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846.-DEATH. Sure 'tis a serious thing to die! My soul, What a strange moment it must be, when

near

Thy journey's end, thou hast the gulf in

view! That awful gulf no mortal e'er repass’d To tell what's doing on the other side. Nature runs back and shudders at the sight, And every life-string bleeds at thoughts of

parting; For part they must: body and soul must

part; Fond couple ! link'd more close than wedded

pair. This wings its way to its Almighty Source, The witness of its actions, now its judge : That drops into the dark and noisome grave, Like a disabled pitcher of no use.

Robert Blair.-Born 1699, Died 1746.

847.—THE GRAVE. Death's shafts fly thick !-Here falls the

village-swain, And there his pamper'd lord !—The cup goes

round; And who so artful as to put it by ? 'Tis long since death had the majority ; Yet, strange! the living lay it not to heart. See yonder maker of the dead man's bed, The Sexton, hoary-headed chronicle ; Of hard, unmeaning face, down which ne'er

stole A gentle tear; with mattock in his hand Digs through whole rows of kindred and

acquaintance, By far his juniors.-Scarce a skull's cast

up, But well he knew its owner, and can tell Some passage of his life. — Thus hand in

hand The sot has walk'd with death twice twenty

years ; And yet ne'er younker on the green laughs

louder, Or clubs a smuttier tale : when drunkards

meet, None sings a merrier catch, or lends a hand More willing to his cup.-Poor wretch ! he

minds not, That soon some trusty brother of the trade Shall do for him what he has done for

thousands. On this side, and on that, men see their

friends Drop off, like leaves in autumn; yet launch

out Into fantastic schemes, which the long livers In the world's hale and undegenerate days Could searce have leisure for.-Fools that we

are !

Never to think of death and of ourselves
At the same time : as if to learn to die
Were no concern of ours.-- more than

sottish,
For creatures of a day, in gamesome mood,
To frolic on eternity's dread brink
Unapprehensive ; when, for aught we know,
The very first swoln surge shall sweep us in !
Think we, or think we not, time hurries on
With a resistless, unremitting stream ;
Yet treads more soft than e'er did midnight

thief, That slides his hand under the miser's

pillow, And carries off his prize. – What is this

world? What but a spacious burial field unwall'a, Strew'd with death's spoils, the spoils of

animals Savage and tame, and full of dead men's

bones! The very turf on which we tread once lived ; And we that live must lend our carcases To cover our own offspring : in their turns They too must cover theirs.—'Tis here all

meet ! The shivering Icelander, and sun-burnt Moor; Men of all climes, that never met before; And of all creeds, the Jew, the Turk, the

Christian. Here the proud prince, and favourite yet

prouder, His sovereign's keeper, and the people's

scourge, Are huddled out of sight.—Here lie abash'd The great negotiators of the earth, And celebrated masters of the balance, Deep read in stratagems, and wiles of courts. Now vain their treaty skill : death scorns to

treat. Here the o'er-loaded slave flings down his

burden From his gall'd shoulders ;-and when the

cruel tyrant, With all his guards and tools of power about

him, Is meditating new unheard-of hardships, Mocks his short arm,-and, quick as thought,

escapes Where tyrants vex not, and the weary rest. Here the warm lover, leaving the cool shade, The tell-tale echo, and the babbling stream (Time out of mind the favourite seats of love), Fast by his gentle mistress lays him down, Unblasted by foul tongue. Here friends and

foes Lie close ; unmindful of their former feuds. The lawn-robed prelate and plain presbyter, Erewhile that stood aloof, as shy to meet, Familiar mingle here, like sister streams That some rude interposing rock had split. Here is the large-limb'd peasant ;-here the

child Of a span long, that never saw the sun, Nor press'd the nipple, strangled in life's

porch.

Here is the mother, with her sons and daugh. 849.—THE RESURRECTION.

ters; The barren wife; the long-demurring maid,

Even the lag flesh

Rests, too, in hope of meeting once again Whose lonely anappropriated sweets

Its better half, never to sunder more. Smiled like yon knot of cowslips on the cliff,

Nor shall it hope in vain :--the time draws

on, Not to be come at by the willing hand.

