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zath 's a destroyer of quotidian prey.
And opens more the character of death; y youth, my noon-tide, his; my yesterday : Ill-known to thee, Lorenzo! this thy vaunt: ne bold invader shares the present hour.
“ Give Death his due, the wretched, and the old; ach moment on the former shuts the grave, E'en let him sweep his rubbish to the grave; hile man is growing, life is in decrease;
Let him not violate kind Nature's laws, nd cradles rock us nearer to the tomb.
But own man born to live as well as die." ir birth is nothing hut our death begun; Wretched and old thou giv'st him; young and gay tapers waste that instant they take fire.
He takes; and plunder is a tyrant's joy. Shall we then fear, lest that should come to What if I prove, “ That furthest from the fear, pass,
Are often nearest to the stroke of fate ?" hich comes to pass each moment of our lives? All, more than common, menaces an end. fear we must, let that death turn us pale, A blaze betokens brevity of life: rich murders strength and ardour ; what remains As if bright embers should emit a flame, -»uld rather call on death, than dread his call. Glad spirits sparkled from Narcissa's eye,
partners of my fault, and my decline ! [knell And made youth younger, and taught life to live. oughtless of death, but when your neighbour's As Nature's opposites wage endless war, ude visitant!) knocks hard at your dull sense, For this offence, as treason to the deep d with its thunder scarce obtains your ear ! Inviolable stupor of his reign, death your theme, in every place and hour; Where lust, and turbulent ambition, sleep, r longer want, ye monumental sires !
Death took swift vengeance.
As he life detests, rother tomb to tell you ye shall die.
More life is still more odious; and, reduc'd u death you dread (so great is Nature's skill!) By conquest, aggrandizes more his power. ow, you shall court before you shall enjoy. But wherefore aggrandiz'd ? By Heaven's decree, But you are learn'd; in volumes, deep you sit ; To plant the soul on her eternal guard, wisdom, shallow : pompous ignorance !
In aweful expectation of our end. uld you be still more learned than the learn'd ? Thus runs Death's dread commission: “Strike, but so in well to know how much need not be known, As most alarms the living by the dead." I what that knowledge, which impairs your sense. Hence stratagem delights him, and surprise, needful knowledge, like our needful food, And cruel sport with man's securities. edg'd, lies open in life's common field; Not simple conquest, triumph is his aim : (most. I bids all welcome to the vital feast.
And, where least fear'd, there conquest triumphs a scorn what lies before you in the page This proves my bold assertion not too bold. Nature, and Experience, moral truth:
What are his arts to lay our fears asleep? indispensable, eternal fruit;
Tiberian arts his purposes wrap up. it, on which mortals feeding, turn to gods : In deep dissimulation's darkest night. I dive in science for distinguish'd names, Like princes unconfest in foreign courts, honest fomentation of your pride!
Who travel under cover, Death assumes -zing in virtue, as you rise in fame.
The name and look of life, and dwells among us. r learning, like the lunar beam, affords He takes all shapes that serve his black designs : tat, but not heat; it leaves you undevout, 'Though master of a wider empire far ten at heart, while speculation shines.
Than that o'er which the Roman eagle flew. ike, ye curious indagators! fond
Like Nero, he 's a fiddler, charioteer, knowing all, but what avails you known. Or drives his phaeton, in female guise ; ou would learn Death's character, attend. Quite unsuspected, till, the wheel beneath, casts of conduct, all degrees of health,
His disarray'd oblation he devours. dies of fortune, and all dates of age,
He most affects the forms least like himself, ether shook in his impartial urn,
His slender self. Hence burly corpulence e forth at random: or, if choice is maile, Is his familiar wear, and sleek disguise. choice is quite sarcastic, and insults
Behind the rosy bloom he loves to lurk, bold conjecture, and fond hopes of man. Or ambush in a smile; or wanton dive it countless multitudes not only leave,
In dimples deep; love's eddies, which draw in deeply disappoint us, by their deaths !
