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As if, like Objects pressing on the Sight,
Death had advanc'd too near us to be seen :
Or, that Life's Loan Time ripen'd into Right;
And Men might plead Prescription from the Grave;
Deathless, from Repetition of Reprieve.
Deathless ? far from it ! such are Dead already;
Their Hearts are buried, and the World their Grave,
Tell me some God! my Guardian Angel! tell, What thus infatuates ? what Inchantment plants The Phantom of an Age, 'twixt us and Death, Already at the Door? He knocks, we hear him, And yet we will not hear. What Mail defends Our untouch'd Hearts ? what Miracle turns off The pointed Thought, which from a Thousand Quivers Is daily darted, and is daily shunn'd? We stand, as in a Battle, Throngs on Throngs Around us falling ; wounded oft ourselves ; Tho’ bleeding with our Wounds, Immortal ftill!
We see Time's furrows on another’s Brow,
And Death intrench’d, preparing his Affault;
How few themselves, in that just Mirror, see ?
Or seeing, draw their Inference as strong ?
There Death is certain ; doubtful Here ; He must,
And soon; we may, within an Age, expire.
Though grey our Heads, our Thoughts and Aims are
Like damag’d Clocks, whose Hand and Bell diffent,
Folly fings Six, while Nature points at Twelve.
Absurd Longævity! more, more, it cries : More Life, moreWealth, more Trash of ev'ry Kind. And wherefore Mad for more, when Relish fails ? Object, and Appetite, must club for Joy; Shall Folly labour hard to mend the Bow, Baubles, I mean, that strike us from without, While Nature is relaxing ev'ry String? Ask Thought for Joy; grow rich and hoard within. Think you the Soul, when this Life's Rattles cease,
Has nothing of more Manly to succeed ?
Contract the Taste immortal ; learn even Now
To relish what alone fubfifts hereafter.
Divine, or none, henceforth your Joys for ever.
Of Age, the Glory is to wish to die,
That Wilh is Praise and Promise; It applauds
Past Life, and promises our future Bliss.
What Weakness see not Children in their Sires ?
Grand-climacterical Absurdities !
Grey-hair’d Authority to Faults of Youth,
How shocking? It makes Folly thrice a Fool;
And our first Childhood might our last despise.
Peace and Esteem is all that Age can Hope.
Nothing but Wisdom gives the firft; the last,
Nothing, but the Repute of being Wife.
Folly bars both; our Age is quite undone.
What Folly can be ranker ? like our Shadows, Our Wilhes lengthen, as our Sun declines.
No With should loiter, then, this side the Gráve.
Our Hearts should leave the World, before the Knell
Calls for our Carcasses to mend the Soil.
Enough to live in Tempest, Die in Port ;
Age should fly Concourse, cover in Retreat
Defects of Judgement ; and the Will's fubdue ; "
Walk thoughtful on the filent, folemn Shore,
Of that vast Ocean It must sail fo foon;
And put Good-works on Board ; and wait the Wind
That shortly blows us into Worlds unknown;
If unconsider'd too, a Dreadful Scene !
All should be Prophets to themselves, foresee
Their future Fate ; their future Fate foretaste ;
This Art would waste the Bitterness of Death.
The Thought of Death alone, the Fear destroys,
A Disaffection to that pretious Thought
Is more than Midnight Darkness on the Soul,
Which sleeps beneath it, on a Precipice,
Puffd off by the first Blast, and lost for ever.
Dost ask Lorenzo, why so warmly prest,
By Repetition hammer'd on thine Ear,
The Thought of Death? That Thought is the Ma-
The grand Machine ! that heaves us from the Duft,
And rears us into Men. The Thought ply'd Home
Will soon reduce the ghastly Precipice
O'er hanging Hell, will soften the Descent,
And gently slope our Passage to the Grave ;
How, warmly to be wisht? what Heart of Flesh
Would trifle with Tremendous ? dare Extremes ?
Yawn o'er the Fate of Infinite? what Hand,
Beyond the blackest Brand of Censure bold,
(To speak a Language too well known to Thee)
Would at a Moment give its all to Chance,
And stamp the Die for an Eternity?