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The revel now proceeds apace,
Deftly they frisk it o'er the place,
They sit, they drink, and eat;
The time with frolic mirth beguile,
And poor Sir Topaz hangs the while
'Till all the rout retreat.
By this the stars began to wink,
They 'shriek, they fly, the tapers sink,
And down ydrops the knight,
For never spell by fairie laid
With strong enchantment bound a glade,
Beyond the length of night.
Chill, dark, alone, adreed, he lay,
'Till up the welkin rose the day,
Then deem'd the dole was o'er:
But wot ye well his harder lot?
His seely back the bunch had got
Which Edwin lost afore.
This tale a Sybil-nurse ared;
She softly stroak'd my youngling head,
And when the tale was done, "Thus some are born, my son, she cries, "With base impediments to rife, "Aud some are born with none.
"But virtue can itself advance
"To what the fav'rite fools of chance
"By fortune seem'd design'd: "Virtue can gain the odds of fate, "And from itself shake off the weight
"Upon th' unworthy mind."
A NIGHT-PIECE On DEATH,
By the Same.
T) Y the blue taper's trembling light,
•*-* No more I waste the wakesul night,
Intent with endless view to pore
The schoolmen and the sages o'er:
Their books from wisdom widely stray,
Or point at best the longest way.
I'll seek a readier path, and go
Where wisdom's surely taught below.
How deep yon azure dies the sky!
Where orbs of gold unnumber'd lye,
While thro' their ranks in silver pride
The nether crescent seems to glide.
The flumb'ring breeze forgets to breathe,
The lake is smooth and clear beneath,
Where once again the spangled show
Descends to meet our eyes below.
The grounds which on the right aspire,
In dimness from the view. retire:
The left presents a place of graves,
Whose wall the silent water laves.
Thatjteeple guides thy doubtful sight
Among the livid gleams of night.
There pass with-melancholy state,
By all the solemn heaps of fate;
And think, as softly-sad you tread
Above the venerable dead,
Time was, like thee they life possest,
And time shall be, that thou shalt rest.
Those graves, with bending osier bound,
That nameless heave the crumbled greund,
Quick to the glancing thought disclose,
Where toil and poverty repose.
The flat smooth stones that bear a name,
The chissel's slender help to fame,
(Which ere our set of friends decay
Their frequent steps may wear away ;)
A middle race of mortals own,
Men, half ambitious, all unknown.
The marble tombs that rife on high,
Whose dead in vaulted arches lie,
Whose pillars swell with sculptur'd stones,
Arms, angels, epitaphs, and bones;
These, all the poor remains of state,
Adori the rich, or praise the great;
Who, while on earth, in fame they live,
Are senseless of the fame they give.
Ha! while I gaze, pale Cynthia fades,
The bursting earth unveils the shades!
All slow, and wan, and wrapt with shrouds,
They rife in visionary crowds;
And all with sober accent cry,
Think, mortal, what it is to die.
Now from yon black and sun'ral yew,
That bathes the charnel-house with dew,
Methinks, I hear a vpice begin;
(Ye ravens, cease your croaking din,
Ye tolling clocks, no time resound
O'er the long lake and midnight ground.)
It sends a peal of hollow groans,
Thus speaking from among the bones.
When men my scythe and darts supply,
How great a king of sears am I!
They view me like the last of things;
They make, and then they dread my stings;
Fools! if you less provok'd your fears,
No more my spectre-form appears.
Death's but a path that must be trod,
If man would ever pass to God:
A port of calms, a state of ease
From the rough rage of swelling seas.
Why then thy flowing,fable stoles,
Deep pendent cypress, mourning, poles,
Loose scarfs to fall athwart thy weeds,
Long palls, drawn herses, cover'd steeds,
And plumes of black, that as they tread,
Nod o'er the 'scutcheons of the dead?
Nor can the parted body know,
Nor wants the foul, these forms of woe:
As men who long in prison dwell,
With lamps that glimmer round the cell,
When-e'er their suff'ring years are fun,
Spring forth to greet the glitt'ring fun:
Such joy, tho' far transcending sense,
Have pious souls at parting hence.
On earth, and in the body plac'd,
A few, and evil, years they waste:
But when their chains are cast aside,
See the glad scene unfolding wide,
Clap the glad wing, and tow'r awiy,
And mingle with the blaze of day.