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O Death, why arm with cruelty thy power, And spare the idle weed, yet lop the flower? Why fly thy shafts in lawless error driven? Is Virtue then no more the care of Heaven? But peace, bold thought ! be still, my bursting heart! We, not Eliza, felt the fatal dart.
Escaped the dungeon, does the slave complain,
Nor bless the friendly hand that broke the chain?
Say, pines not Virtue for the lingering morn,
On this dark wild condemn'd to roam forlorn !
Where Reason's meteor-rays, with sickly glow,
O'er the dun gloom'a dreadful glimmering throw;
Disclosing dubious to th' affrighted eye
O’erwhelming mountains tottering from on high,
Black billowy deeps in storms perpetual toss'd,
And weary ways in wildering labyrinths lost.
O happy stroke, that burst the bonds of clay,
Darts through the rending gloom the blaze of day,
And wings the soul with boundless flight to soar,
Where dangers threat and fears alarm no more.
Transporting thought! here let me wipe away
The tear of Grief, and wake a bolder lay.
But ah ! the swimming eye o'erflows anew;
Nor check the sacred drops to Pity due;
Lo, where in speechless, hopeless anguish, bend
O'er her loved dust, the parent, brother, friend!
How vain the hope of man! but cease thy strain,
Nor sorrow's dread solemnity profane ;
Mix'd with yon drooping mourners, on her bier
In silence shed the sympathetic tear.
OTHOU, who gladd'st the pensive soul,
More than Aurora's smile the swain forlorn,
Left all night long to mourn
Where desolation frowns, and tempests howl;
And shrieks of woe, as intermits the storm,
Far o'er the monstrous wilderness resound,
And cross the gloom darts many a shapeless form,
And many a fire-eyed visage glares around.
O come, and be once more my guest :
Come, for thou oft thy suppliant's vow hast heard,
And oft with smiles indulgent cheer'd
And sooth'd him into rest.
I. 2. Smit by thy rapture-beaming eye Deep flashing through the midnight of their mind, The sable bands combined, Where Fear's black banner bloats the troubled sky, Appall'd retire. Suspicion hides her head, Nor dares th' obliquely gleaming eyeball raise ; Despair, with gorgon-figured veil o'erspread, Speeds to dark Phlegethon's detested maze. Lo, startled at the heavenly ray, With speed unwonted Indolence upsprings, And, heaving, lifts her leaden wings, And sullen glides away:
Ten thousand forms, by pining Fancy view'd,
Dissolve.- Above the sparkling flood
When Phoebus rears his awful brow,
From lengthening lawn and valley low
The troops of fen-born mists retire.
Along the plain
The joyous swain
Eyes the gay villages again,
And gold-illumined spire ;
While on the billowy ether borne
Floats the loose lay's jovial measure;
And light along the fairy Pleasure,
Her green robes glittering to the morn,
Wantons on silken wing. And goblins all
To the damp dungeon shrink, or hoary hall ;
Or westward, with impetuous flight,
Shoot to the desert realms of their congenial night.
When first on childhood's eager gaze
Life's varied landscape, stretch'd immense around,
Starts out of night profound,
Thy voice incites to tempt th' untrodden maze.
Fond he surveys thy mild maternal face,
His bashful eye still kindling as he views,
And, while thy lenient arm supports his pace,
With beating heart the upland path pursues ;
The path that leads, where, hung sublime,
And seen afar, youth's gallant trophies, bright
In Fancy's rainbow ray, invite
His wingy nerves to climb.
Pursue thy pleasurable way,
Safe in the guidance of thy heavenly guard,
While melting airs are heard,
And soft-eyed cherub-forms around thee play:
Simplicity, in careless flowers array'd,
Prattling amusive in his accent meek;
And Modesty, half turning as afraid,
The smile just dimpling on his glowing cheek!
Content and Leisure, hand in hand
With Innocence and Peace, advance, and sing;
And Mirth, in many a mazy ring,
Frisks o'er the flowery land.
Frail man, how various is thy lot below!
To-day though gales propitious blow,
And Peace soft gliding down the sky
Lead Love along, and Harmony,
To-morrow the gay scene deforms;
Then all around
The thunder's sound
Rolls rattling on through Heaven's profound,
And down rush all the storms.
Ye days, that balmy influence shed,
When sweet childhood, ever sprightly,
of pleasure sported lightly, Whither, ah whither are ye fled ?
Ye cherub train, that brought him on his way,
O leave him nnt ’midst tumult and dismay;
For now youth's eminence he gains :
But what a weary length of lingering toil remains !
They shrink, they vanish into air,
Now Slander taints with pestilence the gale;
And mingling cries assail,
The wail of Woe, and groan of grim Despair.
Lo, wizard Envy from his serpent eye
Darts quick destruction in each baleful glance;
Pride smiling stern, and yellow Jealousy,
Frowning Disdain, and haggard Hate advance ;
Behold, amidst the dire array,
Pale wither'd Care his giant-stature rears,
And lo, his iron hand
prepares To grasp its feeble prey.
III. 2. Who now will guard bewilder'd youth Safe from the fierce assault of hostile raget Such war can Virtue wage, Virtue, that bears the sacred shield of Truth? Alas! full oft on Guilt's victorious car The spoils of Virtue are in triumph borne ; While the fair captive, mark'd with many a scar, In long obscurity, oppress'd, forlorn, Resigns to tears her angel form. Ill-fated youth, then whither wilt thou fly? No friend, no shelter now is nigh, And onward rolls the storm,
III. 3. But whence the sudden beam that shonts along? Why shrink aghast the hostile throng? Lo, from amidst afliction's night Hope bursts all radiant on the sight : Her words the troubled bosom soothe. • Why thus dismay'd ? Though foes invade, Hope ne'er is wanting to their aid, Who tread the path of truth.
'Tis I, who smooth the rugged way,
1, who close the eyes of Sorrow,
And with glad visions of to-morrow
Repair the weary soul's decay.
When Death's cold touch thrills to the freezing heart,
Dreams of Heaven's opening glories I impart,
Till the freed spirit springs on high
In rapture too severe for weak mortality."
BATTLE OF THE PYGMIES AND CRANES,
FROM THE LATIN OF ADDISON.
The pygmy-people, and the feather'd train,
Mingling in mortal combat on the plain,
I sing. Ye Muses, favour my designs,
Lead on my squadrons, and arrange the lines :
The flashing swords and fluttering wings display,
And long bills nibbling in the bloody fray;
Cranes darting with disdain on tiny foes,
Conflicting birds and men, and war's unnumber'd woes.
The wars and woes of heroes six feet long
Have oft resounded in Pierian song.
Who has not heard of Colchos' golden fleece,
And Argo mann'd with all the flower of Greece?
Of Thebes' fell brethren, Theseus stern of face,
And Peleus' son unrivall'd in the race,
Eneas, founder of the Roman line,
And William, glorious on the banks of Boyne?
Who has not learn'd to weep at Pompey's woes ;
And over Blackmore's epic page to doze?
'Tis I, who dare attempt unusual strains
Of hosts unsung, and unfrequented plains;
The small shrill trump, and chiefs of little size,
And armies rushing down the darken'd skies.