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Is truly man's; 'tis fortune's-Time's a god.
Hast thou ne'er heard of Time's omnipotence;
For, or against, what wonders he can do!
And will to stand blank neuter he disdains.
Not on those terms was Time (Heaven's stranger!)
On his important embassy to man.
Lorenzo! no: On the long-destin'd hour,
From everlasting ages growing ripe,
That memorable hour of wondrous birth,
When the Dread Sire, on emanation bent,
And big with Nature, rising in his might,
Call'd forth creation (for then Time was born,)
By Godhead streaming through a thousand worlds;
Not on those terms, from the great days of Heaven,
From old Eternity's mysterious orb,
Was Time cut off, and cast beneath the skies;
The skies, which watch him in his new abode,
Measuring his motions by revolving spheres;
That horologe machinery divine.
Hours, days, and months, and years, his children play,
Like numerous wings around him, as he flies:
Or, rather, as unequal plumes, they shape
His ample pinions, swift as darted flame,
To gain his goal, to reach his ancient rest,
And join anew Eternity, his sire;
In his immutability to nest,
And her dread diary with horror fills.
Not the gross act alone employs her pen;
She reconnoitres Fancy's airy band;
A watchful foe! the formidable spy,
Listening, o'erhears the whispers of our camp:
Our dawning purposes of heart explores,
And steals our embryoes of iniquity.
As all-rapacious usurers conceal
Their doomsday-book from all-consuming heirs;
Thus, with indulgence most severe, she treats
Us spendthrifts of inestimable time;
Unnoted, notes each moment misapplied;
In leaves more durable than leaves of brass
Writes our whole history: which Death shall read
In every pale delinquent's private ear;
And Judgment publish; publish to more worlds
Than this; and endless age in groans resound.
Lorenzo, such that sleeper in thy breast!
Such is her slumber; and her vengeance such
For slighted counsel; such thy future peace!
And think'st thou still thou canst be wise too soon?
But why on time so lavish is my song?
On this great theme kind Nature keeps a school,
To teach her sons herself. Each night we die,
Each morn are born anew: each day, a life!
And shall we kill each day? If Trifling kills;
Sure Vice must butcher. O what heaps of slain
Cry out for vengeance on us! Time destroy'd
Is suicide, where more than blood is spilt.
Time flies, Death urges, knells call, Heaven invites,
Hell threatens: All exerts; in effort, all;
More than creation labors!-labors more?
And is there in creation what, amidst
This tumult universal, wing'd dispatch,
And ardent energy, supinely yawns?
Man sleeps; and man alone; and man, whose fate,
Fate irreversible, entire, extreme,
When worlds, that count his circles now, unhing'd
(Fate the loud signal sounding) headlong rush
To timeless night and chaos, whence they rose.
Why spur the speedy? Why with levities
New-wing thy short, short day's too rapid flight?
Know'st thou, or what thou dost, or what is done?
Man flies from Time, and Time from man; too soon
In sad divorce this double flight must end;
And then, where are we? where, Lorenzo! then
Thy sports thy pomps?-I grant thee, in a state
Not unambitious; in the ruffled shroud,
Thy Parian tomb's triumphant arch beneath.
Has Death his fopperies? Then well may Life
Put on her plume, and in her rainbow shine.
Ye well-array'd! ye lilies of our land!
Ye lilies male! who neither toil, nor spin,
(As sister lilies might) if not so wise
As Solomon, more sumptuous to the sight!
Ye delicate! who nothing can support,
Yourselves most insupportable! for whom
The winter rose must blow, the Sun put on
A brighter beam in Leo; silky-soft
Favonius breathe still softer, or be chid;
And other worlds send odors, sauce, and song,
And robes, and notions, fram'd in foreign looms!
