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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 filver pride,
The nether crefcent seems to glide.
The slumb’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 filent water laves.
That steeple guides thy doubtful fight
Among the livid gleams of night.
There pass, with melancholy state,
By all the solemn heaps of fate,
And think, as, softly-fad, you tread
Above the venerable dead,
- Time was, like thee they life poffeft,
And time shall be, that thou shalt reft.”
Those graves, with bending ofier bound,
That, nameless, heave the crumbled ground,
Quick to the glancing thought disclofe,
Where toil and poverty repose.
The flat smooth stones that bear a name,
The chiffel's slender help to fame,
(Which ere our set of friends decay
Their frequent fteps may wear away ;)
A middle race of mortals own,
Men, half ambitious, all unknown.
The marble tombs that rise on high,
Whose dead in vaulted arches lye,
Whose pillars swell with sculptur'd ftones,
Arms, angels, epitaphs, and bones,
These, all the poor remains of state,
Adorn 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 flow, and wan, and wrap'd with shrouds,
They rise in visionary crouds,
And all with sober accent cry,
" Think, mortal, what it is to die.”
Now, from yon black and fun'ral yew,
That bathes the charnel-house with dew,
Methinks, I hear a voice 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 Fears am I!
They view me like the last of things;
They make, and then they dread my ftings,
Fools! if you lefs provok'd your fears,
No more my spectre-form appears.
Death's but a path that must be trod,
If man wou'd ever pass to God:
of calms, a state of ease
From the rough rage of swelling seas.
Why, then, thy flowing fable stoles,
Deep pending 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 soul, 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 run,
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 placid,
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 away,
And mingle with the blaze of day.
Never was the old manner of speaking more hap
pily applied, or a tale better told, than this.
N Britain's ille, and Arthur's days,
Liv'd Edwin of the Green ;
Edwin, I wis, a gentle youth,
Endow'd with courage, fense, and truth,
Tho' badly shap'd he been.
His mountain back mote well be said,
To measure height against his head,
And lift itself above ;
Yet, spite of all that Nature did
To make his uncouth form forbid,
This creature dar'd to love.
He felt the charms of Edith's eyes,
Nor wanted hope to gain the prize,
Cou'd ladies look within ;
But one Sir Topaz dress’d with art,
And, if a shape cou'd win a heart,
He had a shape to win.
Edwin, if right I read my song,
With flighted paflion pac'd along
All in the moony light;
Twas near an old inchanted court,
Where sportive fairies made resort,
To revel out the night.
His heart was drear, his hope was cross'd,
'Twas late, 'twas far, the path was lost
That reach'd the neighbour town;
With weary steps he quits the shades,
Resolv'd, the darkling dome he treads,
And drops his limbs adown.
But scant he lays him on the floor,
When hollow winds remove the door,
A trembling rocks the ground:
And, well I ween to count aright,
At once an hundred tapers light
On all the walls around.
Now sounding tongues affail his ear,
Now founding feet approachen near,
And now the sounds increase:
And, from the corner where he lay,
He sees a train profusely gay
Come prankling o'er the place.
But (trust me gentles !) never yet
Was dight a masquing half so neat,
Or half so rich, before ;
The country lent the sweet perfumes,
The sea the pearl, the sky the plumes,
The town its filken store.