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There, on a post of honour, and of joy.
Dare I presume, then? But Philander bids; And glory tempts, and inclination calls Yet am I struck; as struck the soul, beneath Aërial Groves impenetrable gloom ; Or, in some mighty Ruin's solemn shade ; Or, gazing by pale lamps on high-born Dust, In vaults; thin courts of poor unflatter'd kings; Or, at the midnight Altar's hallow'd fame. Is it religion to proceed: I pauseAnd enter, aw'd, the temple of my theme. Is it his death-bed? No: It is his shrine : Behold him, there, just rising to a god.
The chamber where the good man meets his fate, Is privileg'd beyond the common walk Of virtuous life, quite in the verge of heav'n. Fly, ye profane? If not, draw near with awe, Receive the blessing, and adore the chance, That threw in this Bethesda your disease; If unrestor'd by This, despair your cure. For Here, resistless demonstration dwells; A death-bed's a detector of the heart. Here tir'd dissimulation drops her masque, Thro’ life's grimace, that mistress of the scene ! Here Real, and Apparent, are the Same. You see the Man; you see his hold on heav'n; If sound his virtue; as PHILANDER's, sound. Heav'n waits not the last moment; owns her friends On this side of death; and points them out to men,
A lecture, silent, but of sov'reign pow'r!
Whatever farce the boastful hero plays, Virtue alone has majesty in death; And greater still, the more the tyrant frowns. ' PHILANDER! he severely frown’d on thee. “ No warning giv'n! Unceremonious fate! “A sudden rush from life's meridian joy! “ A wrench from all we love! from all we are ! “A restless bed of pain! a plunge opaque “ Beyond conjecture! feeble Nature's dread! “Strong Reason's shudder at the dark unknown! “A sun extinguisht! a just opening grave! “ And Oh! the last, last, what? (can words express? “ Thought reacht it?) the last-Silence of a friend!” Where are those horrors, that amazement, where, This hideous group of ills, which singly shock, Demand from man?-I thought him man till now.
Thro' nature's wreck, thro’ vanquisht agonies, (Like the stars struggling thro’ this midnight gloom) What gleams of joy? what more than human peace? Where, the frail mortal? the poor abject worm? No, not in death, the Mortal to be found. His conduct is a legacy for All. Richer than Mammon's for his single heir. His comforters he comforts; Great in ruin, With unreluctant grandeur, gives, not yields (His soul sublime, and closes with his fate.
How our hearts burnt within us at the scene !
Whence this brave bound o'er limits fixt to man?
As some tall tow'r, or lofty mountain's brow,
o While. Iapire melted, Superstition ravio; CThat mournil the dead, and this denyit a grave.
I Page 66.
London: Tub? Jan:1180e.by Vanor & Hood, and the other Proprietors.