Page images
PDF
EPUB

May I myself at last appear .
Unworthy, base, and insincere,

Or may my friend deceive met

[ocr errors][merged small]

STANZAS Subjoined to the Yearly Bill of Mortality of the

Parish of in

ALL-SAINTS, NORTHAMPTON,

Anno Domini 1787.

Pallida Mors aqua pulsat pede pauperum tabernas,

Regumque turres.

Pade death with equal foot strikes wide the door
Of royal halls, and hovels of the poor,

While thirteen moons saw smoothly run

The Nen's barge-laden wave,
All thesę, life’s rambling journey done,

Have found their home, the grave.

Was man (frail always) made more frail

Than in foregoing years?
Did famine or did plague prevail,

That so much death appears?

No; these were vigorous as their sires,

Nor plague por famine came;
This apnual tribute death requires,

And never waves his claim.

Like crowded forest trees we stand,

And some are marked to fall;
The axe will smite at God's command,

And soon shall smite us all.

Green as the bay-tree, ever green,

With its new foliage on,
The gay, the thoughtless, I have seen-

I passed and they were gone.

[ocr errors]

Read, ye that run, the solemn truth,

With which I charge my page;
A worm is in the bud of youth,

And at the root of age.

No present health can health insure

For yet an hour to come;
No medicine, though it often cure,

Can always baulk the tomb.

And Oh! that humblé. as my lót,

And scorned as is my strains.
These truths, though known, too much forgot,

I may not teach in vain.

So prays your clerk with all his heart; .

And, ere he quits the pen,
Begs you for once to take his part

And answer all-Amen! !

ON A SIMILAR OCCASION,

FOF THE YEAR 1788. .

[blocks in formation]

COULD I, from heaven inspired, as sure presage
To whom the rising year shall prove his last;
As I can number in my punctual page, :
And item down the victims of the past;

How each would trembling wait the mournfalsliect, On which the press might stamp him next to die; And, reading here his sentence, how replete . With anxious imeaning, heaven-ward torn bis eye!

Time then would seem more precious than the joys
In which he sports away the treasure now;
And prayer more seasonable than the noise
Of drunkards, or the music drawing bow.

Then doubtless many a trifler, on the brink
Of this world's hazardous and headlong shore,
Forced to a pause, would feel it good to think,
Told that his setting sun must rise no more.

Ah self-deceived! Could I prophetic. say
Who next is fated, and who next to fall,
The rest might then seen privileged to play;
But, naming none, the Voice now speaks to ALL.

[ocr errors]

Obserye the dappled foresters, how light
They bound, and airy o’er the sunny glade
One falls--the rest, wide scattered with affright,
Vanish at once into the darkest shade.

Had we their wisdom, should we, often warned,
Still need repeated warnings, and at last, 1 "
A thousand awful admonitions scorned; •
Die self-accused of life run all to waste?

Sad waste! for which no after thrift atones:
The grave admits no cure for guilt or sin;
Dew-drops may deck the turf that hides the bones,
But tears of godly grief ne'er flow within..

Learn then, ye living! by the mouths be taught
Of all these sepulchres, instructors true,
That, soon or late, death also is your lot,
And the next opening grave may yawn for you.

ON A SIMILAR OCCASION,

FOR THE YEAR 1789. .

[ocr errors]

-Placidaque ibi demum morte quievit,

VIRG. There calm at length he breathed his soul away.

“Oh most delightful hour by man

“Experienced here below,
" The hour that terminates his span,

“ His folly, and bis woc!.

« PreviousContinue »