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Athwart the gloom profound! The fickly taper,
By glimm'ring thro' thy low-brow'd mifty vaults,
Furr'd round with mouldy damps, and ropy flime,
Lets fall a fupernumerary horror,
And only ferves to make thy night more irkfome.
Well do I know thee by thy trufty yew,
Cheerlefs, unfocial plant! that loves to dwell
'Midit fculls and coffins, epitaphs and worms;
Where light-heel'd glofts, and vifionary fhades,
Beneath the wan cold moon (as fame reports)
Embodied thick, perform their mystic rounds.
No other merriment, dull tree! is thine.
See yonder hallow'd fane! the pious work
Of names once fam'd, now dubious or forgot,
And buried 'midft the wreck of things which were:
There lie interr'd the more illuftrious dead.
The wind is up: hark! how it howls! Methinks,
Till now, I never heard a found fo dreary: [bird
Doors creak, and windows clap, and night's foul
Rook'din the fpire fereams loud; the gloomy aifles
Black plafter'd, and hung round with threds of
And tatter'd coats of arms, fend back the found
Laden with heavier airs, from the law vaults,
The mansions of the dead. Rous'd from their
In grim array the grifly spectres rife, [flumbers,
Grin horrible, and obftinately fullen
Pafs and repafs, hufh'd as the foot of night.
Again! the fcreech-owl fhrieks: ungracious found!
I'll hear no more; it makes one's blood run chill.
Quite round the pile, a row of rev'rend elms,
Coeval near with that, all ragged thew,
Long lafh'd by the rude winds: fome rift half down
Their branchilefs trunks; others fo thin a-top,
That fcarce two crows could lodge in the fame
Prone on the lonely grave of the dear man
She drops; whilft bufy meddling memory,
In barbarous fucceffion, mufters up
The paft endearments of their fofter hours,
Tenacious of its theme. Still, ftill the thinks
She fees him, and, indulging the fond thought,
Clings yet more clofely to the fenfelefs turf,
Nor heeds the paffenger who looks that way.
Invidious Grave! how doft thou rend in funder Whom love has knit, and fympathy made one! A tie more ftubborn far than nature's band. Friendship! myfterious cement of the foul! Sweet'ner of life, and folder of fociety!
I owe thee much. Thou haft deferv'd from me,
Far, far beyond what I can ever pay.
Oft have I prov'd the labours of thy love,
And the warm efforts of the gentle heart
Anxious to pleafe. O! when my friend and I
In fome thick wood have wander'd heedlefs on,
Hid from the vulgar eye, and fat us down
Upon the floping cowflip-cover'd bank,
Where the pure limpid ftream has flid along
In grateful errors thro' the underwood [thrush
Sweet murm'ring; methought, the thrill-tongued
Mended his fong of love; the footy blackbird
Mellow'd his pipe, and foften'd every note;
The eglantine fmell'd fweeter, and the rofe
Affum'd a dye more deep; whilft ev'ry flow'r
Vied with his fellow-plant in luxury
Of drefs. Oh! then the longest summer's day
Seem'd too, too much in hafte; ftill the full heart
Had not imparted half: 'twas happiness
Too cxquifire to laft. Of joys departed,
Not to return, how painful the remembrance!
Dull Grave! thou fpoil'ft the dance of youth-
Strange things, the neighbours fay, have hap-Strik'ft out the dimple from the cheek of mirth,
Wild thricks have iffued from the hollow tombs; And ev'ry fmirking feature from the face;
Dead men have come again, and walk'd about; Branding our laughter with the name of madness.
And the great bell has toll'd, unrung, untouch'd. Where are the jefters now? the man of health
Such tales their cheer, at wake or goffipping, Complexionally pleasant where the droll?
When it draws near to witching time of night. Whole ev'ry look and gefture was a joke
Oft in the lone church-yard at night I've feen, To clapping theatres and fhouting crowds,
By glimpse of moon-fhine, cheq'ring thro' the And made ev'n thick-lipp'd mufing Melancholy
To gather up her face into a smile
Before the was aware? Ah! fullen now,
And dumb as the green turf that covers them!
