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P R E F A C E.

F

AS

S the occasion of this Poem was real, not fitti.

tious; so the method pursued in it, was rather imposed, by what spontaneously arose in the author's mind on that occasion, than meditated or designed. Which will appear very probable from the nature of it. For it differs from the common mode of Poetry, which is, from long narrations to draw short morals. Here, on the contrary, the narrative is short, and the morality arising from it makes the bulk of the Poem. The reason of it is, That the facts mentioned did naturally pour these moral reflections on the thought of the writer.

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Τ Η Ε

COM P L A IN T.

NIGHT THE FIRST.

Ο Ν

LIFE, DEATH, AND IMMORTALITY.

TO

THE RIGHT HON. ARTHUR ONSLOW,

SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.

TIR'D Nature's fweet restorer, balmy Sleep!

He, like the world, his ready visit pays
Where Fortune smiles ; the wretched he forsakes;
Swift on his downy pinion Aies from woe,
And lights on lids unsullied with a tear.

5
From Mort (as usual) 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; where my wreck'd desponding thought, 10
From wave to wave of fancied misery,

At random drove, her helm of reason lost.
Though now restor’d, 'tis only.change of pain,
(A bitter change!) feverer for severe.
The Day too short for my distress; and Night, 15
Ev’n in the zenith of her dark domain,
Is sunshine to the colour of my

fate.
Night, fable goddess ! from her ebon throne,
In rayless majesty, now stretches forth
Her leaden sceptre o'er a slumbering world. -20
Silence, how dead! and darkness, how profound !
Nor eye, nor listening ear, an object finds;
Creation sleeps. 'Tis as the general pulse
Of life stood still, and nature made a pause ;
An awful pause! prophetic of her end.

:25 And let her prophecy be soon fulfill?d; Fate! drop the curtain ; I can lose no more.

Silence and Darkness! solemn sisters ! twins From ancient Night, who nurse the tender thought! To Reafon, and on Reason build Resolve,

30 (That column of true majesty in man) Aflift me: I will thank you in the grave ; The grave, your kingdom : There this frame shall fall A victim facred to your dreary shrine. But what are ye?

35 Thou, who didst put to flight Primæval Silence, when the morning stars, Exulting, shouted o'er the rising ball; O Thou, whose word from solid darkness struck That fpark, the fun; strike wisdom from my soul; 40

My

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