O ye Lorenzos of our age! who deem
One moment unamus'd, a misery
Not made for feeble man! who call aloud
For every bawble drivel'd o'er by sense;
For rattles, and conceits of every cast,
For change of follies, and relays of joy,
To drag your patient through the tedious length
Of a short winter's day-say, sages! say,
Wit's oracles! say, dreamers of gay dreams!
How will you weather an eternal night,
Where such expedients fail?
Where shall I find him? Angels! tell me where.
You know him: he is near you: point him out:
O treacherous Conscience! while she seems to sleep
On rose and myrtle, lull'd with syren song;
While she seems, nodding o'er her charge, to drop Shall I see glories beaming from his brow?
On headlong appetite the slacken'd rein,
And give us up to license unrecall'd,
Unmark'd;-see, from behind her secret stand,
The sly informer minutes every fault,
Or trace his footsteps by the rising flowers?
Your golden wings, now hovering o'er him, shed
Protection; now, are waving in applause
To that blest son of foresight! lord of fate!
Endless, hair-hung, breeze-shaken, o'er the gulf
A moment trembles; drops! and man, for whom
All else is in alarm! man, the sole cause
Of this surrounding storm! and yet he sleeps,
As the storm rock'd to rest.-Throw years away?
Throw empires, and be blameless. Moments seize,
Heaven's on their wing: a moment we may wish,
When worlds want wealth to buy. Bid Day stand
Bid him drive back his car, and re-import
The period past, re-give the given hour.
Lorenzo, more than miracles we want;
Lorenzo-O for yesterdays to come!
Such is the language of the man awake;
His ardor such, for what oppresses thee.
And is his ardor vain, Lorenzo? No;
That more than miracle the gods indulge;
To-day is yesterday return'd; return'd
Full-power'd to cancel, expiate, raise, adorn,
And reinstate us on the rock of peace.
Let it not share its predecessor's fate;
Nor, like its elder sisters, die a fool.
Shall it evaporate in fume? fly off
Fuliginous, and stain us deeper still?
Shall we be poorer for the plenty pour'd?
More wretched for the clemencies of Heaven?
That awful independent on to-morrow!
Whose work is done; who triumphs in the past;
Whose yesterdays look backwards with a smile;
Nor, like the Parthian, wound him as they fly;
That common, but opprobrious lot! past hours,
If not by guilt, yet wound us by their flight,
If folly bounds our prospect by the grave,
All feeling of futurity benumb'd;
All godlike passion for eternals quencht;
All relish of realities expir'd;
Renounc'd all correspondence with the skies;
Our freedom chain'd; quite wingless our desire ;
In sense dark-prison'd all that ought to soar;
Prone to the centre; crawling in the dust;
Dismounted every great and glorious aim;
Embruted every faculty divine ;
Heart-buried in the rubbish of the world.
The world, that gulf of souls, immortal souls,
Souls elevate, angelic, wing'd with fire
To reach the distant skies, and triumph there
On thrones, which shall not mourn their masters
Though we from Earth; ethereal, they that fell.
Such veneration due, O man, to man.
Who venerate themselves, the world despise.
For what, gay friend! is this escutcheon'd world,
Which hangs out Death in one eternal night;
A night, that glooms us in the noontide ray,
And wraps our thought, at banquets, in the shroud?
Life's little stage is a small eminence,
Inch-high the grave above; that home of man,
Where dwells the multitude: We gaze around;
We read their monuments; we sigh; and while
We sigh, we sink; and are what we deplor'd;
Lamenting, or lamented, all our lot!
A moment, and the world's blown up to thee;
The Sun is darkness, and the stars are dust.
"Tis greatly wise to talk with our past hours; And ask them, what report they bore to Heaven; And how they might have borne more welcome
Is Death at distance? No; he has been on thee, A Wilmington goes slower than the Sun:
And giv'n sure earnest of his final blow.
And all mankind mistake their time of day;
Those hours that lately smil'd, where are they now? E'en age itself. Fresh hopes are hourly sown
Pallid to thought, and ghastly! drown'd, all drown'd In furrow'd brows. To gentle life's descent
In that great deep, which nothing disembogues! We shut our eyes, and think it is a plain.
