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And all thy well-cramm'd magazines of health ?
Here the lank-sided miser, worst of felons,
How shocking must thy summons be, O Death! To him that is at ease in his possessions; Who, counting on long years of pleasure here, Is quite unfurnish'd for the world to come ? In that dread moment, how the frantic soul Raves round the walls of her clay tenement, Runs to each avenue, and shrieks for help ; But shrieks in vain !-How wishfully she looks
On all she's leaving, now no longer hers!
Till, forc'd at last to the tremendous verge,
Sure 'tis a serious thing to die! My soul,
If death were nothing, and nought after death'; If when men died, at once they ceas'd to be, Returning to the barren womb of nothing, Whence first they sprung; then might the debauchee Untrembling mouth the heavens : then might the
drunkard Reel over his full bowl, and, when 'tis drain'd, Fill up another to the brim, and laugh At the poor bugbear Death:—then might the wretch That's weary of the world, and tir'd of life,
At once give each inquietude the slip,
states. Shall nature, swerving from her earliest dictate, Self-preservation, fall by her own act ? Forbid it, Heaven !-Let not, upon disgust, The shameless hand be foully crimson'd o'er With blood of its own lord. - Dreadful attempt! Just reeking from self-slaughter, in a rage, To rush into the presence of our Judge; As if we challeng'd him to do his worst, [tures And matter'd not his wrath !-Unheard of torMust be reserv'd for such: these herd together ; The common damn'd shun their society, And look upon themselves as fiends less foul. Our time is fix'd, and all our days are number'd! How long, how short, we know not: this we
know, Duty requires we calmly wait the summons, Nor dare to stir till Heaven shall give permission : Like sentries that must keep their destin'd stand,
And wait th' appointed hour, till they're reliev'd.
Tell us, ye dead, will none of you, in pity
done To knock and give th' alarm. But what means This stinted charity ? _'Tis but lame kindness That does its work by halves.—Why might you not Tell us what 'tis to die? Do the strict laws Of your society forbid your speaking Upon a point so nice ?--I'll ask no more: Sullen, like lamps in sepulchres, your shine Enlightens but yourselves. Well, 'tis no matter ; A very little time will clear up all, And make us learn'd as you are, and as close. Death's shafts fly thick :-here falls the village
swain, And there his pamper'd lord.-Thecup goes round: And who so artful as to put it by ? "Tis long since death had the majority; Yet strange! the living lay it not to heart. See yonder maker of the dead man's bed, The sexton, hoary-headed chronicle,
Of hard unmeaning face, down which ne'er stole
not, That soon some trusty brother of the trade Shall do for him what he has done for thousands.
On this side, and on that, men see their friends Drop off, like leaves in autumn; yet launch out. Into fantastic schemes, which the long livers In the world's hale and undegenerate days Could scarce have leisure for.-Fools that we are, Never to think of death and of ourselves At the same time : as if to learn to die Were no concern of ours.-Oh! more than sottish, For creatures of a day, in gamesome mood To frolic on eternity's dread brink Unapprehensive; when, for aught we know, The very first swol'n surge shall sweep us in. Think we, or think we not, time hurries on, With a resistless unremitting stream; Yet treads more soft than e'er did midnight-thief, That slides his hand under the miser's pillow, And carries off his prize. What is this world ? What? but a spacious burial-field unwallid, Strew'd with death's spoils, the spoils of animals