Unwary hearts, and sink them in despair. ugh great our sorrow, greater our surprise. Such, on Narcissa's couch he loiter'd long ike other tyrants, Death delights to smite, Unknown; and, when detected, still was seen at, sınitten, most proclaims the pride of power, To smile ; such peace has innocence in death! | arbitrary nod. His joy supreme,
Most happy they! whom least his arts deceive. oid the wretch survive the fortunate;
One eye on Death, and one full fix'd on Heaven, feeble wrap th' athletic in his shroud ;
Becomes a mortal, and immortal man. 1 weeping fathers build their children's tomb: Long on his wiles a piqu'd and jealous spy, thine, Narcissa! - What though short thy date? I've seen, or dreamt I saw, the tyrant dress ; ue, not rolling suns, the mind matures. Lay by his horrours, and put on his smiles. t life is long, which answers life's great end. Say, Muse, for thou remember'st, call it back, time that bears no fruit, deserves no name; And show Lorenzo the surprising scene; man of wisdom is the man of years.
If ’t was a dream, his genius can explain. wary youth Methusalems may die ;
'T was in a circle of the gay I stood. ow misdated on their flattering tombs ! Death would have enter'd; Nature pushi'd him back ; arcissa's youth has lectur'd me thus far. Supported by a doctor of renown, I can her gaiety give counsel too?
His point he gain'd. Then artfully dismist s, like the Jews' fam'd oracle of gems,
The sage; for Death design'd to be conceal'd.
His meagre aspect, and his naked bones;
With recent honours, bloom'd with every bliss, In gratitude for plumping up his prey,
Set up in ostentation, made the gaze, A pamper'd spendthrift; whose fantastic air, The gaudy centre, of the public eye, Well-fashion'd figure, and cockaded brow, When fortune thus has toss'd her child in air, He took in change, and underneath the pride Snatcht from the covert of an humble state, Of costly linen, tuck'd his filthy shroud.
How often have I seen him dropt at once, His crooked bow he straighten'd to a cane ; Our morning's envy! and our evening's sigh! And hid his deadly shafts in Myra's eye.
As if her bounties were the signal given, The dreadful masquerader, thus equipt,
The flowery wreath to mark the sacrifice, Out-sallies on adventures. Ask you where ? And call Death's arrows on the destin'd prey. Where is he not ? For his peculiar haunts,
High fortune seems in cruel league with Anti Let this suffice; sure as night follows day, Ask you for what? To give his war on man Death treads in pleasure's footsteps round the world, The deeper dread, and more illustrious spoil; When pleasure treads the paths which reason shuns. Thus to keep daring mortals more in awe When, against reason, riot shuts the door,
And burns Lorenzo still for the sublime And gaiety supplies the place of sense,
Of life? To hang his airy nest on high, Then, foremost at the banquet and the ball, On the slight timber of the topmost bough, Death leads the dance, or stamps the deadly die; Rockt at each breeze, and menacing a fall? Nor ever fails the midnight bowl to crown. Granting grim Death at equal distance there; Gaily carousing to his gay compeers,
Yet peace begins just where ambition ends Inly he laughs, to see them laugh at him,
What makes man wretched ? Happiness denini? As absent far; and when the revel burns,
Lorenzo! no: "T is happiness disair'de When fear is banishe'd, and triumphant thought, She comes too meanly drest to win our smile; Calling for all the joys beneath the Moon,
And calls herself Content, a homely name! Against him turns the key, and bids him sup Our flame is transport, and content our scorn. With their progenitors - he drops his mask ; Ambition turns, and shuts the door against her, Frowns out at full; they start, despair, expire. And weds a loil, a tempest, in her stead;
Scarce with more sudden terrour and surprise, A tempest to warm transport near of kin. From his black masque of nitre, touch'd by fire, Unknowing what our mortal state admits He bursts, expands, roars, blazes, and devours. Life's modest joys we ruin, while we raise; And is not this triumphant treachery,
And all our ecstasies are wounds to peace; And more than simple conquest, in the fiend ? Peace, the full portion of mankind below.
And now, Lorenzo, dost thou wrap thy soul And since thy peace is dear, ambitious youth In soft security, because unknown
Of fortune fond ! as thoughtless of thy fatt! Which moment is commission'd to destroy ? As late I drew Death's picture, to stir up In death's uucertainty thy danger lies.