When not a single spot of burial earth, Here are the prude severe, and gay coquette,

Whether on land, or in the spacious sea, The sober widow, and the young green virgin,

But must give back its long-committed dust Cropp'd like a rose before 'tis fully blown, Or half its worth disclosed. Strange medley Make up the full account; not the least

Inviolate !--and faithfully shall these here!

atom Here garrulous old age winds up his tale;

Embezzled, or mislaid, of the whole tale. And jovial youth, of lightsome vacant heart,

Each soul shall have a body ready furnish'd; Whose every day was made of melody,

And each shall have his own.--Hence, ye Hears not the voice of mirth.—The shrill

profane! tongued shrew,

Ask not how this can be ?-Sure the same Meek as the turtle dove, forgets her chiding.

power Here are the wise, the generous, and the brате;

That rear'd the piece at first, and took it

down, The just, the good, the worthless, the pro

Can reassemble the loose scatter'd parts, fane;

And put them as they were.- Almighty God The downright clown, and perfectly well

Has done much more; nor is his arm imbred;

pair'd The fool, the churl, the scoundrel, and the

Through length of days : and what he can, he mean;

will : The supple statesman, and the patriot stern;

His faithfulness stands bound to see it done. The wrecks of nations, and the spoils of time,

When the dread trumpet sounds, the slumberWith all the lumber of six thousand years.

ing dust,

Not unattentive to the call, shall wake;
Robert Blair.--Born 1699, Died 1746. And every joint possess its proper place,

With a new elegance of form, unknown
To its first state. Nor shall the conscious

soul 848.—THE DEATH OF A GOOD MAN. Mistake its partner, but, amidst the crowd, Sure the last end

Singling its other half, into its arms Of the good man is peace !-How calm his Shall rush, with all the impatience of a man exit!

That's new come home; and, having long Night dews fall not more gently to the

been absent, ground,

With haste runs over every different room, Nor weary, worn-out winds expire so soft. In pain to see the whole. Thrice happy Behold him in the evening-tide of life,

meeting! A life well spent, whose early care it was

Nor time, nor death, shall ever part them His riper years should not upbraid his

more. green :

'Tis but a night, a long and moonless night; By unperceived degrees he wears away;

We make the grave our bed, and then are Yet, like the sun, seems larger at his setting.

gone. High in his faith and hopes, look how he

Thus, at the shut of even, the weary bird reaches

Leaves the wide air, and in some lonely After the prize in view! and, like a bird,

brake That's hamper'd, struggles hard to get

Cowers down, and dozes till the dawn of away:

day, Whilst the glad gates of sight are wide

Then claps his well-fledged wings, and bears expanded

away. To let new glories in, the first fair fruits

Robert Blair.-Born 1699, Died 1746. Of the fast-coming harvest.—Then, oh then! Each earth-born joy grows vile, or disappears, Shrunk to a thing of nought.-Oh! how he

longs To have his passport sign'd, and be dis

850.—THE ROSE.

How fair is the rose ! what a beautiful flower, "Tis done! and now he's happy! The glad

The glory of April and May! soul Has not a wish uncrown'd.

But the leaves are beginning to fade in an

hour,
Robert Blair.-Born 1699, Died 1746. And they wither and die in a day.

miss'd!

Yet the rose has one powerful virtue to boast,

Above all the flowers of the field; When its leaves are all dead, and its fine

colours lost, Still how sweet a perfume it will yield! So frail is the youth and the beauty of men, Though they bloom and look gay like the

rose; But all our fond care to preserve them is

vain, Time kills them as fast as he goes. Then I'll not be proud of my youth nor my

beauty, Since both of them wither and fade ; But gain a good name by well-doing my

duty; This will scent like a rose when I'm dead.

Dr. Watts.-Born 1674, Died 1748.

851.-A SUMMER EVENING. How fine has the day been, how bright was

the sun, How lovely and joyful the course that he run, Though he rose in a mist when his race he

begun, And there followed some droppings of

rain ! But now the fair traveller's come to the

west, His rays are all gold, and his beauties are

best; He paints the sky gay as he sinks to his

rest, And foretells a bright rising again. Just such is the Christian ; his course he

begins, Like the sun in a mist, when he mourns for

his sins, And melts into tears ; then he breaks out and

shines, And travels his heavenly way : But when he comes nearer to finish his race, Like a fine setting sun, he looks richer in

grace, And gives a sure hope at the end of his days, Of rising in brighter array.

Dr. Watts.-Born 1674, Died 1748.

