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Swift on his downy pinion flies from woe,
From short (as usual) and disturbed repose I wake: how happy they who wake no more ! Yet that were vain, if dreams infest the
grave. I wake, emerging from a sea of dreams Tumultuous ; where my wrecked desponding
thought From wave to wave of fancied misery At random drove, her helm of reason lost. Though now restored, 'tis only change of
pain (A bitter change!) severer for severe : The day too short for my distress; and
night, E'en in the zenith of her dark domain, Is sunshine to the colour of my fate. Night, sable goddess ! from her ebon
throne, In rayless majesty, now stretches forth Her leaden sceptre o'er a slumb’ring world. Silence how dead! and darkness how pro
found ! Nor eye nor list’ning ear an object finds; Creation sleeps. 'Tis as the general pulse Of life stood still, and Nature made a pause ; An awful pause! prophetic of her end. And let her prophecy be soon fulfilled : Fate ! drop the curtain ; I can lose no more. Silence and Darkness! solemn sisters !
twins From ancient Night, who nurse the tender
thought To reason, and on reason build resolve (That column of true majesty in man), Assist me: I will thank you in the grave; The grave your kingdom : there this frame
shall fall A victim sacred to your dreary shrine. But what are ye?
Thou, who didst put to flight Primeval Silence, when the morning stars, Exulting, shouted o'er the rising ball ; Oh Thou ! whose word from solid darkness
struck That spark, the sun, strike wisdom from my
On this devoted head, be poured in vain.
august, How complicate, how wonderful is man! How passing wonder He who made him
such ! Who centred in our make such strange
extremes, From different natures marvellously mixed, Connexion exquisite of distant worlds ! Distinguished link in being's endless chain! Midway from nothing to the Deity! A beam ethereal, sullied and absorpt! Though sullied and dishonoured, still divine ! Dim miniature of greatness absolute ! An heir of glory! a frail child of dust: Helpless immortal! insect infinite ! A worm! a god! I tremble at myself, And in myself am lost. At home, a stranger, Thought wanders up and down, surprised,
aghast, And wondering at her own. How reason
reels! Oh what a miracle to man is man ! Triumphantly distressed! what joy! what
dread! Alternately transported and alarmed ! What can preserve my life ! or what destroy ! An angel's arm can't snatch me from the
grave; Legions of angels can't confine me there. 'Tis past conjecture; all things rise in
proof : While o'er my limbs sleep's soft dominion
spread, What though my soul fantastic measures
trod O’er fairy fields; or mourned along the gloom Of silent woods; or, down the craggy steep Hurled headlong, swam with pain the mantled
pool; Or scaled the cliff ; or danced on hollow
winds, With antic shapes, wild natives of the brain ? Her ceaseless flight, though devious, speaks
her nature Of subtler essence than the common clod : * * Even silent night proclaims my soul im
mortal! Why, then, their loss deplore that are not
lost ? This is the desert, this the solitude : How populons, how vital is the grave ! This is creation's melancholy vault, The vale funereal, the sad cypress gloom ; The land of apparitions, empty shades ! All, all on earth, is shadow, all beyond Is substance; the reverse is folly's creed ; How solid all, where change shall be no
more! This is the bud of being, the dim dawn, The twilight of our day, the vestibule ; Life's theatre as yet is shut, and death, Strong death alone can heave the massy bar, This gross impediment of clay remove, And make us embryos of existence free
My soul, which flies to thee, her trust, her
treasure, As misers to their gold, while others rest. Through this opaque of nature and of
soul, This double night, transmit one pitying ray, To lighten and to cheer. Oh lead my mind (A mind that fain would wander from its
woe), Lead it through various scenes of life and
death, And from each scene the noblest truths in
spire. Nor less inspire my conduct than my song : Teach my best reason, reason; my best will Teach rectitude ; and fix my firm resolve Wisdom to wed, and pay her long arrear : Nor let the phial of thy vengeance, poured
No composition sets the prisoner free.
Youth is not rich in time; it may be poor ;
mark Of men and angels, virtue more divine.
