Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

His joys be mine, each Reader cries,

When my last hour arrives : They shall be yours, my Verse replies,

Such only be your lives.

ON A SIMILAR OCCASION,

FOR THE YEAR 1790.

Ne commonentem recta sperne.

BUCHANAN.

Despise not my good counsel.

He who fits from day to day,

Where the prisoned lark is hung, Heedless of his loudest lay,

Hardly knows that he has sung.

Where the watchman in his round

Nightly lifts his voice on high, None, accustomed to the sound,

Wakes the sooner for his cry.

So your verse-man I, and clerk,

Yearly in my song proclaim Death at hand-yourselves his mark

And the foe's unerring aim.

Duly at my time I come,

Publishing to all aloudSoon the grave must be your home,

And your only suit, a Throud.

But the monitory strain,

Oft repeated in your ears, Seems to found too much in vain,

Wins no notice, wakes no fears.

Can a truth, by all confessed

Of fuch magnitude and weight, Grow, by being oft expressed,

Trivial as a parrot's prate?

Pleasure's call attention wins,

Hear it often as we may; New as ever seem our fins,

Though committed every day.

Death and judgment, Heaven and Hell

These alone, so often heard, No more move us than the bell

When some ftranger is interred.

ore move

Ob then, ere the turf or tomb

Cover us from every eye, Spirit of instru&ion come,

Make us learn that we must die.

ON A SIMILAR OCCASION,

FOR THE YEAR

Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas,
Atque metus omnes et inexorabile fatum
Subjecit pedilus, strepitumque Acherontis avari!

VIRG.
Happy the mortal, who has traced effects
To their first cause, caft fear beneath his feet,
And Death, and roaring Hell's voracious fires !

* Thankless for favours from on high,

Man thinks he fades too soon;
Though 'tis his privilege to die,

Would he improve the boon.

But he, not wise enough to scan

His best concerns aright,
Would gladly stretch life's little span

To ages, if he might.

To ages in a world of pain,

To ages, where he goes
Galled by affli&ion's heavy chain,

And hopeless of repose.

Strange fondness of the human heart,

Enamoured of its harm! Strange world, that costs it so much smart,

And still has power to charm.

Whence has the world her magic power?

Why deem we death a foe? Recoil from weary life's best hour,

And covet longer woe?

The cause is Conscience-Conscience oft

Her tale of guilt renews:
Her voice is terrible though soft,

And dread of death ensues.

Then anxious to be longer spared

Man mourns his fleeting breath: All evils then seem light, compared

With the approach of Death.

« AnteriorContinuar »