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No present health can health ensure

For yet an hour to come;
No med'eine, though it oft can cure,

Can always baulk the tomb.
And, O! that humble as my lot,

And scorn'd as is my strain, These truths, though known, too much forgot, I

may not teach in vain. So prays your clerk with all his heart, And ere he quits the

pen, Begs you for once to take his part,

And answer all-Amen!

ON A SIMILAR OCCASION,

For the year 1788.

Quod adest, memento
Componere æquus. Cætera fluminis
Ritu feruntur.

Horace.

Improve the present hour, for all beside
Is a mere feather on a torrent's tide.

Could I, from Heav'n inspir’d, as sure presage

To whom the rising year shall prove his last, As I can number in my punctual page,

And item down the victims of the past; How each would trembling wait the mournful sheet,

On which the press might stamp him next to die; And, reading here his sentence, how replete

With anxious meaning, Heav'nward turn his eye! Time then would seem more precious than the joys,

In which he sports away the treasure now; And pray'r more seasonable than the noise

of drunkards, or the music-drawing bow.

Then doubtless many a trifler, on the brink

Of this world's hazardous and headlong shore, Forc'd to a pause, would feel it good to think,

Told that his setting sun must rise no more. Ah self-deceiv'd! Could I prophetic say

Who next is fated, and who next to fall, The rest might then seem privileg'd to play ;

But, naming none, the Voice now speaks to ALL. Observe the dappled foresters, how light

They bound and airy o’er the sunny glade
One falls—the rest, wide-scatter'd with affright,

Vanish at once into the darkest shade.
Had we their wisdom, should we often warn’d,

Still need repeated warnings, and at last,
A thousand awful admonitions scorn'd,

Die self-accus'd of life run all to waste? Sad waste ; for which no after-thrift atones.

The grave admits no cure for guilt or sin; Dew-drops may deck the turf that hides the bones,

But tears of godly grief ne'er flow within. Learn then, ye living ! by the mouths be taught

Of all these sepulchres, instructors true, That, soon or late, death also is your lot,

And the next op’ning grave may yawn for you.

ON A SIMILAR OCCASION,

For the year 1789.

-Placidaque ibi demum morte quievit. Virgil.
There calm at length he breath'd his soul away.

O most delightful hour by man

Experienc'd here below.
The hour that terminates his span,

His folly, and his woe!

« Worlds should not bribe me back to tread

Again life's dreary waste,
To see again my day o'erspread

With all the gloomy past.
My home henceforth is in the skies,

Earth, seas, and sun, adieu !
All Heav'n unfolded to my eyes,

I have no sight for you.'
So spake Aspasio, firm possess'd

of faith's supporting rod,
Then breath d his soul into its rest,

The bosom of his God.
He was a man among the few,

Sincere on virtue's side;
And all his strength from Scripture drew,

To hourly use applied.
That rule he priz’d, by that he fear’d,

He hated, hop'd, and lov'd;
Nor ever frown'd, or sad appear’d,

But when his heart had rov’d.
For he was frail, as thou or I,

And evil felt within:
But, when he felt it, heav'd a sigh,

And loath'd the thought of sin.
Such liv'd Aspasio ; and at last

Call’d up from Earth to Heav'n,
The gulf of death triumphant pass'd,

By gales of blessing driv'n.
His joys be mine, each Reader cries,

When my last hour arrives ;
They shall be yours," my Verse replies,
Such only be your lives.

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ON A SIMILAR OCCASION,

For the year 1790.

Buchanan.

Ne commonentem recta sperne.
Despise not my good counsel.

He wno sits from day to day,,

Where the prison'd lark is hung, Heedless of his loudest lay,

Hardly knows that he has sung. Where the watchman in his round

Nightly lifts his voice on high,
None, accustom’d to the sound,

Wakes the sooner for his cry.
So your verse-man I, and clerk,

Yearly in my song proclaim
Death at hand-yourselves his mark-

And the foo's unerring aim.
Duly at my time I come,

Publishing to all aloud-
Soon the grave must be your home,

And your only suit, a shroud.
But the monitory strain,

Oft repeated in your ears,
Seems to sound too much in vain,

Wins no notice, wakes no fears.
Can a truth, by all confess'd

Of such magnitude and weight,
Grow, by being oft impress’d,

Trivial as a parrot's prate ?
Pleasure's call attention wins,

Hear it often as we may ;
New as ever seem our sins,

Though committed ev'ry day.

i

.

Death and Judgment, Heav'n and Hell

These alone so often heard, No more move us than the bell,

When some stranger is interr’d. O then, ere the turf or tomb

Cover us from ev'ry eye, Spirit of instruction come,

Make us learn, that we must die,

ON A SIMILAR OCCASION,

For the year 1792.

Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas,
Atque metus omnes et inexorabile fatum
Subjecit pedibus,
strepitumque Acherontis avari

Virgil.
Happy the mortal, who has trac'd effects
To their first cause, cast fear beneath his feet,
And death and roaring Hell's voracious fires !

THANKLESS for favours from on high,

Man thinks he fades too soon; Though 'tis his privilege to die,

Would he improve the boon.
But he, not wise enough to scan

His blest concerns aright,
Would gladly stretch life's little span

To ages if he might.
To ages in a world of pain,

To ages, where he goes
Gall'd by affliction's heavy chain,

And hopeless of repose.
Strange fondness of the human heart, !

Enamour'd of its harm!
Strange world, that costs it so much smart,

And still has pow'r to charm.

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