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Swift on his downy pinion flies from woe, On this devoted head, be poured in vain. ** And lights on lids unsullied with a tear.
How poor, how rich, how abject, how From short (as usual) and disturbed repose august, I wake: how happy they who wake no more! How complicate, how wonderful is man! Yet that were vain, if dreams infest the How passing wonder He who made him grave.
such! I wake, emerging from a sea of dreams Who centred in our make such strange Tumultuous; where my wrecked desponding extremes, thought
From different natures marvellously mixed, From wave to wave of fancied misery
Connexion exquisite of distant worlds ! At random drove, her helm of reason lost. Distinguished link in being's endless chain ! Though now restored, 'tis only change of Midway from nothing to the Deity!
A beam ethereal, sullied and absorpt! (A bitter change!) severer for severe :
Though sullied and dishonoured, still divine ! The day too short for my distress; and Dim miniature of greatness absolute ! night,
An heir of glory! a frail child of dust : E'en in the zenith of her dark domain,
Helpless immortal! insect infinite ! Is sunshine to the colour of my fate.
A worm! a god! I tremble at myself, Night, sable goddess! from her ebon And in myself am lost. At home, a stranger, throne,
Thought wanders up and down, surprised, In rayless majesty, now stretches forth
aghast, Her leaden sceptre o'er a slumb’ring world. And wondering at her own. How reason Silence how dead! and darkness how pro
reels! found !
Oh what a miracle to man is man! Nor eye nor list’ning ear an object finds ; Triumphantly distressed! what joy! what Creation sleeps. 'Tis as the general pulse
dread! Of life stood still, and Nature made a pause ; Alternately transported and alarmed ! An awful pause! prophetic of her end.
What can preserve my life ! or what destroy ! And let her prophecy be soon fulfilled :
An angel's arm can't snatch me from the Fate! drop the curtain ; I can lose no more. grave; Silence and Darkness! solemn sisters! Legions of angels can't confine me there. twins
'Tis past conjecture; all things rise in From ancient Night, who nurse the tender proof : thought
While o'er my limbs sleep's soft dominion To reason, and on reason build resolve
spread, (That column of true majesty in man),
What though my soul fantastic measures Assist me: I will thank you in the grave;
trod The grave your kingdom : there this frame O'er fairy fields; or mourned along the gloom shall fall
Of silent woods; or, down the craggy steep A victim sacred to your dreary shrine.
Hurled headlong, swam with pain the mantled But what are ye?
pool; Thou, who didst put to flight
Or scaled the cliff; or danced on hollow Primeval Silence, when the morning stars,
winds, Exulting, shouted o'er the rising ball ;
With antic shapes, wild natives of the brain ? Oh Thou ! whose word from solid darkness Her ceaseless flight, though devious, speaks struck
her nature That spark, the sun, strike wisdom from my Of subtler essence than the common clod : * * soul;
Even silent night proclaims my soul imMy soul, which flies to thee, her trust, her . mortal! * * treasure,
Why, then, their loss deplore that are not As misers to their gold, while others rest.
lost ? * * Through this opaque of nature and of This is the desert, this the solitude :
How populons, how vital is the grave ! This double night, transmit one pitying ray, This is creation's melancholy vault, To lighten and to cheer. Oh lead my mind The vale funereal, the sad cypress gloom ; (A mind that fain would wander from its The land of apparitions, empty shades ! woe),
All, all on earth, is shadow, all beyond Lead it through various scenes of life and Is substance; the reverse is folly's creed ; death,
How solid all, where change shall be no And from each scene the noblest truths in. more! spire.
This is the bud of being, the dim dawn, Nor less inspire my conduct than my song : The twilight of our day, the vestibule ; Teach my best reason, reason ; my best will | Life's theatre as yet is shut, and death, Teach rectitude; and fix my firm resolve Strong death alone can heave the massy bar, Wisdom to wed, and pay her long arrear: This gross impediment of clay remove, Nor let the phial of thy vengeance, poured | And make us embryos of existence free
No composition sets the prisoner free.
Youth is not rich in time; it may be poor ; Part with it as with money, sparing ; pay . No moment, but in purchase of its worth; And what it's worth, ask death-beds; they
can tell. Part with it as with life, reluctant; big With holy hope of nobler time to come; Time higher aimed, still nearer the great
mark Of men and angels, virtue more divine.