Thy wholesome fears; now, drawn in contrast, Is death uncertain? Therefore thou be tit;
Gay Fortune's, thy vain hopes to reprimand Fixt as a centinel, all eye, all ear,
See, high in air, the sportive goddess hangs, All expectation of the coming foe.
Unlocks her casket, spreads her glittering ware, Rouse, stand in arms, nor lean against thy spear ; And calls the giddy winds to puff abroad Lest slumber steal one moment o'er thy soul, Her random bounties o'er the gaping throng. And fate surprise thee nodding. Watch, be strong; All rush rapacious; friends o'er trodden friends: Thus give each day the merit, and renown, Sons o'er their fathers; subjects o'er their kings, Of dying well; though doom'd but once to die. Priests o'er their gods; and lovers o'er the fair, Nor let life's period hidden, (as from most) (Still more ador'd) to snatch the golden showei. Hide too from thee the precious use of life.
Gold glitters most, where virtue shines no me Early, not sudden, was Narcissa's fate.
As stars from absent suns have leave to shine. Soon, not surprising, Death his visit paid.
O what a precious pack of votaries Her thought went forth to meet him on his way, Unkennel'd from the prisons, and the stews Nor gaiety forgot it was to die :
Pour in, all opening in their idol's praise; Though fortune too, (our third and final theme,) All, ardent, eye each wafture of her hand, As an accomplice, play'd her gaudy plumes, And, wide expanding their voracious jaws, And every glittering gewgaw, on her sight, Morsel on morsel swallow down unchew'd, To dazzle, and debauch it from its mark.
Untasted, through mad appetite for more; Death's dreadful advent is the mark of man; Gorg'd to the throat, yet lean and ravenous And every thought that misses it, is blind.
Sagacious all, to trace the smallest game, Fortune, with youth and gaiety, conspir'd
And bold to seize the greatest. If (blest chance To weave a triple wreath of happiness
Court-zephyrs sweetly breathe, they lanch, skey (If happiness on Earth) to crown her brow. O'er just, o'er sacred, all-forbidden ground, And could Death charge through such a shining Drunk with the burning scent of place or pore: shield ?
Stanch to the foot of lucre, till they die. That shining shield invites the tyrant's spear, Or, if for men you take them, as I mark As if to damp our elevated aims,
Their manners, thou their various fates survey. And strongly preach humility to man.
With aim mis-measur'd, and impetuous speed, O how portentous is prosperity!
Some darting, strike their ardent wish far ofl
, How, comet-like, it threatens, while it shines ! Through fury to possess it: some succeed, Few years but yield us proof of Death's ambition, But stumble, and let fall the taken prize. To cull his victims from the fairest fold,
From some, by sudden blasts, 't is whirl'd away, And sheath his shafts in all the pride of life. And lodg'd in bosoms that ne'er dreamt of gais When flooded with abundance nurnlod n'on
IN TWO PARTS.
'orn is the man, and mortal is the wound. Survive myself ? That cures all other woe,
Close-twisted with the fibres of the heart! -nd rend abundance into poverty ;
Which, broken, break them; and drain off the soul oud croaks the raven of the law, and smiles : Of human joy; and make it pain to live niles too the goddess; but smiles most at those, And is it then to live? When such friends part, ust victims of exorbitant desire !)
'T is the survivor dies - My heart, no more. ho perish at their own request, and, whelm'd eneath her load of lavish grants, expire. jrtune is famous for her numbers slain;
NIGHT THE SIXTH. le number small, which happiness can bear. tough various for awhile their fates; at last e curse involves them all : at Death's approach,
THE INFIDEL RECLAIMED. I read their riches backward into loss, id mourn, in just proportion to their store. And Death's approach (if orthodox my song) hasten’d by the lure of Fortune's smiles.
Containing the Nature, Proof, and Importance, of d art thou still a glutton of bright gold ?
Immortality. id art thou still rapacious of thy ruin? ath loves a shining mark, a signal blow;
PART I. blow which, while it executes, alarms; d startles thousands with a single fall.
