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'If Heav'n with children crowns your dwelling, As mine its bounty does with you, In fondness fatherly excelling,
Th' example you have felt pursue.'
He paus'd-for tenderly caressing
When back to city-follies flying
Midst Custom's slaves he liv'd resign'd,
For seriously around surveying
Each character, in youth and age,
To leave this fretful farce of life.
Yet to whate'er above was fated
For, what all-bounteous Heaven created,
AN ELEGY ON MAN.
BEHOLD Earth's lord, imperial man,
In ripen'd vigour gay;
His outward form attentive scan,
Behold his plans of future life,
Now see within his active mind
Behold him range with curious eye
Yet pass some twenty fleeting years,
His languid eye is bath'd in tears,
And is this all his destin'd lot,
This all his boasted sway,
For ever now to be forgot,
Amid the mouldering clay?
Ah, gloomy thought! ah, worse than death!
Life sickens at the sound;
Better it were not draw our breath,
Than run this empty round.
Hence, cheating Fancy, then away,
O let us better try,
By reason's more enlighten'd ray,
Observe yon mass of putrid earth,
Yet stay till some few suns are pass'd,
And seems, like man, imprison'd fast,
Yet from this silent mansion too
Anon you see him rise
No more a crawling worm to view,
But tenant of the skies.
And what forbids that man should share
Some more auspicious day,
To range at large in open air,
There was a time when life first warm'd
Then was th' imperfect substance form'd,
There was a time, when every sense
Yet each its task could then dispense,
And times there are, when through the veins
The blood forgets to flow,
Yet then a living power remains,
Though not in active show.
Times too there be, when friendly Sleep's
Soft charms the Senses bind,
Yet Fancy then her vigils keeps,
And ranges unconfin'd.
And Reason holds her separate sway,
And forms in Memory's storehouse play
What are these then, this eye, this ear,
A glass to read, a trump to hear,
And blows may maim, or time impair
And Death may ravish what they spare,
But are these then that living pow'r
A workman is his tools.
For aught appears that Death can do,
Its workings plac'd beyond our view,
But what connexions it may find,
ELEGY ON THE TOMB OF SHAKSPEARE.
WHAT time the jocund rosy-bosom'd Hours
On Earth's green mantle from his musky wing,
The god of sleep mysterious visions led
Through fields of air, methought I took my flight
Hesperian garden, or Cimmerian waste.