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Trembling, at once, with eagerness and age ?
With av’rice, and convulsions grasping hard ?
Grasping at air! for what has earth beside ?
Man wants but little ; nor that little long :
How soon must he resign his very dust,
Which frugal nature lent him for an hour!
Years unexperienc'd rush on num'rous ills ;
And soon as man, expert from time, has found
The key of life, it opes the gates of death.
When in this vale of years I backward look,
And miss such numbers, numbers too of such,
Firmer in health, and greener in their age,
And stricter on their guard, and fitter far
To play life's subtle game, I scarce believe
I still survive; and am I fond of life,
Who scarce can think it possible I live?
Alive by miracle ! if still alive,
Who long have bury'd what gives life to live,
Firmness of nerve, and energy of thought.
Life's lee is not more shallow, thar impure,
And vapid ; sense and reason show the door.
Call for my bier, and point me to the dust.
O thou great Arbiter of life and death!
Nature's immortal, immaterial sun !
Whose all-prolific bearn late call’d me forth
From darkness, teeming darkness, where I lay
The worm's inferior, and, in rank, beneath
The dust I tread on, high to bear my brow,
To drink the spirit of the golden day,
And triumph in existence; and couldst know
No motive, but my bliss ; with Abraham's joy,
Thy call I follow to the land unknown ;
I trust in thee, and know in whom I trust :
Or life, or death, is equal; neither weighs ;
All weight in this let me live to thee! -YOUNG.
An address to the Deity.
GOD of my life, and Author of my days!
Permit my feeble voice to lisp thy praise ;
And trembling take upon a mortal tongue
That hallow'd name to harps of seraphs sung ;
Yet here the brightest seraphs could no more
Than hide their faces, tremble, and adore.
Worms, angels, men,
Are equal all, for all are nothing here.
All nature faints beneath the mighty name,
Which nature's works, thro' all her parts, proclaim.
I feel tħat name my inmost thoughts control,
And breathe an awful stillness through my soul
As by a charm, the waves of grief subside ;
Impetuous passion stops her headlong tide.
At thy felt presence all emotions cease,
And my hush'd spirit finds a sudden peace;
Till ev'ry worldly thought within me dies,
And earth's gay pageants vanish from my eyes
Till all my sense is lost in infinite,
And one vast object fills my aching sight,
But soon, alas! this holy calm is broke ;
My soul submits to wear her wonted yoke;
With shackled pinions strives to soar in vain,
And mingles with the dross of earth again.
But ne, our gracious Master, kind as just,
Knowing our frame, remembers man is dust.
His spirit, ever brooding o'er our mind,
Sees the first wish to better hopes inclin'd;
Marks the young dawn of ev'ry virtuous aim,
And fans the smoking flax into a fame.
His ears are open to the softest cry,
descends to meet the lifted eye;
He reads the language of a silent tear,
And sighs are incense from a heart sincere.
Such are the vows, the sacrifice I give ;
Accept the vow, and bid the suppliant live : )
From each terrestrial bondage set me free;
Still ev'ry wish that centres not in thee ;
Bid my fond hopes, my vain disquiets cease,
And point my path to everlasting peace.
If the soft hand of winning pleasure leads
By living waters, and thro' flow'ry meads,
When all is smiling, tranquil and serene,
And vernal beauty paints the flatt'ring scene,
Oh! teach me to elude each latent snare,
And whisper to my sliding heart-Beware!
With caution let me hear the Syren's voice,
And doubtful, with a trembling heart, rejoice.
If friendless, in a vale of tears I stray,
Where briers wound, and thorns perplex my way,
Still let my steady soul thy goodness see,
And with strong confidence lay bold on thee ;
With equal eye my various lot receive,
Resign'd to die, or resolute to live :
Prepar'd to kiss the sceptre or the rod,
While God is seen in all, and all in God.
I read his awful name emblazon'd high
With golden letters on th' illumin'd sky :
Nor less the mystic characters I see,
Wrought in each flow'r, inscrib'd on ev'ry tree :
In ev'ry leaf that trembles to the breeze,
I hear the voice of God among the trees.
With thee in shady solitudes I walk,
With thee in busy crowded cities talk ;
In ev'ry creature own thy forming pow'r ;
m each event thy providence adore :
Thy hopes shall animate my drooping soul,
Thy precepts guide me, and thy fear control.
