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THE

COMPLAINT.

NIGHT II.

ON

TIME, DEATH, AND FRIENDSHIP.

WHEN the cock crew, he wept” —Smote by

that eye

Which looks on me, on all: That Pow'r who bids
This midnight centinel, with clarion shrill
(Emblem of that which shall awake the dead),
Rouse souls from slumber into thoughts of Heav'n. 5
Shall I too weep? Where then is fortitude?
And, fortitude abandon'd, what is Man!
I know the terms on which he sees the light;
He that is born, is listed; life is war;
Eternal war with woe. Who bears it best,

10
Deserves it least. On other themes I'll dwell.
LORENZO! let me turn my thoughts on thee,
And thine, on themes may profit; profit there,

D

Where most thy need. Themes, too, the genuine growth Of dear PhilANDER's dust. He, thus, though dead, 15 May still befriend.—What themes? Time's wondrous

price, Death, Friendship, and PHILANDER's final scene.

So could I touch these themes, as might obtain
Thine ear, nor leave thy heart quite disengag'd,
The good deed would delight me; half-impress 20
On
my

dark cloud an Iris; and from grief
Call glory-Dost thou mourn PHILANDER’s fate?
I know thou say'st it: Says thy life the same?
He mourns the dead who lives as they desire.
Where is that thrift, that Avarice of Time

25
(O glorious avarice!) thought of death inspires,
As rumour'd robberies endear our gold?
O Time! than gold more sacred; more a load
Than lead, to fools; and fools reputed wise.
What moment granted Man without account? 30
What years are squander'd, Wisdom's debt unpaid!
Our wealth in days all due to that discharge.
Haste, haste, he lies in wait, he's at the door,
Insidious Death! should his strong hand arrest,
No composition sets the pris'ner free.

35 Eternity's inexorable chain Fast binds; and Vengeance claims the full arrcar,

How late I shudder'd on the brink! how late
Life call’d for her last refuge in despair.
That time is mine, () MEAD! to thee I owe;
Fain would I pay thee with Eternity.
But ill my genius answers my desire;
My sickly song is mortal, past thy cure.
Accept the will;that dies not with

my

strain.

40

For what calls thy disease, LORENZO? Not 45 For Esculapian, but for moral aid. Thou think'st it folly to be wise too soon. Youth is not rich in time; it may be, poor; Part with it as with money, sparing; pay No moment but in purchase of its worth ;

50 And what its worth, ask death-beds; they can tell. Part with it as with life: Reluctant; big With holy hope of nobler time to come; Time higher aim'd, still nearer the great mark Of Men and Angels; virtue more divine. Is this our duty, wisdom, glory, gain?

55 (These Heav'n benign in vital union binds,) And sport we like the natives of the bough, When vernal suns inspire? Amusement reigns Man's great demand; to trifle is to live:

60 And is it then a trifle, too, to die?

Thou say'st I preach, LORENZO! 'Tis confest.
What if, for once, I preach thee quite awake?
Who wants amusement in the flame of battle?
Is it not treason to the soul immortal,

65
Her foes in arms, eternity the prize?
Will toys amuse, when med'cines cannot cure?
When spirits ebb, when life's enchanting scenes
Their lustre lose, and lessen in our sight,
As lands and cities with their glitt'ring spires 70
To the poor shatter'd bark, by sudden storm
Thrown off to sea, and soon to perish there;
Will toys amuse? No: Thrones will then be toys,
And earth and skies seem dust upon the scale.

Redeem we time?-Its loss we dearly buy. 75 What pleads Lorenzo for his high-priz'd sports ?

90

He pleads Time's num'rous blanks; he loudly pleads
The straw-like trifles on life's commonstream.
From whom those blanks and trifles, but from thee?
No blank, no trifle, Nature made or meant. 80
Virtue, or purpos’d virtue, still be thine;
This cancels thy complaint at once; this leaves
In act no trifle, and no blank in time.
This greatens, fills, immortalizes all;
This, the blest art of turning all to gold:

85
This, the good heart's prerogative to raise
A royal tribute from the poorest hours;
Immense revenue! every moment pays.
If nothing more than purpose in thy pow'r;
Thy purpose firm, is equal to the deed:
Who does the best his circumstance allows,
Does well, acts nobly; angels could no more.
Our outward act, indeed, admits restraint:
'Tis not in things o'er thought to domineer;
Guard well thy thought; our thoughts are heard in
Heav'n.

95 On all-important Time, through ev'ry age, Though much, and warm, the wise have urg'd; the man Is yet unborn, who duly weighs an hour. “ I've lost a day”-the Prince who nobly cry'd, Had been an emperor without his crown;

100 Of Rome? Say, rather, lord of human race: He spoke, as if deputed by Mankind. So should all speak: So Reason speaks in all; From the soft whispers of that God in Man, Why fly to folly, why to frenzy fly,

105 For rescue from the blessings we possess? Time, the supreme!--Time is eternity;

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