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Death gives her wings to mount above the spheres. Rich death, that realizes all my cares, Through chinks, styld organs, dim life peeps at Toils, virtues, hopes ; without it a chimera! light;
Death, of all pain the period, not of joy; Death bursts th' involving cloud, and all is day; Joy's source, and subject, still subsists unhurt: All eye, all ear, the disembodied power.
One, in my soul; and one, in her great Sire; Death has feign'd evils, Nature shall not feel; Though the four winds were warring for my dust Life, ill substantial, Wisdom cannot shun.
Yes, and from winds, and waves, and central night, Is not the mighty Mind, that son of Heaven? Though prison'd there, my dust too I reclaim, By tyrant Life dethron'd, imprison'd, paind ? (To dust when drop proud Nature's proudest By Death enlarg'd, ennobled, deified ?
spheres,) Death but entombs the body; life the soul. And live entire. Death is the crown of life:
"Is Death then guiltless? How he marks his way Were death denied, poor man would live in vain; With dreadful waste of what deserves to shine! Were death denied, to live would not be life; Art, genius, fortune, elevated power!
Were death denied, e'en fools would wish to die. With various lustres these light up the world, Death wounds to cure : we fall; we rise, we reign! Which Death puts out, and darkens human race." Spring from our fetters; fasten in the skies; I grant, Lorenzo! this indictment just :
Where blooming Eden withers in our sight: The sage, peer, potentate, king, conqueror!
Death gives us more than was in Eden lost. Death humbles these; more barbarous life, the man. This king of terrors is the prince of peace. Life is the triumph of our mouldering clay; When shall I die to vanity, pain, death? Death, of the spirit infinite! divine!
When shall I die ?-When shall I live for ever?
Night THE Fourth.
THE CHRISTIAN TRIUMPH.
Containing our only Cure for the Fear of Death; and Where every ranger of the wilds, perhaps
proper Sentiments of that inestimable Blessing. Each reptile, justly claims our upper hand. Luxurious feast! a soul, a soul immortal,
TO THE HONORABLE MR. YORKE.
A MUCH-INDEBTED Muse, 0 Yorke! intrudes.
Thine ear is patient of a serious song. And more than angels share, and raise, and crown, How deep implanted in the breast of man And eternize, the birth, bloom, bursts of bliss. The dread of death! I sing its sovereign cure. What need I more? O Death, the palm is thine. Why start at Death? Where is he? Death Then welcome, Death! thy dreaded harbingers,
arriv'd, Age, and disease; disease, though long my guest; Is past; not come or gone, he's never here. That plucks my nerves, those tender strings of life; Ere hope, sensation fails; black-boding man Which, pluck'd a little more, will toll the bell, Receives, not suffers, Death's tremendous blow. That call my few friends to my funeral ;
The knell, the shroud, the mattock, and the grave; Where feeble Nature drops, perhaps, a tear, The deep damp vault, the darkness, and the worm ; While Reason and Religion, better taught, These are the bugbears of a winter's eve, Congratulate the dead, and crown his tomb
The terrors of the living, not the dead. With wreath triumphant. Death is victory; Imagination's fool, and error's wretch, It binds in chains the raging ills of life:
Man makes a death, which Nature never made ; Lust and ambition, wrath and avarice,
Then on the point of his own fancy falls ; Dragg'd at his chariot-wheel, applaud his power. And feels a thousand deaths, in fearing one. That ills corrosive, cares importunate,
But were Death frightful, what has age to fear? Are not immortal too, O Death! is thine.
If prudent, age should meet the friendly foe, Our day of dissolution !-name it right;
And shelter in his hospitable gloom. "Tis our great pay-day ; 'is our harvest, rich
I scarce can meet a monument, but holds And ripe. What though the sickle, sometimes My younger; every date cries—“Come away." keen,
And what recalls me? Look the world around, Just scars us as we reap the golden grain ?
