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My soul's ambition, pleasure, wealth my world! This mouldering, old, partition-wall throw down
Great future! glorious patron of the past,
And present! when shall I thy shrine adore !
From Nature's continent, immensely wide,
Divides us. Happy day! that breaks our chain; Knew I the name devout archangels use,
That manumits ; that calls from exile home;
That leads to Nature's great metropolis,
Who hears our Advocate, and, through his wounds Is lost in love! Thou great philanthropist!
Beholding man, allows that tender name. Father of angels! but the friend of man!
"Tis this makes Christian triumph a command : Like Jacob, fondest of the younger born!
"Tis this makes joy a duty to the wise ; Thou, who didst save him, snatch the smoking brand | "Tis impious in a good man to be sad. From out the flames, and quench it in thy blood ! | See thou, Lorenzo! where hangs all our hope ? How art thou pleas'd, by bounty to distress! Touch'd by the cross, we live; or, more than die; to make us groan beneath our gratitude,
That touch which touch'd not angels; more divine l'oo big for birih! to favor, and confound!
Than that which touch'd confusion into form, To challenge, and to distance all return!
And darkness into glory: partial touch! or lavish love stupendous heights to soar,
Ineffably pre-eminent regard ! And leave praise panting in the distant vale! Sacred to man, and sovereign through the whole Thy right, too great, defrauds thee of thy due; Long golden chain of miracles, which hangs And sacrilegious our sublimest song.
From Heaven throngh all duration, and supports But since the naked will obtains thy smile,
In one illustrious and amazing plan, Beneath this monument of praise unpaid,
Thy welfare, Nature! and thy God's renown; And future life symphonious to my strain,
That touch, with charm celestial, heals the soul (That noblest hymn to Heaven!) for ever lie Diseas'd, drives pain from guilt, lights life in death, Intomb'd my fear of death! and every fear, Turns Earth to Heaven, to heavenly thrones transThe dread of every evil, but thy frown.
forms Whom see I, yonder, so demurely smile? The ghastly ruins of the mouldering tomb. Laughter a labor, and might break their rest.
Dost ask me when ? When he who died returns ; Ye quiețists, in homage to the skies!
Returns, how chang'd! Where then the man of Serene! of soft address! who mildly make
woe? An unobtrusive tender of your hearts,
In glory's terrors all the Godhead burns;
And all his courts, exhausted by the tide
Replenish'd soon, replenish'd with increase
or pomp, and multitude; a radiant band
Nature is Christian ; preaches to mankind;
And bids dead matter aid us in our creed. Oh ye cold-hearted, frozen formalists !
Hast thou ne'er seen the comet's flaming night : On such a theme, 'tis impious to be calm;
Th' illustrious stranger, passing, terror sheds Passion is reason, transport femper, here.
On gazing nations ; from his fiery train Shall Heaven, which gave us ardor, and has shown or length enormous, takes his ample round Her own for man so strongly, not disdain
Through depths of ether; coasts unnumber'd worlds, What smooth emollients in theology,
Of more than solar glory; doubles wide Recumbent virtue's downy doctors, preach;
Heaven's mighty cape: and then revisits Earth, That prose of piety, a lukewarm praise ?
From the long travel of a thousand years. Rise odors sweet from incense uninflam'd?
Thus, at the destin'd period, shall return Devotion, when lukewarm, is undevout;
He, once on Earth, who bids the comet blaze : But when it glows, its heat is struck to Heaven; And, with him, all our triumph o'er the tomb. To human hearts her golden harps are strung; Nature is dumb on this important point; High Heaven's orchestra chants amen to man. Or hope precarious in low whisper breathes;
Hear I, or dream I hear, their distant strain, Faith speaks aloud, distinct; e'en adders hear: Sweet to the soul, and tasting strong of Heaven, But turn, and dart into the dark again. Soft-wafled on celestial pity's plume,
Faith builds a bridge across the gulf of Death, Through the vast spaces of the universe,
|To break the shock blind Nature cannot shun, To cheer me in this melancholy gloom?
And lands thought smoothly on the further shore. Oh when will Death (now stingless,) like a friend, Death's terror is the mountain faith removes ; Admit me of their choir ? O when will Death! That mountain barrior between man and peace.