The fchool-boy, with his fatchel in his hand,
Whistling aloud to bear his courage up,
And lightly tripping o'er the long fat ftones
(With nettles skirted, and with mofs o'ergrown)
That tell in homely phrafe who lie below;
Sudden he starts! and hears, or thinks he hears,
The found of fomething purring at his heels:
Full faft he flies, and dares not look behind him,
Till out of breath he overtakes his fellows;
Who gather round, and wonder at the tale
Of horrid apparition, tall and ghaftly,
That walks at dead of night, or takes his ftand
O er fome new-open'd grave; and, ftrange to tell!
Evanishes at crowing of the cock.
The new-made widow too I've sometimes spied, Sad fight! flow moving o'er the proftrate dead: Liftlefs, the crawls along in doleful black, While burfts of forrow gufh from either eye, Faft-falling down her now untafted check.
Where are the mighty thunderbolts of war? The Roman Cæfars and the Grecian chiefs, The boaft of story? Where the hot-brain'd youth? Who the tiara at his pleasure tore From kings of all the then discover'd globe; And cried, forfooth, because his arm was hamAnd had not room enough to do its work? [per'd, Alas! how flim, difhonourably flim! And cramm'd into a space we blush to name. Proud royalty! how alter'd in thy looks! How blank thy features, and how wan thy hue! Son of the morning! whither art thou gone Where hast thou hid thy many-spangled head, And the majestic menace of thine eyes Felt from afar? Pliant and pow'rlets now, Like new-born infant bound up in his fwathes, Or victim tumbled flat upon his back,
That throbs beneath the facrificer's knife:
Mute must thou bear the ftrife of little tongues,
And coward infults of the bafe-born crowd,
That grudge a privilege thou never hadst,
But only hop'd for in the peaceful grave,
Of being unmolefted and alone.
Araby's gums and odoriferous drugs,
And honours by the heralds duly paid
In mode and form, ev'n to a very fcruple;
O cruel irony! thefe come too late;
And only mock whom they were meant to honor.
Surely, there's not a dungeon.flave that's buried
In the highway, unfhrouded and uncoffin'd,
But lies as foft, and fleeps as found, as he.
Sorry pre-eminence of high defcent
Above the vulgar-born, to rot in state!
But fee! the well-plum'd hearfe comes nodding
Stately and flow; and properly attended
By the whole fable tribe, that painful watch
The fick man's door, and live upon the dead,
By letting out their perfons by the hour
To mimic forrow, when the heart's not fad!
How rich the trappings, now they're all unfurl'd
And glitt'ring in the fun! triumphant entries
Of conquerors, and coronation pomps,
In glory fcarce exceed. Great gluts of people
Retard th' unwieldy fhow; whilft from the
And houfes tops, ranks behind ranks clofe wedg'd
Hang bellying o'er. But tell us,why this wafte?
Why this ado in earthing up a carcafe
That's fallen into difgrace, and in the noftril
Smells horrible? Ye undertakers! tell us,
'Midft all the gorgeous figures you exhibit,
Why is the principal conceal'd, for which
You make this mighty ftir? 'Tis wifely done:
What would offend the eye in a good picture,
The Painter cafts difcrectly into fhades.
Proud lineage, now how little thou appear'ft!
Below the envy of the private man!
Honour, that meddlefome officious ill,
Purfues thee e'en to death, nor there ftops fhort.
Strange perfecution! when the grave itself
Is no protection from rude fufferance.
Abfurd to think to over-reach the grave,
And from the wreck of names to refcue ours!
The best concerted schemes men lay for fame
Die faft away: only themfelves die fafter.
The far-fam'd fculptor, and the laurel'd bard,
Those bold infurers of eternal fame,
Supply their little feeble aids in vain.
The tap'ring pyramid, th' Egyptian's pride,
And wonder of the world! whofe fpiky top
Has wounded the thick cloud, and long outliv'd
The angry fhaking of the winter's ftorm;
Yet fpent at laft by th' injuries of heav'n,
Shatter'd with age, and furrow'd o'er with years,
The mystic cone with hieroglyphics crufted,
Gives way. O lamentable fight at once
The labour of whole ages lumbers down;
A hideous and mif-fhapen length of ruins.
