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PREFACE.

S the occafion of this Poem was real, not fictitious; fo the method pursued in it, was rather impofed, by what spontaneously arofe in the author's mind on that occafion, than meditated or defigned. Which will appear very probable from the nature of it. For it differs from the common mode of Poetry, which is, from long narrations to draw fhort morals. Here, on the contrary, the narrative is short, and the morality arising from it makes the bulk of the Poem. The reafon of it is, That the facts mentioned did naturally pour these moral reflections on the thought of the writer.

THE

COMPLAINT.

NIGHT THE FIRST.

ON

LIFE, DEATH, AND IMMORTALITY.

то

THE RIGHT HON. ARTHUR ONSLOW,

SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.

IR'D Nature's fweet reftorer, balmy Sleep!

THe, like the world, his ready vifit pays

Where Fortune fmiles; the wretched he forfakes;
Swift on his downy pinion flies from woe,
And lights on lids unsullied with a tear.

From short (as usual) and disturb'd repose,

I wake: How happy they, who wake no more!
Yet that were vain, if dreams infeft the grave.

I wake, emerging from a sea of dreams

5

Tumultuous; where my wreck'd defponding thought, 10 From wave to wave of fancied misery,

At random drove, her helm of reafon loft.
Though now reftor'd, 'tis only change of pain,
(A bitter change!) feverer for fevere.
The Day too fhort for my diftrefs; and Night,
Ey'n in the zenith of her dark domain,

Is funthine to the colour of my fate.

Night, fable goddess! from her ebon throne,
In rayless majesty, now stretches forth
Her leaden fceptre o'er a flumbering world.
Silence, how dead! and darkness, how profound!
Nor eye, nor liftening ear, an object finds;
Creation fleeps. 'Tis as the general pulse
Of life stood still, and nature made a pause;
An awful paufe! prophetic of her end.
And let her prophecy be foon fulfill'd;

15

20

25

Fate! drop the curtain; I can lose no more.
Silence and Darkness! folemn fifters! twins

From ancient Night, who nurse the tender thought!
To Reason, and on Reason build Refolve,
(That column of true majefty in man)

Affift me: I will thank you in the grave;

30

The grave, your kingdom: There this frame shall fall
A victim facred to your dreary shrine.

But what are ye?

Thou, who didft put to flight

Primæval Silence, when the morning stars,

Exulting, fhouted o'er the rifing ball;

35

O Thou, whofe word from folid darkness ftruck
That fpark, the fun; ftrike wisdom from my foul; 40

My

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