"Tis faith disarms destruction; and absolves Know ye how wise your choice, how great your gain? From every clamorous charge, the guiltless tomb. Behold the picture of Earth's happiest man:
Why disbelieve? Lorenzo - Reason bids, - He calls his wish, it comes; he sends it back, All-sacred Reason."-Hold her sacred still ; And says, he call'd another; that arrives, Nor shalt thou want a rival in thy flame:
Meets the same welcome; yet he still calls on ; All-sacred reason! source, and soul, of all
Till one calls him, who varies not his call, Demanding praise, on Earth, or Earth above ! But holds him fast, in chains of darkness bound, My heart is thine: deep in its inmost folds, Till Nature dies, and judgment sets him free ; Live thou with life ; live dearer of the two. A freedom far less welcome than his chain." Wear I the blessed cross, by fortune stamp'à
But grant man happy; grant him happy long : On passive Nature, before thought was born? Add to life's highest prize her latest hour; My birth's blind bigot! fir'd with local zeal! | That hour, so late, is nimble in approach, No! Reason re-baptiz'd me when adult;
That, like a post, comes on in full career : Weigh'd true and false, in her impartial scale; How swift the shuttle flies, that weaves thy shroud! My heart became the convert of my head,
Where is the fable of thy former years? And made that choice, which once was but my fate. Thrown down the gulf of time ; as far from thee “On argument alone my faith is built;"
As they had ne'er been thine ; the day in hand, Reason pursu'd is faith ; and unpursued
Like a bird struggling to get loose, is going;
Fond as we are, and justly fond, of faith, Bathing for ever in the font of bliss !
Lorenzo! who ?-Thy concience shall reply.
O give it leave to speak; 'will speak ere long. The fading flower shall die; but reason lives Thy leave unask'd: Lorenzo! hear it now, Immortal, as her father in the skies.
While useful its advice, its accent mild. When faith is virtue, reason makes it so.
By the great edict, the divine decree, Wrong not the Christian; think not reason yours: | Truth is deposited with man's last hour; "Tis reason our great Master holds so dear; An honest hour, and faithful to her trust. "Tis reason's injur'd rights his wrath resents ; Truth, eldest daughter of the Deity; "Tis reason's voice obey'd his glories crown; Truth, of his council, when he made the worlds ; To give lost reason life, he pour'd his own : Nor less, when he shall judge the worlds he made Believe, and show the reason of a man ;
Though silent long, and sleeping ne'er so sound, Believe, and taste the pleasure of a God!
Smother'd with errors, and opprest with joys, Believe, and look with triumph on the tomb: That Heaven-commission'd hour no sooner calls Through reason's wounds alone thy faith can die; But, from her cavern in the soul's abyss, Which dying, tenfold terror gives to death,
Like him they fable under Ætna whelm'd, And dips in venom his twice-mortal sting.
The goddess bursts, in thunder, and in Name; Learn hence what honors, what loud paans, due Loudly convinces, and severely pains. To those, who push our antidote aside ;
Dark demons I discharge, and hydra stings ; Those boasted friends to reason and to man, The keen vibration of bright truch—is Hell: Whose fatal love stabs every joy, and leaves Just definition! though by schools untaught. Death's terror heighten'd, gnawing on his heart. Ye deaf to truth! peruse this parson'd page, These pompous sons of reason idoliz'd
And trust, for once, a prophet, and a priest ; And vilified at once; of reason dead,
" Men may live fools, but fools they cannot die." Then deified, as monarchs were of old; What conduct plants proud laurels on their brow? While love of truth through all their camp resounds, They draw Pride's curtain o'er the noontide ray,
NIGHT THE FIFTH. Spike up their inch of reason, on the point of philosophic wit, callid argument;
THE RELAPSE. And then, exulting in their taper, cry,
TO THE RIGHT HON. THE EARL OF LITCHFIELD. “Behold the Sun:" and, Indian-like, adore.
Talk they of morals? O thou bleeding Love ! LORENZO! to recriminate is just. Thou maker of new morals to mankind !
Fondness for fame is avarice of air. The grand morality is love of thee.
I grant the man is vain who writes for praise, As wise as Socrates, if such they were,
Praise no man e'er deserv'd, who sought no more. (Nor will they 'bate of that sublime renown)
As just thy second charge. I grant the Muse As wise as Socrates, might justly stand
Has often blush'd at her degenerate sons, The definition of a modern fool.
Retain'd by sense to plead her filthy cause ;
To raise the low, to magnify the mean,
As if to magic numbers' powerful charm
"Twas given, to make a civet of their song
And lifts our swine-enjoyments from the mire. For such alone the Christian banner fly)
The fact notorious, nor obscure the cause,
We wear the chains of pleasure and of pride. And, feeling, give assent; and their assent
Wit dares attempt this arduous enterprise. A Muse that will not pain thee with thy praise ;
O ihou! Blest Spirit! whether the supreme. Wit hammers out a reason new, that stoops
Great antemundane Father! in whose breast To sordid scenes, and meets them with applause. Embryo creation, unborn being, dwelt, Wit calls the graces the chaste zone to loose ; And all its various revolutions rolled Nor less than a plump god to fill the bowl:
Present, though future ; prior to themselves; A thousand phantoms, and a thousand spells, Whose breath can blow it into nought again; A thousand opiates scatters, to delude, .