Not the wild herd of nymphs and swains
That thoughtless fly into thy chains,

As custom leads the way :
If there be bliss without design,
Ivies and oaks may grow and twine,

And be as blest as they.
Not sordid souls of earthly mould,
Who drawn by kindred charms of gold

To dull embraces move :
So two rich mountains of Peru
May rush to wealthy marriage too,

And make a world of love.
Not the mad tribe that hell inspires
With wanton flames ; those raging fires

The purer bliss destroy ;
On Ætna's top let furies wed,
And sheets of lightning dress the bed

T improve the burning joy.
Nor the dull pairs whose marble forms
None of the melting passions warms,

Can mingle hearts and hands :
Logs of green wood that quench the coals
Are married just like Stoic souls,

With osiers for their bands.
Not minds of melancholy strain,
Still silent, or that still complain,

Can the dear bondage bless :
As well may heavenly concerts spring
From two old lutes with ne'er a string,

Or none besides the bass.
Nor can the soft enchantments hold
Two jarring souls of angry mould,

The rugged and the keen:
Samson's young foxes might as well
In bonds of cheerful wedlock dwell,

With firebrands tied between.
Nor let the cruel fetters bind
A gentle to a savage mind;

For love abhors the sight:
Loose the fierce tiger from the deer,
For native rage and native fear

Rise and forbid delight. Two kindest souls alone must meet, 'Tis friendship makes the bondage sweet,

And feeds their mutnal loves : Bright Venus on her rolling throne Is drawn by gentlest birds alone, And Cupids yoke the doves.

Dr. Watts. Born 1674, Died 1748.

852.-FEW HAPPY MATCHES. Say, mighty Love, and teach my song, To whom thy sweetest joys belong,

And who the happy pairs Whose yielding hearts, and joining hands, Find blessings twisted with their bands,

To soften all their cares.

853.—THE DAY OF JUDGMENT. When the fierce north wind, with his airy

forces, Roars up the Baltic to a foamy fury; And the red lightning, with a storm of hail,

Rushing amain down,

comes

How the poor sailors stand amazed and You, whose capacious powers survey tremble

Largely beyond our eyes of clay, While the hoarse thunder, like a bloody Yet what a narrow portion too trumpet,

Is seen or thought or known by you !
Roars a loud onset to the gaping waters
Quick to devour them!

How flat your highest praises fall

Before th' immense Original ! Such shall the noise be, and the wild dis

Weak creatures we, that strive in vain order,

To reach an uncreated strain.
If things eternal may be like those earthly,
Such the dire terror, when the great Arch-

Great God ! forgive our feeble lays, angel

Sound out thine own eternal praise ;
Shakes the creation ;

A song so vast, a theme so high,

Call for the voice that tuned the sky, Tears the strong pillars of the vault of

Dr. Watts.-Born 1674, Died 1748. heaven, Breaks up old marble, the repose of princes : See the graves open and the bones arisingFlames all around them!

855.-NIGHT. Hark, the shrill outeries of the guilty wretches!

These thoughts, O Night! are thine ; Lively bright horror and amazing anguish From thee they came like lovers' secret sighs, Stare through their eyelids, while the living

While others slept. So Cynthia, poets feign, worm lies

In shadows veiled, soft, sliding from her Gnawing within them.

sphere,

Her shepherd cheered; of her enamoured Thoughts, like old vultures, prey upon their

less heart-strings,

Than I of thee. And art thou still unsung, And the smart twinges, when the eye beholds Beneath whose brow, and by whose aid, I the

sing ? Lofty Judge, frowning, and a flood of Immortal silence! where shall I begin ? vengeance

Where end ? or how steal music from the Rolling afore him.

spheres

To soothe their goddess ? Stop here, my fancy (all away, ye horrid

O majestic Night! Doleful ideas); come, arise to Jesus !

Nature's great ancestor ! Day's elder born! How he sits God-like; and the saints around And fated to survive the transient sun! him

By mortals and immortals seen with awe! Throned, yet adoring

A starry crown thy raven brow adorns,

An azure zone thy waist; clouds, in heaven's O may I sit there, when he comes triumphant loom Dooming the nations! then ascend to glory; Wrought through varieties of shape and While our hosannahs all along the passage

shade,
Shout the Redeemer.

In ample folds of drapery divine,
Dr. Watts.-Born 1674, Died 1748.

Thy flowing mantle form, and, heaven through

out, Voluminously pour thy pompous train : Thy gloomy grandeurs-Nature's most au.

gust,

Inspiring aspect !-claim a grateful verse; 854.-GOD KNOWN ONLY TO HIMSELF. And, like a sable curtain starr'd with gold, Stand and adore ! how glorious He

Drawn o'er my labours past, shall clothe the

scene. That dwells in bright eternity! We gaze and we confound our sight,

Edward Young.-Born 1681, Died 1765. Plunged in th' abyss of dazzling light. Thou sacred One, Almighty Three, Great, everlasting Mystery, What lofty numbers shall we frame

856.-ON LIFE, DEATH, AND IMMOREqual to thy tremendous name?

