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No present health can health ensure

Sad waste! for which no after-thrift atones, For yet an hour to come;

The grave admits no cure for guilt or sin; No medicine, though it oft can cure,

Dew-drops may deck the turf, that hides the bones, Can always balk the tomb.

But tears of godly grief, ne'er flow within. And O! that humble as my lot,

Learn then, ye living! by the mouths be taught And scorned as in my strain,

Of all these sepulchres, instructers true, These truths, though known, too much forgot, That, soon or late, death also is your lot. I may not teach in vain.

And the next opening grave may yawn for you. So prays your clerk with all his heart,

And ere he quits the pen,
Begs you for once to take his part,

ON A SIMILAR OCCASION.
And answer all-Amen!

FOR THE YEAR 1789.
- Placidaque ibi deinum morte quierit.–Virg.

There calm at length he breathed his soul away.
ON A SIMILAR OCCASION.

“O most delightful hour by man
FOR THE YEAR 1789.

Experienced here below,

The hour that terminates his span,
Quod adest, memento
Componcre aquus. Cætera fluminis

His folly, and his wo!
Ritzi feruntur.

Hor.
Improve the present hour, for all beside

" Worlds should not bribe me back to tread is a mere feather on a torrent's tide.

Again life's dreary waste, Could I, from heaven inspired, as sure presage

To see again my days o'erspread To whom the rising year shall prove his last,

With all the gloomy past. As I can number in my punctual page,

“My home henceforth is in the skies, And item down the victims of the past;

Earth, seas, and sun adieu!

All heaven unfolded to mine eyes, How each would trembling wait the mournful

I have no sight for you.” sheet, On which the press might stamp him next to die;

So spake Aspasio, firm possessed And, reading here his sentence, how replete

Of faith's supporting rod, With anxious meaning, heavenward turn his

Then breathed his soul into its rest,

The bosom of his God. Time then would seem more precious than the

He was a man among the few joys

Sincere on virtue's side;
In which he sports away the treasure now;
And prayer more seasonable than the noise

And all his strength from Scripture drew
Of drunkards, or the music-drawing bow.

To hourly use applied. Then doubtless many a trider on the brink

That rule he prized, by that he feared, Of this world's hazardous and headlong shore,

He hated, hoped, and loved; Forced to a pause, would feel it good to think,

Nor ever frowned, or sad appeared,

Bur when his heart had roved.
Told that his setting sun must rise no more.
Ah self-deceived! Could I prophetic say

For he was frail as thou or I,
Who next is fated, and who next to fall,

And evil felt within: The rest might then seem privileged to play;

But, when he felt it, heaved a sigh, But, naming none, the Voice now speaks to all.

And loathed the thought of sin. Observe the dappled foresters, how light

Such lived Aspasio; and at last
They bound and airy o'er the sunny glade-

Called up from earth to heaven,
One falls—the rest, wide-scattered with affright, The gulf of death triumphant passed,
Vanish at once into the darkest shade.

By gales of blessing driven.

eye!

Had we their wisdom, should we, often warned,
Still need repeated warnings, and at last,
A thousand awful admonitions scorned,
Die self-accused of life run all to waste?

His joys be mine, each reader cries,

When my last hour arrives:
They shall be yours, my verse replies,

Such only be your lives.

ON A SIMILAR OCCASION.

FOR THE YEAR 1790.
Ne commonentem recta sperne.-Buchanan.

Despise not my good counsel.
He who sits from day to day,

Where the prisoned 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, accustomed 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 foe'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 confessed

Of such magnitude and weight Grow, by being oft impressed,

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 every day. Death and Judgment, Heaven and Hell

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

When some stranger is interred. O then, ere the turf or tomb

Cover us from every eye, Spirit of instruction come,

Make us learn, that we must die.

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
Galled by affliction's heavy chain,

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

Enamoured of its harm!
Strange world, that costs it so much smart,

And still has power to charm.
Whence has the world her magic power ?