And tell me what: the wisest cannot tell. More than thy balm, 0 Gilead! heals the wound. Should any born of woman give his thought Birth's feeble cry, and Death's deep dismal groan, Full range on just dislike's unbounded field; Are slender tributes low-taxd Nature pays Of things, the vanity; of men, the flaws, For mighty gain: the gain of each, of life! Flaws in the best ; the many, flaw all o'er ; But 0! the last the former so transcends,
As leopards, spotted, or, as Ethiops, dark ; Life dies, compar'd; life lives beyond the grave. Vivacious ill; good dying immature;
And feel I, Death! no joy from thought of thee? (How immature, Narcissa's marble tells !) Death, the great counsellor, who man inspires And at his death bequeathing endless pain ; With every nobler thought, and fairer deed! His heart, though bold, would sicken at the sighi, Death, the deliverer, who rescues man!
And spend itself in sighs, for future scenes. Death, the rewarder, who the rescued crowns! But grant to life (and just it is to grant Death, that absolves my birth ; a curse without it! To lucky life) some perquisites of joy ;
A time there is, when, like a thrice-told tale, Unbit by rage canine of dying rich ;
| O my coëvals! remnants of yourselves! Pleasing reflections on parts well suslain d, |Poor human ruins, tollering o'er the grave! Or purpos'd emendations where we faild,
Shall we, shall aged men, like aged trees, Or hopes of plaudits from our candid Judge, Strike deeper their vile root, and closer cling, When, on their exit, souls are bid unrobe,
Still more enamour'd of this wretched soil ? Toss Fortune back her tinsel, and her plume, Shall our pale, wither'd hands, be still stretch'd out And drop this mask of flesh behind the scene. Trembling, at once, with eagerness and age ?
With me, that time is come; my world is dead; With avarice and convulsions, grasping hard ? A new world rises, and new manners reign: Grasping at air! for what has Earth beside ? Foreign comedians, a spruce band! arrive, Man wants but liule; nor that little, long : To push me from the scene, or hiss me there. How soon must be resign his very dust, What a pert race starts up! the strangers gaze, Which frugal Nature lent himn for an hour! And I at them; my neighbor is unknown; Years unexperienc'd rush on numerous ills; Nor that the worst : Ah me! the dire effect And soon as man, expert from time, has found Of loitering here, of death defrauded long;
The key of life, it opes the gates of death. Of old so gracious (and let that suffice)
When in this vale of years I backward look, My very master knows me not.
And miss such numbers, numbers too of such Shall I dare say, peculiar is the fate?
Firmer in health, and greener in their age, I've been so long remember'd, I'm sorgot.
And stricter on their guard, and filter far An object ever pressing dirns the sight,
To play life's subtle game, I scarce believe And hides behind its ardor to be seen.
I still survive; and am I fond of life, When in his courtiers' ears I pour my plaint, Who scarce can think it possible, I live? They drink it as the nectar of the great;
Alive by miracle! or, what is next,
Indulge me, nor conceive I drop my theme : Firmness of nerve, and energy of thought.
Call for my bier, and point me to the dust.
O thou great Arbiter of life and death! Alas! ambition makes my little less;
Nature's immortal, immaterial Sun! Embittering the possest. Why wish for more ? Whose all-prolific beam late call'd me forth Wishing of all employments, is the worst; From darkness, teeming darkness, where I lia: Philosophy's reverse; and health's decay.
The worm's inferior, and, in rank, beneath Were I as plump as stallid theology,
The dust I tread on, high to bear my brow, Wishing would waste me to this shade again. To drink the spirit of the golden day, Were I as wealthy as a South-sea dream,
And triumph in existence; and could know Wishing is an expedient to be poor.
No motive, but my bliss; and hast ordaind
A rise in blessing! with the patriarch's joy,
I trust in thee, and know in whom I trust;
The world's a stately bark, on dangerous seas, Though Nalure's terrors, thus, may be represt; With pleasure seen, but boarded at our peril ; Still frowns grim Death; guilt points the tyrant's Here, on a single plank, thrown safe ashore,
spear. I hear the tumult of the distant throng,
And whence all human guilt? From death forgot. As that of seas remote, or dying storms:
Ah me! too long I set at nought the swarm And meditate on scenes, more silent still;
of friendly warnings, which around me flew; Pursue my theme, and fight the fear of death. And smild, unsmitten: small my cause to smile! Here, like a shepherd gazing from his hut,
Death's admonitions, like shafts upward shot, Touching his reed, or leaning on his staff, More dreadful by delay, the longer ere Eager ambilion's fiery chase I see;
They strike our hearts, the deeper is their wound; I see the circling hunt, of noisy men,
To think how deep, Lorenzo! here it stings: Burst law's inclosure, leap the mounds of right, Who can appease its anguish? how it burns! Pursuing, and pursued, each other's prey; What hand the barb’d, envenom'd thought can draw? As wolves, for rapine; as the fox, for wiles; What healing hand can pour the balm of peace, Till Death, that mighty hunter, earths them all. And turn my sight undaunted on the tomb ? Why all this toil for triumphs of an hour?