Or, from his throne some delegated power, To fascinate, inebriate, lay asleep
Who, studious of our peace, dost turn the thought And the fool'd mind delightfully confound. [more; From vain and vile, 10 solid and sublime! Thus that which shock'd the judgment, shocks no Unseen thou lead'st me to delicious draughts That which gave pride offence, no more offends. Of inspiration, from a purer stream, Pleasure and pride, by nature mortal foes,
And fuller of the god, than that which burst At war eternal, which in man shall reign,
From fam'd Castalia: nor is yet allay'd By wit's address, patch up a fatal peace,
My sacred thirst; though long my soul has rang'd And hand in hand lead on the rank debauch, Through pleasing paths of moral and divine. From rank, refin'd to delicate and gay.
By thee sustain'd, and lighted by the stars. Art, cursed art! wipes off th' indebted blush
By them best lighted are the paths of thought ; From Nature's cheek, and bronzes every share. Nights are their days, their most illumin'd hours. Man smiles in ruin, glories in his guilt,
By day, the soul, o'erborne by life's career, And infamy stands candidate for praise.
Stunn'd by the din, and giddy with the glare, All writ by man in favor of the soul,
Reels far from reason, josiled by the throng. The sensual ethics far, in bulk, transcend. By day the soul is passive, all her thoughts The flowers of eloquence, profusely pour'd
Impos'd, precarious, broken ero mature. O'er spotted vice, fill half the letter'd world. By night, from objects free, from passion cool, Can powers of genius exorcise their page,
Thoughts uncontrollid, and unimpress'd, the births And consecrate enormities with song ?
Of pure election, arbitrary range,
Not to the limits of one world confin'd;
Let Indians, and the gay, like Indians, fond A point in her esteem ; from whence to start, Of feather'd fopperies, the Sun adore: · And run the round of universal space,
Darkness has more divinity for me ; To visit being universal there,
It strikes thought inward ; it drives back the soul And being's Source, that utmost flight of mind! To settle on herself our point supreme ! Yet, spite of this so vast circumference,
There lies our theatre! there sits our judge. Well knows, but what is moral, nought is great. Darkness the curtain drops o'er life's dull scene ; Sing syrens only? Do not angels sing?
"Tis the kind hand of Providence stretch'd out There is in poesy a decent pride,
"Twixt man and vanity ; 'tis reason's reign, Which well becomes her when she speaks to prose, And virtue's too; these tutelary shades Her younger sister; haply, not more wise.
Are man's asylum from the tainted throng. Think'st thou, Lorenzo! to find pastimes here? Night is the good man's friend, and guardian 100: No guilty passion blown into a flame,
It no less rescues virtue, than inspires. No foible flatter'd, dignity disgrac'd,
Virtue, for ever frail, as fair, below, No fairy field of fiction, all on flower,
Her tender nature suffers in the crowd, No rainbow colors, here, or silken tale:
Nor touches on the world. without a stain : But solemn counsels, images of awe,
The world 's infectious; few bring back at ere, Truths, which eternity lets fall on man
Immaculate, the manners of the morn. With double weight, through these revolving spheres, Something we thought, is blotted! we resolv'd. This death-deep silence, and incumbent shade: Is shaken; we renounc'd, returns again. Thoughts, such as shall revisit your last hour; Each salutation may slide in a sin Visit uncall'd, and live when life expires;
Unthought before, or fix a former flaw. And thy dark pencil, midnight! darker still Nor is it strange: light, motion, concourse, noise, In melancholy dipt, embrowns the whole.
All, scatter us abroad ; though outward bound,
In fume and dissipation, quits her charge,
Strikes, like a pestilence, from breast to breast ; The blush of weakness to the bane of woe.
The noblest spirit, fighting her hard fate,
In this damp, dusty region, charg'd with storms, From smiling man. A slight, a single glance, | But feebly flutters, yet untaught to fly; And shot at random, often has brought home Or, flying, short her flight, and sure her fall. A sudden fever to the throbbing heart,
Our utmost strength, when down, to rise again; Of envy, rancor, or impure desire.