From real life ; but little more remote
thoughts; Inters celestial hopes without one sigh. Prisoner of earth, and pent beneath the
moon, Here pinions all his wishes; winged by
heaven To fly at infinite : and reach it there Where seraphs gather immortality, On life's fair tree, fast by the throne of God. What golden joys ambrosial clust'ring glow, In his full beam, and ripen for the just, Where momentary ages are no more! Where time, and pain, and chance, and death
expire ! And is it in the flight of threescore years To push eternity from human thought, And smother souls immortal in the dust ? A soul immortal, spending all her fires, Wasting her strength in strenuous idleness, Thrown into tumult, raptured or alarmed, At aught this scene can threaten or indulge, Resembles ocean into tempest wrought, To waft a feather, or to drown a fly.
Edward Young.–Born 1681, Died 1765.
On all important time, through every age, Though much, and warm, the wise have
urged, the man Is yet unborn who duly weighs an hour. “I've lost a day”-the prince who nobly
cried, Had been an emperor without his crown. Of Rome? say, rather, lord of human race : He spoke as if deputed by mankind. So should all speak; so reason speaks in all : From the soft whispers of that God in man, Why fly to folly, why to frenzy fly, For rescue from the blessings we possess ? Time, the supreme !—Time is eternity; Pregnant with all that makes archangels
smile. Who murders Time, he crushes in the birth A power ethereal, only not adored.
Ah! how unjust to nature and himself Is thoughtless, thankless, inconsistent man! Like children babbling nonsense in their
sports, We censure Nature for a span too short ; That span too short we tax as tedious, too; Torture invention, all expedients tire, To lash the ling'ring moments into speed, And whirl us (happy riddance) from our.
857.—THOUGHTS ON TIME. The bell strikes one. We take no note of
time But from its loss : to give it then a tongue Is wise in man. As if an angel spoke, I feel the solemn sound. If heard aright, It is the knell of my departed hours. Where are they? With the years beyond the
flood. It is the signal that demands despatch : How much is to be done? My hopes and
fears Start up alarmed, and o'er life's narrow
verge Look down-on what? A fathomless abyss. A dread eternity! how surely mine! And can eternity belong to me, Poor pensioner on the bounties of an hour ? O time! than gold more sacred ; more a load Than lead to fools, and fools reputed wise. What moment granted man without account? What years are squandered, wisdom's debt
unpaid ! Our wealth in days all due to that discharge. Haste, haste, he lies in wait, he's at the
door ; Insidious Death; should his strong hand
That man might feel his error if unseen, Like numerous wings, around him, as he And, feeling, fly to labour for his cure ;
flies; Not blundering, split on idleness for ease. Or rather, as unequal plumes, they shape
· His ample pinions, swift as darted flame, We push time from us, and we wish him
To gain his goal, to reach his ancient rest, back;
And join anew eternity, his sire : Life we think long and short; death seek and
In his immutability to nest, shun.
When worlds that count his circles now, Oh the dark days of vanity! while
unhinged, Here, how tasteless! and how terrible when
(Fate the loud signal sounding) headlong gone!
rush Gone ? they ne'er go; when past, they haunt To timeless night and chaos, whence they us still :
rose. The spirit walks of every day deceased, And smiles an angel, or a fury frowns.
But why on time so lavish is my song: Nor death nor life delight us. If time past,
On this great theme kind Nature keeps a And time possessed, both pain us, what can
school please ?
To teach her sons herself. Each night we That which the Deity to please ordained,
die Time used. The man who consecrates his
Each morn are born anew ; each day a life; hours
And shall we kill each day? If trifling kills, By vigorous effort, and an honest aim,
Sure vice must butcher. O what heaps of At once he draws the sting of life and death: He walks with nature, and her paths are
Cry out for vengeance on us ! time destroyed peace.
Is suicide, where more than blood is spilt.
Throw years away? 'Tis greatly wise to talk with our past hours,
Throw empires, and be blameless : moments And ask them what report they bore to
Heaven's on their wing : a moment we may And how they might have borne more welcome
When worlds want wealth to buy. Bid day Their answers form what men experience
stand still, call;
Bid him drive back his car and re-impart If wisdom's friend, her best, if not, worst foe.
