind hand of Providence stretch'd out
'Twixt man and vanity ; 'tis Reason's reign,
And Virtue's too : these tutelary shades
Are man's asylum from the tainted throng.
Night is the good man's friend, and guardian too ;
It no less rescues virtue than inspires.
Virtue, for ever frail as fair below,
Her tender nature suffers in the crowd,
Nor touches on the world without a stain.
The world's infectious ; few bring back at eve,
Immaculate, the manners of the morn.