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I chace the moments with a serious song.
15 Song fooths our pains; and age has pains to footh..
When age, care, crime, and friends embrac'd at heart, Torn from my bleeding breast, and death's dark shade, Which hovers o'er mē, quench th' ethereal fire ; Canst thou, O Night! indulge one labour more ? One labour more indulge ! then sleep, my strain ! Till, haply, wak'd by Raphael's golden lyre, Where night, death, age, care, crime, and sorrow, cease; To bear a part in everlasting lays ; Though far, far higher set, in aim, I trust, 25 Symphonious to this humble prelude here.
Has not the Muse asserted pleasures pure, Like those above; exploding other joys? Weigh what was urg'd, Lorenzo! fairly weigh ; And tell me, hast thou cause to triumph still? 30 I think, thou wilt forbear a boast so bold. But if, beneath the favour of mistake, Thy smile's fincere ; not more sincere can be Lorenzo's smile, than my compassion for him. The fick in body call for aid; the fick
35 In mind are covetous of more disease; And when at worst, they dream themselves quite well. To know ourselves diseas'd, is half our cure. When nature's blush by custom is wip'd off, And conscience, deaden’d by repeated strokes,
40 Has into manners naturaliz’d our crimes; The curse of curses is, our curse to love; To triumph in the blackness of our guilt (As Indians glory in the deepest jet),
And throw aside our senses with our peace.
45 But grant no guilt, no shame, no least alloy ; Grant joy and glory quite unsully'd thone ; Yet, still, it ill deserves Lorenzo's heart. No joy, no glory, glitters in thy fight, But, through the thin partition of an hour, I see its fables wove by destiny ; And that in forrow bury'd ; this, in shame; While howling furies ring the doleful knell; And conscience, now so soft thou scarce canst hear Her whisper, echoes her eternal peal.
55 Where, the prime actors of the last year's scene ; Their port so proud, their buskin, and their plume ? How many peep, wło kept the world awake With lustre, and with noise ! has death proclaim'd A truce, and hung his fated lance on high? 60 'Tis brandish'd still ; nor shall the present year Be more tenacious of her human leaf, Or spread of feeble life a thinner fall.
But needless monuments to wake the thought; Life's gayest scenes speak man's mortality; Though in a style more florid, full as plain, As mausoleums, pyramids, and tombs. What are our noblest ornaments, but deaths Turn'd flatterers of life, in paint, or marble, The well-stain'à canvas, or the featur'd stone ? 70 Our fathers grace, or rather haunt, the scene. Foy peoples her pavilion from the dead.
“ Profesi diversions! cannot these escape ?"Far from it: these present us with a shroud;
And talk of death, like garlands o'er a grave.
25 As some bold plunderers, for bury'd wealth, We rànsack tombs for pastime; from the dust Call
up the sleeping hero; bid him tread The scene for our amusement: how like gods We fit; and, wrapt in immortality,
80 "Shed generous tears on wretches born to die ; Their fate deploring, to forget our own!
What all the pomps and triumphs of our lives;
Lorenzo ! such the glories of the world!.. What is the world itself? Thy world—a grave. Where is the dust that has not been alive? The spade, the plough, disturb our ancestors; From hụman mould we reap our daily bread. The globe around earth's hollow surface shakes, 95 And is the cieling of her sleeping sons. O’er devastation we blind revels keep; Whole bury'd towns support the dancer's heel. The moist of human frame the sun exhales; Winds scatter through the mighty void the dry; TOO Earth repoffesies part of what she gave, And the freed fpirit mounts on wings of fire ; Each element partakes our scatter'd spoils ; As nature, wide, our ruins spread : man's death
Inhabits all things, but the thought of man. 105
Nor man alone ; his breathing bust expires, His tomb is mortal ; empires die: where, now, The Roman ? Greek? They stalk, an empty name ! Yet few regard them in this useful light; Though half our learning is their epitaph. When down thy vale, unlock'd by midnight thought, That loves to wander in thy sunless realms, O death! I stretch my view : what visions rise ! What triumphs! toils imperial ! arts divine ! In wither'd laurels glide before my fight! What lengths of far-fam'd ages, billow'd high With human agitation, roll along In unsubftantial images of air ! The melancholy ghosts of dead renown, Whispering faint echoes of the world's applause, With penitential aspect, as they pass, All point at earth, and hiss at human pride, The wisdom of the wise, and prancings of the great.
But, O Lorenzo ! far the rest above, of ghaftly nature, and enormous size,
125 One form afaults my light, and chills my blood, And shakes my frame. Of one departed world I see the mighty shadow : oozy wreath And disinal fea-weed crown her; o'er her urn Reclin'd, she weeps her defolated realms,
130 And bloated fons; and, weeping, prophesies A 10!her's diffolution, foon, in tlamus. But, like Cassandra, propheljes in vain; In vain, to many; not, I tuft, to thee.
For, know'st thou not, or art thou loth to know, 135
150 And ease creation of the thocking scene.
Seeft thou, Lorenzo ! what depends on man ? The fate of nature ; as for man, her birth. Earth's actors change earth’s transitory scenes, And make creation groan with human guilt. How must it groan, in a new deluge whelm’d, But not of waters! at the destin'd hour, By the loud trumpet summond to the charge, See, all the formidable sons of fire, Eruptions, earthquakes, comets, lightnings, play 166 Their various engines ; all at once disgorge Their blazing magazines ; and take, by storm, This poor terrestrial citadel of man. Amazing period! when each mountain-height