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Anxious to please.-Oh! when my friend and I
In some thick wood have wander'd heedless on,
Hid from the vulgar eye, and sat us down
Upon the sloping cowslip-cover'd bank,
Where the pure limpid stream has slid along
In grateful errors through the underwood,
Sweet murmuring; methought the shrill-tongu'd

thrush
Mended his song of love; the sooty blackbird
Mellow'd his pipe, and soften'd every note:
The eglantine smelld sweeter, and the rose
Assum'd a dye more deep; whilst ev'ry flower
Vied with its fellow plant in luxury
Of dress.-Oh! then, the longest summer's day
Seem'd too, too much in haste : still the full heart
Had not imparted half: 'twas happiness
Too exquisite to last. Of joys departed,
Not to return, how painful the remembrance !

Beauty—thou pretty plaything, dear deceit, That steals so softly o'er the stripling's heart, And gives it a new pulse, unknown before, The grave discredits thee: thy charms expung'd, Thy roses faded, and thy lilies soil'd, What hast thou more to boast of? Will thy lovers Flock round thee now, to gaze and do thee homage? Methinks I see thee with thy head low laid, Whilst surfeited upon thy damask cheek The high fed worm, in lazy volumes rollid, Riots unscar'd.- -For this, was all thy caution?

For this, thy painful labours at thy glass?
T'improve those charms, and keep them in repair,
For which the spoiler thanks thee not. Foul feeder,
Coarse fare and carrion please thee full as well,
And leave as keen a relish on the sense.
Look how the fair one weeps !--the conscious tears
Stand thick as dew-drops on the bells of flow'rs:
Honest effusion! the swoll'n heart in vain
Works hard to put a gloss on its distress.

Sure 'tis a serious thing to die! My soul, What a strange moment must it be, when near Thy journey's end, thou hast the gulf in view! That awful gulf no mortal e'er repass'd To tell what's doing on the other side. Nature runs back, and shudders at the sight, And every life-string bleeds at thoughts of parting; For part they must: body and soul must part; Fond couple; link'd more close than wedded pair. This wings its way to its almighty source, The witness of its actions, now its judge; That drops into the dark and noisome grave, Like a disabled pitcher of no use.

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Tell us, ye dead, will none of you, in pity To those you left behind, disclose the secret? Oh! that some courteous ghost would blab it out; What 'tis you are, and we must shortly be. I've heard, that souls departed have sometimes Forewarn’d men of their death :--'Twas kindly done

VOL. IV.

P

To knock, and give the alarm. But what means
This stinted charity ?—'Tis but lame kindness
That does its work by halves.—Why might you not
Tell us what 'tis to die? do the strict laws
of your society forbid your speaking
Upon a point so nice ?--I'll ask no more:
Sullen, like lamps in sepulchres, your shine
Enlightens but yourselves. Well, 'tis no matter;
A very little time will clear up all,
And make us learn'd as you are, and as close.
Death's shafts fly thick :-Here falls the village-

swain,
And there his pamper'd lord.—The cup goes round:
And who so artful as to put it by!
'Tis long since death had the majority;
Yet strange! the living lay it not to heart.
See yonder maker of the dead man's bed,
The sexton, hoary-headed chronicle,
Of hard unmeaning face, down which ne'er stole
A gentle tear; with mattock in his hand
Digs through whole rows of kindred and acquaint-

ance,
By far his juniors.-Scarce a skull's cast up,
But well he knew its owner, and can tell
Some passage

of his life. -Thus hand in hand The sot has walk'd with death twice twenty years ; And yet ne'er yonker on the green laughs louder, Or clubs a smuttier tale :- When drunkards meet, None sings a merrier catch, or lends a hand ,

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More willing to his cup.-Poor wretch! he minds

not That soon some trusty brother of the trade Shall do for him what he has done for thousands,

Poor man!-how happy once in thy first state ! When yet but warm from thy great Maker's hand, He stamp'd thee with his image, and, well pleas'd, Smil'd on his last fair work. Then all was well. Sound was the body, and the soul serene; Like two sweet instruments, ne'er out of tune, That play their several parts.-Nor head, nor heart, Offer'd to ache: nor was there cause they should; For all was pure within: no fell remorse, Nor anxious castings-up of what might be, Alarm'd his peaceful bosom.-Summer seas Show not more smooth, when kiss'd by southern

winds Just ready to expire-scarce importund, The generous soil, with a luxurious hand, Offer'd the various produce of the year, And ev'ry thing most perfect in its kind. Blessed! thrice blessed days ! But ah! how short! Bless'd as the pleasing dreams of holy men; But fugitive like those, and quickly gone. Oh! slipp'ry state of things.- What sudden turns ! What strange vicissitudes in the first leaf Of man's sad history To-day most happy, And ere to-morrow's sun has set, most abject.

How scant the space between these vast extremes!
Thus far'd it with our sire :-Not long h' enjoy'd
His paradise.--Scarce had the happy tenant
Of the fair spot due time to prove its sweets,
Or sum them up, when straight he must be gone,
Ne'er to return again. -And must hé go ?
Can nought compound for the first dire offence
Of erring man? -Like one that is condemn'd,
Fain would he trifle time with idle talk,
And parley with his fate.- -But 'tis in vain.
Not all the lavish odours of the place,
Offer'd in incense, can procure his pardon,
Or mitigate his doom.A mighty angel,
With flaming sword, forbids his longer stay,
And drives the loiterer forth; nor must he take
One last and farewell round.

Sure the last end
Of the good man is peace !-How calm his exit!
Night-dews fall not more gently to the ground,
Nor weary worn-out winds expire so soft.
Behold him in the evening-tide of life,
A life well-spent, whose early care it was
His riper years should not upbraid his green:
By unperceiv'd degrees he wears away;
Yet, like the sun, seems larger at his setting.

High in his faith and hopes), look how he reaches
After the prize in view! and, like a bird
That's hamper'd, struggles hard to get away:

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