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Dung'd, but not drest ; and rich to Beggary.
A Pomp. untameable of Weed prevails.,
Her Servant's Wealth encumber'd Wisdom mourns..
And what says Genius? “ Let the Dull be Wife.".
Genius too hard for Right, can prove it Wrong ;
And loves to boast, where blush Men less inspir'd.
It pleads Exemption from the Laws of Sense ;.
Considers Reason as a Leveller,
And scarns to share a Blessing with the Croud.
That Wise it could be, thinks an ample Claim
To Glory, and to. Pleasure gives the reft.
Cralus but sleeps, Ardelio is undone.
Wisdom less. shudders at a Fool, than Wit-
But Wisdom smiles, when humbled Mortals weep. When Sorrow wounds the Breast, as Plows the Gleben, And Hearts obdurate feel her soft'ning Show'r : Her Seed Celestial, then, glad Wisdom fows, Her golden Harveft triumphs in the Soil. If so, Narcisa! welcome my Relapse ; I'll raise a Tax.on my Calamity, And reap rich Compensation from my Pain. I'll
range the plenteous Intellectual Field ; And gather ev'ry Thought of sovereign Power, To chase the Moral maladies of Man ; Thoughts, which may bear transplanting to the Skies, Tho’ Natives of this coarse penurious Soil, Nor wholly wither there, where Seraphs fing; Refin'd, exalted, not annull'd in Heav'n. Reason, the Sun that gives them Birth, the fame In either Clime, tho' more illustrious There. These choicely cull’d, and elegantly rang’d, Shall form a Garland for Narcisa's Tomb; And, peradventure, of no fading Flow'rs.
Say on what Themes shall puzzl’d Choice descend? “ Th' Importance of Contemplating the Tomb; “Why Men decline it ; Suicide's foul Birth; ES
« The various Kinds of Grief; the Faults of Age; • And Death's dread Character – invite my Song.
And first th' Importance of our End survey'd,
Friends counsel quick Dismission of our Grief;
Mistaken Kindness! our Hearts heal too soon.
Are They more kind than He, who struck the Blow?
Who bid it do his Errand in our Hearts,
And banish Peace, till nobler Guests arrive,
And bring it back, a true, and endless Peace?
Calamities are Friends : As glaring Day
Of these unnumber'd Luftres robs our Sight;
Prosperity puts out unnumber'd Thoughts
Of Import high, and Light divine to Man.
The Man how blest, who fick of gaudy Scenes,
(Scenes apt to thruft between us and ourselves !)
Is led by Choice to take his fav’rite Walks,
Beneath Death's gloomy, filent, Cypress Shades,
Unpierc'd by Vanity's fantastic Ray;
To read his Monuments, to weigh his Duft,
Visit his Vaults, and dwell among the Tombs ?
Lorenzo ! read with me Narcilla's Stone;
(Narcisa was thy Fav'rite) let us read
Her moral Stone ; few Doctors preach so well,
Few Orators fo tenderly can touch
The feeling Heart. What Pathos in the Date ?
Apt Words can strike, and yet in them we see
Faint Images of what we, here, enjoy.
What Cause have we to build on Length of Life?
Temptations seize, when Fear is laid aileep;
And Ill foreboded is our strongest Guard.
See from her Tomb, as from an humble Shrine,
Truth, radiant Goddess ! fallies on my Soul,
And puts Delufion's dusky train to Flight ;
Difpels the Mists our fultry Paffions raise,
From Objects low, terrestrial, and obscene,
And shews the Real Estimate of Things;
Which no Man, unafflicted, ever saw ;
Pulls off the Veil from Virtue's rising Charms;
Detects Temptation in a thousand Lies.
Truth bids me look on Men, as Autumn Leaves,
And all they bleed for, as the Summer's Duft,
Driv'n by the Whirlwind ; lighted by her Beams,
I widen my Horizon, gain new Pow'rs,
See things invisible, feel Things remote,
Am present with Futurities; think nought
To Man so foreign, as the Joys pofseft ;
Nought so much his as those beyond the Grave.
No Folly keeps its Colour in her Sight.
Pale Worldly Wisdom loses all her Charms :
In pompous Promise from her Schemes profound,
If future Fate she plans, 'tis all in Leaves
Like Sibyl, unsubftantial, fleeting Bliss !
