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The soul that one long sabbath keeps,
And through the sun's whole circle sleeps ;
Dull peace, that dwells in folly's eye,
And self-attending vanity,
Alike the foolish and the vain
Are strangers to the sense humane.
O for that sympathetic glow
Which taught the holy tear to flow,
When the prophetic eye survey'd
Sion in future ashes laid ;
Or, rais'd to heav'n, implored the bread
That thousands in the desert fed !
Or, when the heart o'er friendship’s grave
Sigh'd—and forgot its pow'r to save
O for that sympathetic glow,
Which taught the holy tear to flow !
It comes : it fills my lab’ring breast,
I feel my beating heart opprest.
Oh! hear that lonely widow's wail !
See her dim eye ; her aspect pale !
To Heav'n she turns in deep despair ;
Her infants wonder at her pray'r,
And, mingling tears, they know not why,
Lift up their little hands, and cry.
O Lord! their moving sorrows see!
Support them, sweet Humanity!
Life, fill'd with grief's distressful traio,
For ever asks the tear humane.
Behold in yon unconscious grove
The victims of ill-fated love!
Heard you that agonizing throe ?
Sure this is not romantic wo!
The golden day of joy is o'er;
And now they part-to meet no more.
Assist them, hearts from anguish free!
Assist them, sweet Humanity!
Parent of virtue, if thine ear
Attend not now to sorrow's cry ;
If now the pity-streaming tear
Should baply on thy cheek be dry, Indulge my votive strain, O sweet Humanity!
By the blue taper's trembling light,
No more I waste the wakeful night,
Intent with endless view to pore
The schoolmen and the sages o'er :
Their books from wisdom widely stray,
Or point at best the longest way.
I'll seek a readier path, and go
Where wisdom's surely taught below.
How deep yon azure dies the sky!
Where orbs of gold unnumber'd lie,
While thro’ their ranks in silver pride
The nether crescent seems to glide.
The slumb’ring breeze forgets to breathe,
The lake is smooth and clear beneath,
Where once again the spangled show
Descends to meet our eyes below.
The grounds wbich on the right aspire,
In dimness from the view retire :
The left présents a place of graves,
Whose wall the silent water laves.
That steeple guides thy doubtful sight
Among the livid gleams of night;
There pass with melancholy state,
By all the solemn heaps of fate,
And think, as softly-sad you tread
Above the venerable dead,
“ Time was, like thee, they life possest,
And time shall be, that thou shalt rest.”
Those graves with bending osier bound, That nameless beave the crumbled ground, Quick to the glancing thought disclose Where toil and poverty repose. The flat smooth stones that bear a name, The chisel's slender help to fame; (Which, ere our set of friends decay, Their frequent steps may wear away ;) A middle race of mortals own, Men, half ambitious, all unknown.
The marble tombs that rise on high, Whose dead in vaulted arches lie,
Whose pillars swell with sculptur'd stones,
Arms, angels, epitaphs, and bones,
These (all the poor remains of state)
Adorn the rich, or praise the great ;
Who while on earth in fame they live,
Are senseless of the fame they give.
Ha! while I gaze, pale Cynthia fades,
The bursting earth unveils the shades !
All slow, and wan, and wrapp'd with shrouds,
They rise in visionary crowds,
And all with sober accent cry,
Think, mortal, what it is to die.”
Now from yon black and fun’ral yew,
That bathes the charnel-house with dew,
Methinks I hear a voice begin ;
(Ye ravens, cease your croaking din,
Ye tolling clocks, no time resound
O'er the long lake and midnight ground ;)
It sends a peal of hollow groans,
Thus speaking from among the bones.
“ When men my sithe and darts supply,
How great a king of fears am I!
They view me like the last of things :
They make, and then they dread, my stings.
Fools ! if you less provoke your fears,
No more iny spectre-form appears.
Death's but a path that must be trod,
If man would ever pass to God :
A port of calms, a state of ease
From the rough rage of swelling seas."
Why then thy flowing sable stoles,
Deep pendent cypress, mourning poles,
Loose scarfs to fall athwart thy weeds,
Long palls, drawn herses, cover'd steeds,
And plumes of black, that as they tread,
Nod o'er the scutcheons of the dead ?"
“ Nor can the parted body know,
Nor wants the soul, these forms of wo :
As men who long in prison dwell,
With lamps that glimmer round the cell,
Whene'er their sufforing years are run,
Spring forth to greet the glitt'ring sun;
Such joy, tho' far transcending sense,
Have pious souls at parting hence
On earth, and in the body plac'd,
A few and evil years they waste ;
But when their chains are cast aside,
See the glad scene unfolding wide,
Clap the glad wing, and tow'r away,
And mingle with the blaze of day."
In every condition of life, praise is due to the Creator.
PRAISE to God, immortal praise,
For the love that crowns our days ;
Bounteous source of ev'ry joy,
Let thy praise our tongues employ:
For the blessings of the field,
For the stores the gardens yield,
For the vine's'exalted juice,
For the gen'rous olive's use.
Flocks that whiten all the plain ;
Yellow sheaves of ripen'd grain ;
Clouds that drop their fattning dews ;
Suns that temp’rate warmth diffuse ;
All that spring, with bounteous hand,
Scatters o'er the smiling land ;
All that lib'ral autumn pours,
From her rich o'erflowing stores :
These to thee, my God, we owe,
Source from whence all blessings flow;
And for these my soul shall raise
Grateful vows, and solemn praise.
Yet, should rising whirlwinds tear
From its stem the rip’ning ear;
Should the fig-tree's blasted shoot
Drop her green, untimely fruit ;
Should the vine put forth no more,
Nor the olive yield her store ;
Though the sick’ning flocks should fall,
And the herds desert the stall;
Should thine alter'd hand restrain
The early and the latter rain ;
Blast each op'ning bud of joy,
And the rising year destroy i
Yet, to thee my soul shall raise
Grateful vows and solemn praise ;
And, when ev'ry blessing's flown,
Love thee-for thyself alone.. -BARBAVLD.
Folly of human pursuits.
Blest be that hand divine, which gently laid
My heart at rest beneath this humble shed !
The world's a stately bark, on dang’rous seas,
With pleasure seen, but boarded at our peril.
Here, on a single plank, thrown safe ashore,
Í hear the tumult of the distant throng,
As that of seas remote, or dying storms ;
And meditate on scenes more silent still ;
Pursue my theme, and fight the fear of death.
Here, like a shepherd, gazing from his hut,
Touching his reed, or leaning on his staff,
Eager ambition's fiery chase I see.
I see the circling hunt of noisy men
Burst law's enclosure, leap the mounds of right,
Pursuing and pursu'd, each other's prey ;
As wolves, for sapine ; as the fox, for wiles ;
Till death, that mighty hunter, earths them all.
Why all this toil for triumphs of an hour ?
What tho we wade in wealth, or soar in fame,
Earth's highest station ends in, “ here he lies:'
And "' dust to dust” concludes her noblest song.
If this song lives, posterity shall know
One, tho’ in Britain born, with courtiers bred,
Who thought e'en gold might come a day too late ;
Nor on his subtle death-bed plann' his scheme
For future vacancies in church, or state ;
Some avocation deeming it—to die ;
Unbit by rage canine of dying rich;
Guilt's blunder! and the loudest laugh of hell.
O my coevals ! remnant of yourselves !
Poor human ruins, lott'ring o'er the grave!
Shall we, shall aged men, like aged trees,
Strike deeper their vile root, and closer oling,
Still more enamour'd of this wretched soil ?
Shall our pale, wither'd hands be still stretch'd out,