« AnteriorContinuar »
That soon some trusty brother of the trade
Shall do for him what he has done for thousands.
On this side, and on that, men see their friends
Drop off, like leaves in Autumn ; yet launch out
Into fantastic schemes, which the long livers
In the world's hale and undegen’rate days
Could scarce have leisure for; fools that we are!
Never to think of death and of ourselves..
At the same time! As if to learn to die
Were no concern of ours. O more than sottish!
For creatures of a day, in gamesome mood,
To frolic.on eternity's dread brink,
Unapprehensive; when, for aught we know,
The very first swoln surge shall sweep us in.
Think we, or think we not, time hurries on
With a resistless unremitting stream,
Yet treads more soft than e'er did inidnight thief, ,
That slides his hand under the miser's pillow,
And carries off his prize. What is this world?
What but a spacious burial field unwallid,
Strew'd with death's spoils, the spoils of animals
Savage and tame, and full of dead men's bones?
The very turf on which we tread, once liv'd;
And we that live must lend our carcases
To cover our own offspring: in their turns
They too must cover theirs. “T is here all meer!
The shiv'ring Icelander, and sun-burnt Moor;
Men of all climes that never met before,
And of all creeds, the Jew, the Turk, the Christiana
Here the proud prince, and favourite yet prouder,
His sov'reign's keeper, and the people's scourge,
Are huddled out of sight. Here lie abash'd
The great negociators of the earth,
And celebrated masters of the balance,
Deep read in stratagems, and wiles of courts:
Now vain their treaty-skill! Death scorns to treat
Here the o'erloaded slave fings down his burthen
From his gall’d shoulders; and when the cruel tyrant,
With all his guards and tools of pow's about him,
Is meditating new unheard-of hardships,
Mocks his short arm, and quick as thought escapes,
Where tyrants vex not, and the weary rest.
Here the warm lover, leaving the cool shade,
The tell-tale echo and the bubbling stream,
Time out of mind the favourite seats of love, : Fast by his gentle mistress lays him down
Unblasted by foul tongue. Here friends and foes Lie close, unmindful of their former feuds. ... The lawn-rob'd prelate, and plain presbyter, Ere while that stood aloof, as shy to meet, Familiar mingle here, like sister streams That some pude interposing rock had split. , ' Here is the large-limb'd peasant : here the child Of a span long, that never saw the sun, Nor press'd the nipple, strangl'd in life's porch ;. Here is the mother with her sons and daughters ; The barren wife'; the long demuring maid Whose lonely unappropriated sweets Smil'd like yon knot of cowslips on the cliff, Not to be come åt by the willing hand. Here are the prude severe, and gay coquette, The sober widow, and the young green virgin, Cropp'd like a rose before 'tis fully blown, Or half its worth disclos'd. Strange medley here
vouth of ligmade of melodtill-tongy
Here gairulous old age winds up his tale;
And jovial youth of lightsome vacant heart,
Whose ev'ry day was made of melody,
Hears not the voice of mirth : the shrill-tongu'd shrew,
Meek as the turtle-dove, forgets her chiding.
Here are the wise, the gen'rous, and the brave;
The just, the good, the worthless, the prophane,
The downright clown, the perfectly well-bred ;
The fool, the churl, the scoundrel, and the mean; ...
The supple statesman, and the patriot stern;
The wrecks of nations, and the spoils of time,
With all the lumber of six thousand years,
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,
Smild 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. Not head nor heart,
Offer'd to ach; 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
Shew not more smooth, when kiss'd by southern winds,
Just ready to expire. Scarce importun'd,
The gen'rous soil with a luxuriant hand.
Offer'd the various produce of the year
And ev'ry thing most perfect in its kind.
Blessed, thrice blessed day! but ah, how short!
Bless'd as the pleasing dreams of holy men,
But fugitive, like those, and quickly gone.
O slipp'ry state of things! what sudden turns,
What strange vicissitudes, in the first leafi 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 he enjoy'd His paradise! scarce had the happy tenant Of the fair spor, due time to prove its sweets, Or sum them up, when strait he must be gone, Ne'er to return again. And must he 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 loit'rer forth; nor inust he take One last and farewell round. At once he lost His glory and his God. If mortal now, And sorely maim'd, no wonder! Man has sinn'd. Sick of his bliss, and bent on new adventures, Evil he would needs try: nor tried in vain. Dreadful experiinent! destructive measure! Where the worst thing could happen, is success. Alas! too well he sped: the good he scorn'd Stalk'd off reluctant, like an ill-us'd ghost, Not to return; or if it did, its visits Like those of angels, short, and far between; Whilst the black dæmon, with his hell-scap'd train, Admitted once into its better room, Grew loud and mutinous, nor would be gone;
Lording it o'er the man, who now too late
Saw the rash error which he could not mend;
An error fatal not to him alone,
But to his future sons, his fortune's heirs.
Inglorious bondage! human nature groans
Beneath the vassalage so vile and cruel,
And its vast body bleeds through ev'ry vein.
What havoc hast thou made, foul monster, sin!
Greatest and first of ills! the fruitful parent
Of woes of all dimensions! but for thee
Sorrow had never been. All noxious things
Of vilest nature, other sorts of evils,
Are kindly circumscrib’d, and have their bounds.
The fierce volcano, from its burning entrails
That belches molten stone and globes of fire,
Involv'd in pitchy clouds of smoke and stench,
Mars the adjacent fields for some leagues round,
And there it stops. The big swoln inundation,
Of mischief more diffusive, raving loud,
Buries whole tracts of country, threat'ning more;
But that too has its shore it cannot pass.
More dreadful far then these, has sin laid waste,
Nut here and there a country, but a world;
Dispatching at a wide extended blow
Entire mankind, and for their sakes defacing
A whole creation's beauty with rude hands;
Blasting the foodful grain, the loaded branches,
And marking all along its way with ruin.
Accursed thing! O where shall fancy find
A proper name to call thee by, expressive
Of all thy horrors ? pregnant womb of ills!
Of temper sọ transcendently malign,