And, dying, they bequeath'd thee small renown. We take fair days in winter, for the spring;
The rest are on the wing: how fleet their flight! And turn our blessing into bane. Since oft
Already has the fatal train took fire;
Man must compute that age he cannot feel,
He scarce believes he's older for his years.
Thus, at life's latest eve, we keep in store
One disappointment sure, to crown the rest;
The disappointment of a promis'd hour.
On this, or similar, Philander! thou
Whose mind was moral, as the preacher's tongue,
And strong, to wield all science, worth the name;
How often we talk'd down the summer's Sun,
And cool'd our passions by the breezy stream!
How often thaw'd and shorten'd winter's eve,
By conflict kind, that struck out latent truth,
Best found, so sought; to the recluse more coy!
Thoughts disentangle passing o'er the lip;
Clean runs the thread; if not, 'tis thrown away,
Or kept to tie up nonsense for a song;
Song, fashionably fruitless; such as stains
The fancy, and unhallow'd passion fires;
Chiming her saints to Cytherea's fane.
Their answers form what men experience call;
If wisdom's friend, her best; if not, worst foe.
O reconcile them! Kind Experience cries,
There's nothing here, but what as nothing weighs;
The more our joy, the more we know it vain ;
And by success are tutor'd to despair."
Nor is it only thus, but must be so.
Who knows not this, though grey, is still a child.
Loose then from Earth the grasp of fond desire,
Weigh anchor, and some happier clime explore.
Art thou so moor'd thou canst not disengage,
Nor give thy thoughts a ply to future scenes?
Since by life's passing breath, blown up from Earth,
Light as the summer's dust, we take in air
A moment's giddy flight, and fall again;
Join the dull mass, increase the trodden soil,
And sleep, till Earth herself shall be no more;
Since then (as emmets, their small world o'erthrown)
We, sore amaz'd, from out Earth's ruins crawl,
And rise to fate extreme of foul or fair,
As man's own choice (controller of the skies!)
As man's despotic will, perhaps one hour,
(O how omnipotent is time!) decrees;
Should not each warning give a strong alarm?
Warning, far less than that of bosom torn
From bosom, bleeding o'er the sacred dead!
Should not each dial strike us as we pass,
Portentous, as the written wall, which struck,
O'er midnight bowls, the proud Assyrian pale,
Ere-while high-flusht with insolence and wine?
Like that, the dial speaks; and points to thee,
Lorenzo! loth to break thy banquet up.
"O man, thy kingdom is departing from thee;
And, while it lasts, is emptier than my shade."
Its silent language such: nor need'st thou call
Thy Magi, to decipher what it means.
Know, like the Median, fate is in thy walls:
Dost ask, How? Whence? Belshazzar-like, amaz'd?
Man's make incloses the sure seeds of death;
Life feeds the murderer: Ingrate! he thrives
On her own meal, and then his nurse devours.
But here, Lorenzo, the delusion lies:
That solar shadow, as it measures life,
It life resembles too: life speeds away
From point to point, though seeming to stand still.
The cunning fugitive is swift by stealth:
Too subtle is the movement to be seen;
Yet soon man's hour is up, and we are gone.
Warnings point out our danger; gnomons, time:
As these are useless when the Sun is set;
So those, but when more glorious reason shines.
Reason should judge in all; in reason's eye,
That sedentary shadow travels hard.
But such our gravitation to the wrong,
So prone our hearts to whisper what we wish,
"Tis later with the wise than he's aware:
Know'st thou, Lorenzo! what a friend contains?
As bees mixt nectar draw from fragrant flowers,
So men from friendship, wisdom and delight;
Twins tied by Nature; if they part, they die.
Hast thou no friend to set thy mind abroach?
Good sense will stagnate. Thoughts shut up want
And spoil, like bales unopen'd to the Sun.