Sepulchral columns wrestle but in vain
With all-fubduing Time; her cank'ring hand
With calm deliberate malice wafteth them:
Worn on the edge of days, the brafs confumes.
The bufto moulders, and the deep-cut marble,
Unfteady to the fteel, gives up its charge.
Ambition, half convicted of her fully,
Hangs down the head, and reddens at the tale.
Here all the mighty troublers of the earth
Who fwam to fov'reign rule thro' feas of blood;
Th' oppreffive, fturdy, man-deftroying villains,
Who ravag'd kingdoms, and laid empires wafte,
And in a cruel wantonnefs of pow'r
Thinn'd ftates of half their people, and gave up
To want the reft; now, like a ftorm that's fpent,
Lie hush'd, and meanly fncak behind thy covert.
Vain thought! to hide them from the gen'ral fcorn
That haunts and dogs them like an injur'd ghost
Implacable. Here too, the petty tyrant,
Whofe fcant domains geographer ne'er notic'd,
And, well for neighb'ring grounds, of arm as short,
Who fix'd his iron talons on the poor,
And grip'd them like fome lordly beast of prey,
Deaf to the forceful cries of gnawing hunger,
And piteous plaintive voice of mifery
(As if a flave was not a fhred of nature,
Of the fame common nature with his lord);
Now tame and humble, like a child that's whipp'd,
Shakes hands with duft, and calls the worm his
Nor pleads his rank and birthright. Underground
Precedency's a jeft; vaffal and lord,
Grofsly familiar, fide by fide confume.
When felf-esteem, or others adulation,
Would cunningly perfuade us we were something
Above the common level of our kind; [flatt'ry,
The grave gainfays the fmooth-complexion'd
And with blunt truth acquaints us what we are.
Beauty! thou pretty play-thing! dear deceit!
That fteals fo foftly o'er the ftripling's heart,
And gives it a new pulfe unknown before!
The grave difcredits thee: thy charms expung'd,
Thy rofes faded, and thy lilies foil'd,
What haft thou more to boast of? Will thy lovers
Flock round thee now, to gaze and do thee homage
Methinks I fee thee with thy head low laid;
Whilft furfeited upon thy damask cheek,
The high-fed worin in lazy volumes roll'd,
Riots unfcar'd. For this was all thy caution?
For this thy painful labours at thy glass,
T'improve thofe charms, and keep them in repair,
For which the fpoiler thanks thee not? Foul feeder L
Coarfe fare and carrion pleafe thee full as well,
And leave as keen a relifh on the fenfe.
Look how the fair one weeps! the confcious tears
Stand thick as dew-drops on the bells of flow'rs:
Honeft effufion! the fwoln heart in vain
Works hard to put a glofs on its diftrefs.
Strength, too! thou furly, and lefs gentle boast
Of thofe that laugh loud at the village ring!
A fit of common fick nefs pulls thee down,
With greater eafe than e'er thou didst the ftripling
That rafhly dar'd thee to th' unequal fight.
What groan was that I heard? deep groan indeed!
With anguish heavy laden! let me trace it:
From yonder bed it comes, where the strong man
By ftronger arm belabour'd, gafps for breath
Like a hard-hunted beaft. How his great heart | And vex'd them in the fire: nor fly, nor infect,
Beats thick! his roomy cheft by far too fcant
To give the lungs full play! what now avail
The ftrong-built finewy limbs, and well-fpread
See how he tugs for life, and lays about him,
Mad with his pain! cager he catches hold
Of what comes next to hand, and grafps it hard,
Juft like a creature drowning! hideous fight!
Oh! how his eyes stand out and ftare full ghaftly!
Whilst the diffemper's rank and deadly venom
Shoots like a burning arrow crofs his bowels,
And drinks his marrow up. Heard you that groan?
It was his laft. See how the great Goliath,
Juft like a child that brawl'ditfelf to reft, [boafter!