At the first Blast it vanishes in Air.
Not fo, Celestial: wouldft Thou know, Lorenzo!
How differ worldly Wisdom, and Divine ?
Just as the waning, and the waxing Moon.
More empty worldly Wisdom ev'ry Day ;
And ev'ry Day more fair her Rival shines.
When Later there's less Time to play the Fool.
Soon our whole Term for Wisdom is expir’d.
(Thou know'st she calls no Council in the Grave)
And everlasting Fool is writ in Fire,
Or real Wisdom wafts us to the Skies.
As worldly Schemes resemble Sibyl's Leaves,
The good Man's Days to Sibyl's Books compare,
(In antient Story read, Thou know'st the Tale)
In Price still rising, as in Number less,
Inestimable quite his Final Hour..
For That who Thrones can offer, offer Thrones ;-
Insolvent Worlds the Purchase cannot pay.
66 Oh let me die His Death !” all Nature cries.
66. Then live his Life"-All Nature falters there.
Our great Physician daily to consult,
To commune with the Grave, our only Cure.
What Grave prescribes the best?- a Friend's; and
From a Friend's Grave, how soon we disengage ?
Ev'n to the dearest, as his Marble, cold.
Why are Friends ravish'd from us? 'tis to bind,
By soft Affection's Tyes, on human Hearts,
The thought of Death, which Reason too sopine,
Or misemploy'd, so rarely faftens There.
Nor Reason, nor Affection, no, nor both
Combin'd, can break the Witchcrafts of the World.
Behold th' inexorable Hour at hand !
Behold th' inexorable Hour forgot!
And to forget it, the chief Aim of Life,
Tho' well to ponder it, is Life's chief End.
Is Death, that ever threat'ning, ne'er remote, That all-important, and that only sure, *Come when he will) an unexpected Guest ? Nay, tho' invited by the loudest Calls Of blind Imprudence, unexpected still? Tho' num'rous Messengers are sent before To warn his Great Arrival. What the Cause, The wond'rous Cause, of this Mysterious Ill?. All Heav'n looks down astonish'd at the Sight. Is it, that Life has sown her Joys so thick, We can't thrust in a single Care between? Is it, that Life has such a swarm of Cares, The Thought of Death can't enter for the Throng? Is it, that Time steals on with downy Feet, Nor wakes Indulgence from her Golden Dream? To-day is so like yesterday, it cheats ; We take the lying Sister for the fame. Life glides away, Lorenzo! like a Brook ; For ever changing, unperceiv'd the Change. Tu che fame Brook none ever bath'd him twice :
To the fame Life none ever twice awoke.
We call the Brook the same; the same we think
Our Life, tho' ftill more rapid in its Flow ;.
Nor mark the Much irrevocably laps’d,
And mingled with the Sea. Or shall we say
(Retaining still the Brook to bear us on)
That Life is like a Vefsel on the Stream ?
In Life embark'd, we smoothly down the Tide
Of Time descend, but not on Time intent;
Amus'd, unconscious of the gliding Wave ;.
Till on a sudden we perceive a Shock ;
We start, awake, look out; what see we there ::
Our brittle Bark is burst on Charon's Shore.
Is this the Cause Death flies all human Thought
Or is it, Judgment by the Will fruck blind,
That domineering Mistress of the Soul !
Like kim so strong by Dalilah the fair ?
Or is it Fear turns startled Reason back,
From looking down a Precipice so steep?
'Tis dreadful ; and the Dread is wisely plac’dz.
By Nature conscious of the Make of. Man..
A dreadful Friend it is, a Terror kind,
A flaming Sword to guard the Tree of Life.
By that unaw'd, in Life's most smiling Hour,
The Good Man would repine ; would suffer Joys,
And burn impatient for his promis'd Skies.
The Bad on each punctilious Pique of Pride,
Or Gloom of Humour, would give Rage the Rein,
Bound o'er the Barrier, rush into the Dark,
And marr the Schemes of Providence below.
What Groan was that, Lorenzo ! - Furies! rise And drown in your less execrable Yell, Britannia's Shame. There took her gloomy Flight, On Wing impetuous, a Black fullen Soul, Blafted from Hell, with horrid Luft of Death. Thy Friend, the Brave, the Gallant Altamont,