Where, among other Things, Glory and Riches are when some stately growth of oak, or pine,
particularly considered. rich nods aloft, and proudly spreads her shade, ? Sun's defiance, and the flock's defence;
TO THE RIGHT HON. HENRY PELUAM, FIRST LORD the strong strokes of labouring hinds subdued,
THE TREASURY, AND CHANid groans her last, and, rushing from her height
CELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER. -cumbrous ruin, thunders to the ground: conscious forest trembles at the shock,
Preface. dhill, and stream, and distant dale, resound. Few ages have been deeper in dispute about reli
These high-aim'd darts of Death, and these alone, gion than this. The dispute about religion, and Euld I collect, my quiver would be full.
the practice of it, seldom go together. The quiver, which, suspended in mid air,
shorter, therefore, the dispute, the better. I think near Heaven's Archer, in the zodiac, hung, it may be reduced to this single question, Is man could it be,) should draw the public eye,
immortal, or is he not? If he is not, all our gaze and contemplation of mankind!
disputes are mere amusements, or trials of skill. onstellation aweful, yet benign,
In this case, truth, reason, religion, which give guide the gay through life's tempestuous wave; our discourses such pomp and solemnity, are (as suffer them to strike the common rock,
will be shown) mere empty sound, without any rom greater danger, to grow more secure, meaning in them. But if man is immortal, it 1, wrapt in happiness, forget their fate.”
will behove him to be very serious about eternal ysander, happy past the common lot,
consequences; or, in other words, to be truly re3 warn'd of danger, but too gay to fear.
ligious. And this great fundamental truth, unwoo'd the fair Aspasia : she was kind :
established, or unawakened in the minds of men, youth, form, fortune, fame, they both were blest; is, I conceive, the real source and support of all who knew, envied ; yet in
our infidelity; how remote soever the particular -> fancy form more finisht happiness?
objections advanced may seem to be from it. t was the nuptial hour. Her stately dome Sensible appearances affect most men much more e on the sounding beach. The glittering spires than abstract reasonings ; and we daily see bodies it in the wave, and break against the shore : drop around us, but the soul is invisible. The break those glittering shadows, human joys. power which inclination has over the judgment, is faithless morning smil'd: he takes his leave, greater than can be well conceived by those that re-embrace, in ecstasies, at eve.
have not had an experience of it; and of what rising storm forbids. The news arrives : numbers is it the sad interest that souls should not old, she saw it in her servant's eye.
survive! The heathen world confessed, that they felt it seen (her heart was apt to feel);
rather hoped, than firmly believed, immortality! 1, drown'd, without the furious ocean's aid, And how many heathens have we still amongst suffocating sorrows, shares his tomb.
us! The sacred page assures us, that life and im*, round the sumptuous, bridal monument, mortality is brought to light by the Gospel : but by guilty billows innocently roar ;
how many is the Gospel rejected, or overlooked ! I the rough sailor, passing, drops a tear ;
From these considerations, and from my being ear? - Can tears suffice? But not for me. accidentally privy to the sentiments of some par* vain our efforts ! and our arts how vain ! ticular persons, I have been long persuaded that 2 distant train of thought I took to shun,
most, if not all, our infidels (whatever name they thrown me on my fate — These died together ; take, and whatever scheme, for argument's sake, ppy in ruin! undivorc'd by death!
and to keep themselves in countenance, they pane'er to meet, or ne'er to part, is peace.
tronise) are supported in their deplorable errour, reissa! Pity bleeds at thought of thec.
by some doubt of their immortality, at the bottom. thou wast only near me; not myself
And I am satisfied, that men once thoroughly con
vinced of their immortality, are not far from But why more woe? More comfort let it be, т being Christians. For it is hard to conceive, Nothing is dead, but that which wish'd to die; H that a man, fully conscious eternal pain or hap- Nothing is dead, but wretchedness and pain; piness will certainly be his lot, should not ear- Nothing is dead, but what encumber'd, gal's nestly, and impartially, inquire after the surest Block'd up the pass, and barr'd froin real life. means of escaping one, and securing the other. Where dwells that wish most ardent of the wise And of such an earnest and impartial inquiry, I Too dark the Sun to see it ; highest stars TO well know the consequence.
