Page images
PDF
EPUB

Like bosom friendships to resentment four’d,
With rage envenom'd rise against our peace.
Beware what earth calls happiness; beware
All joys, but joys that never can expire.
Who builds on less than an immortal base,
Fond as he seems, condemns his joys to death.

Mine dy'd with thee, PHILANDER ! thy last figh
Diffolv'd the charm; the disinchanted earth
Loft all her luftre. Where, her glitt'ring towers ?
Her golden mountains, where all darken d dowa
To naked waste; a dreary vale of tears :
The great magician's dead! Thou poor, pale piece
Of out-caft earth, in darkness! what a change
From yesterday! Thy darling hope fo near,
(Long-labour'd prize !) O how ambition fluth'd
Thy glowing cheek! Ambition truly great,
Of virtuous praise. Death's subtle feed within,
(Sly, treach'rous miner!) working in the dark,
Smil'd at thy well.concerted scheme, and beckon'd
The worm to riot on that rose so red,
Unfaded ere it fell; one moment's prey !

Man's foresight is conditionally wise ;
Lorenzo! wisdom into folly turns
Oft, the first instant, its idea fair
To labouring thought is born. How dim our eye!
The present moment terminates our sight;
Clouds, thick as those on doomsday, drown the next;
We penetrate, we prophely in vain.
Time is dealt out by particles; and each,
Ere mingled with the streaming sands of life,

By

By fate's inviolable oath is sworn
Deep silence, “ Where eternity begins."

By nature's law, what may be, may be now i
There's no prerogative in human hours.
In human hearts what bolder thought can rise,
Than man's presumption on to-morrow's dawn?:
Where is to-morrow? In another world.
For numbers this is certain ;

the reverse
Is sure to none ; and yet on this perhaps,
This peradventure, infamous for lyes,
As on a rock of adamant we build
Our mountain hopes; spin out eternal schemes,
As we the fatal.fisters could out-spin,
And, big with life's futurities, expire.

Not:ev'n PHILANDER had bespoke his shroud.
Nor had he cause ; a warning was denyd :

fall as-sudden, not as safe!
As sudden, tho' for years admonisht home.
Of human ills the last extreme beware,
Beware, LORENZO! a slow sudden death.
How dreadful that deliberate surprize!
Be wise to-day ; 'tis madness to defer ;

xt day the fatal precedent will plead;
Thus on, till wisdom is push'd out of life.,
Procrastination is the thief of time:
Year after year it fieals, till all are fled,
And to the mercies of a moment leaves
The vast concerns of an eternal scene.
If not fo frequent, would not This be ftrange?
That 'tis so frequent, This is ftranger ftill.

Of man's miraculous mistakes, this bears The

How many

The palm, “ That all men are about to live,"
For ever on the brink of being born.
All pay themselves the compliment to think
They one day shall not drivel : and their pride
On this reverfion takes up ready praise ;
At least, their own; their future felves applauds;
How excellent that life they ne'er will lead !

Time lodg'd in their own hands is Folly's vails ; | That lodg’d in fate's, to wisdom thoy confign;

The thing they can't but purpose, they postpone ;
'Tis not in felly, not to scorn a fool;
And scarce in human wisdom to do more.
All promise is poor dilatory man,
And that thro' ev'ry stage: When young, indeed,
In full content we, sometimes, nobly reft,
Un anxious for ourselves ; and only with,
As duteous fons, our fathers were more wise.
At thirty man fufpects himself a fool;
Knows it at forty, and reforms his plan ;
At fifty chides his infamous delay,
Pashes his prudent purpofe to resolve;
In all the magnanimity of thought
Resolves; and re-resolves; then dies the fame.

And why? Because he thinks himself immortal.
All men think all men mortal, but Themselves ;
Themselves, when some alarming shock of fate
Strikes thro' their wounded hearts the sudden dread;
But their hearts wounded, like the wounded air,
Soon close; where past the fhaft, no trace is found.
As from the wing no scar the ky retains ;

So The parted wave no furrow from the keel ;

So dies in human hearts the thought of death.
Ev'n with the tender tear which nature sheds
O'er those we love, we drop it in their grave.
Can I forget PHILANDER ? That were ftrange!
O my full heart!

-But should I give it vent,
The longest night, tho' longer far, would fail,
And the lark listen to my midnight song,

The spritely lark's Thrill matin wakes the morn;
Grief's sharpeft thorn hard pressing on my breast,
I strive, with wakeful melody, to chear
The sullen gloom, sweet Philomel ! like Thee,
And call the stars to listen : Ev'ry ftar)
Is deaf to mine, enamour'd of thy lay.
Yet be not vain; there are, who thine excel,
And charm thro' diftant ages: Wrapt in thade,
Pris'ner of darkness! to the filent bours,
How often I repeat their rage divine,
To lull my griefs, and steal my heart from woe!
I roll their raptures, but not catch their fire.
Dark, tho' not blind, like thee, Meonides !
Or, Milton! thee; ah could I reach your ftrain!
Or His, who made Meonides our Own.
Man too He fung: Immortal man I fing;
Oft bursts my song beyond the bounds of life;
What, now, but immortality can please?
O had He press’d his theme, pursu'd the track,
Which opens out of darkness into day!
O had he mounted on his wing of fire,
Soar'd, where I fink, and fung Immortal mand
How had it blest mankind, and rescu'd me?

NIGHT

NIGHT the SECOND.

ON

TIME, DEATH, FRIENDSHIP.

« PreviousContinue »