Had thought been all, sweet speech had been denied ;
Speech, thought's canal! speech, thought's criterion
Thought, in the mine, may come forth gold, or dross;
When coin'd in word, we know its real worth.
If sterling, store it for thy future use:
"Twill buy thee benefit; perhaps renown.
Thought, too, deliver'd, is the more possest;
Teaching, we learn; and, giving, we retain
The births of intellect; when dumb, forgot.
Speech ventilates our intellectual fire;
Speech burnishes our mental magazine;
Brightens, for ornament; and whets, for use.
What numbers, sheath'd in erudition, lie,
Plung'd to the hilts in venerable tomes,
And rusted in; who might have borne an edge,
And play'd a sprightly beam, if born to speech;
If born blest heirs of half their mother's tongue!
"Tis thought's exchange, which, like th' alternate
Of waves conflicting, breaks the learned scum, And defecates the student's standing pool.
In contemplation is his proud resource? "Tis poor, as proud, by converse unsustain'd. Rude thought runs wild in contemplation's field; Converse, the menage, breaks it to the bit Of due restraint; and emulation's spur Gives graceful energy, by rivals aw'd. "Tis converse qualifies for solitude; As exercise, for salutary rest. By that untutor'd, Contemplation raves; And Nature's fool, by Wisdom is undone.
Wisdom, though richer than Peruvian mines, And sweeter than the sweet ambrosial hive, What is she, but the means of happiness? That unobtain'd, than folly more a fool; A melancholy fool, without her bells. Friendship, the means of wisdom, richly gives The precious end, which makes our wisdom wise. Nature, in zeal for human amity,
Denies, or damps, an undivided joy.
Joy is an import; joy is an exchange;
Joy flies monopolists: it calls for two;
Rich fruit! Heaven-planted! never pluckt by one.
Needful auxiliars are our friends, to give
To social man true relish of himself.
Full on ourselves, descending in a line,
Pleasure's bright beam is feeble in delight:
Delight intense is taken by rebound;
Reverberated pleasures fire the breast.
Celestial Happiness, whene'er she stoops
To visit Earth, one shrine the goddess finds,
And one alone, to make her sweet amends
For absent Heaven-the bosom of a friend;
Where heart meets heart, reciprocally soft,
Each other's pillow to repose divine.
Beware the counterfeit; in passion's flame
Hearts melt, but melt like ice, soon harder froze.
True love strikes root in reason; passion's foe:
Virtue alone entenders us for life:
I wrong her much-entenders us for ever:
Of Friendship's fairest fruits, the fruit most fair
Is virtue kindling at a rival fire,
And, emulously, rapid in her race.
O the soft enmity! endearing strife!
This carries friendship to her noontide point,
And gives the rivet of eternity.
From Friendship, which outlives my former themes,
Glorious survivor of old Time and Death;
From Friendship, thus, that flower of heavenly seed
The wise extract Earth's most Hyblean bliss, |Superior wisdom, crown'd with smiling joy.
But for whom blossoms this Elysian flower? | Abroad they find, who cherish it at home. Lorenzo! pardon what my love extorts, An honest love, and not afraid to frown. Though choice of follies fasten on the great, None clings more obstinate than fancy, fond, That sacred Friendship is their easy prey; Caught by the wafture of a golden lure, Or fascination of a high-born smile. Their smiles, the great, and the coquet, throw out For others' hearts, tenacious of their own; And we no less of ours, when such the bait. Ye fortune's cofferers! Ye powers of wealth! Can gold gain friendship? Impudence of hope! As well mere man an angel might beget. Love, and love only, is the loan for love. Lorenzo! pride repress; nor hope to find A friend, but what has found a friend in thee. All like the purchase; few the price will pay; And this makes friends such miracles below.
What if (since daring on so nice a theme)
I show thee friendship delicate, as dear,
Of tender violations apt to die?
Reserve will wound it; and distrust, destroy.
