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I am a weary Pilgrim, on my way
To the far ocean of Eternity;
And long to pass the brink-it must not beHe, at whose voice the vivid lightnings flee,
And the loud thunders cease, hath plac'd me here; And sooner may yon sun desert his sphere, Those orbs unbidden shoot their course from Heav'n, Than I, by fell despair and madness driv'n, Plunge headlong in that dark mysterious seaLet Heav'n's own mandate set the pris’ner free.
Has life no higher end than joys of sense,
Inglorious ease, rude mirth, and low desire ? Is hope extinct with man when summon'd hence ?
Dwells there no portion of ethereal fire
Of genius, virtue, dignity, and worth?
How grand the contemplation ! how sublime
To mark yon sun mount high in golden streams ! And think the immortal soul, unchain'd by time,
Shall rise refulgent like those orient beamsBut not to set—Hence, vain perplexing dreams!
Distract with doubt the dreary sceptic's mind~ Altho' the narrow path to me assign'd Bestrew'd with briers and thorns, and toil and care; I ask not this philosophy to bear; Enough for me the gracious promise giv'n, Of time on earth, eternity in heav'n!
Yet mindful of thy goodness, I implore
Thee, my eternal Father and my Friend, Ere I am summon'd hence, and seen no more,
Patience and consolation thou wouldst send ; Grant me a blameless life, a peaceful end,
For bliss I may not ask this side the tombYet for thy mercy's sake, dispel the gloom That clouds my spirit-make this shining frame, This world of joy, prosperity, and fame, Less dark to me, and desolate appear, As long as 'tis thy will I linger here.
To die is painful only when we part
From those by friendship, nature, kindred dear; These bind, with adamantine chain, the heart,
And give to death its terrors—how severe To leave the few we lov'd and valued here,
To buffet with the world, and bear its frown ! Friend of the fatherless ! look pitying down On those I leave behind ! be thou their stay, Their guardian, guide thro' life's eventful day; Let fate on them with milder influence shine, Nor wound their hearts as it has wounded mine.
SCENE.— The Chamber of Death.
Att. And hast thou drain'd the poison'd bowl ?
Speak, pallid victim of despair !
For hidden guilt too strong to bear-
Ah! sure thy crime is dark and deep-
If heav'n hath joys, repent and weep.
Pen. O torture not my bleeding breast,
Nor add to death a pang more keen ;
So hasten'd to a calmer scene :
That brings oblivion to my woe!
Which thou must pass, or sink below.
Pen. Disciples of the Atheist creed
Exult, your victim here behold!
Applaud the hand, approve the deed;
Your lesson teaches to be bold ! See one who by your arts controllid,
Hath ev'ry tie of nature riven; Friends, fortune, fame, existence sold ;
All joy on earth, all hope in heaven.
With you, ye philosophic train,
New schemes I form’d, new systems try'd, The laws of nature to explain,
With erring reason for my guide : spread your doctrines far and wide,
I laugh’d to scorn creation's plan ; And God, 0 height of human pride!
Arraign'd before the bar of man.
I flew, to quiet my alarms,
Where joy the sparkling goblet crown'd; And wine’s intoxicating charms
The cares of dull existence drown'd: I join'd in pleasure's madd’ning round,
And though my heart consum'd the while, Beneath a rankling, torturing wound,
My features wore a ghastly smile !
How chang'd the scene,- yon glorious sun,
That gilds creation with his rays,