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Such heart-felt pangs on thy fad bier attend;
Companion! Brother! all in one---my friend!
Unless the foul a wound eternal bears,
Sighs are but air, but common water, tears;
The proud, relentless, weep in state, and show
Not forrow, but magnificence of woe.
Thus in the fountain, from the fculptor's hands, With imitated life, an image stands;
From rocky entrails, through his ftony eyes,
The mimic tears in ftreams inceffant rise;
Unconscious! while aloft the waters flow,
The gazers wonder, and a public show.
Ye hallow'd domes, his frequent visits tell,
Thou court, where God himself delights to dwell;
Thou myftic table, and thou holy feast,
How often have ye feen the facred guest!
How oft his foul with heavenly manna fed!
His faith enliven'd, while his sin lay dead!
While listening angels heard fuch raptures rise,
As, when they hymn th' Almighty, charm the skies?
But where, now where, without the body's aid,
New to the heavens, fubfifts thy gentle shade?
Glides it beyond our grofs imperfect sky,
Pleas'd high o'er ftars, from world to world, to fly!
And fearless marks the comet's dreadful blaze,
While monarchs quake, and trembling nations gaze?
Or holds deeps converfe with the mighty dead,
Champions of virtue, who for virtue bled?
Or joins in confort with angelic choirs,
Where hymning feraphs found their golden lyres,
Where raptur'd faints unfading crowns inwreath,
Triumphant o'er the world, o'er fin, and death?
O may the thought his friend's devotion raife!
O! may he imitate, as well as praise !
Awake, my heavy foul! and upward fly,
Speak to the faint, and meet him in the sky,
And ask the certain way to rife as high.
Prefix your name to the following poem, as a monument of the long and fincere friendship I have borne you I am fenfible you are too good a judge of poetry to approve it; however, it will be a teftimony of my refpect: You conferred obligations upon me very early in life, almost as foon as I was capable of receiving them May thefe verfes on Death long furvive my own! and remain a memorial of our friendship, and my gratitude when I am no more.
Τις οἶδεν εἰ τὸ ζῆν μέν ἐςὶ κατθανεῖν,
Τὸ κατθανεῖν δὲ ζῆν ;
! for Elijah's car, to wing my way
O'er the dark gulph of death to endless day!
A thousand ways, alas! frail mortals lead
To her dire den, and dreadful all to tread!
See in the horrors of yon house of woes,
Troops of all maladies the fiend enclose!
High on a trophy rais'd of human bones,
Swords, fpears, and arrows, and fepulchral stones,
In horrid state she reigns! attendant ills
Befiege her throne, and when the frowns, fhe kills: Through the thick gloom the torch red-gleaming burns O'er shrouds, and fable palls, and mouldering nrns: While flowing stoles, black plumes, and fcutcheons spread An idle pomp around the filent dead :
Unaw'd by power, in common heap the flings
The fcrips of beggars, and the crowns of kings:
Here gales of fighs, instead of breezes, blow,
And streams of tears for ever-murmuring flow:
The mournful yew with folemn horror waves
His baleful branches, faddening even the graves;
Around all birds obfcene loud-fcreaming fly,
Clang their black wings, and fhriek along the fky:
The ground perverse, though bare and barren, breeds
All poifons, foes to life, and noxious weeds :
But, blafted frequent by th' unwholsome sky,
Dead fall the birds, the very poisons die.
Full in the entrance of the dreadful doors,
Old age, half vanish'd to a ghost, deplores :
Prop'd on his crutch, he drags with many a groan
The load of life, yet dreads to lay it down.
There, downward driving an unnumber'd band,
Intemperance and Disease, walk hand in hand:
These, Torment, whirling with remorseless sway
A fcourge of iron, lafhes on the way.
There frantic Anger, prone to wild extremes, Grafps an enfanguin'd fword, and heaven blafphemes. There heart-fick Agony distorted stands,
Writhes his convulfive limbs, and wrings his hands. There Sorrow droops his ever-penfive head,
And Care still toffes ou his iron bed:
Or, mufing, faftens on the ground his eye,
With folded arms; with every breath, a figh.
Hydrops unwieldy wallows in a flood,
And Murther rages, red with human blood,
With Fever, Famine, and afflictive Pain,
Plague, Peftilence, and War, a dismal train!
These, and a thousand more, the fiend furround,
Shrieks pierce the air, and groans to groans refound.
O! Heavens is this the paffage to the skies
That man muft tread, when man your favourite dies?
Oh! for Elijah's car, to wing my way
O'er the dark gulph of death to endless day!
Confounded at the fight, my fpirits fled,
My eyes rain'd tears, my very heart was dead!
I wail'd the lot of man, that all would fhun,
And all muft bear that breathe beneath the fun.
When lo! an heavenly form, divinely fair,
Shoots from the ftarry vault through fields of air;
And, fwifter than on wings of lightning driven,
At once feems here and there, in earth and heaven!
A dazzling brightness in refulgent streams
Flows from his locks inwreath'd with funny beams;
His roleate cheeks the bloom of heaven display,
And from his eyes dart glories, more than day:
A robe, of light.condens'd, around him fhone,
And his loins glitter'd with a starry zone :
And while the liftening winds lay hush'd to hear,
Thus fpoke the vision, amiably fevere !
Vain man! would'st thou efcape the common lot,
To live, to fuffer, die, and be forgot?
Look back on ancient times, primæval years,
All, all are paft! a mighty void appears!
Heroes, and kings, thofe Gods of earth, whofe fame
Aw'd half the nations, now are but a name!
The great in arts, or arms; the wife, the juft,
Mix with the meaneft in congenial duft!
Ev'n Saints and Prophets the fame paths have trod,
Ambaffadors of heaven, and friends of God!
And thou, would't thou the general fentence fly?
Mofes is dead! thy Saviour deign'd to die!
Mortal, in all thy acts regard thy end;
Live well, the time thou liv'ft, and death's thy friend :
Then curb each rebel thought against the sky,
And die refign'd, O! Man ordain'd to die!
He added not, but fpread his wings in flight,
And vanish'd inftant in a blaze of light.
Abafh'd, afham'd, I cry, Eternal Power,
I yield! I wait refign'd the appointed hour!
Man, foolish man, no more thy foul deceive!
To die, is but the fureft way to live :
When age we afk, we afk it in our wrong,
And pray our time of fuffering may be long;
The naufeous draught, and dregs of life to drain,
And feel infirmity, and length of pain!