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My soul, which flies to Thee, her truft, her treasure, As misers to their gold, while others rest.
Through this opaque of Nature, and of Soul, This double night, transmit one pitying ray, To lighten, and to chear. O lead my mind, 45 (A mind that fain would wander from its woe) Lead it through various scenes of Life and Death ; And from each scene, the noblest truths inspire. Nor less inspire my Conduct, than my Song ; Teach my best reason, reason; my best will
50 Teach rectitude ; and fix my firm resolve Wisdom to wed, and pay her long arrear: Nor let the phial of thy vengeance, pour'd On this devoted head, be pour'd in vain.
The bell strikes One. We take no note of time 55 But from its loss. To give it then a tongue, Is wife in man. As if an angel spoke, I feel the solemn sound. If heard aright, It is the knell of my departed hours : Where are they? With the years beyond the flood. 60 It is the signal that demands dispatch : How much is to be done? My hopes and fears Start up alarm’d, and o'er life's narrow verge Look down-On what ? a fathomless abyss ; A dread eternity! how surely mine!
65 And can eternity belong to me, Poor pensioner on the bounties of an hour?
How poor, how rich, how abject, how august,
70 B 3
Who centred in our make such strange extremes !
80 A worm! a god !- I tremble at myself, And in myself am lost! at home a stranger, Thought wanders up and down, surpriz'd, aghaft, And wondering at her own : How reason reels ! O what a miracle to man is man,
85 Triumphantly distress'd! what joy, what dread! Alternately transported, and alarm'd! What can preserve my life ! or what destroy ! An angel's arm can't snatch me from the grave; Legions of angels can't confine me there.
90 'Tis past conjecture; all things rise in proof: While o'er my limbs sleep's soft dominion spread, What though my soul fantastic measures trod O'er fairy fields; or mourn'd along the gloom Of pathless woods ; or, down the craggy steep 95 Hurl'd headlong, swam with pain the mantled pool; Or scal'd the cliff; or danc'd on hollow winds, With antic shapes, wild natives of the brain ? Her ceaseless flight, though devious, speaks her nature Of subtler essence than the trodden clod;
Active, aërial, towering, unconfin'd,
Why then their loss deplore, that are not lost?
in dust, ethereal fire ?
This is the bud of being, the dim dawn, The twilight of our day, the vestibule ; Life's theatre as yet is shut, and death,
125 Strong death, alone can heave the massy bar, This gross impediment of clay remove, And make us embryos of existence free, From real life, but little more remote Is he, not yet a candidate for light,
The future embryo, slumbering in his fire.
Yet man, fool man! here buries all his thoughts ; 135
140 On life's fair tree, fast by the throne of God. What golden joys ambrosial clustering glow, In His full beam, and ripen for the just, Where momentary ages are no more ! Where time, and pain, and chance, and death expire! 145 And is it in the flight of threescore years, To push eternity from human thought, And smother souls immortal in the dust? A soul immortal, spending all her fires, Wasting her strength in ftrenuous idleness,
150 Thrown into tumult, raptur'd or alarm’d, At ought this scene can threaten or indulge, Resembles ocean into tempest wrought, To waft a feather, or to drown a fly.
Where falls this censure? It o'erwhelms myself; 155 How was my heart incrusted by the world ! O how self- fetter'd was my groveling soul ! How, like a worm, was I wrapt round and round In filken thought, which reptile Fancy spun, Till darken'd Reason lay quite clouded o'er 160
With soft conceit of endless comfort here, ,
Night-visions may befriend (as sung above):
Oye bleft scenes of permanent delight! Full, above measure ! lasting, beyond bound ! A perpetuity of bliss is bliss. Could you, so rich in rapture, fear an end, That ghastly thought would drink up all your joy, 185 And quite unparadise the realms of light. Safe are you lodg'd above these rolling spheres; The baleful influence of whose giddy dance Sheds fad viciffitude on all beneath. Here teems with revolutions