Lies ftill. What mean'ft thou then, O mighty
Tovaunt ofnerves of thine? What means the bull,
Unconscious of his ftrength, to play the coward,
And flee before a feeble thing like man;
That, knowing well the flackness of his arm,
Trufts only in the well-invented knife!
With ftudy pale, and midnight vigils fpent,
The ftar-furveying fage clofe to his eye
Applies the fight-invigorating tube;
And travlling thro' the boundlefs length of fpace,
Marks well the courfes of the far-feen orbs,
That roll with regular confufion there,
In ecstacy of thought. But ah! proud man!
Great heights are hazardous to the weak head!
Soon, very foon, thy firmeft footing fails;
And down thou dropp'ft into that darkfome place,
Where nor device nor knowledge ever came.
Here the tongue-warrior lies disabled now,
Difarm'd, dishonour'd, like a wretch that's gagg'd,
And cannot tell his ail to paffers-by. [change?
Great man of language, whence this mighty
This dumb defpair, and drooping of the head?
Though ftrong perfuafion hung upon thy lip,
And flv Infinuation's fofter arts
In ambuth lay about thy flowing tongue;
Alas! how chop-fall'n now! thick mifts and filence
Reft, like a weary cloud, upon thy breast
Unceafing. Ah where is the lifted arm,
The ftrength of action, and the force of words,
The well-turn'd period, and the well-tun'd voice,
With all the leffer ornaments of phrafe?
Ah! fled for ever, as they ne'er had been!
Raz'd from the book of fame : or, more provoking,
Perhaps fome hackney, hunger-bitten fcribbler
Infuits thy memory, and blots thy tomb
With long flat narrative, or duller rhimes
With heavy halting pace that drawl along;
Enough to roufe a dead man into rage,
And warm with red refentment the wan cheek.
Here the great masters of the healing art,
Thefe mighty mock defrauders of the tomb!
Spite of their juleps and catholicons,
Refign to fate. Proud Afculapius' fon,
Where are thy boafted implements of art,
And all thy well-cramm'd magazines of health
Nor hill, nor vale, as far as fhip could go,
Nor margin of the gravel-bottom'd brook,
Efcap'd thy rifling hand: from ftubborn fhrubs
Thou wrung'ft their thy retiring virtues out,
Nor writhy fnake, efcap'd thy deep refearch.
But why this apparatus? why this coft?
Tell us, thou doughty keeper from the grave!
Where are thy recipes and cordials now,
With the long lift of vouchers for thy cures 2
Alas! thou fpeakeft not. The bold impoftor
Looks not more filly, when the cheat's found out.
Here, the lank-fided mifer, worft of felons!
Who meanly ftole, difcreditable shift!
From back and belly too, their proper cheer;
Eas'd of a tax it irk'd the wretch to pay
To his own carcafe, now lies cheaply lodg'd,
By clam'rous appetites no longer teas'd,
Nor tedious bills of charges and repairs.
But, ah! where are his rents, his comings in?
Aye! now you've made the rich man poor indeed:
Robb'd of his gods, what has he left behind?
O curfed luft of gold! when for thy fake
The fool throws up his int'reft in both worlds,
Firft ftarv'd in this, then damn'd in that to come.
How fhocking muft thy fummons be, O Death!
To him that is at cafe in his poffeffions;
Who, counting on long years of pleasure here,
Is quite unfurnish'd for that world to come!
In that dread moment, how the frantic foul
Raves round the walls of her clay tenement,
Runs to each avenue, and thrieks for help,
But fhrieks in vain! how withfully the looks
On all fhe's leaving, now no longer hers!
A little longer, yet a little longer,
O might the stay to wash away her ftains,
And it her for her paifage! mournful fight?
Her very eyes weep blood; and every groan
She heaves is big with horror: but the foe,
Like a ftaunch murd'rer fteady to his purpofe,
Purfues her close thro' ev'ry lane of life,
Nor miffes once the track, but preffes on;
Till, forc'd at laft to the tremendous verge,
At once the finks to everlasting ruin.
Sure, 'tis a ferious thing to die! my foul!
What a ftrange moment muft it be, when near
Thy journey's end thou haft the gulf in view?
That awful gulf no mortal e'er repafs'd
To tell what's doing on the other fide!
