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Why the cold urn of her whom long he loved So often fills his arms; so often draws His lonely footsteps at the silent hour, To pay the mournful tribute of his tears? Oh! he will tell thee that the wealth of worlds Should ne'er seduce his bosom to forego That sacred hour, when, stealing from the noise Of care and envy, sweet remembrance sooths With Virtue's kindest looks his aching breast, And turns his tears to rapture. Ask the crowd, Which flies impatient from the village-walk To climb the neighbouring cliffs, when far below The cruel winds have hurl'd upon the coast Some helpless bark; while sacred Pity melts The general eye, or Terror's icy hand Smites their distorted limbs and horrent hair; While every mother closer to her breast Catches her child, and, pointing where the waves Foam through the shatter'd vessel, shrieks aloud, As one poor wretch, that spreads his piteous arms For succour, swallow'd by the roaring surge ; As now another, dash'd against the rock, Drops lifeless down : oh! deemest thou indeed No kind endearment here by Nature given To mutual terror and Compassion's tears? No sweetly-melting softness, which attracts, O’er all that edge of pain, the social powers To this their proper action and their end ? Ask thy own heart; when, at the midnight hour, Slow through that studious gloom thy pausing eye, Led by the glimmering taper, moves around The sacred volumes of the dead, the songs Of Grecian bards, and records writ by Fame For Grecian heroes, where the present power Of Heaven and Earth surveys th' immortal page, Even as a father blessing, while he reads The praises of his son. If then thy soul, Spurning the yoke of these inglorious days, Mix in their deeds and kindle with their flame;
Say, when the prospect blackens on thy view,
And bears aloft his gold-invested front,
Oh! bless'd of Heaven, whom not the languid
songs Of Luxury, the siren ! not the bribes Of sordid Wealth, nor all the gaudy spoils Of pageant Honour, can seduce to leave Those ever-blooming sweets, which from the store Of Nature fair Imagination culls To charm the enliven'd soul! What though not all Of mortal offspring can attain the heights Of envied life; though only few possess Patrician treasures or imperial state; Yet Nature's care, to all her children just, With richer treasures and an ampler state, Endows at large whatever happy man Will deign to use them. His the city's pomp, The rural honours his. Whate'er adorns The princely dome, the column, and the arch, The breathing marbles and the sculptured gold, Beyond the proud possessor's narrow claim, His tuneful breast enjoys. For him the spring Distils her dews, and from the silken gem Its lucid leaves unfolds : for him the hand Of Autumn tinges every fertile branch With blooming gold, and blushes like the morn. Each passing hour sheds tribute from her wings; And still new beauties meet his lonely walk, And loves unfelt attract him. Not a breeze Flies o’er the meadow, not a cloud imbibes
The setting sun's effulgence, not a strain
DAVID MALLETT. 1700–1765.
WILLIAM AND MARGARET. "Twas at the silent, solemn hour
When night and morning meet; In glided Margaret's grimly ghost, And stood at William's feet.
Her face was like an April morn,
Clad in a wintry cloud;
That held her sable shroud.
So shall the fairest face appear,
When youth and years are flown: Such is the robe that kings must wear, When Death has reft their crown.
Her bloom was like the springing flower,
That sips the silver dew;
But love had, like the canker-worm,
Consumed her early prime:
“Awake!" she cried, “thy true love calls,
Come from her midnight-grave; Now let thy pity hear the maid
Thy love refused to save.
“ This is the dumb and dreary hour,
When injured ghosts complain; When yawning graves give up their dead,
To haunt the faithless swain.