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Yet die ev’n thus, thus rather perish still
, Ye sons of pleasure, by th’ Almighty stricken, Than ever dare (though oft, alas! ye dare) To lift against yourselves the murderous steel, To wrest from God's own hand the sword of Justice, And be your own avengers.—Hold, rash man! Though with anticipating speed thou'st ranged Through every region of delight, nor left One joy to gild the evening of thy days; Though life seem one uncomfortable void, Guilt at thy heels, before thy face Despair ; Yet gay this scene, and light this load of wo, Compar'd with thy hereafter. Think, O think, And ere thou plung'st into the vast abyss, Pause on the verge awhile, look down and see Thy future mansion-Why, that start of horror ? From thy slack hand why drops th' uplifted steel ? Didst thou not think such vengeance must await The wretch, that with his crimes all fresh about Rushes irreverent, unprepard, uncall’d, [him, Into his Maker's presence, throwing back, With insolent disdain, his choicest gift?
Live then, while Heaven in pity lends thee life, And think it all too short to wash away, By penitential tears, and deep contrition, The scarlet of thy crimes. So shalt thou find Rest to thy soul, so unappallid shalt meet Death when he comes,
not wantonly invite His lingering stroke. Be it thy sole concern With innocence to live, with patience wait Th' appointed hour; too soon that hour will come, Though Nature run her course: but Nature's God, If need require, by thousand various ways, Without thy aid, can shorten that short span,
And quench the lamp of life.-0 when he comes,
:-Sometimes, when all seems
But ah! what means that ruinous roar? Why fail
These tottering feet ?-Earth to its centre feels
with rage unnatural to devour Her wretched offspring, whither shall I fly? Where look for succour ? Where, but up to Thee, Almighty Father! Save, O save thy suppliant From horrors such as these!At thy good time Let Death approach; I reck not-let him come In genuine form, not with this vengeance arm’d, Too much for man to bear. O rather lend Thy kindly aid to mitigate his stroke, And at that hour when all aghast I stand (A trembling candidate for thy compassion) On this world's brink, and look into the next ; When my soul, starting from the dark unknown, Casts back a wishful look, and fondly clings To her frail prop, unwilling to be wrench'd From this fair scene, from all her custom'd joys, And all the lovely relatives of life,
Then shed thy comforts o'er me; then put on
ON SEEING THE FIGURE OF DEATH IN A DREAM. AVERT, proud Death, thy lifted spear, Nor vaunt the King of Terrors here; Shorn of thy first envenom'd sting, Vain are all terrors thou canst bring :
Smite, monster, smite, nor spare thy deepest wound; From Jesse's root our sov'reign balm is found.
When o'er the world's wide misery,
And horror mark'd thy ebon crown.
Though, clad in vesture of affright,
Thou prowl'st beneath the pall of night, Thy famish'd form doth quash alarm :
Unpoise that daring strengthless arm; Bow thy diminish'd head; stern tyrant, flee; For thou art swallow'd up in victory.
Sweet Mercy hath her triumph shown, Thy darken'd host of fear o'erthrown: Now to behold thee, vanquish'd slave, No power's left beyond the grave; We greet thee kind !-0 wondrous friendship this! Welcome, good herald !—to announce our bliss.
MEDITATION ON DEATH.
Of airy pomps, and fleeting joys;
But brittle goods, th break like glass,