Nature runs back and fhudders at the fight,
And ev'ry life-ftring bleeds at thoughts of partingt
For part they must: body and foul muft part;
Fond couple! link'd more clofe than wedded pair,
This wings its way to its Almighty Source,
The witnefs of its actions, now its judge;
That drops into the dark and noifome grave,
Like a difabled pitcher of no ufc.
If death was nothing, and nought after death;
If, when men died, at once they ceas'd to be,
Returning to the barren womb of nothing, [chee
Whence first they fprung; then might the debau
Untrembling mouth the heav'ns; then might the
Reel over his full bowl, and when 'tis drain'd,
Fill up another to the brim, and laugh [wretch
At the poor bug-bear Death; then might the
That's weary of the world, and tir'd of life,
At once give each inquietude the flip,
By ftealing out of being when he pleas'd,
And by what way; whether by hemp or feel:
Death's thousand doors ftand open. Who could
The ill-pleas'd guest to fit out his full time, [force
Or blame him if he goes? Sure! he does well
That helps himself as timely as he can,
When able. But if there is an bereafter,
And that there is, confcience uninfluenc'd,
And fuffer'd to fpeak out, tells ev'ry man,
Then must it be an awful thing to die;
More horrid yet to die by one's own hand.
Self-murder! name it not; our island's fhame,
That makes her the reproach of neighb’ring states.
Shall nature, fwerving from her earlieft dictate,
Self-prefervation, fall by her own act?
Forbid it, Heav'n! let not upon difguft
The fhameless hand be foully crimfon'd o'er
With blood of its own lord. Dreadful attempt!
Juft reeking from felf-flaughter, in a rage
To rush into the prefence of our Judge!
As if we challeng'd him to do his worst,
And matter'd not his wrath. Unheard of tortures
Muft be referv'd for fuch: thefe herd together;
The common damn'd fhun their fociety,
And look upon themfelves as fiends lefs foul.
Our time is fix'd; and all our days are number'd;
How long, how short, we know not: this we know,
Daty requires we calmly wait the fummons,
Nor dare to ftir till Heav'n fhall give perinition.
Like fentries that must keep their deftin'd ftand,
And wait th' appointed hour, till they're reliev'd.
Thofe only are the brave who keep their ground,
And keep it to the laft. To run away
Is but a coward's trick: to run away
From this world's ills, that at the very worst
Will foon blow o'er, thinking to mend ourfelves
By boldly vent ring on a world unknown,
And plunging headlong in the dark; 'tis mad:
No frenzy half so desperate as this.
Tell us, ye dead! will none of you in pity
To those you
left behind difclose the fecret?
O! that fome courteous ghost would blab it out,
What 'tis you are, and we muft fhortly be.
I've heard that fouls departed have sometimes
Forewarned men of their death: 'twas kindly done
To knock and give th' alarum. But what means
This ftinted charity? 'tis but lame kindness
That does its work by halves. Why might you not
Tell us what 'tis to die? Do the ftrict laws
Of your fociety forbid your speaking
Upon a point fo nice? I'll afk no more;
Sellen like lamps in fepulchres, your thine
Laightens but yourselves: well-'tis no matter:
A very little time will clear up all,
And make us learn'd as you are, and as close.
Death's fhafts fly thick! Here falls the village
And there his pamper'd lord! The cup goes
And who fo artful as to put it by?
'Tis long fince death had the majority;
Yet, ftrange the living lay it not to heart.
See yonder maker of the dead man's bed,
The fexton, hoary-headed chronicle!
Of hard unmeaning face, down which ne'er ftole
A gentle tear; with mattock in his hand
Digs thro' whole rows of kindred and acquaintance
By far his juniors! Scarce a fcull's caft up,
But well he knew its owner, and can tell
Some paffage of his life. Thus, hand in hand,
The fot has walk'd with death twice twenty years;
And yet ne'er younker on the green laughs louder,
Or clubs a fmuttier tale: when drunkards meet,
None fings a merrier catch, or lends a hand [not
More willing to his cup. Poor wretch! he minds
That foon fome trufty brother of the trade
Shall do for him what he has done for thousands.
