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CONTAINING, AMONG OTHER THINGS, I. A Moral Survey of the Nocturnal Heavens, II. A Night Address to the Deity,




Fatis contraria fata rependens. VIRG.
As when a traveller, a long day past
In painful search of what he cannot find,
At night's approach, content with the next cot,
There ruminates, awhile, his labour lost;
Then cheers his heart with what his fate affords,

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And chants his sonnet to deceive the time,
Till the due season calls him to repose:
Thus I, long-travell'd in the ways of men,
And dancing, with the rest, the giddy maze,
Where disappointment smiles at hope's career;
Warn'd by the languor of life's evening ray,
At length have hous'd me in an humble shed;
Where, future wandering banish'd from my thought,
And waiting, patient, the sweet hour of rest,
I chase the moments with a serious song.
Song soothes our pains; and age has pains to soothe.
When age, care, crime, and friends embrac'd at
Torn from my bleeding breast, and death's dark
Which hovers o'er me, 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,


To bear a part in everlasting lays;

Though far, far higher set, in aim, I trust,
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?

I think, thou wilt forbear a boast so bold.
But if, beneath the favour of mistake,

Thy smile 's sincere; not more sincere can be
Lorenzo's smile, than my compassion for him.
The sick in body call for aid; the sick

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,
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.

But grant no guilt, no shame, no least alloy;
Grant joy and glory quite unsully'd shone;
Yet, still, it ill deserves Lorenzo's heart.
No joy, no glory, glitters in thy sight,
But, through the thin partition of an hour,
I see its sables wove by destiny ;
And that in sorrow buried; 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.

Where, the prime actors of the last year's scene; Their port so proud, their buskin, and their plume ? How many sleep, who kept the world awake With lustre, and with noise! Has Death proclaim'd A truce, and hung his sated lance on high ? '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.

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What are our noblest ornaments, but deaths Turn'd flatterers of life, in paint or marble, The well-stain'd canvass, or the featur'd stone? Our fathers grace, or rather haunt, the scene. Joy peoples her pavilion from the dead.


"Profest diversions! - cannot these escape?"Far from it these present us with a shroud; And talk of death, like garlands o'er a grave. As some bold plunderers, for bury'd wealth, We ransack tombs for pastime; from the dust Call up the sleeping hero; bid him tread The scene for our amusement: how like gods We sit; and, wrapt in immortality, Shed generous tears on wretches born to die; Their fate deploring, to forget our own! What all the pomps and triumphs of our lives, But legacies in blossom? Our lean soil, Luxuriant grown, and rank in vanities, From friends interr'd beneath, a rich manure! Like other worms, we banquet on the dead; Like other worms, shall we crawl on, nor know Our present frailties, or approaching fate?

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 human mould we reap our daily bread. The globe around Earth's hollow surface shakes, And is the ceiling 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;

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