Too low to reach it; Death, great Deat, alone, T: Here, therefore, in proof of this most fundamental O'er stars and Sun triumphant, lands us there.
truth, some plain arguments are offered ; argu Nor dreadful our transition ; though the mind,
And find the soul unsated with her theme.
Its nature, proof, importance, fire my song,
O that my song could emulate my soul ! This seeming mitigation but inflames;
Like her, immortal. No!- the soul disdes This fancied medicine heightens the disease.
A mark so mean; far nobler hope inflames; The longer known, the closer still she grew;
If endless ages can outweigh an hour, And gradual parting is a gradual death.
Let not the laurel, but the palm, inspire. 'T is the grim tyrant's engine, which extorts,
Thy nature, immortality! who knows?
And yet who knows it not? It is but life
In stronger thread of brighter colour spun, O the long, dark approach through years of pain, In Stygian dye, how black, how brittle here!
And spun for ever ; dipt by cruel fate
How short our correspondence with the Sun! Sick hope's pale lamp, its only glimmering ray:
And while it lasts, inglorious! Our best deed, There, fate my melancholy walk ordain'd,
How wanting in their weight ! Our highest jera Forbid self-love itself to flatter, there.
Small cordials to support us in our paid, How oft I gaz'd, prophetically sad !
And give us strength to suffer. But how groet
To mingle interests, converse amities,
With all the sons of reason, scatter'd wide
Through habitable space, wherever torn, Like powerful armies trenching at a town,
Howe'er endow'd! To live free citizens
Of universal Nature ! To lay hold
By more than feeble faith on the Supreme!
To call Heaven's rich unfathomable mines Of all the balmy blessings Nature lends
(Mines, which support archangels in their stats
Our own! To rise in science, as in bliss, To succour frail humanity. Ye stars !
Initiate in the secrets of the skies ! (Not now first made familiar to my sight) And thou, o Moon! bear witness; many a night
To read creation; read its mighty plan
In the bare bosom of the Deity!
The plan, and execution, to collate !
To see, before each glance of piercing though Dearer than that he left me.
All cloud, all shadow, blown remote; and less Of observation ! darker every hour!
No mystery — but that of love divine,
Which lifts us on the seraph's flaming wing, Less dread the day that drove me to the brink, And pointed at eternity below;
From Earth's aceldama, this field of blood, When my soul shuddered at futurity;
Of inward anguish, and of outward ill, When, on a moment's point, th’ important die,
From darkness, and from dust, to suck a scene! Of life and death spun doubtful, ere it fell,
Love's element ! true joy's illustrious house! And turn'd up life; my title to more woe.
From Earth's sad contrasi (now deplor'd) mare si
What exquisite vicissitude of fate !
Blest absolution of our blackest hour!
Lorenzo, these are thoughts that make man, man, | In endless voyage, without port? The least
Of these disseminated orbs, how great ! 'low great, (while yet we tread the kindred clod, Great as they are, what numbers these surpass, And every moment fear to sink beneath
Huge, as leviathan, to that small race, The clod we tread; soon trodden by our sons) Those twinkling multitudes of little life, low great, in the wild whirl of time's pursuits, He swallows unperceiv'd ? Stupendous these ! o stop, and pause, involv'd in high presage, Yet what are these stupendous to the whole ! "hrough the long vista of a thousand years, As particles, as atoms ill perceiv'd; 'o stand contemplating our distant selves,
As circulating globules in our veins ; is in a magnifying mirror seen,
So vast the plan. Fecundity divine ! Enlarg'd, ennobled, elevate, divine !
Exuberant source ! perhaps, I wrong thee still. o prophesy our own futurities;
If admiration is a source of joy, o gaze in thought on what all thought transcends! What transport hence ! yet this the least in Heaven. to talk, with fellow-candidates, of joys
What this to that illustrious robe he wears, is far beyond conception as desert,
Who toss'd this mass of wonders from his hand, furselves th' astonish'd talkers, and the tale ! A specimen, an earnest of his power ?
Lorenzo, swells thy bosom at the thought ? 'T is to that glory, whence all glory flows, he swell becomes thee : 't is an honest pride. As the mead's meanest floweret to the Sun, evere thyself ; - and yet thyself despise.