On this fide, and on that, men fee their friends
Drop off, like leaves in autumn; yet launch out
Into fantaftic fchemes, which the long livers
In the world's hale and undegen'rate days
Could fcarce have leifure for; fools that we are!
Never to think of death and of ourselves
At the fame time! as if to learn to die
Were no concern of ours. O more than fottish
For creatures of a day, in gamefonie mood
To frolic on eternity's dread brink,
Unapprchenfive; when for aught we know
The very first fwoln furge fhall fweep us in.
Think we, or think we not, time hurries on
With a refiftlets unremitting stream,
Yet treads more foft than e'er did midnight thief,
That flides his hand under the mifer's pillow,
And carries off his prize. What is this world?
What but a fpacious burial-field unwall'd,
Strew'd with death's fpoils, the fpoils of animals,
Savage and tame, and full of dead men's bones ?
The very turf on which we tread once liv'd;
And we that live muft lend our carcafes
To cover our own offspring: in their turns
They too must cover theirs. 'Tis here all meet!
The fhiv'ring Icelander, and fun-burnt Moor;
Men of all climes, that never met before;
And of all creeds, the Jew, the Turk, the Christian,
Here the proud prince, and favourite yet prouder,
His fov'reign's keeper, and the people's fcourge,
Are huddled out of fight. Here lie abafla'd
The great negotiators of the earth,
And celebrated masters of the balance,
Deep read in ftratagems, and wiles of courts:
Now vain their treaty-fkill! Death fcorns to treat.
Here the o'erloaded flave flings down his burthen
From his gall'd shoulders; and when the cruel
With all his guards and tools of pow'r about him,
Is meditating new un-heard-of hardships,
Mocks his thort arm, and quick as thought escapes,
Where tyrants vex not, and the weary reft.
Here the warm lover, leaving the cool fhade,
The tell-tale echo, and the bubbling ftream,
Time out of mind the fav'rite feats of love,
Faft by his gentle miftrefs lays him down
Unblafted by foul tongue. Here friends and foes
Lie clofe, unmindful of their former feuds.
The lawn-rob'd prelate, and plain prefbyter,
Ere while that ftood aloof, as fhy to meet,
Familiar mingle here, like fifter-ftreams
That fome rude interpofing rock had split.
Here is the large-limb'd peafant; here the child
Of a span long, that never saw the fun,
Nor prefs'd the nipple, ftrangled in life's porch:
Here is the mother with her fons and daughters;
The barren wife; the long-demurring maid,
Whofe lonely unappropriated fweets
Smil'd like yon knot of cowflips on the cliff,
Not to be come at by the willing hand.
Here are the prude fevere, and gay coquette,
The fober widow, and the young green virgin,
Cropp'd like a rofe before 'tis fully blown,
Or half its worth difclos'd. Strange medley here!
Here garrulous old age winds up his tale;
And jovial youth, of lightsome vacant heart,
Whofe ev'ry day was made of melody, [fhrew,
Hears not the voice of mirth; the thrill-tongued
Meek as the turtle-dove, forgets her chiding.
Here are the wife, the gen'rous, and the brave;
The juft, the good, the worthlefs, the profane,
The downright clown, and perfectly well-bred;
The fool, the churl, the fcoundrel, and the mean,
The fupple statesman, and the patriot stern;
The wrecks of nations, and the spoils of time,
With all the lumber of fix thousand years.
Poor man how happy once in thy firft ftate!
When yet but warm from thy great Maker's hand,
He ftamp'd thee with his image, and well pleas'd
Smil'd on his laft fair work! Then all was well.
Sound was the body, and the foul ferenc;
Like two fweet inftruments ne'er out of tune,
That play their feveral parts. Nor head, nor heart,
Offer'd to ache; nor was there caufe they fhould,
For all was pure within: no fell remorse,
Nor anxious caftings up of what may be,
Alarm'd his peaceful bofom: fummer feas
Shew not more smooth when kifs'd by fouthern
Juft ready to expire. Scarce importun'd, [winds,
The gen'rous foil with a luxuriant hand
Offer'd the various produce of the year,
And ev'ry thing most perfect in its kind.