The period past, re-give the given hour.
Lorenzo! more than miracles we want.
Edward Young.-Born 1681, Died 1765. Hast thou ne'er heard of Time's omnipo
tence ? For, or against, what wonders can he do! And will : to stand blank neuter he disdains.
858.-PROCRASTINATION. Not on those terms was time (heaven's stranger!) sent
Be wise to-day ; 'tis madness to defer : On his important embassy to man.
Next day the fatal precedent will plead ; Lorenzo ! no: on the long destined hour, Thus on, till wisdom is pushed out of life. From everlasting ages growing ripe,
Procrastination is the thief of time; That memorable hour of wondrous birth, Year after year it steals, till all are fled, When the Dread Sire, on emanation bent, And to the mercies of a moment leaves And big with nature, rising in his might, The vast concerns of an eternal scene. Called forth creation (for then time was | If not so frequent, would not this be strange ? born)
That 'tis so frequent, this is stranger still. By Godhead streaming through a thousand Of man's miraculous mistakes, this bears worlds ;
The palm, " That all men are about to live," Not on those terms, from the great days of For ever on the brink of being born : heaven,
All pay themselves the compliment to think From old eternity's mysterious orb
They one day shall not drivel, and their pride Was time cut off, and cast beneath the On this reversion takes up ready praise ; skies ;
At least their own; their future selves The skies, which watch him in his new applaud; abode,
How excellent that life they ne'er will lead ! Measuring his motions by revolving spheres, Time lodged in their own hands is Folly's That horologe machinery divine.
vails; Hours, days, and months, and years, his chil. That lodged in Fate's to wisdom they dren play,
The thing they can't but purpose, they More we perceive by dint of thought alone; postpone.
The rich must labour to possess their own, 'Tis not in folly not to scorn a fool,
To feel their great abundance, and request And scarce in human wisdom to do more. Their humble friends to help them to be All promise is poor dilatory man,
blest; And that through every stage. When young, To see their treasure, hear their glory told, indeed,
And aid the wretched impotence of gold. In full content we sometimes nobly rest,
But some, great souls! and touch'd with Unanxious for ourselves, and only wish,
warmth divine, As duteous sons, our fathers were more wise. | Give gold a price, and teach its beams to At thirty man suspects himself a fool;
shine ; Knows it at forty, and reforms his plan; All hoarded treasures they repute a load, At fifty chides his infamous delay,
Nor think their wealth their own, till well Pushes his prudent purpose to resolve ;
bestow'd. In all the magnanimity of thought
Grand reservoirs of public happiness, Resolves, and re-resolves; then dies the same. Through secret streams diffusively they bless, And why? because he thinks himself And, while their bounties glide, conceal'd immortal.
from view, All men think all men mortal but themselves ; Relieve our wants, and spare our blushes too. Themselves, when some alarming shock of fate
Edward Young.-Born 1681, Died 1765. Strikes through their wounded hearts the
sudden dread : But their hearts wounded, like the wounded
air, Soon close ; where past the shaft no trace is
860.—THE LOVE OF PRAISE. found,
What will not men attempt for sacred As from the wing no scar the sky retains,
praise ! The parted wave no furrow from the keel,
The love of praise, howe'er conceal'd by art, So dies in human hearts the thought of
Reigns, more or less, and glows, in every death:
heart: E’en with the tender tear which nature
The prond, to gain it, toils on toils endure ; sheds
The modest shun it, but to make it sure. O'er those we love, we drop it in their grave.
O'er globes, and sceptres, now on thrones it Edward. Young.–Born 1681, Died 1765.
swells; Now trims the midnight lamp in college cells ; 'Tis Tory, Whig; it plots, prays, preaches,
Harangues in senates, squeaks in masque859.—THE EMPTINESS OF RICHES. rades.
Here, to Steele's humour makes a bold Can gold calm passion, or make reason shine ?
pretence; Can we dig peace or wisdom from the mine?
There, bolder, aims at Pulteney's eloquence. Wisdom to gold prefer, for 'tis much less
It aids the dancer's heel, the writer's head, To make our fortune than our happiness :
And heaps the plain with mountains of the That happiness which great ones often see,
dead: With rage and wonder, in a low degree,
Nor ends with life; but nods in sable plumes, "Themselves unbless'd. The poor are only
Adorns onr hearse, and flatters on our tombs. poor. But what are they who droop amid their Edward Young.–Born 1681, Died 1765.