TALITY. Seraphs, the nearest to the throne,

Tired Nature's sweet restorer, balmy Sleep! Begin to speak the Great Unknown :

He, like the world, his ready visit pays Attempt the song, wind up your strings Where Fortune smiles; the wretched he for. To notes untried, and boundless things.

sakes :

Swift on his downy pinion flies from woe,
And lights on lids unsullied with a tear.

From short (as usual) and disturbed repose I wake : how happy they who wake no more ! Yet that were vain, if dreams infest the

grave. I wake, emerging from a sea of dreams Tumultuous ; where my wrecked desponding

thought From wave to wave of fancied misery At random drove, her helm of reason lost. Though now restored, 'tis only change of

pain (A bitter change!) severer for severe : The day too short for my distress; and

night, E'en in the zenith of her dark domain, Is sunshine to the colour of my fate. Night, sable goddess! from her ebon

throne, In rayless majesty, now stretches forth Her leaden sceptre o'er a slumb'ring world. Silence how dead! and darkness how pro

found ! Nor eye nor list’ning ear an object finds ; Creation sleeps. 'Tis as the general pulse Of life stood still, and Nature made a pause ; An awful pause! prophetic of her end. And let her prophecy be soon fulfilled : Fate! drop the curtain ; I can lose no more. Silence and Darkness! solemn sisters !

twins From ancient Night, who nurse the tender

thought To reason, and on reason build resolve (That column of true majesty in man), Assist me: I will thank you in the grave; The grave your kingdom : there this frame

shall fall A victim sacred to your dreary shrine. But what are ye?

Thou, who didst put to flight Primeval Silence, when the morning stars, Exulting, shouted o'er the rising ball ; Oh Thou ! whose word from solid darkness

struck That spark, the sun, strike wisdom from my My soul, which flies to thee, her trust, her

treasure, As misers to their gold, while others rest. Through this opaque of nature and of

soul, This double night, transmit one pitying ray, To lighten and to cheer. Oh lead my mind (A mind that fain would wander from its

woe), Lead it through various scenes of life and

death, And from each scene the noblest truths in

spire. Nor less inspire my conduct than my song ; Teach my best reason, reason ; my best will Teach rectitude; and fix my firm resolve Wisdom to wed, and pay her long arrear: Nor let the phial of thy rengeance, poured

On this devoted head, be poured in vain.
How poor, how rich, how abject, how

august, How complicate, how wonderful is man! How passing wonder He who made him

such ! Who centred in our make such strange

extremes, From different natures marvellously mixed, Connexion exquisite of distant worlds ! Distinguished link in being's endless chain! Midway from nothing to the Deity! A beam ethereal, sullied and absorpt! Though sullied and dishonoured, still divine ! Dim miniature of greatness absolute ! An heir of glory! a frail child of dust : Helpless immortal! insect infinite ! A worm! a god! I tremble at myself, And in myself am lost. At home, a stranger, Thought wanders up and down, surprised,

aghast, And wondering at her own. How reasos

reels! Oh what a miracle to man is man! Triumphantly distressed! what joy! what

dread! Alternately transported and alarmed ! What can preserve my life! or what destroy! An angel's arm can't snatch me from the

grave; Legions of angels can't confine me there. "Tis past conjecture; all things rise in

proof : While o'er my limbs sleep's soft dominion

spread, What though my soul fantastic measures

trod O'er fairy fields; or mourned along the gloom Of silent woods; or, down the craggy steep Hurled headlong, swam with pain the mantled

pool; Or scaled the cliff; or danced on hollow

winds, With antic shapes, wild natives of the brain ? Her ceaseless Alight, though devious, speaks

her nature Of subtler essence than the common clod : ** Even silent night proclaims my soul im

mortal! Why, then, their loss deplore that are not

lost ?
This is the desert, this the solitude :
How populous, how vital is the grave !
This is creation's melancholy vault,
The vale funereal, the sad cypress gloom ;
The land of apparitions, empty shades !
All, all on earth, is shadow, all beyond
Is substance; the reverse is folly's creed ;
How solid all, where change shall be no

more!
This is the bud of being, the dim dawn,
The twilight of our day, the vestibule ;
Life's theatre as yet is shut, and death,
Strong death alone can heave the massy bar,
This gross impediment of clay remove,
And make us embryos of existence free

soul ;

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