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For who, to dumb forgetfulness a prey,
This pleasing, anxious being e'er resigned, Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
Nor cast one longing, lingering look behind ? On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
Some pious drops the closing eye requires;
Even in our ashes live their wonted fires.
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate; 'If chance, by lonely Contemplation led,
Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate, Haply some hoary-headed swain may say,
- Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn, Brushing, with hasty steps, the dew away,
To meet the sun upon the upland lawn. There at the foot of yonder nodding beech,
That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high, His listless length at noontide would he stretch,
And pore upon the brook that bubbles by. Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,
Muttering his wayward fancies he would rove; Now drooping, woeful wan, like one forlorn,
Or crazed with care, or crossed in hopeless love. One morn I missed him on the accustomed hill, .
Along the heath, and near his favourite tree; Another came, nor yet beside the rill,
Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he; The next, with dirges due, in sad array,
Slow through the church-way path we saw him borne Approach and read, (for thou canst read,) the lay,
Graved on the stone beneath yon aged thorn.”
A Youth to Fortune and to Fame uuknown;
And Melancholy marked him for her own, Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,
Heaven did a recompense as largely send; He gave to Misery all he had, a tear;
He gained from Heaven, 'twas all he wished, a friend. No farther seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode; (There they alike in trembling hope repose,)
The bosom of his father and his God.
CATO’S SOLILOQUY ON THE IMMORTALITY
OF THE SOUL. It must be so-Plato, thou reasonest well! Else, whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire, This longing after immortality ? Or whence this secret dread, and inward horror, Of falling into nought? Why shrinks the Soul Back on herself, and startles at destruction ?'Tis the Divinity that stirs within us : 'Tis Heaven itself that points out-a hereafter, And intimates-Eternity to man. Eternity !-thou pleasing-dreadful thought ! . . Through what variety of untried being, Through what new scenes and changes must we pass ! The wide, the unbounded prospect lies before me; But shadows, clouds, and darkness, rest upon it.Here will i hold. If there's a Power above us, (And that there is, all Nature cries aloud Through all her works,) He must delight in virtue :
And that which He delights in must be happy.
[Laying his hand on his sword.
That steals from day to day,
Moments, and months, and years away;
Since light and motion first began,
What is it?- Mortal Man!
Yet, in its calm career,
And still, through each succeeding year,
Its stroke shall darken every hour,
And Time's last shadow shall eclipse the sun.
Nor only o'er the Dial's face,
This silent phantom, day by day,
Steals moments, months, and years away;
From proud Palmyra's mouldering walls,
From every blade of grass it falls ;
The scythe of Time destroys,
O’er evanescent joys;
Fair for a moment, then for ever shorn :
I too shall lie in dust and darkness low.
His scythe, a trophy, o'er my tomb,
Each frail beholder's doom.
Though Time's triumphant flight be shown,
Points from the church-yard stone.
TO-MORROW. To-MORROW, didst thou say? Methought I heard Horatio say, To-morrow. Go to~I will not hear of it-To-morrow! 'Tis a sharper, who stakes his penury Against thy plenty—who takes thy ready cash, And pays thee nought, but wishes, hopes, and promises, The currency of idiots. Injurious bankrupt, That gulls the easy creditor !--To-morrow!
It is a period nowhere to be found
But soft, my friend-arrest the present moments;
Then stay the present instant, dear Horatio, Imprint the marks of wisdom on its wings. 'Tis of more worth than kingdoms! far more precious Than all the crimson treasures of life's fountain. O ! let it not elude thy grasp; but, like The good old patriarch upon record, Hold the fleet angel fast until he bless thee.
WILLIAM AND MARGARET.
And all were fast asleep,
And stood at William's feet.