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Made yet more gloomy by our coward fears !
But nor untrod, nor tedious; the fatigue
Will soon go off. Besides, there's no by-road
To bliss. Then why, like ill-condition'd children,
Start we at transient hardships in the way
That lead to purer air and softer skies, .
And a ne'er setting sun? Fools that we are!
We wish to be where sweets unwith'ring bloom;
But strait our wish revoke, and will not go.
So have I seen upon a summer's even,
Fast by the riv'let's brink, the youngster play;
How wishfully he looks to stem the tide!
This moment resolute, next unresolv'd,
At last he.dips his foot; but, as he dips,
His fears redouble, and he runs away
From th' inoffensive stream, unmindful now
Of all the flow'rs that paint the further bank,
And smil'd so sweet of late. Thrice welcome Death!
That, after many a painful bleeding step
Conducts us to our home, and lands us safe
On the long wish’d-for shore. Prodigious change!
Qur bane turn'd to a blessing! Death disarın'd
Loses his fellness quite; all thanks to him
Who scourg'd the venom out! Sure the last end
Of the good man is peace. How calm his exit!
Night dews fall not inore gently to the ground,
Nor weary worn-out winds expire so soft.
Behold him!:in the ev'ning-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!
Whilst the glad gates of sight are wide expanded
To let new glories in, the first fair fruits
Of the fast-coming harvest ! Then! 0 then!
Each earth-born joy grows vile, or disappears,
Shrunk to a thing of nought. O how he longs
To have his passport sign'd, and be dismiss'd
'Tis done and now he's happy! the glad soul
Has not a wish, uncrown'd. Ev'n the lag flesh .
Rests too in hope of meeting once again
Its better half, never to sunder more.
Nor shall it hope in vain: the time draws on
When not a single spot of burial-earth,
Whether on land, or in the spacious sea
But must give back its long committed dust
Inviolate: and faithfully shall these
Make up the full account; not the least atom
Embezzled or mislaid of the whole tale.
Each soul shall have a body ready furnish'd ;
And each shall have his own. Hence, ye prophane !
Ask not, how this can be sure the same pow'r
That rear'd the piece at first, and took it down,
Can re-assemble the loose scatter'd parts,
And put them as they were. Almighty God
Haş done much more; nor is his arm impair'd
Thro' length of days; and what he can he will:
His faithfulness stands bound to see it done. .
When the dread trumpet sounds, the slumb'ring dust,
Not unattentive to the call, shall wake;
And ev'ry joint possess its proper place,
With a new elegance of form unknown
To its first state. Nor shall the conscious soul
Mistake its partner;.but amidst the crowd
Singling its other half, into its arms
Shall rush, with all th' impatience of a man
That's new come home, who having long been absent,
With haste runs over every different room,
In pain to see the whole. Thrice happy meeting!
Nor time, nor death, shall ever part them more.
'Tis but a night, a long and moonless night, We make the grave our bed, and then are gone,
Thus, at the shut of even, the weary bird
Leaves the wide air, and in some lonely brake
Cow'rs down, and dozes till the dawn of day,
Then claps his well-fledg’d wings, and bears away.
E L EGY
A COUNTRY CHURCH-YARD.
I HE Curfew tells the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea, The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds;
Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower,
The moping owl does to the moon complain Of such, as wandering near her secret:bower,
Molest her ancient solitary reign.
- Beneath those rugged: elms, that yew-tree's shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap, Each in tiis narrow cell for ever laid,
Ilie rude forefathus of the hamlet sleep.
The breezy call of incense-breathing Morn,
The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed, The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed. ..
For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
Or busy housewife ply her evening-care; No children run to lisp their sire's return,
Or climb his knees lhe envied kiss to share.
Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke: How jocund did they drive their team afield!
How bow'd the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!
Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure; Nor grandeur hear, with a disdainful smile,
T'he short and simple annals of the poor.
The h sast of heraldy, the pomp of power,
and all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave, Await alike th' inevitable hour :
1 he paths of glory lead but to the grave.
Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,
If Memory o'er their tomb.no trophies raise, Where thro' the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault,
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.