Deliberate in all things with thy friend.
But since friends grow not thick on every bough,
Nor every friend unrotten at the core;
First, on thy friend, deliberate with thyself;
Pause, ponder, sift; not eager in the choice,
Nor jealous of the chosen; fixing, fix;
Judge before friendship, then confide till death.
Well, for thy friend; but nobler far for thee;
How gallant danger for Earth's highest prize!
A friend is worth all hazards we can run.
Poor is the friendless master of a world :
A world in purchase for a friend is gain."
So sung he, (angels hear that angels sing!
Angels from friendship gather half their joy,)
So sung Philander, as his friend went round
In the rich ichor, in the generous blood
Of Bacchus, purple god of joyous wit,
A brow solute, and ever-laughing eye.
He drank long health, and virtue, to his friend;
His friend, who warm'd him more, who more in
| Friendship's the wine of life; but friendship new (Not such was his) is neither strong, nor pure. O! for the bright complexion, cordial warmth, And elevating spirit, of a friend,
For twenty summers ripening by my side,
All feculence of falsehood long thrown down;
All social virtues rising in his soul;
As crystal clear; and smiling as they rise!
Here nectar flows; it sparkles in our sight;
Rich to the taste, and genuine from the heart:
High-flavor'd bliss for gods! on Earth how rare!
On Earth how lost!-Philander is no more.
Think'st thou the theme intoxicates my song? Am I too warm? Too warm I cannot be.
I lov'd him much; but now I love him more.
Like birds, whose beauties languish, half-conceal'd,
Till, mounted on the wing, their glossy plumes
Expanded shine with azure, green, and gold;
How blessings brighten as they take their flight'
His flight Philander took; his upward flight,
If ever soul ascended. Had he dropt,
(That eagle genius!) O had he let fall
One feather as he flew: I, then, had wrote,
What friends might flatter; prudent foes forbear;
Rivals scarce damn; and Zoilus reprieve.
Yet what I can, I must; it were profane
To quench a glory lighted at the skies,
And cast in shadows his illustrious close.
Strange! the theme most affecting, most sublime,
Momentous most to man, should sleep unsung!
And yet it sleeps, by genius unawak'd,
Painim or Christian; to the blush of wit.
Man's highest triumph! man's profoundest fall!
The death-bed of the just! is yet undrawn
By mortal hand! it merits a divine:
Angels should paint it, angels ever there:
There, on a post of honor, and of joy.
Dare I presume, then? but Philander bids;
And glory tempts, and inclination calls-
Yet am I struck; as struck the soul, beneath
Aerial groves' impenetrable gloom;
Or, in some mighty ruin's solemn shade;
Or, gazing by pale lamps on high-born dust,
In vaults; thin courts of poor unflatter'd kings;
Or, at the midnight altar's hallow'd flame.
Is it religion to proceed? I pause—
And enter, aw'd, the temple of my theme.
Is it his death-bed? No: it is his shrine:
Behold him, there, just rising to a god.
The chamber where the good man meets his fate,
Is privileg'd beyond the common walk
Of virtuous life, quite in the verge of Heaven.
Fly, ye profane! If not, draw near with awe,
Receive the blessing, and adore the chance,
That threw in this Bethesda your disease;
If unrestor❜d by this, despair your cure.
For, here, resistless demonstration dwells;
A death-bed's a detector of the heart.
Here tir'd dissimulation drops her mask,
Through life's grimace, that mistress of the scene!
Here real, and apparent, are the same.
You see the man; you see his hold on Heaven,
If sound his virtue; as Philander's sound.
Heaven waits not the last moment; owns her friends
On this side death, and points them out to men;
A lecture, silent, but of sovereign power!
To vice, confusion; and to virtue, peace.
Whatever farce the boastful hero plays,
Virtue alone has majesty in death!
And greater still, the more the tyrant frowns.
Philander! he severely frown'd on thee.
With unreluctant grandeur, gives, not yields
His soul sublime; and closes with his fate.
