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Is this the bigot's rant? Away, ye vain,

Your hopes, your fears, in doubt, in dulness steep; Go sooth your souls, in sickness, grief, or pain,

With the sad solace of eternal sleep!

Yet will I praise you, triflers as ye are,

More than those preachers of your fav'rite creed, Who proudly swell the brazen throat of war, Who form the phalanx, bid the battle bleed,

Nor wish for more; who conquer but to die.
Hear, Folly, hear, and triumph in the tale!
Like you they reason, not like you enjoy

The breeze of bliss that fills your silken sail!

On pleasure's glittering stream ye gayly steer

Your little course to cold oblivion's shore;

They dare the storm, and through th' inclement year Stem the rough surge, and brave the torrent's roar.

Is it for glory? That just fate denies;

Long must the warrior moulder in his shroud, Ere from her trump the heaven-breath'd accents rise, That lift the hero from the fighting crowd!

Is it his grasp of empire to extend?

To curb the fury of insulting foes? Ambition, cease! the idle contest end: 'Tis but a kingdom thou canst win or lose.

And why must murder'd myriads lose their all, (If life be all,) why desolation lower

With famish'd frown on this affrighted ball,
That thou may'st flame the meteor of an hour?

Go, wiser ye, that flutter life away,

Crown with the mantling juice the goblet high! Weave the light dance with festive freedom gay, And live your moment, since the next ye die!

Yet know, vain skeptics! know, the Almighty Mind,
Who breath'd on man a portion of his fire,
Bade his free soul, by earth nor time confin'd,
To heaven, to immortality aspire.

Nor shall the pile of hope his mercy rear'd,
By vain philosophy be e'er destroy'd:
Eternity, by all or wish'd or fear'd,

Shall be by all or suffer'd or enjoy'd!

NOTE. In a book of French verses, entitled, Œuvres du Philosophe de Sans Souci, and lately re-printed at Berlin by authority, under the title of Poesies Diverses, may be found an Epistle to Marshal Keith, written professedly against the immortality of the soul. By way of specimen of the whole, take the following lines :

De l'avenir, cher Keith, jugeons par le passe;
Comme avant que je fusse il n'avoit point pense;
De meme, apres ma mort, quand toutes mes parties
Par la corruption seront aneanties,

Par un meme destin il ne pensera plus!

Non, rien n'est plus certain, soyons en convaincu.

It is to this Epistle that the latter part of the Elegy alludes.



BEGIN, my soul, the exalted lay!
Let each enraptured thought obey,

And praise the Almighty's name.
Lo! heaven and earth, and seas and skies,
In one melodious concert rise,

To swell the inspiring theme.

Ye fields of light, celestial plains,
Where gay transporting beauty reigns,
Ye scenes divinely fair!

Your Maker's wondrous power proclaim!
Tell how he form'd your shining frame,
And breath'd the fluid air.

Ye angels, catch the thrilling sound!
While all the adoring thrones around

His boundless mercy sing:

Let every listening saint above

Wake all the tuneful soul of love,

And touch the sweetest string.


Join, ye loud spheres, the vocal choir;
Thou, dazzling orb of liquid fire,
The mighty chorus aid:

Soon as gray evening gilds the plain,
Thou, moon, protract the melting strain,
And praise him in the shade.

Thou heaven of heavens, his vast abode,
Ye clouds, proclaim your forming God,
Who call'd yon worlds from night :
"Ye shades, dispel!"-th' Eternal said;
At once th' involving darkness fled,
And nature sprung to light.

Whate'er a blooming world contains,
That wings the air, that skims the plains,
United praise bestow :

Ye dragons, sound his awful name
To heaven aloud; and roar acclaim,
Ye swelling deeps below.

Let every element rejoice:

Ye thunders, burst with awful voice
To him who bids you roll;

His praise in softer notes declare,
Each whispering breeze of yielding air,
And breathe it to the soul.

To him, ye graceful cedars, bow;
Ye towering mountains, bending low,
Your great Creator own;

Tell, when affrighted nature shook,
How Sinai kindled at his look,
And trembled at his frown.

Ye flocks, that haunt the humble vale,
Ye insects, fluttering on the gale,
In mutual concourse rise:

Crop the gay rose's vermeil bloom,
And waft its spoils, a sweet perfume,
In incense to the skies.

Wake, all ye mountain tribes, and sing;
Ye blooming warblers of the spring,
Harmonious anthems raise

To him who shap'd your finer mould,
Who tipt your glittering wings with gold,
And tun'd your voice to praise.

Let man, by nobler passions sway'd,
The feeling heart, the judging head,
In heavenly praise employ ;
Spread his tremendous name around,

Till heaven's broad arch rings back the sound,
The general burst of joy.

Ye, whom the charms of grandeur please,
Nurs'd on the downy lap of ease,

Fall prostrate at his throne;

Ye princes, rulers, all adore;

Praise him ye kings, who makes your power

An image of his own.

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