With joy-with grief, that healing hand I sec; What though we wade in wealth, or soar in fame? Ah! too conspicuous! it is fix'd on high. Earth's highest station ends in, “ Here he lies," JOn high ?-What means my frenzy? I bla-pheme; And “ Dust to dust” concludes her noblest song. Alas! how low ! how far beneath the skies! If this song lives, posterity shall know
The skies it form'd; and now it bleeds for meOne, though in Britain born, with courtiers bred, But bleeds the balm I wanı-Yet still it bleeds ; Who thoughi e'en gold might come a day too late; Draw the dire steel-ah no! the dreadful blessing Nor on his subtle death-bed plann'd his scheme What heart or can sustain, or dares forego! 1 future vacancies in church or state;
There hangs all human hope ; that nail supports Duine avocation deeming it--to die,
The falling universe : that gone, we drop;
Horror receives us, and the dismal wish
The Sun beheld it-no, the shocking scene Creation had been smother'd in her birth
Drove back his chariot: midnight veil'd his face; Darkness his curtain, and his bed the dust; Not such as this; not such as Nature makes; When stars and Sun are dust bencaib his throne! A midnighl Nature shudder'd to behold; In Heaven itself can such indulgence dwell? A midnight new! a dread eclipse (without O what a groan was there! a groan not his. Opposing spheres) from her Creator's frown! He seiz'd our dreadful right; the load sustaind; Sun! didst thou fly thy Maker's pain? Or start And heav'd the mountain from a guilty world. At that enormous load of human guilt, A thousand worlds, so bought, were bought too dear; Which bow'd his blessed head; o'erwhelm'd his cross; Sensations new in angels' bosoms rise ;
Made groan the centre; burst Earth's marble womb, Suspend their song! and make a pause in bliss. With pangs, strange pangs! deliver'd of her dead ?
O for their song; to reach my lofty Theme ! Hell howl'd; and Heaven that hour let fall a tear; Inspire me, Night! with all thy tuneful spheres ; Heaven wept, that men might smile! Heaven bled, Whilst I with seraphs share seraphic themes !
that man And show to men the dignity of man;
Might never die ! Lest I blasphere my subject with my song.
And is devotion virtue? 'Tis compellid. Shall Pagan pages glow celestial name,
What heart of stone but glows at thoughts like these? And Christian languish? on our hearts, not heads, Such contemplations mount us; and should mount Falls the foul infamy: my heart! awake.
The mind still higher; nor ever glance on man What can awake thee, unawakd by this,
Unraptur'd, uninflam'd.-Where roll my thoughts • Expended deity on human weal ?"
To rest from wonders? other wonders rise ; Feel the great truths, which burst the tenfold night And strike where'er they roll: my soul is caught : Of heathen error, with a golden food
Heaven's sovereign blessings, clustering from tho Of endless day : 10 feel, is to be fir'd;
cross, Anu 10 believe, Lorenzo! is to feel.
Rush on her, in a throng, and close her round, Thou most indulgent, most tremendous Power! |The prisoner of amaze in his blest life Still more tremendous, for thy wondrous love! I see the path, and in his death the price, That arms, with au'e more awful, thy commands; And in his great ascent the proof supreme And foul transgression dips in sevenfold night! Of immortality.--And did he rise ? How our hearts tremble at thy love immense! Hear, O ye nations ! hear it, О ye dead ! In love immense, inviolably just!
He rose! he rose! he burst the bars of death.
