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The heart is on the fatal stream,
We haste to be undone :
Pray but for life our faith to prove,
And call the early folly--Love!
But soon life's dangerous morn is past,
And well for us 'tis so
And well, if o'er its sun be cast
No cloud or lasting wo.
Then tears must fall, as sad as vain,
The homage to our pride ;
Yet, broken once the worthless chain,
That bond no more is tied. We wake, the light is round us shed,
The prized are prized no more,
The passion of the hour is filed,
The fondness, frenzy, o'er ;
In wisdom we our idol fly,
And this is called Inconstancy 1
Then worldly dreams the spirit sway,
And still the waking's pain ; And hopeless-still we turn away,
And hopeless turn again :
And faster, as the phantoms fly,
Pursues their willing slave ;
And while their lustre fills the eye,
O’erlooks the opening grave.
But years will stoop the brow at last,
The wintry hour will come ;
Then remnant, ruin, of the past,
And trembling o'er the tomb, To heaven, a last resource, we fly, And dare to call it-Piety!
O child of sorrow, be it thine to know
That Scripture only is the cure of woe ! ,
That field of promise, how it flings abroad
Its perfume o'er the Christian's thorny road !
The soul, reposing on assured relief,
Feels herself happy amidst all her grief,
Forgets her labour as she toils along,
Weeps tears of joy, and bursts into a song !
To honour those who gave us birth,
To cheer their age, to feel their worth,
Is God's command to human kind,
And owned by every grateful mind.
Trace then the tender scenes of old,
And all our infant days unfold ;
Yield back to sight the mother's breast,
Watchful to lull her child to rest.
Survey her toil, her anxious care,
To form the lisping lips to prayer ;
To win for God the yielding soul,
And all its ardent thoughts control.
Nor hold from memory's glad review, The fears which all the father knew, The joy that marked his thankful gaze As virtue crowned maturer days.
When pressed by sickness, pain, or grief,
How anxious they to give relief ;
Our dearest wish they held their own;
Till ours returned, their peace was flown.
God of our life, each parent guard,
And death's sad hour, O! long retard,
Be theirs each joy that gilds the past,
And heaven our mutual home at last.
Unfading hope ! when life's last embers burn,
When soul to soul, and dust to dust return !
Heaven to thy charge resigns the awful hour !
Oh! then, thy kingdom comes ! immortal power!
What though each spark of earth-born rapture fly
The quivering lip, pale cheek, and closing eye !
Bright to the soul thy seraph hands convey
The morning dream of life's eternal day-
Then, then, the triumph and the trance begin!
And all the Phænix spirit burns within !
Oh ! deep enchanting prelude to repose,
The dawn of bliss, the twilight of our woes !
Yet half I hear the parting spirit sigh,
It is a dread and awful thing to die !
Mysterious worlds, untravelled by the sun!
Where time’s far-wandering tide has never run,
From your unfathomed shades, and viewless spheres,
A warning comes, unheard by other ears :
'Tis heaven's commanding trumpet, long and loud,
Like Sinai's thunder, pealing from the cloud !
While nature hears, with terror-mingled trust,
The shock that hurls her fabric to the dust ;
And, like the trembling Hebrew, when he tred
The roaring waves, and called upon his God,
With mortal terrors clouds immortal bliss,
And shrieks, and hovers o'er the dark abyss !
Daughter of faith, awake, arise, illume
The dread unknown, the chaos of the tomb !
Melt, and dispel, ye spectre doubts, that roll
Cimmerian darkness on the parting soul !
Fly, like the moon-eyed herald of dismay,
Chased on his night-steed by the star of day!
The strife is o'er--the pangs of nature close,
And life's last rapture triumphs o'er her woes.
Hark! as the spirit eyes, with eagle gaze;
The noon of heaven undazzled by the blaže,