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This heaven-assum'd majestic robe of earth,
He deign'd to wear, who hung the vaft expanse
With azure bright, and cloath'd the sun in gold. 195
When every passion sleeps that can offend;
When strikes us every motive that can melt;
When man can wreak his rancour uncontrol'd,
That strongest curb on insult and ill-will ;
Then, spleen to dust ? the dust of innocence ?
An angel's duft ?- This Lucifer transcends ;
When he contended for the patriarch's bones,
'Twas not the strife of malice, but of pride ;
The strife of pontiff pride, not pontiff gall.
For less than This is shocking in a race 205
Most wretched, but from streams of mutual love ;
And uncreated, but for love divine ;
And, but for love divine, this moment loft,
By fate resorb’d, and sunk in endless night.
Man hard of heart to man ! of horrid things
Moit horrid ! 'Mid ftupendous, highly strange!
Yet oft his courtesies are smoother wrongs;
Pride brandishes the favours He confers,
And contumelious his humanity :
What then his vengeance ? Hear it not, yet stars ! 215
And thou, pale moon ! turn paler at the found;
Man is to man the forest, surest ill.
A previous blast foretels the rising storm;
O’erwhelming turrets threaten ere they fall ;
Volcanos bellow ere they disembogue ;
220 Earth trembles ere her yawning jaws devour ; And imoke betrays the wide-consurning fire :
Ruin from man is most conceal'd when near,
And sends the dreadful tidings in the blow.
Is this the flight of fancy? Would it were ! 225
Heaven's Sovereign faves all beings, but himself,
That hideous fight, a naked human heart.
Fir'd is the Muse ? And let the Muse be fir'd:
Who not enflam’d, when what he speaks, he feels,
And in the nerve moft tender, in his friends ?
230 Shame to mankind ! Philander had his foes : He felt the truths I fing, and I in Him. But He, nor 1, feel more : pait ills, Narcissa ! Are sunk in Thee, thou recent wound of heart! Which bleeds with other cares, with other pangs ; 235 Pangs numerous, as the numerous ills that swarm'd O'er thy distinguish'd fate, and, clustering There Thick as the locusts on the land of Nile, Made death more deadly, and more dark the grave. Reflect (if not forgot my touching tale)
24.0 How was each circumstance with aspics arm’d? An aspic, Each ! and All, an Hydra woe: What strong Herculean virtue could suffice ? Or is it virtue to be conquer'd Here ? This hoary cheek a train of tears bedews; 245 And each tear mourns its own distinct distress ; And each distress, distinctly mourn'd, demands Of grief still more, as heighten'd by the whole. A grief like this proprietors excludes : Not friends alone such obsequies deplore ; 250 They make mankind the mourner ; carry fighs Far as the fatal Fame can wing her way;
And turn the gayeft thought of gayeft age,
Down their right channel, through the vale of death.
The vale of death! that hush'd Cimmerian vale, 255. Where darkness, brooding o'er unfinish'd fates, With raven wing incumbent, waits the day (Dread day!) that interdiets all future change ! That subterranean world, that land of ruin ! Fit walk, Lorenzo, for proud human thought ! 260 There let my thought expatiate, and explore Balsamic truths and healing sentiments, Of all most wanted, and most welcome, here. For gay Lorenzo's sake, and for thy own, My foul ! « The fruits of dying friends survey; : 265 “ Expose the vain of life ; weigh life and death; « Give death his eulogy ; thy fear subdue ; “ And labour that first palm of noble minds, “ A manly scorn of terror from the tomb."
This harvelt reap from thy Narcissa's grave. 270 As poet's feign'd from Ajax' streaming blood Arose, with grief inscrib’d, a mournful flower ; Let wisdom blossom from my mortal wound. And first, of dying friends; what fruit from these ? It brings us more than triple aid ; an aid
275 To chase our thoughtlessness, fear, pride and guilt.
Our dying friends come o'er us like a cloud, To damp our brainless ardors; and abate That glare of life which often blinds the wise. Our dying friends are pioneers, to smooth 280 Our rugged pass to death; to break those bars Of terror, and abhorrence, nature throws
Cross our obstructed way; and, thus to make
Welcome, as safe, our port
Each friend by fate snatch'd from us, is a plume 285
Pluck'd from the wing of human vanity,
Which makes us ftoop from our aërial heights,
And, dampt with omen of our own decease,
On drooping pinions of ambition lower'd,
Just skim earth's surface, ere we break it up, 290
O’er putrid earth to scratch a little dust,
And save the world a nuisance. · Smitten friends.
Are angels sent on errands full of love ;
For us they languish, and for us they die:
And shall they languish, shall they die, in vain ? 295
Ungrateful, shall we grieve their hovering shades,
Which wait the revolution in our hearts ?
Shall we disdain their filent, soft address ;
Their posthumous advice, and pious prayer?
Senseless, as herds that graze their hallow'd graves, 300
Tread under-foot their agonies and groans ;
Frustrate their anguish, and destroy their deaths ?
Lorenzo ! no; the thought of death indulge ;
Give it its wholesome empire ! let it reign,
That kind chastifer of thy soul in joy!
Its reign will spread thy glorious conquests far,
And still the tumults of thy ruffled breast :
Auspicious ara! golden days, begin!
The thought of death fall, like a god, inspire.
And why not think on death. Is life the theme 310
Of every thought and wish of every hour ?
And song of every joy ? Surprising truth !
The beaten spaniel's fondness not fo ftrange.
To wave the numerous ills that seize on life
As their own property, their lawful prey ; 315
Ere man has measur'd half his weary stage,
His luxuries have left him no reserve,
No maiden relishes, unbroach'd delights ;
On cold serv'd repetitions he fubfifts,
And in the tasteless present chews the past; 320
Disgusted chews, and scarce can swallow down.
Like lavish ancestors, his earlier years
Have difinherited his future hours,
Which starve on orts, and glean their former field.
Live ever here, Lorenzo !-hocking thought! 325
So shocking, they who wish, disown it too ;
Disown from shame, what they from folly crave. a.
Live ever in the womb, nor see the light ?
For what live ever here !--With labouring step
To tread our former footsteps ? Pace the round 330
Eternal ? To climb life's worn, heavy wheel,
Which draws up nothing new? To beat, and beat
The beaten track? To bid each wretched day
The former mock? To surfeit on the same,
And yawn our joys ? Or thank a misery 335
For change, though fad ? To see what we have seen?
Hear, till unheard, the same old flabber'd tale?
To taste the tasted, and at each return
Less tasteful ? O’er our palates to decant
Another vintage ? Strain a fatter year,
340 Through loaded vessels, and a laxer tone ? Crazy machines to grind earth's wasted fruits !