861.—THE ASTRONOMICAL LADY. Could both our Indies buy but one new sense, Our envy would be due to large expense;. Some nymphs prefer astronomy to love ; Since not, those pomps which to the great Elope from mortal man, and range above. belong,
The fair philosopher to Rowley flies, Are but poor arts to mark them from the Where in a box the whole creation lies : throng.
She sees the planets in their turns advance, See how they beg an alms of Flattery:
And scorns, Poitier, thy sublunary dance ! They languish! oh, support them with a lie! Of Desaguliers she bespeaks fresh air ; A decent competence we fully taste;
And Whiston has engagements with the fair. It strikes our sense, and gives a constant What vain experiments Sophronia tries ! feast;
| 'Tis not in air-pumps the gay colonel dies.'
But though to-day this rage of science reigns, | A lady? pardon my mistaken pen,
Edward Young.–Born 1681, Died 1765.
864.-SHOWERS IN SPRING. 862.-THE LANGUID LADY.
The north-east spends his rage ; he now, shut The languid lady next appears in state,
up Who was not born to carry her own weight;
Within his iron cave, the effusive south She lolls, reels, staggers, till some foreign aid Warms the wide air, and o'er the void of To her own stature lifts the feeble maid.
heaven Then, if ordain'd to so severe a doom,
Breathes the big clouds with vernal showers She, by just stages, journeys round the
At first, a dusky wreath they seem to rise, But, knowing her own weakness, she despairs Scarce staining either, but by swift degrees, To scale the Alps—that is, ascend the stairs. In heaps on heaps the doubled vapour sails My fan! let others say, who laugh at toil ; Along the loaded sky, and, mingling deep, Fan! hood! glove! scarf ! is her laconic Sits on the horizon round, a settled gloom ; style ;
Not such as wintry storms on mortals shed, And that is spoke with such a dying fall, Oppressing life ; but lovely, gentle, kind, That Betty rather sees, than hears, the call : And full of every hope, of every joy, The motion of her lips, and meaning eye,
The wish of nature. Gradual sinks the Piece out th' idea her faint words deny.
breeze O listen with attention most profound !
Into a perfect calm, that not a breath Her voice is but the shadow of a sound. Is heard to quiver through the closing woods, And help, oh help! her spirits are so dead, Or rustling turn the many twinkling leaves One hand scarce lifts the other to her head. Of aspen tall. The uncurling floods diffused If there a stubborn pin it triumphs o'er, In glassy breadth, seem, through delusive She pants! she sinks away! and is no more.
lapse, Let the robust and the gigantic carve,
Forgetful of their course. 'Tis silence all, Life is not worth so much, she'd rather And pleasing expectation. Herds and flocks starve:
Drop the dry sprig, and, mute-imploring, eye But chew she must herself ! ah cruel fate! The falling verdure. Hushed in short susThat Rosalinda can't by proxy eat.
The plumy people streak their wings with oil,
To throw the lucid moisture trickling off
vales, 863.—THE SWEARER.
And forests, seem impatient to demand Thalestris triumphs in a manly mien;
The promised sweetness. Man superior Loud is her accent, and her phrase obscene.
walks In fair and open dealing where's the shame ?
Amid the glad creation, musing praise, What nature dares to give, she dares to And looking lively gratitude. At last, name.
The clouds consign their treasures to the This honest fellow is sincere and plain,
fields, And justly gives the jealous husband pain And, softly shaking on the dimpled pool (Vain is the task to petticoats assign'd, Prelusive drops, let all their moisture flow If wanton language shows a naked mind.) In large effusion o'er the freshen'd world. And now and then, to grace her eloquence,
The stealing shower is scarce to patter heard An oath supplies the vacancies of sense.
By such as wander through the forest-walks, Hark! the shrill notes transpierce the yielding
Beneath the umbrageous multitude of leaves. air,
James Thomson.-Born 1700, Died 1748. And teach the neighbouring echoes how to
865.—BIRDS PAIRING IN SPRING. If thunder 's awful, how much more our dread, !
To the deep woods When Jove deputes a lady in his stead? They haste away, all as their fancy leads,