Puslapio vaizdai





Life, Death, and Immortality.




SPEAKER of the Houfe of COMMONS.


IR'D⋅ Nature's fweet Reftorer, balmy Sleep! He, like the World, his ready Vifit pays Where Fortune fmiles; the Wretched he forSwift on his downy Pinion flies from Woe, And lights on Lids unfully'd with a Tear.


From short (as ufual) and disturb'd Repose, I wake: How happy they, who wake no more! Yet that were vain, if Dreams infeft the Grave. I wake, emerging from a Sea of Dreams Tumultuous; w here my wreck'd, defponding Though From Wave to Wave of fanfy'd Mifery,

At random drove, her Helm of Reason loft. Tho' now reftor'd, 'tis only Change of Pain, (A bitter Change!) feverer for severe.

The Day too fhort for my Diftrefs! and Night,
Even in the Zenith of her dark Domain,

Is Sunshine, to the Colour of my Fate.

Night, fable Goddess! from her Ebon Throne,
In rayless Majefty, now stretches forth
Her leaden Sceptre o'er a flumb'ring World.
Silence, how dead! and Darkness, how profound!
Nor Eye, nor lift'ning Ear an Object finds ;
Creation fleeps. 'Tis, as the gen'ral Pulfe
Of Life stood ftill, and Nature made a Pause;
An aweful Paufe! prophetic of her End.
And let her Prophecy be foon fulfill'd;
Fate! drop the Curtain, I can lofe no more.

Silence, and Darkness! folemn Sifters! Twins From antient Night, who nurse the tender Thought To Reason, and on Reafon build Refolve,

(That Column of true Majefty in Man)

Affift me: I will thank you in the Grave;

The Grave, your Kingdom: There this Frame fhall fall
A Victim facred to your dreary Shrine.

But what are ye? THOU, who didft put to Flight
Primæval Silence, when the Morning-Stars,
Exulting, fhouted o'er the rifing Ball;

O THOU! whofe Word from folid Darkness ftruck


That Spark, the Sun; strike Wisdom from my Soul; My Soul, which flies to thee, her Trust, her Treasure, As Mifers to their Gold, while others reft.

Thro' this Opaque of Nature, and of Soul,
This double Night, transmit one pitying Ray,
To lighten, and to chear. O lead my Mind,
(A Mind that fain would wander from its Woe)
Lead it thro' various Scenes of Life, and Death;
And from each Scene, the nobleft Truths infpire.
Nor lefs infpire my Conduct, than my Song;
Teach my best Reason, Reafon; my best Will
Teach Rectitude; and fix my firm Resolve
Wisdom to wed, and pay her long Arrear :
Nor let the Phial of thy Vengeance, pour'd
On this devoted Head, be pour'd in vain.

The Bell ftrikes One. We take no Note of Time,
But from its Lofs. To give it then a Tongue,
Is wife in Man. As if an Angel fpoke,

I feel the folemn 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 Difpatch;
How much is to be done? my Hopes and Fears
Start up alarm'd, and o'er Life's narrow Verge
Look down-on what? A fathomlefs Abyss;
A dread Eternity! how furely mine I

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And can Eternity belong to me,"

Poor Penfioner on the Bounties of an Hour?

How poor, how rich, how abject, how auguft,
How complicate, how wonderful, is Man?
How paffing wonder HE, who made him fuch?
Who centred in our Make fuch ftrange Extremes?
From diffrent Natures marvelously mixt,

Connection exquifite of diftant Worlds!"
Diftinguifh'd Link in Being's endlefs Chain!
Midway from Nothing to the Deity!
A Beam etherial fully'd, and absorbt!
Tho' fully'd, and difhonour'd, ftill Divine!
Dim Miniature of Greathefs abfolute!"
An Heir of Glory! a frail Child of Duft!
Helpless Immortal! Infect infinite!

A Worm! a God!-I tremble at myself,
And in myself am loft! At home a Stranger,
Thought wanders up and down, furpris'd, aghaft,
And wond'ring at her own: How Reafon reels!
O what a Miracle to Man is Man,
Triumphantly diftrefs'd! what Joy, what Dread!
Alternately tranfported, and alarm'd !

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What can preferve my Life? or what destroy?
An Angel's Arm can't fnatch me from the Grave;
Legions of Angels can't confine 'me There.

'Tis paft Conjecture; all things rife in Proof: While o'er my Limbs Sleep's foft Dominion spread,


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