From real life ; but little more remote
thoughts; Inters celestial hopes without one sigh. Prisoner of earth, and pent beneath the
moon, Here pinions all his wishes; winged by
heaven To fly at infinite : and reach it there Where seraphs gather immortality, On life's fair tree, fast by the throne of God. What golden joys ambrosial clust'ring glow, In his full beam, and ripen for the just, Where momentary ages are no more! Where time, and pain, and chance, and death
expire ! And is it in the flight of threescore years To push eternity from human thought, And smother souls immortal in the dust? A soul immortal, spending all her fires, Wasting her strength in strenuous idleness, Thrown into tumult, raptured or alarmed, At aught this scene can threaten or indulge, Resembles ocean into tempest wrought, To waft a feather, or to drown a fly.
Edward Young.–Born 1681, Died 1765.
On all important time, through every age, Though much, and warm, the wise have
urged, the man Is yet unborn who duly weighs an hour. “I've lost a day”-the prince who nobly
cried, Had been an emperor without his crown. Of Rome ? say, rather, lord of human race : He spoke as if deputed by mankind. So should all speak; so reason speaks in all : From the soft whispers of that God in man, Why fly to folly, why to frenzy fly, For rescue from the blessings we possess ? Time, the supreme !-Time is eternity ; Pregnant with all that makes archangels
smile. Who murders Time, he crushes in the birth A power ethereal, only not adored.
Ah! how unjust to nature and himself Is thoughtless, thankless, inconsistent man! Like children babbling nonsense in their
sports, We censure Nature for
span too short ; That span too short we tax as tedious, too; Torture invention, all expedients tire, To lash the ling'ring moments into speed, And whirl us (happy riddance) from our.
857.—THOUGHTS ON TIME. The bell strikes one. We take no note of
time But from its loss : to give it then a tongue Is wise in man. As if an angel spoke, I feel the solemn sound. If heard aright, It is the knell of my departed hours. Where are they? With the years beyond the
flood. It is the signal that demands despatch: How much is to be done ? My hopes and
fears Start up alarmed, and o'er life's narrow
verge Look down-on what? A fathomless abyss. A dread eternity! how surely mine! And can eternity belong to me, Poor pensioner on the bounties of an hour ?
O time! than gold more sacred ; more a load Than lead to fools, and fools reputed wise. What moment granted man without account? What years are squandered, wisdom's debt
unpaid ! Our wealth in days all due to that discharge. Haste, haste, he lies in wait, he's at the
Time wasted is existence; used, is life :
Insidious Death; should his strong hand
Like numerous wings, around him, as he
That man might feel his error if unseen, And, feeling, fly to labour for his cure ; Not blundering, split on idleness for ease.
Or rather, as unequal plumes, they shape · His ample pinions, swift as darted flame, To gain his goal, to reach his ancient rest, And join anew eternity, his sire : In his immutability to nest, When worlds hat count his circles now,
unhinged, (Fate the loud signal sounding) headlong
rush To timeless night and chaos, whence they
We push time from us, and we wish him
back; Life we think long and short; death seek and
shun. On the dark days of vanity! while Here, how tasteless! and how terrible when
gone ! Gone ? they ne'er go ; when past, they haunt
us still : The spirit walks of every day deceased, And smiles an angel, or a fury frowns. Nor death nor life delight us. If time past, And time possessed, both pain us, what can
please ? That which the Deity to please ordained, Time used. The man who consecrates his
hours By vigorous effort, and an honest aim, At once he draws the sting of life and death : He walks with nature, and her paths are
'Tis greatly wise to talk with our past hours, And ask them what report they bore to
heaven, And how they might have borne more welcome
news. Their answers form what men experience
call ; If wisdom's friend, her best, if not, worst foe.
But why on time so lavish is my song :
school To teach her sons herself. Each night we
dieEach morn are born anew ; each day a life ; And shall we kill each day? If trifling kills, Sure vice must butcher. Owhat heaps of
slain Cry out for vengeance on us! time destroyed Is suicide, where more than blood is spilt.
Throw years away? Throw empires, and be blameless : moments
seize; Heaven's on their wing: a moment we may
wish, When worlds want wealth to buy. Bid day
Edward Young.–Born 1681, Died 1765.