Bold thought! shall I dare speak it, or repress ? His throne of glory, for the pang of death!
Who is the King of glory? he who slew
Heaven with amazement at his love to man; When seem'd its majesty to need support,
And with divine complacency beheld Or that, or man, inevitably lost;
Powers most illumin'd, wilderd in the theme. What, but the fathomless of thought divine,
The theme, the joy, how then shall man sustain ? Could labor such expedient from despair,
Oh the burst gates! crush d sting! demolish'd throne! And rescue both ? both rescue! bo'h exalt! | Last gasp! of vanquish'd Death. Shout Earth and O how are both exalted by the deed!
Heaven! The wondrous deed! or shall I call it more ? This sum of good to man. Whose nature, then, A wonder in Omnipotence itself!
Took wing, and mounted with him from the tomb! A mystery no less to gods than men!
Then, then, I rose; then first humanity Not thus, our infidels the Eternal draw,
Triumphant pass’d the crystal ports of light, A God all o'er, consummate, absolute,
(Stupendous guest!) and seiz'd eternal youth, Full-orb'd, in his whole round of rays complete: Sciz'd in our name. E'er since, 'tis blasphemous They set at odds Heaven's jarring attributes; To call man morial. Man's mortality (ration And, with one excellence, another wound; Was, then, transferr'd to dea:h; and Heaven's du Main Heaven's perfection, break its equal beams, Unalienably seald 10 this frail frame, Bid mercy triumph over-God himself,
This child of dust-Man, all immortal! hail; Undeified by their opprobrious praise :
Hail, Heaven! all lavish of strange gifts to man' A God all mercy, is a God unjust.
Thine all the glory ; man's the boundless bliss. Ye brainless wits! ye baptiz'd infidels !
Where am I rapt by this triumphant theme, Ye worse for mending! wash'd to fouler stains ! On Christian joy's exulting wing, above The ransom was paid down ; the fund of Heaven, Th' Aonian mount? Alas! small cause for joy! Heaven's inexhaustible, exhausted fund,
What if to pain immortal? if extent Amazing, and amaz’d, pour'd forth the price, Of being, to preclude a close of woe? All price beyond : though curious to compute, Where, then, my boast of immortality ? Archangels fail'd 19 cast the mighty sum:
I boast it still, though cover'd o'er with guilt; Its value vast, ungrasp'd by minds create,
For guilt, not innocence, his life he pour'd, For ever hides, and glows, in the Supreme. "Tis guilt alone can justify his death!
And was the ransom paid ? it was. and paid Nor that, unless his death can justify (What can exalt the bounty more ?) for you. Relenting guilt in Heaven's indulgent sight
If, sick of folly, I relent; he writes
Jo most adorable! most unador'd! My name in Heaven, with that inverted spear Where shall thy praise begin, which ne'er should (A spear deep-dipt in blood !) which pierc'd his side,
end ? And open'd there a font for all mankind,
Where'er I turn, what claim on all applause ! Who strive, who combat crimes, to drink, and live: How is night's sable mantle labor'd o'er, This, only this, subdues the fear of death. How richly wrought with attributes divine !
And what is this ?-Survey the wondrous cure : What wisdom shines! what love! this midnight pomp And at each step, let higher wonder rise!
This gorgeous arch, with golden worlds inlaid ! " Pardon for infinite offence! and pardon
Built with divine ambition ! nought to thee;
Where art thou? Shall I dive into the deep?
For their Creator! Shall I question loud A rebel, 'midst the thunders of his throne!
The thunder, if in that th' Almighty dwells? Nor I alone! a rebel universe !
Or holds he furious storms in straiten'd reins, My species up in arms! not one exempt!
And bids fierce whirlwinds wheel his rapid car? Yet for the foulest of the soul he dies,
What mean these questions? Trembling, I retract; Most joyd, for the redeem'd from deepest guilt! My prostrate soul adores the present God: As if our race were held of highest rank;
Praise I a distant deity? He tunes And Godhead dearer, as more kind to man!" My voice (if tun'd;) the nerve, that writes, sustains :
Bound, every heart! and every bosom, burn! Wrapt in his being, I resound his praise :
But though past all diffusd, without a shore,
The listed from afar:) to fix a point,
A central point, collective of his sons, Praise! flow for ever (if astonishment
Since finite every nature but his own. Will give thee leave :) my praise! for ever flow; 1 The nameless He, whose nod is Nature's birth , Praise ardent, cordial, constant, to high Heaven And Nature's shield, the shadow of his hand; More fragrant, than Arabia sacrific'd,
Her dissolution, his suspended smile!