And not to yield, though beaten, all our praise. We see, we hear, with peril; safety dwells
'Tis vain to seek in men for more than man. Remote from multitude; the world's a school Though proud in promise, big in previous thought, Of wrong, and what proficients swarm around! Experience damps our triumph. I who late, We must or imitate ; or disapprove :
Emerging from the shadows of the grave, Must list as their accomplices, or foes ;
Where grief detain'd me prisoner, mounting high, That stains our innocence; this wounds our peace. Threw wide the gates of everlasting day, From Nature's birth, hence, wisdom has been smit | And call'd mankind to glory, shook off pain, With sweet recess, and languish'd for the shade. Mortality shook off, in eiher pure,
This sacred shade, and solitude, what is it? And struck the stars ; now feel my spirits fail ; 'Tis the felt presence of the Deity.
They drop me from the zenith ; down I rush, Few are the faults we flatter when alone,
Like him whom fable fledg’d with waxen wings, Vice sinks in her allurements, is ungilt:
In sorrow drown'd--but not in sorrow lost. And looks, like other objects, black by night. How wretched is the man who never mourn'd! By night an atheist half-believes a God.
I dive for precious pearl in sorrow's stream: Night is fair virtue's immemorial friend;
Not so the thoughtless man that only grieves; The conscious Moon, through every distant age, Takes all the torment, and rejects the gain, Has held a lamp to wisdom, and let fall,
(Inestimable gain !) and gives Heaven leave On contemplation's eye, her purging ray.
To make him but more wretched, not more wise. The fam'd Athenian, he who woo'd from Heaven If wisdom is our lesson (and what else Philosophy the fair, to dwell with men,
Ennobles man? what else have angels learnt ?) And form their manners, not inflame their pride, Grief! more proficients in thy school are made, While o'er his head, as fearful to molest
Than genius, or proud learning, e'er could boast
This book-case, with dark booty almost burst,
A pomp untamable of weeds prevails.
And loves to boast, where blush men less inspir'd. And open'd a calm intercourse with Heaven, It pleads exemption from the laws of sense ; Here the soul sits in council; ponders past,
Considers reason as a leveller; Predestines future action ; sees, not feels,
And scorns to share a blessing with the crowd. Tumultuous life, and reasons with the storm : That wise it could be, thinks an ample claim All her lies answers, and thinks down her charms. To glory, and to pleasure gives the rest. What awful joy! what mental liberty!
Crassus but sleeps, Ardelio is undone. I am not pent in darkness; rather say,
Wisdom less shudders at a fool, than wit. (If not too bold,) in darkness I'm embower'd.
But wisdom smiles, when humbled mortals weep. Delightful gloom! the clustering thoughts around When sorrow wounds the breast, as plows the Spontaneous rise, and blossom in the shade ;
glebe, But droop by day, and sicken in the sun.
And hearts obdurate feel her softening shower; Thought borrows light elsewhere; from that first fire, Her seed celestial, then, glad wisdom sows; Fountain of animation! whence descends
Her golden harvest triumphs in the soil. Urania, my celestial guest! who deigns
If so, Narcissa! welcome my Relapse ; Nightly to visit me, so mean; and now,
I'll raise a tax on my calamity,
And reap rich compensation from my pain.
To chase the moral maladies of man;
Thoughts, which may bear transplanting to the skies, And breaks my spirit into grief again?
Though natives of this coarse penurious soil : Is it a Stygian vapor in my blood ?
Nor wholly wither there, where seraphs sing, A cold, slow puddle, creeping through my veins ? Refin'd, exalted, not annull’d, in Heaven. Or is it thus with all men -Thus with all. Reason, the sun that gives them birth, the same What are we? How unequal! Now we soar, In either clime, though more illustrious there. And now we sink: to be the same, transcends These choicely cull'd, and elegantly rang’d, Our present prowess. Dearly pays the soul Shall form a garland for Narcissa's tomb; Eor lodging ill; too dearly rents her clay.
And, peradventure, of no fading flowers. Reasun, a baffled counsellor! but adds
| Say on what themes shall puzzled choice descondi - Th' importance of contemplating the tomb; For that who thrones can offer, offer thrones; Why men decline it ; suicide's foul birih ;
Insolvent worlds the purchase cannot pay. The various kind of grief; the faults of age; “Oh let me die bis death!" all Nature cries. And death's dread character-invite my song." * Then live his life."-All Nature falters there.
And, first, th' importance of our end survey'd. Our great physician daily lo consuli, Friends counsel quick dismission of our grief: To commune with the grave, our only cure. Mistaken kindness! our hearts heal too soon.
