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A dismal prospect yields the wild shore strewn
With wrecks, and trod by feet of young and old
Wandering about in miserable search
Of friends or kindred, whom the angry sea
Restores not to their prayer! Ah! who would
That all the scattered subjects which compose
Earth's melancholy vision through the space
Of all her climes—these wretched, these depraved,
To virtue lost, insensible of peace,
From the delights of charity cut off,
To pity dead, the oppressor and the opprest;
Tyrants who utter the destroying word,
And slaves who will consent to be destroyed
Were of one species with the sheltered few,
Who, with a dutiful and tender hand,
Lodged, in a dear appropriated spot,
This file of infants ; some that never breathed
The vital air ; others, which, though allowed
That privilege, did yet expire too soon,
Or with too brief a warning, to admit
Administration of the holy rite
That lovingly consigns the babe to the arms
Of Jesus, and his everlasting care.
These that in trembling hope are laid apart;
And the besprinkled nursling, unrequired
Till he begins to smile upon the breast
That feeds him ; and the tottering little-one
Taken from air and sunshine when the rose
Of infancy first blooms upon his cheek;
The thinking, thoughtless, school-boy; the bold
youth Of soul impetuous, and the bashful maid Smitten while all the promises of life Are opening round her; those of middle age, Cast down while confident in strength they stand, Like pillars fixed more firmly, as might seem, And more secure, by very weight of all
That, for support, rests on them ; the decayed
And burthensome ; and lastly, that poor few
Whose light of reason is with age extinct;
The hopeful and the hopeless, first and last,
The earliest summoned and the longest spared-
Are here deposited, with tribute paid
Various, but unto each some tribute paid ;
As if, amid these peaceful hills and groves,
Society were touched with kind concern,
And gentle · Nature grieved, that one should die ;'
Or, if the change demanded no regret,
Observed the liberating stroke-and blessed.
And whence that tribute ? wherefore these
regards ? Not from the naked Heart alone of Man (Though claiming high distinction upon earth As the sole spring and fountain-head of tears, His own peculiar utterance for distress Or gladness)—No," the philosophic Priest Continued, “ 'tis not in the vital seat Of feeling to produce them, without aid From the pure soul, the soul sublime and pure ; With her two faculties of eye and ear, The one by which a creature, whom his sins Have rendered prone, can upward look to heaven; The other that empowers him to perceive The voice of Deity, on height and plain, Whispering those truths in stillness, which the
WORD, To the four quarters of the winds, proclaims. Not without such assistance could the use Of these benign observances prevail : Thus are they born, thus fostered, thus maintained ; And by the care prospective of our wise Forefathers, who, to guard against the shocks The fluctuation and decay of things, Embodied and established these high truths
In solemn institutions :—men convinced
That life is love and immortality,
The being one, and one the element.
There lies the channel, and original bed,
From the beginning, hollowed out and scooped
For Man's affections—else betrayed and lost,
And swallowed up ʼmid deserts infinite !
This is the genuine course, the aim, and end
Of prescient reason; all conclusions else
Are abject, vain, presumptuous, and perverse.
The faith partaking of those holy times,
Life, I repeat, is energy of love
Divine or human ; exercised in pain,
In strife, in tribulation ; and ordained,
If so approved and sanctified, to pass,
Through shades and silent rest, to endless joy."
E CHURCH.YARD AMONG THE MOUNTAINS.