Imagens das páginas

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 345
Diffolv'd the charm; the disenchanted earth
Loft all her luftre. Where her glittering towers ?
Her golden mountains, where ? all darken'd down
To naked waste ; a dreary vale of tears;
The great magician's dead! Thou poor, pale piece 350
Of out-cast earth, in darkness! what a change
From yesterday! Thy darling hope fo near,
(Long-labour'd prize!) O how ambition flush'd
Thy glowing cheek! Ambition truly great,
Of virtuous praise. Death's subtle seed within 355
(Sly, treacherous miner!) working in the dark,
Smild 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 forefight 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 fight;
Clouds, thick as those on doomsday, drown the next; 365
We penetrate, we prophecy in vain.
Time is dealt out by particles; and each
Ere mingled with the streaming fands of life,
By Fate's inviolable oath is sworn
Deep filence, “ Where eternity begins."





By nature's law, what may be, may be now;
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 lies,
As on a rock of adamant, we build
Our mountain hopes ; spin out eternal schemes,
As we the fatal.fifters could out-spin,
And, big with life's futurities, expire.

Not ev'n Philander had bespoke his fhroud :
Nor had he cause ; a warning -was deny'd:

fall as sudden, not as safe !
As sudden, though for years admonish'd home.
Of human ills the last extreme beware,
Beware, Lorenzo ! a flow fudden death.
How dreadful that deliberate surprize !
Be wise to-day; 'tis madness to defer;
Next day the fatal precedent will plead;
Thus on, till wisdom is push'd out of life.
Procrastination is the thief of time;
Year after


it steals, till all are fled,
And to the mercies of a moment leaves
The vast concerns of an eternal scene.
If not so frequent, would not This be strange ?
That 'tis so frequent, This is stranger still.

Of man's miraculous mistakes, this bears
The palm, “ That all men are about to live,"!




400 All

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 reversion takes up ready praise;
At least, their own; their future selves applaud; 405
How excellent that life they ne'er will lead !
Time lodg’d in their own hands is folly's vails;
That lodg'd in fates, to wisdom they consign;
The thing they can't but purpose, they postpone;
'Tis not in folly, not to scorn a fool;

And scarce in human wisdom, to do more.
All promise is poor dilatory man,
And that through every stage: when young, indeed,
In full content we, sometimes, nobly reft,
Unanxious for ourselves; and only wish,

415 As duteous sons, our fathers were more wise. At thirty man suspects himself a fool; Knows it at forty, and reforms his plan; At fifty chides his infamous delay, Pushes his prudent purpose to resolve; In all the magnanimity of thought Resolves; and re-resolves; then dies the same.

And why? Because he thinks himself immortal. All men think all men mortal, but Themselves; Themselves, when some alarming shock of fate 425 Strikes through their wounded hearts the sudden dread; But their hearts wounded, like the wounded air, Soon close; where, past the shaft, no trace is found. As from the wing, no scar the sky retains; The parted wave no furrow from the keel; Vol. LII.



So dies in human hearts the thoughts 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 strange!
O my full heart !-But Mould I give it vent, 435
The longest night, though longer far, would fail,
And the lark listen to my midnight long.

The spritely lark's shrill matin wakes the morn;
Grief's sharpest 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: every ftar
Is deaf to mine, enamour'd of thy lay.
Yet be not vain; there are, who thine excel,
And charm through distant ages: wrapt in shade, 445
Prisoner of darkness! to the silent hours,
How often I

To lull my griefs, and steal my heart from woe!
I roll their raptures, but not catch their fire.
Dark, though not blind, like thee, Mæonides !

450 Or, Milton! thee; ah, could I reach


strain !
Or His, who made Mænoides our Own.
Man to. He sung: immortal man I fing;
Oft bursts my fong beyond the bounds of life;
What, now, but immortality can please? 455
O had He press'd his theme, pursued the track,
Which opens out of darkness into day!
O had he, mounted on his wing of fire,
Soard where I sink, and sung immortal man!
low had it blert mankind, and rescued me! 460

their rage

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

"WHEN the Cock crew, he wept”–{note by that

eye Which looks on me, on all: That power, who bids This midnight centinel, with clarion fhrill, Emblem of that which shall awake the dead, Rouse fouls from Alumber, into thoughts of beaven. 5 Shall I too weep? Where then is fortitude ? And, fortitude abandon'd, where is man? I know the terms on which he sees the light; He that is born, is lifted; life is war; Eternal war with woe. Who bears it best, Deserves it least. On other themes I 'll dwell. Lorenzo ! let me turn my thoughts on thee, And thine, on themes may profit; profit there, Where most thy need. Themes, too, the genuine growth Of dear Philander's dust. He thus, though dead, 15 May still befriend—What themes ? Time's wondrous price,

C 2



« AnteriorContinuar »