« ForrigeFortsett »
'The next, with dirges due, in sad array
'Stow thro' the church-way path we saw h!m borne^ • Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay
«Grav'd on the stone beneath yon aged thorn.'
Here r«sts his head upon the lap of Earth
A Youth, to Fortvne and to Fame unknown;
Fair Science frown'd not on his humble birth,
Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,
He gave to Mis'ry all he had, a.tear,
He gain'd from Heav'n, 'twas all he wish'd, a Friend.
No farther seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode,
(There they alike in trembling hope repose,)
A JLAIL, sacred Fane! amidst whose stately shrine;. Her constant vigils Melancholy keeps;
(Whilst on her arm the grief-worn cheek reclines)
Hail, ancient edifice! thine aisle along,
And stealing from the idly-busy throng,
What pleasing sadness fills my thoughtful breast
Y\ here, in their sumptuous tombs, in silence rest,
Here terminate ambition's airy schemes,
Jlcie grov'ling av'rice drops her golden dreams,
No cares nor passions here the bosom rend,
Here hopeless love and cruel hatred end,
And the world's weary traveler rests in peace.
Approach, vain child of fortune, pow'r, and fame!
Here learn a lesson from each speaking bust; View on each lofty tomb the envied name
Of worldly greatness, levelled in the dust.
How high each pers'nage once, how hoaour'd read;
How low, how little now, look down and see; Hence learn to know thyself; for 'tis decreed,
That thou as little and as low shalt be.
Full many a hapless victim yet unborn,
0 death all conq'ring! at thy feet must fall, Before the dawning of that glojious morn,
When thou shalt yield, and God be all in all.
Then from the silent grave and op'ning tomb
And this time-honour'd abbey's crouded womb
E'en now, methinks, by faith's pervading eye
1 see his banner in the clouds display'd,
Jr\nd the world's Saviour, from his throne on high, Descend in purest robes of light array'd.
Great day of gladness to the good and just,
When they shall taste the wonders of his love;
And rising joyful from their beds of dust,
Then shall the finish'd bust, the sculptur'd stone.
Dissolve; and virtue's solid base alone
Amidst the gen'ral wreck of matter stand.
Yea, should creation founder in the storm,
Yet shall celestial virtue's angel form
Then shall the good resolve, the gen'rous deed,
And noble conflict in religion's cause, Ee well rewarded • ('tis by Heav'n decreed,) And surely meet at judgment God's applause.
O be it then our wisdom to secure
T hose gloiious crowns that shine for ever brij Crowns that adorn the faithful and the pure,
In the blest mansions of eternal light.
Friend to the wretch whom every friend forsakes,
I woo thee, Death! In fancy's fairy paths
Let the gay songster rove, and gently trill
The strain of empty joy. Life and its joys
I leave to those that prize them. At this hour,
This solemn hour, when silence rules the world,
And wearied nature makes a gen'ral pause;
Wrapt in night's sable robe, through cloysters drear
And charnels pale, tenanted by a throng
Of meagre phantoms shooting cross my path
Wiih silent glance, I seek the shadowy vale
Of Death. Deep in a murky cave's recess,
Lav'd by oblivion's listless stream, and fene'd
By shelving rocks, and intermingled horrors. .
Of yew and cypress shade, from all intrusion
Of busy noontide beam, the Monarch sits
In unsubstantial majesty enthron'd.
At his right hand, nearest himself in place
And frightfulness of form, his parent Sin
With fatal industry and cruel care
Busies herself in pointing all his stings,
And tipping every shaft with venom drawn
From her infernal store: around him rang'd
In terrible array, and mixture strange