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At life's meridian point arriv'd, he stood,
And, looking round, saw all the valleys fill'd
With nations from his loins; full-well content
To leave his race thus scatter'd o'er the earth,
Along the gentle slope of life's decline
He bent his gradual way, till, full of years,
He dropp'd like mellow fruit into his grave,

Such in the infancy of Time was Man;
So calm was life, so impotent was Death!
O had he but preserv'd these few remains,
The shatter'd fragments, of lost hiappiness,
Snatch'd by the hand of Heav'n from the sad wreck
Of innocence primeval; still had he liv'd
In ruin great ; tho' fall’n, yet not forlorn;
Though mortal, yet-not every where beset
With Death in ev'ry shape! But he, impatient :
To be completely wretched, hastes to fill up
The measure of his woes-'Twas Man himself
Brought Death into the world; and Man himself
Gave keenness to his darts, quicken'd his pace,
And multiply'd destruction on mankind.

First Envy, eldest born of Hell, embrued
Her hands in blood, and taught the Sons of Men
To make a Death which Nature never made.
And God abhorr'd; with violence rude to break
The thread of life ere half its length was run,
And rob a wretched brother of his being..
With joy Ambition saw, and soon improv'd
The execrable deed. 'Twas not enough
By subile fraud to snatch a single life,

Puny impiety! whole kingdoins fell
1. To sate the luse of power: more horrid still,

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Uprais'd his drooping head, and shew'd afar
A happier scene of things; the promis'd Seed
Trampling upon the Serpent's humbled crest;
Death of his sting disarm'd; and the dark grave,
Made pervious to the realms of endless day,
No more the limit but the gate of life.

Cheer'd with the view, Man went to till the grounil,
From whence he rose; sentenc'd indeed to toil
As to a punishment, yet (ev'n in wrath,
So merciful is Heav'n) this toil became .
The solace of his woes, the sweet employ
Of many a live-long hour, and surest guard
Against Disease and Death. Death, tho' denounc'd,
Was yet a distant ill, by feeble arm
Of Age, his sole support, led slowly on.
Not then, as since, the short-liv'd sons of men
Flock’d to his realms in countless multitudes;
Scarce in the course of twice five hundred years,
One solitary ghost went shiv'ring down
To his unpeopled shore. In sober state,
Through the sequcster'd vale of rural life,
The vencrable Patriarch guileless held
The tenor of his way; Labour prepar'd
His simple fare, and Temp'rance ruld his board.
Tir'd with his daily toil, at early eve
He sunk to sudden rest; gentle and pure
As breath of evening Zephyr, and as sweet,
Were all his slumbers; with the Sun he rose,
Alert and vigorous as He, to run
His destin'd course. Thus nerv'd with giant strength
He stemm'd the tide of time, and stood the shock
Of ages rolling harınless o'er his head.

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At life's meridian point arriv'd, he stood,
And, looking round, saw all the valleys fill'd
With nations from his loins; full-well content
To leave his race thus scatter'd o'er the earth,
Along the gentle slope of life's decline
He bent his gradual way, till, full of years,
He dropp'd like mellow fruit into his grave,

Such in the infancy of Time was Man; So calm was life, so impotent was Death! . O had he but preserv'd these few remains,

The shatter'd fragments, of lost happiness,
Snatch'd by the hand of Heav'n from the sad wreck
Of innocence primeval; still had he liv'd
In ruin great; tho' fall’n, yet not forlorn;
Though mortal, yet-not every where beset
With Death in ev'ry shape! But he, impatient
To be completely wretched, hastes to fill up
The measure of his woes 'Twas Man himself
Brought Death into the world; and Man himself
Gave keenness to his darts, quicken'd his pace,
And multiply'd destruction on mankind.

First Envy, eldest born of Hell, embrueda
Her hands in blood, and taught the Sons of Men
To make a Death which Nature never made.
And God abhorr'd; with violence rude to break
The thread of life ere half its length was run,
And rob a wretched brother of his being.
With joy Ambition saw, and soon improv'd
The execrable deed. 'Twas not enough
By subile fraud to snatch a single life,
Puny impiety! whole kingdoms fell
To sate the lusy of power; more horrid still,

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The foulest stain and scandel of our nature,
Became its boast. One Murder made a Villain ;
Millions a He:0. Princcs were privileg'd
To kill, and numbers sanctified the crime,
Ah! why will Kings forget that they are Men
And Men that they are brethren? Why delight
In human sacrifice ; Why burst the ties
Of Nature, that should knit their souls together
In one soft bond of amity and love?
Yet still they breathe destruction, still go on :
Inhumanly ingenious to find out
New pains for life, new terrors for the grave,
Artificers of Death! Still Monarchs dream
Of universal empire growing up
From universal ruin. Elast the design
Great God of Hosts, let not thy creatures fall.
Unpitied victims at ambition's shrine!

Yet say, should Tyrants learn at last to feel,
And the loud din of battle cease to bray; .
Should dove-eyed Peace o'er all the earth extend
Her olive branch, and give the world repose,
Would Death be foild? Would health, and strength, and
Defy his pow'r? Has he no arts in store,. [youth,
No other shafts save those of war? Alas!
Ev'n in the smile of Peace, that smile which sheds
A heav'nly sunshine o'er the soul; there basks
That serpent Luxury. War its thousands slays;
Peace its ten thousands. In ih' embattled plain,
Tho' Death exults, and claps his raven wings,
Yet reigns he not ev’n there so absolute
So merciless, as in yon frantic scenes
Of midnight revel and tumultueus inirthy

Where in th' intoxicating draught conceald,
Or couch'd beneath the glance of lawless love,
He snares the simple youtli, who nought suspecting
Means to be blest-but finds himself undone.

Down the smooth stream of life the stripling darts,
Gay as the morn; bright glows the vernal sky,
Hope swells his sails, and passion steers his course,
Safe glides his little bark along the shore
Where Virtue takes her stand; but if too far
He launches forth beyond Discretion's mark,
Sudden the tempest scowls,, the surges roar,
Blot his fair day, and plunge him in the deep.
O sad but sure mischance! O happier far

To lie like gallant Howe ’midst Indian wilds · A breathless corse, cut off by savage hands

In earliest prime, a generous sacrifice
To fredom's holy causa; than so to fall,
Torn immature from life's meridian joys,
A prey 10 Vice, Intemp'rance, and Disease,

Yet die ev'n thus, thus rather perish still,
Ye sons of Pleasure, by the Almighty strick'n,
Than ever dare (though oft alas! ye dare)
To lift against yourselves the murd'rous steel,
To wrest from God's own hand the sword of Justice,
And be your own avengers! Hold, rash Man,
Though with anticipating speed thou'st rang'd
Through every region of delight, nor left
One joy to gild the evening of thy days;
Though life seem one uncomfortable void,
Guilt at thy heels, before thy face despair;
Yet gay this scene, and light this load of woc
Compar'd with thy hereafter. Think, O think

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