Which gave it birth. But what, this Sun of Heaven? lis nature no man can o'er-rate ; and none This bliss supreme of the supremely blest? an under-rate his merit. Take good heed, Death, only Death, the question can resolve. or there be modest, where thou should'st be proud; By Death, cheap-bought th' ideas of our joy ; hat almost universal errour shun.
The bare ideas! solid happiness ow just our pride, when we behold those heights ! So distant from its shadow chas'd below. ot those ambition paints in air, but those
And chase we still the phantom through the fire, eason points out, and ardent virtue gains; O'er bog, and brake, and precipice, till death ? nd angels emulate : our pride how just ! [quit And toil we still for sublunary pay ? "hen mount we? When these shackles cast? When Defy the dangers of the field and flood, his cell of the creation ? this small nest,
Or, spider-like, spin out our precious all, uck in a corner of the universe,
Our more than vitals spin (if no regard 'rapt up in fleecy cloud, and fine-spun air ?
To great futurity) in curious webs ne-spun to sense; but gross and feculent Of subtle thought, and exquisite design; -3 souls celestial ; souls ordain'd to breathe (Fine net-work of the brain !) to catch a fly? mbrosial gales, and drink a purer sky;
The momentary buzz of vain renown! reatly triumphant on time's further shore, A name; a mortal immortality! 'here virtue reigns, enrich'd with full arrears ; Or (meaner still!) instead of grasping air, hile pomp imperial begs an alms of peace. For sordid lucre, plunge we in the mire ? In empire high, or in proud science deep, Drudge, sweat, through every shame, for every gain, a born of Earth! on what can you confer, For vile contaminating trash ; throw up ith half the dignity, with half the gain,
Our hope in Heaven, our dignity with man ? be gust, the glow of rational delight,
And deify the dirt, matur’d to gold? s on this theme, which angels praise and share ? Ambition, avarice; the two demons these, an's fates and favours are a theme in Heaven.
Which goad through every slough our human herd, What wretched repetition cloys us here !
Hard-travell’d from the cradle to the grave. "hat periodic potions for the sick!
How low the wretches stoop! How steep they climb ! istemper'd bodies ! and distemper'd minds ! These demons burn mankind; but most possess 4 an eternity, what scenes shall strike !
Lorer.zo's bosom, and turn out the skies. dventures thicken ! novelties surprise !
Is it in time to hide eternity ? "hat webs of wonder shall unravel, there !
And why not in an atom on the shore "hat full day pour on all the paths of Heaven, To cover ocean? or a mote, the Sun ? nd light th' Almighty's footsteps in the deep! Glory and wealth! have they this blinding power ? Cow shall the blessed day of our discharge What if to them I prove Lorenzo blind ? nwind, at once, the labyrinths of fate,
Would it surprise thee? Be thou then surpris'd ; nd straighten its inextricable maze !
Thou neither know'st; their nature learn from me. If inextinguishable thirst in man
Mark well, as foreign as these subjects seem, o know ; how rich, how full, our banquet there ! What close connection ties them to my theme. here, not the moral world alone unfolds;
First, what is true ambition? The pursuit he world material, lately seen in shades,
Of glory, nothing less than man can share. nd, in those shades, by fragments only seen, Were they as vain as gaudy-minded man, nd seen those fragments by the labouring eye, As flatulent with fumes of self-applause, inbroken, then, illustrious and entire,
Their arts and conquests animals might boast, s ample sphere, its universal frame,
And claim their laurel crowns, as well as we; a full dimensions, swells to the survey;
But not celestial. Here we stand alone ; und enters, at one glance, the ravisht sight. As in our form, distinct, pre-eminent ; rom some superior point (where, who can tell ? If prone in thought, our stature is our shame: uffice it, 't is a point where gods reside)
And man should blush, his forehead meets the skies. low shall the stranger man's illumin'd eye, The visible and present are for brutes, a the vast ocean of unbounded space,
A stender portion! and a narrow bound ! Behold an infinite of floating worlds
These reason, with an energy divine, Divide the crystal waves of ether pure,
O’erleaps; and claims the future and unseen ;