Why deem we death a foe?
Recoil from weary life's best hour,

And covet longer wo?
The cause is Conscience-Conscience oft

Her tale of guilt renews:
Her voice is terrible though soft,

And dread of death ensues.
Then anxious to be longer spared,

Man mourns his fleeting breath: All evils then seem light, compared

With the approach of Death. 'Tis judgment shakes hím; there's the fear,

That prompts the wish to stay;
He has incurred a long arrear,

And must despair to pay.
Pay!—follow Christ, and all is paid:

His death your peace ensures;
Think on the grave where he was laid,

And calm descend to yours.

ON A SIMILAR OCCASION.

FOR THE YEAR 1793. De sacris autem hæc sit una sententia, ut conserventur,

Cic. de Leg. But let us all concur in this one sentiment, that things sa. cred be inviolate.

He lives, who lives to God alone,

And all are dead beside;
For other source than God is none

Whence life can be supplied.

ON A SIMILAR OCCASION.

FOR THE YEAR 1792. Felir, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas, Alque melus omnes el inerorabile fatum Subjecit pedibus, strepitumque Acherontis arari !

Virg. Happy the mortal, who has traced 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;

To live to God is to requite

His love as best we may; To make his precepts our delight,

His promises our stay.

But life, within a narrow ring

Of giddy joys comprised,

Is falsely named, and no such thing,

But rather death disguised.

Old Tiney, surliest of his kind,

Who nursed with tender care, And to domestic bounds confined,

Was still a wild Jack-hare.

Can life in them deserve the name,

Who only live to prove For what poor toys they can disclaim

An endless life above?

Who, much diseased, yet nothing feel,

Much menaced, nothing dread; Have wounds, which only God can heal,

Yet never ask his aid ?

Though duly from my hand he took

His pittance every night, He did it with a jealous look,

And, when he could, would bite. His diet was of wheaten bread,

And milk and oats, and straw; Thistles, or lettuces instead,

With sand to scour his maw.

Who deem his house a useless place,

Faith, want of common sense ;
And ardour in the Christian race,

A hypocrite's pretence ?
Who trample order; and the day,

Which God asserts his own,
Dishonour with unhallowed play,

And worship chance alone?
If scorn of God's commands, impressed

On word and deed, imply
The better part of man unblessed

With life that can not die:

On twigs of hawthorn he regaled,

Or pippin's russet peel,
And, when his juicy salads failed,

Sliced carrot pleased him well.
A Turkey carpet was his lawn,

Whereon he loved to bound, To skip and gambol like a fawn,

And swing his rump around.
His frisking was at evening hours,

For then he lost his fear,
But most before approaching showers,

Or when a storm drew near.
Eight years and five round rolling moons

He thus saw steal away,
Dozing out all his idle noons,

And every night at play.
I kept him for his humour's sake,

For he would oft beguile
My heart of thoughts that made it ache,

And force me to a smile.

Such want it, and that want, uncured

Till man resigns his breath, Speaks him a criminal, assured

Of everlasting death.

Sad period to a pleasant course!

Yet so will God repay Sabbaths profaned without remorse,

And mercy cast away.

INSCRIPTION

FOR THE TOMB OF MR. HAMILTON.

Pause here, and think; a monitory rhyme
Demands one moment of thy fleeting time.

Consult life's silent clock, thy bounding vein;
Seems it to say—"Health here has long to reign?"
Hast thou the vigour of thy youth? an eye
That beams delight? a heart untaught to sigh?
Yet fear. Youth ofttimes healthful and at ease,
Anticipates a day it never sees;
And many a tomb, like Hamilton's, aloud
Exclaims, “Prepare thee for an early shroud.”

But now beneath his walnut shade

He finds his long last home, And waits, in snug concealment laid,

Till gentler Puss shall come. He, still more aged, feels the shocks,

From which no care can save, And, partner once of Tiney's box,

Must soon partake his grave.

EPITAPHIUM ALTERUM.