Thus shall I rest unmov’d by all alarms,
Secure within the temple of thine arms,
From anxious cares, from gloomy terrors free,
And feel myself omnipotent in thee.
Then when the last, the closing hour draws nigh,
And earth recedes before my swimming eye:
When trembling on the doubtful edge of fate
I stand, and stretch my view to either state ;
Teach me to quit this transitory scene,
With decent triumph, and a look serene;
Teach me to fix my ardent hopes on high,
And, having liv'd to thee, in thee to die.
A monody on the death of lady Lyttelton.
Ar length escap'd from ev'ry human eye,
From ev'ry duty, ev'ry care,
That in my mournful thoughts might claim a share,"
Or force my tears their flowing stream to dry;
Beneath the gloom of this embow'ring shade,
This lone retreat, for tender sorrow made,
I now may give my burden'd heart relief,
And pour forth all my stores of grief;
Of grief surpassing ev'ry other wo,
Far as the purest bliss, the happiest love
Can on th' epoobled mind bestow,
Exceeds the vulgar joys that move
Our gross desires, inelegant and low.
Ye tufted groves, ye gently falling rills,
Ye high o’ershadowing bills,
Ye lawns gay-smiling with perpetual green,
Oft have you my Lucy seen!
But never shall you now behold her more:
Nor will she now, with fond delight,
And taste refin’d, your rural charms explore :
Clos'd are those beauteous eyes in endless night;
Those beauteous eyes, where beaming us’d to shine
Reason's pure light, and virtue's spark divine.
In vain I look around,
O'er all the well-known ground,
My Lucy's wonted footsteps to descry;
Where oft we us’d to walk ;
Where oft in tender talk,
We saw the summer sun go down' the sky;
Nor by yon fountain's side,
Nor where its waters glide Along the valley, can she now be found; In all the wide stretch'd prospect's ample bound,
No more my mournful eye
Can aught of her espy,
But the sad sacred earth where her dear relics lie:
O shades of Hagley, where is now your boast ?
Your bright inhabitant is lost.
You she preferr'd to all the gay resorts,
Where female vanity might wish to shine,
The pomp of cities, and the pride of courts.
Her modest beauties shunn'd the public eye :
To your sequester'd dales
And flower embroider'd vales,
From an admiring world she chose to fly :
With Nature there retir'd, and Nature's God,
The silent paths of wisdom trod,
And banish'd every passion from her breast;
But those, the gentlest and the best,
Whose holy flames, with energy divine,
The virtuous heart enliven and improvę;
The conjugal and the maternal love.
Sweet babes ! who, like the little playful fawns, Were wont to trip along these verdant lawns,
By your delighted mother's side, Who now your infant steps shall guide ? Ab! where is now the hand, whose tender care To ev'ry virtue would have form’d your youth, And strew'd wiia fow'rs the thorny ways of truth?
O loss beyond repair !
O wretched father! left alone, To
weep their dire misfortune, and thy own! How shall thy weaken'd mind oppress'd with wo,
And, drooping o'er thv Lucy's grave, Perform the duties that you doubly owe,
Now she, alas ! is gone,
From folly and from vice their helpless age to save ?
Oh! how each beauty of her mind and face
Was brighten'd by some sweet peculiar grace!
How eloquent in ev'ry look,
Thro’ her expressive eyes, her soul distinctly spoke!
How did her manners, by the world refin d,
Leave all the taint of modish vice behind,
And make each charm of polish'd courts agree
With candid truth's simplicity,
And uncorrupted innocence!
To great, to more than manly sense,
She join'd the soft’ning influence
Of more than female tenderness.
How, in the thoughtless days of wealth and joy,
Which oft the care of others' good destroy,
Her kindly-melting heart,
To every want, and every wo,
To guilt itself when in distress,
The balm of pity would impart,
And all relief that bounty could bestow!
E'en for the kid or lamb that pour'd its life
Beneath the bloody knife,
Her gentle tears would fall;
Tears, from sweet virtue's source, benevolent to all.
Not only good and kind,
But strong and elevated was her mind :
A spirit that, with noble pride,
Could look superior down
On fortune's smile or frown ;
That could, without regret or pain,