All-sensual man, because untouched, unseen,
stranger!) sent On his important embassy to man. Lorenzo! no: on the long destined hour, From everlasting ages growing ripe, That memorable hour of wondrous birth, When the Dread Sire, on emanation bent, And big with nature, rising in his might, Called forth creation (for then time was
born) By Godhead streaming through a thousand
worlds ; Not on those terms, from the great days of
heaven, From old eternity's mysterious orb Was time cut off, and cast beneath the
skies; The skies, which watch him in his new
abode, Measuring his motions by revolving spheres, That horologe machinery divine. Hours, days, and months, and years, his chil.
858.—PROCRASTINATION. Be wise to-day ; 'tis madness to defer : Next day the fatal precedent will plead ; Thus on, till wisdom is pushed out of life. Procrastination is the thief of time; Year after year it steals, till all are fled, And to the mercies of a moment leaves The vast concerns of an eternal scene. If not so frequent, would not this be strange ? That 'tis so frequent, this is stranger still. Of man's miraculous mistakes, this bears The palm, " That all men are about to live,” For ever on the brink of being born : All pay themselves the compliment to think They one day shall not drivel, and their pride On this reversion takes up ready praise ; At least their own; their future selves
applaud ; How excellent that life they ne'er will lead ! Time lodged in their own hands is Folly's
vails; That lodged in Fate's to wisdom they
The thing they can't but purpose, they More we perceive by dint of thought alone ; postpone.
The rich must labour to possess their own, 'Tis not in folly not to scorn a fool,
To feel their great abundance, and request And scarce in human wisdom to do more. Their humble friends to help them to be All promise is poor dilatory man,
blest; And that through every stage. When young, To see their treasure, hear their glory told, indeed,
And aid the wretched impotence of gold. In full content we sometimes nobly rest,
But some, great souls! and touch'd with Unanxious for ourselves, and only wish,
warmth divine, As duteous sons, our fathers were more wise. Give gold a price, and teach its beams to At thirty man suspects himself a fool;
shine ; Knows it at forty, and reforms his plan; All hoarded treasures they repute a load, At fifty chides his infamous delay,
Nor think their wealth their own, till well Pushes his prudent purpose to resolve ;
bestow'd. In all the magnanimity of thought
Grand reservoirs of public happiness, Resolves, and re-resolves; then dies the same. Through secret streams diffusively they bless, And why? because he thinks himself And, while their bounties glide, conceal'd immortal.
from view, All men think all men mortal but themselves ; Relieve our wants, and spare our blushes too. Themselves, when some alarming shock of fate
Edward Young.–Born 1681, Died 1765. Strikes through their wounded hearts the
sudden dread: But their hearts wounded, like the wounded
air, Soon close ; where past the shaft no trace is
860.-THE LOVE OF PRAISE. found,
What will not men attempt for sacred As from the wing no scar the sky retains,
praise ! The parted wave no furrow from the keel,
The love of praise, howe'er conceal'd by art, So dies in human hearts the thought of
Reigns, more or less, and glows, in every death :
heart: E'en with the tender tear which nature
The proud, to gain it, toils on toils endure; sheds
The modest shun it, but to make it sure. O'er those we love, we drop it in their grave.
O'er globes, and sceptres, now on thrones it Edward Young.-Born 1681, Died 1765.
swells; Now trims the midnight lamp in college cells ; 'Tis Tory, Whig; it plots, prays, preaches,
Harangues in senates, squeaks in masque859.—THE EMPTINESS OF RICHES.
Here, to Steele's humour makes a bold Can gold calm passion, or make reason shine ?
pretence; Can we dig peace or wisdom from the mine?
There, bolder, aims at Pulteney's eloquence. Wisdom to gold prefer, for ’tis much less
It aids the dancer's heel, the writer's head, To make our fortune than our happiness :
And heaps the plain with mountains of the That happiness which great ones often see,
dead : With rage and wonder, in a low degree,
Nor ends with life ; but nods in sable plumes, Themselves unbless'd. The poor are only
Adorns onr hearse, and flatters on our tombs. poor. But what are they who droop amid their Edward Young.-Born 1681, Died 1765.
861.—THE ASTRONOMICAL LADY. Could both our Indies buy but one new sense, Our envy would be due to large expense ; Some nymphs prefer astronomy to love ; Since not, those pomps which to the great Elope from mortal man, and range above. belong,
The fair philosopher to Rowley flies, Are but poor arts to mark them from the Where in a box the whole creation lies : throng.
