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ON A SIMILAR OCCASION,
FOR THE YEAR 1792.
Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas,.
Happy the mortal, who has traced effects
THANKLESS for favours from on high,
Man thinks he fades too soon; Though 'tis his privilege to die,
Would he improve the boon..
But he, not wise enough to scan
His best concerns aright,
To ages, if he might.
To ages in a world of pain,
To ages, where he goes
And hopeless of repose.
Strange fondness of the human heart,
Enamoured of its harm! Strange world, that costs it so much smart,
And Atill has power to charm.
Whence has the world her magic power ?
Why deem we death a foe? Recoil from weary life's best hour,
And covet longer woe?
The cause is Conscience-Conscience oft
Her tale of guilt renews:
And dread of death ensues.
Then anxious to be longer spared
Man mourns his fleeting breath : All evils then seem light, compared With the approach of Death.
'Tis judgment shakes him; there's the fear,
That prompts the wish to ftay: He has incurred a long arrear,
And muft despair to pay.
Pay!—follow Chrift, and all is paid;
His death your peace insures ; Think on the grave where he was laid,
And calm descend to yours.
ON A SIMILAR OCCASION,
FOR THE YEAR 1793.
De sacris autem hæc sit una sententia, ut conserventur.
Cic: DE LEG:
But let us all concur in this one fentiment, that
things sacred be inviolate.
He lives who lives to God alone,
And all are dead befide;
Whence life can be supplied.
To live to God is to requite
His love as best we may :
His promises our stay.
But life, within a narrow ring
Of giddy joys comprized,
But rather death disguised,
Can life in them deserve the name,
Who only live to prove
An endless life above?
Who, much diseased, yet nothing feel ;
Much menaced, nothing dread; Have wounds, which only God can heal,
Yet never ask his aid?
Who deem his house an useless place,
Faith, want of common sense ; And ardour in the Chriftian race,
A hypocrite's pretence?
Who trample order; and the day,
Which God afferts his own, Dishonour with unhallowed play,
And worship chance alone?
If scorn of God's commands, impressed
On word and deed, imply
With life that cannot die;
Such want it, and that want uncured
Till man resigns his breath, Speaks him a criminal, assured
Of everlasting death.
Sad period to a pleasant course!
Yet so will God repay
And mercy cast away.