How our hearts burnt within us at the scene!
Whence this brave bound o'er limits fixt to man?
His God sustains him in his final hour!
His final hour brings glory to his God!
Man's glory Heaven vouchsafes to call her own
We gaze, we weep; mixt tears of grief, of joy!
Amazement strikes! devotion bursts to flame!
Christians adore! and Infidels believe!
As some tall tower, or lofty mountain's brow
Detains the Sun, illustrious, from its height;
While rising vapors, and descending shades,
With damps and darkness, drown the spacious vale:
Undampt by doubt, undarken'd by despair,
Philander, thus, augustly rears his head,
At that black hour, which general horror sheds
On the low level of th' inglorious throng:
Sweet Peace, and heavenly Hope, and humble Joy,
Divinely beam on his exalted soul;
Destruction gild, and crown him for the skies,
With incommunicable lustre bright.
NIGHT THE THIRD.
TO HER GRACE THE DUCHESS OF PORTLAND.
Ignoscenda quidem, scirent si ignoscere manes.
FROM dreams, where thought in fancy's maze runs
To reason, that heaven-lighted lamp in man,
Once more I wake; and at the destin'd hour,
Punctual as lovers to the moment sworn,
I keep my assignation with my woe.
O! lost to virtue, lost to manly thought,
Lost to the noble sallies of the soul!
Who think it solitude to be alone.
Communion sweet! communion large and high!
Our reason, guardian angel, and our God!
Then nearest these, when others most remote;
And all, ere long, shall be remote, but these.
How dreadful, then, to meet them all alone,
A stranger! unacknowledg'd! unapprov'd!
Now woo them; wed them; bind them to thy breast;
To win thy wish, creation has no more.
Or if we wish a fourth, it is a friend-
But friends, how mortal! dangerous the desire!
No warning given! Unceremonious Fate!
A sudden rush from life's meridian joy!
A wrench from all we love! from all we are!
A restless bed of pain! a plunge opaque
Beyond conjecture! feeble Nature's dread!
Strong Reason's shudder at the dark unknown!
A sun extinguisht! a just-opening grave!
And oh! the last, last,-what? (can words express?
Thought reach it?) the last-silence of a friend!"
Where are those horrors, that amazement, where
"This hideous group of ills, which singly shock,
Demand from man?—I thought him man till now.
Through Nature's wreck, through vanquisht|
Thou, who didst lately borrow Cynthia's form,* [gloom,) And modestly forego thine own! O thou,
(Like the stars struggling through this midnight Who didst thyself, at midnight hours, inspire!
What gleams of joy! what more than human peace! Say, why not Cynthia patroness of song?
Where, the frail mortal? the poor abject worm? As thou her crescent, she thy character
No, not in death, the mortal to be found.
Assumes; still more a goddess by the change.
His conduct is a legacy for all;
Are there demurring wits, who dare dispute
Richer than Mammon's for his single heir.
His comforters he comforts; great in ruin,
Take Phoebus to yourselves, ye basking bards
Inebriate at fair Fortune's fountain-head;
And reeling through the wilderness of joy;
Where Sense runs savage, broke from Reason's chain!
And sings false peace, till smother'd by the pall.
My fortune is unlike; unlike my song;
Unlike the deity my song invokes."
I to Day's soft-ey'd sister pay my court,
(Endymion's rival!) and her aid implore;
Now first implor'd in succor to the Muse.
* At the Duke of Norfolk's masquerade.
And if in death still lovely, lovelier there,
Far lovelier! pity swells the tide of love.
And will not the severe excuse a sigh?
Scorn the proud man that is asham'd to weep;
Our tears indulg'd indeed deserve our shame.
Ye that e'er lost an angel! pity me.
This revolution in the world inspir'd?
Ye train Pierian! to the lunar sphere,
In silent hour, address your ardent call
For aid immortal; less her brother's right.