What grave prescribes the best ?-A friend's Are they more kind than he, who struck the blow?
and yet, Who bid it do his errand in our hearts,
From a friend's grave how soon we disengage! And banish peace, till nobler guests arrive,
E'en to the dearesi, as his marble, cold. And bring it back, a true and endless peace? Why are friends ravisht from ns? 'Tis to bind, Calamities are friends: as glaring day
By soft affection's ties, on human hearts, of these unnumber'd lustres robs our sight; The thought of death, which reason, 100 supine, Prosperity puts out unnumber'd thoughts
Or misemploy'd, so rarely fastens there, of import high, and light divine, to man.
Nor reason, nor affection, no, nor both The man how blest, who, sick of gaudy scenes, Combin'd, can break the witchcrafts of the world (Scenes apt to thrust between us and ourselves!) Behold, th' inexorable hour at hand! Is led by choice to take his favorite walk,
Behold, th' inexorable hour forgot! Beneath death's gloomy, silent, cypress shades, And to forget it, the chief aim of life, Unpierc'd hy vanity's fantastic ray ;
Though well to ponder it, is life's chief end. To read his monuments, to weigh his dust,
* Is Death, that ever-threatening, ne'er remote, Visit his vaults, and dwell among the tombs! That all-important, and that only sure, Lorenzo ! read with me Narcissa's stone ;
(Come when he will) an unexpected guest ? (Narcissa was thy favorite!) let us read
Nay, though invited by the loudest calls Her moral stone! few doctors preach so well; Of blind imprudence, unexpected still ? Few orators so tenderly can touch
Though numerous messengers are sent before, The feeling heart. What pathos in the date ! To warn his great arrival. What the cause, Apt words can strike: and yet in them we see The wondrous cause, of this mysterious ill ? Faint images of what we, here, enjoy.
All Heaven looks down astonish'd at the sight. What cause have we to build on length of life? Is it, that life has sown ber joys so thick, Temptations seize, when fear is laid asleep; We can't thrust in a single care between ? And ill foreboded is our strongest guard.
Is it, that life has such a swarm of cares, See from her tomb, as from an humbler shrine, The thought of death can't cnter for the throng? Truth, radiant goddess ! sallies on my soul,
Is it, that time steals on with downy feet, And puts Delusion's dusky train to fight;
Nor wakes indulgence from her golden dream? Dispels the mists our sultry passions raise,
To-day is so like yesterday, it cheats ; From objects low, terrestrial, and obscene : We take the lying sister for the same. And shows the real estimate of things;
Life glides away, Lorenzo! like a brook ; Which no man, unaflicted, ever saw;
For ever changing, unperceiv'd the change. Pulls off the veil from Virtue's rising charms; In the same brook none ever bath'd him twice: Detects Templation in a thousand lies.
To the same life none ever twice awoke. Truth bids me look on men, as autumn leaves, We call the brook the same; the same we think And all they bleed for, as the summer's dust, Our life, though still more rapid in its flow; Driven by the whirlwind : lighted by her beams, Nor mark the much, irrevocably laps'd, I widen my horizon, gain new powers,
And mingled with the sea. Or shall we say See things invisible, feel things remote,
(Retaining still the brook to bear us on) Am present with futurities; think nought
That life is like a vessel on the stream ?
In life embark'd, we smoothly down the tide
Amus'd, unconscious of the gliding wave;
Till on a sudden we perceive a shock; In pompous promise, from her schemes profound, We start, awake, look out; what see we there? If future fate she plans, 'tis all in leaves,
Our brittle bark is burst on Charon's shore. Like Sibyl, unsubstantial, fleeting bliss !
Is this the cause death flies all human thought ? At the first blast it vanishes in air.
Or is it judgment, by the will struck blind, Not so, celestial: wouldst thou know, Lorenzo! That domineering mistress of the soul ! How differ worldly wisdom, and divine ?
Like him so strong, by Dalilah the fair? Just as the waning, and the waxing Moon.
Or is it fear turns startled reason back, More empty worldly wisdom every day;
From looking down a precipice so steep? And every day more fair her rival shines.
'Tis dreadful; and the dread is wisely plac'd, When later, there's less time to play the fool. By Nature, conscious of the make of man. Soon our whole term for wisdom is expir'd : A dreadful friend it is, a terror kind, (Thou know'st she calls no council in the grave :) A faming sword to guard the tree of life. And everlasting fool is writ in fire,
By that unaw'd, in life's most smiling hour, Or real wisdom wafts us to the skies.
The good man would repine; would suffer joys, As worldly schemes resemble Sibyls' leaves, And burn impatient for his promis'd skies. The good man's days to Sibyls' books compare, The bad, on each punctilious pique of pride, (In ancient story read, thou know'st the tale,) Or gloom of humor, would give rage the rein In price still rising, as in number less,
Bound o'er the barrier, rush into the dark, Inestimable quite his final hour.
And mar the schemes of Providence below