The great First-Last! pavilion'd high he sits,
As that to central horrors; he looks down
On all that soars; and spans immensity. Though black as Hell, that grapples well for gold ? Though night unnumber'd worlds unfolds to viev Oh love of gold! thou meanest of amours ! Boundless creation! what art thou? A beam Shall praise her odors waste on virtues dead, A mere effluvium of his majesty : Embalm the base, perfume the stench of guilt, And shall an atom of this alom-world Earn dirty bread by washing Ethiops fair,
Mutter, in dust and sin, the theme of Heaven? Removing filth, or sinking it from sight,
Down to the centre should I send my thought A scavenger in scenes, where vacant posts, Through beds of glittering ore, and glowing gems, Like gibbets yet untenanted, expect
Their beggar'd blaze wants lustre for my lay; Their future ornaments? From courts and thrones, Goes out in darkness: if, on towering wing, Return, a postate Praise! thou vagabond !
I send it through the boundless vault of stars! Thou prostitute! to thy first love return,
The stars, though rich, what dross their gold to thee. Thy first, thy greatest, once unrival'd theme. Great! good! wise! wonderful! eternal King!
There flow redundant; like Meander, flow If to those conscious stars thy throne around, Back to thy fountain ; 10 that Parent Power, Praise ever-pouring, and imbibing bliss ; Who gives the tongue to sound, the thought to soar, And ask their strain; they want it, more they want, The soul to be. Men homage pay to men, Poor their abundance, humble their sublime, Thoughtless beneath whose dreadful eye they bow Languid their energy, their ardor cold, In mutual awe profound of clay to clay,
Indebted still, their highest rapture burns ; Of guilt to guilt; and turn their back on thee, Short of its mark, defective, though divine. Great Sire! whom thrones celestial ceaseless sing : Still more-This theme is man's, and man's alone To prostrate angels, an amazing scene!
Their vast appointments reach it not: they sem O the presumption of man's awe for man!
On Earth a bounty not indulg'd on high ; Man's Author! End! Restorer! Law! and Judge! And downward look for Heaven's superior praise! Thine, all; day thine, and thine this gloom of night, First-born of ether! high in fields of light! With all her wealth, with all her radiant worlds: View man, to see the glory of your God ! What, night eternal, but a frown from thee? Could angels envy, they had envied here; What, Heaven's meridian glory, but thy smile? And some did envy; and the rest, though gods, And shall not praise be thine, not human praise ? Yet still gods unredeem'd, (there triumphs man, While Heaven's high host on hallelujahs live? Tempted to weigh the dust against the skies,)
O may I breathe no longer than I breathe They less would feel, though more adorn, my theme. My soul in praise to him, who gave my soul, They sung Creation (for in that they shar'd.) And all her infinite of prospect fair,
How rose in melody, that child of love! Cut thrvugh the shades of IIell, great love! by thee, Creation's great superior, man! is thine ;
Thine is redemption; they just gave the key : Conception unconfin'd wants wings to reach him : 'Tis thine to raise, and eternize, the song ;
Beyond his reach, the Godhead only, more. Though human, yet divine : for should not this He, the great Father! kindled at one flame Raise man o'er man, and kindle seraphs here? The world of rationals ; one spirit pour'd Redemption! 'twas creation more sublime ; From spirit's awful fountain : pour'd himself Redemption ! 'twas the labor of the skies;
Through all their souls; but not in equal stream,
Their various trials in their various spheres,
Resorbs them all into himself again; What then on Earth? On Earth, which struck the His throne their centre, and his smile their crown. blow?
Why doubt we, then, the glorious truth to sing, Who struck it? Who?-0 how is man enlarg'd Though yet unsung, as deem'd, perhaps, too bold? Seen through this medium! how the pigmy towers ! Angels are men of a superior kind; How counterpois'd his origin from dust!