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Hic etiam jacet, Qui totum novennium vixit,

Puss. Siste paulisper, Qui præteriturus es, Et tecum sic reputaHunc neque canis venaticus, Nec plumbum missile,

Nec laqueus,

Here lies, whom hound did ne'er pursue,

Nor swifter greyhound follow, Whose feet ne'er tainted morning dew,

Nor ear heard huntsman's hallo'.

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Let no low thought suggest the prayer,

Oh! grant, kind heaven, to me,
Long as I draw ethereal air,

Sweet Sensibility.
Where'er the heavenly nymph is seen,

With lustre-beaming eye,
A train, attendant on their queen,

(Her rosy chorus) fly.
The jocund Loves in Hymen's band,

With torches ever bright,
And generous Friendship hand in hand,

With Pity's watery sight.
The gentler virtues too are joined,

In youth immortal warm,
The soft relations, which, combined,

Give life her every charm.
The arts come smiling in the close,

And lend celestial fire,
The marble breathes, the canvass glows,

The muses sweep the lyre.
" Still may my melting bosom cleave

To sufferings not my own,
And still the sigh responsive heave,

Where'er is heard a groan.
"So Pity shall take Virtue's part,

Her natural ally,
And fashioning my softened heart,

Prepare it for the sky."
This artless vow may heaven receive,

And you, fond maid, approve;
So may your guiding angel give

Whate'er you wish or love:
So may the rosy fingered hours

Lead on the various year,
And every joy, which now is yours,

Extend a larger sphere;
And suns to come, as round they wheel,

Your golden moments bless, With all a tender heart can feel,

Or lively fancy guess.

As if the noblest of the feathered kind
Were but for battle and for death designed;

As if the consecrated hours were meant
For sport, to minds on cruelty intent;
It chanced (such chances Providence obey)
He met a fellow-labourer on the way,
Whose heart the same desires had once inflamed;
But now the savage temper was reclaimed.
Persuasion on his lips had taken place;
For all plead well who plead the cause of grace:
His iron-heart with Scripture he assailed,
Wooed him to hear a sermon, and prevailed.
His faithful bow the mighty preacher drew.

Swift, as the lightning-glance, the arrow flew.
He wept; he trembled; cast his

eyes around,
To find a worse than he; but none he found.
He felt his sins, and wondered he should feel.
Grace made the wound, and grace alone could heal.

Now farewell oaths, and blasphemies, and lies! He quits the sinner's for the martyr's prize. That holy day which washed with many a tear, Gilded with hope, yet shaded too by fear. The next, his swarthy brethren of the mine Learned, by his altered speech—the change divine Laughed when they should have wept, and swore

the day Was nigh, when he would swear as fast as they.

No, (said the penitent,) such words shall share This breath no more ; devoted now to prayer. O! if thou see'st (thine eye the future sees) That I shall yet again blaspheme, like these; Now strike me to the ground, on which I kneel, Ere yet this heart relapses into steel; Now take me to that Heaven I once defied, Thy presence, thy embrace!"—He spoke and died.

TO THE REV. MR. NEWTON,

ON HIS RETURN FROM RAMSGATE.

A TALE,

FOUNDED ON A FACT WHICH HAPPENED IN JANUARY,

1779. WHERE Humber pours his rich commercial stream, There dwelt a wretch, who breathed but to blas

pheme. In subterraneous caves his life he led, Black as the mine in which he wrought for bread. When on a day, emerging from the deep, A sabbath-day, (such sabbaths thousands keep!) The wages of his weekly toil he bore To buy a cock-whose blood might win him more;'

That ocean you have late surveyed,

Those rocks I too have seen,
But I, afflicted and dismayed,

You tranquil and serene.
You from the flood-controlling steep

Saw stretched before your view,
With conscious joy, the threatening deep,

No longer such to you.
To me, the waves that ceaseless broke

Upon the dangerous coast,
Hoarsely and ominously spoke

Of all my treasure lost.
Your sea of troubles you have past,

And found the peaceful shore;
I, tempest-tossed, and wrecked at last,

Come home to port no more.

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