Bleffed, thrice bleffed days! but ah, how fhort!
Blefs'd as the pleafing dreams of holy men,
But fugitive, like thofe, and quickly gone.
O flipp'ry ftate of things! What fudden turns,
What ftrange viciffitudes, in the first leaf
Of man's fad hiftory! to-day moft happy;
And, ere to-morrow's fun has fet, most abject!
How fcant the fpace between these vaft extremnes!
Thus far'd it with our Sire: not long he enjoy'd
His paradife! fcarce had the happy tenant
Of the fair spot due time to prove its sweets,
Or fum them up, when straight he must be gone,
Ne'er to return again. And muft he go?
Can nought compound for the first dire offence
Of erring man? Like one that is condemn'd,
Fain would he trifle time with idle talk,
And parley with his fate. But 'tis in vain.
Not all the lavish odours of the place,
Offer'd in incense, can procure his pardon,
Or mitigate his doom. A mighty angel
With flaming fword forbids his longer stay,
And drives the loit'rer forth; nor muft he
One laft and farewel round. At once he loft
His glory and his God. If mortal now,
And forely maim'd, no wonder! Man has finn'd.
Sick of his blifs, and bent on new adventures,
Evil he would needs try: nor tried in vain.
(Dreadful experiment! deftructive measure!
Where the worst thing could happen, is fuccefs.)
Alas! too well he fped: the good he scorn'd
Stalk'd off reluctant, like an ill-us'd ghoft,
Not to return; or, if it did, its vifits
Like thofe of angels fhort, and far between:
Whilft the black dæmon, with his hell-scap'd train,
Admitted once into its better room,
Grew loud and mutinous, nor would be gone;
Lording it o'er the man, who now too late
Saw the rafh error which he could not mend;
An error fatal not to him alone,
But to his future fons, his fortune's heirs.
Inglorious bondage! human nature groans
Beneath a vaffalage fo vile and cruel,
And its vaft body bleeds through ev'ry vein.
What havock haft thou made, foul monfter, Sint
Greatest and firft of ills! the fruitful parent
Of woes of all dimenfions! but for thee
Sorrow had never been. All noxious things
Of vileft nature, other forts of evils,
Are kindly circumfcrib'd, and have their bounds.
The fierce volcano, from its burning entrails
That belches molten ftone and globes of fire,
Involv'd in pitchy clouds of fmoke and itench,
Mars the adjacent fields for fome leagues round,
And there it stops. The big-fwoln inundation,
Of mifchief more diffufive, raving loud,
Buries whole tracts of country, threat'ning more;
But that too has its fhore it cannot pafs.
More dreadful far than thefe, fin has laid waste,
Not here and there a country, but a world;
Difpatching at a wide-extended blow
Entire mankind, and for their fakes defacing
A whole creation's beauty with rude hands;
Blafting the foodful grain, the loaded branches,
And marking all along its way with ruin.
Accurfed thing! O where fhall fancy find
A proper name to call thee by, expreffive
Of all thy horrors pregnant womb of ills!
Of temper to tranfcendently malign,
That toads and ferpents of moit deadly kind
Compar'd to thee are harmlefs. Sickneffes
Of ev'ry fize and fymptom, racking pains,
And blueft plagues are thine! See how the fiend
Profufely fcatters the contagion round! [heels,
Whilft deep-mouth'd flaughter, bellowing at her
Wades deep in blood new fpilt; yet for to-morrow
Shapes out new work of great uncommon daring,
And inly pines till the dread biow is ftruck.
But hold! I've gone too far; too much difcover'd
My father's nakednefs, and nature's fhame.
Here let me paufe! and drop an honest tear,
One burst of filial duty, and condolence,
O'er all thofe ample deferts Death has spread,
This chaos of mankind. O great man-eater!
Whofe ev'ry day is carnival, not fated yet!
Unheard-of epicure! without a fellow!
takeThe verieft gluttons do not always cram;
Some intervals of abftinence are fought
To edge the appetite: thou feckest none.
Methinks the countless swarms thou haft devour'd,