She sees the planets in their turns advance, See how they beg an alms of Flattery:
And scorns, Poitier, thy sublunary dance ! They languish! oh, support them with a lie ! Of Desaguliers she bespeaks fresh air ; A decent competence we fully taste;
And Whiston has engagements with the fair. It strikes our sense, and gives a constant What vain experiments Sophronia tries !
'Tis not in air-pumps the gay colonel dies.'
But though to-day this rage of science reigns,
Edward Young.-Born 1681, Died 1765.
A lady? pardon my mistaken pen,
Edward Young.--Born 1681, Died 1765.
862.-THE LANGUID LADY. The languid lady next appears in state, Who was not born to carry her own weight; She lolls, reels, staggers, till some foreign aid To her own stature lifts the feeble maid. Then, if ordain'd to so severe a doom, She, by just stages, journeys round the
room : But, knowing her own weakness, she despairs To scale the Alps—that is, ascend the stairs. My fan! let others say, who laugh at toil ; Fan! hood! glove! scarf ! is her laconic
style ; And that is spoke with such a dying fall, That Betty rather sees, than hears, the call : The motion of her lips, and meaning eye, Piece out th' idea her faint words deny. O listen with attention most profound ! Her voice is but the shadow of a sound. And help, oh help! her spirits are so dead, One hand scarce lifts the other to her head. If there a stubborn pin it triumphs o'er, She pants ! she sinks away! and is no more. Let the robust and the gigantic carve, Life is not worth so much, she'd rather
starve : But chew she must herself ! ah cruel fate! That Rosalinda can't by proxy eat.
Edward Young.--Born 1681, Died 1765.
864.-SHOWERS IN SPRING. The north-east spends his rage; he now, shut
up Within his iron cave, the effusive south Warms the wide air, and o'er the void of
heaven Breathes the big clouds with vernal showers
distent. At first, a dusky wreath they seem to rise, Scarce staining either, but by swift degrees, In heaps on heaps the doubled vapour sails Along the loaded sky, and, mingling deep, Sits on the horizon round, a settled gloom ; Not such as wintry storms on mortals shed, Oppressing life ; but lovely, gentle, kind, And full of every hope, of every joy, The wish of nature. Gradual sinks the
breeze Into a perfect calm, that not a breath Is heard to quiver through the closing woods, Or rustling turn the many twinkling leaves Of aspen tall. The uncurling floods diffused In glassy breadth, seem, through delusive
lapse, Forgetful of their course. 'Tis silence all, And pleasing expectation. Herds and flocks Drop the dry sprig, and, mute-imploring, eye The falling verdure. Hushed in short sus.
pense, The plumy people streak their wings with oil, To throw the lucid moisture trickling off, And wait the approaching sign, to strike at
863.—THE SWEARER. Thalestris triumphs in a manly mien ; Loud is her accent, and her phrase obscene. In fair and open dealing where's the shame ? What nature dares to give, she dares to
name. This honest fellow is sincere and plain, And justly gives the jealous husband pain (Vain is the task to petticoats assign'd, If wanton language shows a naked mind.) And now and then, to grace her eloquence, An oath supplies the vacancies of sense. Hark! the shrill notes transpierce the yielding
air, And teach the neighbouring echoes how to
swear. By Jove is faint, and for the simple swain; She on the Christian system is profane. But though the volley rattles in your ear, Believe her dress, she's not a grenadier. If thunder 's awful, how much more our dread, When Jove deputes a lady in his stead ?
Into the general choir. Even mountains,
vales, And forests, seem impatient to demand The promised sweetness. Man superior
walks Amid the glad creation, musing praise, And looking lively gratitude. At last, The clouds consign their treasures to the
fields, And, softly shaking on the dimpled pool Prelusive drops, let all their moisture flow In large effusion o'er the freshen'd world. The stealing shower is scarce to patter heard By such as wander through the forest-walks, Beneath the umbrageous multitude of leaves.
James Thomson.-Born 1700, Died 1748.
865.—BIRDS PAIRING IN SPRING.
To the deep woods They haste away, all as their fancy leads,