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Yet still this prospect o'er the rest
Makes every blessing doubly blest;

That soon these pleasures will be vanish'd,
And I, from all these comforts, banish'd!

June 14, 1796.



ONCE, on the mountain's balmy lap reclined,
The sage unlock'd the treasures of his mind;
Pure from his lips sublime instruction came,
As the blest altar breathes celestial flame;
A band of youths and virgins round him press'd,
Whom thus the prophet and the sage address'd:

"Through the wide universe's boundless range, All that exist decay, revive, and change: No atom torpid or inactive lies;

A being, once created, never dies.

The waning moon, when quench'd in shades of night,
Renews her youth with all the charms of light;
The flowery beauties of the blooming year
Shrink from the shivering blast, and disappear;
Yet, warm'd with quickening showers of genial rain,
Spring from their graves, and purple all the plain.
As day the night, and night succeeds the day,
So death re-animates, so lives decay :
Like billows on the undulating main,
The swelling fall, the falling swell again;
Thus on the tide of time, inconstant, roll
The dying body and the living soul.
In every animal, inspired with breath,

The flowers of life produce the seeds of death;

The seeds of death, though scatter'd in the tomb,
Spring with new vigor, vegetate and bloom.

"When wasted down to dust the creature dies, Quick, from its cell, the enfranchised spirit flies; Fills, with fresh energy, another form,

And towers an elephant, or glides a worm;
The awful lion's royal shape assumes;
The fox's subtlety, or peacock's plumes;
Swims, like an eagle, in the eye of noon,

Or wails, a screech-owl, to the deaf, cold moon; Haunts the dread brakes where serpents hiss and


Or hums, a glittering insect in the air.

The illustrious souls of great and virtuous men,

In noble animals revive again:

But base and vicious spirits wind their way,
*In scorpions, vultures, sharks, and beasts of prey.
The fair, the gay, the witty, and the brave,
The fool, the coward, courtier, tyrant, slave;
Each, in congenial animals, shall find

A home and kindred for his wandering mind.

"Even the cold body, when enshrined in earth, Rises again in vegetable birth:

From the vile ashes of the bad proceeds
A baneful harvest of pernicious weeds;
The relics of the good, awaked by showers,
Peep from the lap of death, and live in flowers;
Sweet modest flowers, that blush along the vale,
Whose fragrant lips embalm the passing gale."



"Now, mark the words these dying lips impart, And wear this grand memorial round your heart: All that inhabit ocean, air, or earth,

From ONE ETERNAL SIRE derive their birth.
The Hand that built the palace of the sky
Form'd the light wings that decorate a fly:
The Power that wheels the circling planets round
Rears every infant floweret on the ground;
That Bounty which the mightiest beings share
Feeds the least gnat that gilds the evening air.
Thus all the wild inhabitants of woods,
Children of air, and tenants of the floods;
All, all are equal, independent, free,

And all the heirs of immortality!

For all that live and breathe have once been men,

And, in succession, will be such again:

Even you, in turn, that human shape must change, And through ten thousand forms of being range.

"Ah! then, refrain your brethren's blood to spill, And, till you can create, forbear to kill!

Oft as a guiltless fellow-creature dies,

The blood of innocence for vengeance cries:

Even grim, rapacious savages of prey,

Presume not, save in self-defence, to slay;

What, though to heaven their forfeit lives they


Hath heaven commission'd thee to deal the blow?
Crush not the feeble, inoffensive worm,

Thy sister's spirit wears that humble form!
Why should thy cruel arrow smite yon bird?
In him thy brother's plaintive song is heard.
When the poor, harmless kid, all trembling, lies,
And begs his little life with infant cries,
Think, ere you take the throbbing victim's breath,
You doom a dear, an only child, to death.
When at the ring the beauteous heifer stands,
-Stay, monster! stay those parricidal hands;
Canst thou not, in that mild dejected face,
The sacred features of thy mother trace ?
When to the stake the generous bull you lead,
Tremble, ah, tremble, — lest your father bleed.
Let not your anger on your dog descend,

The faithful animal was once your friend;

The friend whose courage snatch'd you from the


When wrapp'd in flames or sinking in the wave.

- Rash, impious youth! renounce that horrid knife, Spare the sweet antelope ! — ah, spare

In the meek victim's tear-illumined eyes,
See the soft image of thy consort rise;
Such as she is, when by romantic streams,
Her spirit greets thee in delightful dreams;

thy wife!

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