« AnteriorContinuar »
Caught at a court; parg'd off by purer air,
Bleft be that hand divine, which gently laid 80
$ As that of seas remote, or dying storms: And meditate on fcenes, more filent still; Pursue my theme, and fight the Fear of Death. Here, like a fhepherd gazing from his hut, Touching his reed, or leaning on his staff, 90 Eager ambition's a fiery chace I fee; I see the circling hunt, of noisy men, Burst law's inclosure, leap the mounds of right, Pursuing, and pursued, each other's prey ; As wolves, for rapine ; as the fox, for wiles ; Till Death, that mighty hunter, earths them all.
Why all this toil for triumphs of an hour ? What though we wade in wealth, or foar in fame? Earth's highest station ends in, “ Here he lies,” And “ duft to dus” concludes her nobleft fong. If this song lives, pofterity ihal know One, though in Britain born, with courtiers bred, Who thought ev’n gold might come a day too late ; Nor on his fubtle death-bed plann'd his scheme For future vacancies in church or state;
103 Some avocation deeming it to die, VOL. LXI.
Unbit by rage canine of dying rich;
O my coevals ! remnants of yourselves !
When in this vale of years I backward look, And miss such numbers, numbers too of such,
125 Firmer in health, and greener in their age, And stricter on their guard, and fitter far, To play life's subtle game, I scarce believe I still survive: and am I fond of life, Who scarce can think it possible, I live?
130 Alive by 'miracle ! or, what is next, Alive by Mead! if I am still alive, Who long have bary'd what gives life to live, Firmress of nerve, and
energy of thought. Life's iee is not more shallow, than impure,
And vapid; Sense and Reason fhew the door,
O thou great arbiter of life and death!
Though nature's terrors, thus, may be represt; Still frowns grim Death; guilt points the tyrant's spear. And whence all human guilt? From death forgot. Ah me! too long I set at nought the swarm 155 Of friendly warnings, which around me flew; And smild, unsmitten: small my cause to smile! Death's admonitions, like Niafts upwards shot, More dreadful by delay, the longer ere They strike our hearts, the deeper is their wound ; 160 O think how deep, Lorenzo ! here it stings: Who can appease its anguish ? how it burns ! What hand the barb’d, invenom’d, thought can draw? What healing hand can pour the balm of peace, And turn my sight undaunted on the tomb ? 165
With joy,--with grief, that healing hand I fee;
O for their song; to reach my lofty theme !
Expended deity on human weal » Feel the great truths, which burst the tenfold night Of heathen error, with a golden flood Of endless day: to feel, is to be fir'd; And to believe, Lorenzo ! is to feel.
Thou moft indulgent, most tremendous Power! Still more tremendous, for thy wondrous love! That arms, which awe more awful, thy commands ; And foul transgression dips in sevenfold night! How our hearts tremble at thy love immenfe! 205 la love immense, inviolably just!
Thou, rather than thy justice should be ftain’d, Didft ftain the Cross; and work of wonders far The greatest, that thy deareft far might bleed.
Bold thought ! shall I dare speak it, or repress i 210 Should man more execrate, or boast, the guilo Which rous’d such.vengeance? which such love inflam'd? O'er guilt (how mountainous !), with out-stretch'd arms; Stern justice and soft-smiling love embrace, Supporting, in full majesty, thy throne,
11S When seem'd its majesty to need support, Or that, or man, inevitably lost; What, but the fathomless of thought divine, Could labour such expedient from despair, And rescue both ? both rescue! both exalt ! O how are both exalted by the deed! The wondrous deed! or shall I call it more? A wonder in Omnipotence itself! A mystery no less to gods than men !