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846.-DEATH. Sure 'tis a serious thing to die! My soul, What a strange moment it must be, when
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
Never to think of death and of ourselves
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
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.
Not unattentive to the call, shall wake;
With a new elegance of form, unknown
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
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
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
As custom leads the way :
And be as blest as they.
To dull embraces move :
And make a world of love.
The purer bliss destroy ;
T improve the burning joy.
Can mingle hearts and hands :
With osiers for their bands.
Can the dear bondage bless :
Or none besides the bass.
The rugged and the keen:
With firebrands tied between.
For love abhors the sight:
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,
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 !
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.
Great God ! forgive our feeble lays, angel
Sound out thine own eternal praise ;
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.
Her shepherd cheered; of her enamoured Thoughts, like old vultures, prey upon their
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.
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
In ample folds of drapery divine,
Thy flowing mantle form, and, heaven through
out, Voluminously pour thy pompous train : Thy gloomy grandeurs-Nature's most au.
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.
Swift on his downy pinion flies from woe,
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.
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