Angels are meri in lighter habit clad, How counterpois'd, to dust his sad return!
High o'er celestial mountains wing'd in flight; How voided his vast distance from the skies! And men are angels loaded for an hour, How near he presses on the seraph's wing! Who wade this miry vale, and climb with pain, Which is the seraph ? Which the born of clay? And slippery step, the bottom of the sleep. How this demonstrates, through the thickest cloud Angels their failings, mortals have their praise ; Of guilt, and clay condens'd, the son of He: ven! While here, of corps ethereal, such enrollid, The double son; the made, and the re-ma e! And summond to the glorious standard soon, And shall Heaven's double property bel ist? Which flames eternal crimson through the skies. Man's double madness only can destroy.
Nor are our brothers thoughtless of their kin, To man the bleeding cross has promis'd all; Yet absent : but not absent from their love. The bleeding cross has sworn eternal grace; Michael has fought our battles ; Raphael sung Who gave his life, what grace shall he deny? Our triumphs; Gabriel on our errands flown, Oye! who, from this rock of ages, leap,
Sent by the Sovereign: and are these, O man ! A postates, plunging headlong in the deep!
Thy friends, thy warm allies? and thou (shame buri; What cordial joy, what consolation strong,
The cheek to cinder!) rival to the brute ? Whatever winds arise, or billows roll,
Religion's All. Descending from the skies Our interest in the master of the storm!
To wretched man, the goddess, in her left,
Religion ! the sole voucher man is man;
E'en in this night of frailty, change, and death,
Here is firm footing; here is solid rock! The beam dim reason sheds shows wonders there; This can support us; all is sea besides ; What high contents ! Illustrious faculties!
Sinks under us; bestorms, and then devours. But the grand comment, which displays at full His hand the good man fastens on the skies, Our human height, scarce sever'd from divine, And bids Earth roll, nor feels her idle whirl. By Heaven compos'd, was publish'd on the cross. As when a wretch, from thick, polluted air,
Who looks on that, and sees not in himself Darkness and stench, and suffocation-damps, An awful stranger, a terrestrial god ?
And dungeon-horrors, by kind fate, discharg'd, A glorious partner with the Deity
Climbs some fair eminence, where ether pure In that high attribute, immortal life?
Surrounds him, and Elysian prospects rise, If a god bleeds, he bleeds not for a worm: His heart exults, his spirits cast their load; I gaze, and, as I gaze, my mounting soul
As if new-born, he triumphs in the change ; Catches strange fire, Eternity! at thee;
So joys the soul, when, from inglorious aims, and drops the world-or rather, more enjoys : And sordid sweets, from feculence and froth How chang'd the face of Nature ! how improv'd! of ties terrestrial, set at large, she mounts What seem'd a chaos, shines a glorious world, To reason's region, her own element, Or, what a world, an Eden; heighten'd all! Breathes hopes immortal, and affects the skies. It is another scene ! another self!
Religion! thou the soul of happiness; And still another, as time rolls along;
And, groaning Calvary, of thee! There shine And that a self far more illustrious still.
The noblest truths; there strongest motives sting; Beyond long ages, yet roll'd up in shades
There sacred violence assaults the soul; Unpierc'd by bold conjecture's keenest ray, There, nothing but compulsion is forborne. What evolutions of surprising fate!
Can love allure us? or can terror awe ? How Nature opens, and receives my soul
He weeps the falling drop puts out the Sun; In boundless walks of raptur'd thought! where gods He sighs—the sigh Earth's deep foundation shakeg Encounter and embrace me! What new births If in his love so terrible, what then Of strange adventure, foreign to the Sun;
His wrath inflam'd ? his tenderness on fire ? Where what now charms, perhaps, whate'er exists, Like soft, smooth oil, ouiblazing other fires? . Old time, and fair creation, are forgot!
Can prayer, can praise, avert it ?—Thou, my Al! Is this extravagant? Of man we form
My theme ! my inspiration! and my crown! Extravagant conception, to be just :
My strength in age! my rise in low estate!