She, with the spheres harmonious, nightly leads
The mazy dance, and hears their matchless strain,
A strain for gods, denied to mortal ear.
Transmit it heard, thou silver queen of Heaven!
What title, or what name, endears the most!
Cynthia! Cyllené! Phoebe! or dost hear
With higher gust, fair Portland of the skies?
Is that the soft enchantment calls thee down,
More powerful than of old Circean charm?
Come; but from heavenly banquets with thee bring Her native bed, on which bleak Boreas blew,
And bore her nearer to the Sun; the Sun
(As if the Sun could envy) check'd his beam,
(For dreams are thine) transfuse it through the breast Denied his wonted succor; nor with more
Of thy first votary.-But not thy last;
If, like thy namesake, thou art ever kind.
Soon as the lustre languish'd in her eye,
Dawning a dimmer day on human sight;
And on her cheek, the residence of Spring,
Pale omen sat; and scatter'd fears around
On all that saw, (and who would cease to gaze,
That once had seen?) with haste, parental haste,
I flew, I snatch'd her from the rigid North,
The soul of song, and whisper in my ear
The theft divine; or in propitious dreams
Regret beheld her drooping, than the bells
Of lilies; fairest lilies, not so fair!
Queen lilies! and ye painted populace!
Who dwell in fields, and lead ambrosial lives!
In morn and evening dew, your beauties bathe,
And drink the Sun; which gives your cheeks to
And kind thou wilt be; kind on such a theme;
A theme so like thee, a quite benar theme,
Soft, modest, melancholy, female, fair!
A theme that rose all-pale, and told my soul
"Twas night; on her fond hopes perpetual night;
A night which struck a damp, a deadlier damp,
Than that which smote me from Philander's tomb.
Narcissa follows, ere his tomb is clos'd.
Woes cluster; rare are solitary woes;
They love a train, they tread each other's heel;
Her death invades his mournful right, and claims
The grief that started from my lids for him:
Seizes the faithless, alienated tear,
Or shares it, ere it falls. So frequent death,
Sorrow he more than causes, he confounds;
For human sighs his rival strokes contend,
And make distress, distraction. Oh Philander!
What was thy fate? A double fate to me;
Portent, and pain! a menace, and a blow!
Like the black raven hovering o'er my peace,
Not less a bird of omen, than of prey.
It call'd Narcissa long before her hour;
It call'd her tender soul, by break of bliss,
From the first blossom, from the buds of joy;
Those few our noxious fate unblasted leaves
In this inclement clime of human life.
Sweet harmonist! and beautiful as sweet!
And young as beautiful! and soft as young!
And gay as soft! and innocent as gay!
And happy (if aught happy here) as good!
For fortune fond had built her nest on high.
Like birds quite exquisite of note and plume,
Transfixt by fate (who loves a lofty mark,)
How from the summit of the grove she fell,
And left it unharmonious! all its charms
Extinguisht in the wonders of her song!
Her song still vibrates in my ravish'd ear,
Still melting there, and with voluptuous pain
(0 to forget her!) thrilling through my heart!
Song, beauty, youth, love, virtue, joy; this group
Of bright ideas, flowers of Paradise,
As yet unforfeit! in one blaze we bind,
Kneel and present it to the skies; as all
We guess of Heaven: and these were all her
And she was mine; and I was-was!-most
By plucking fruit denied to mortal taste,
While here, presuming on the rights of Heaven.
For transport dost thou call on every hour,
Lorenzo? At thy friend's expense, be wise;
Lean not on Earth; 'twill pierce thee to the heart;
A broken reed, at best; but oft, a spear;
On its sharp point peace bleeds, and hope expires.
Turn, hopeless thought! turn from her :-Thought
Resenting rallies, and wakes every woe.
Snatch'd ere thy prime! and in thy bridal hour!
And when kind fortune, with thy lover, smil'd!
And when high-flavor'd thy fresh-opening joys!
And when blind man pronounc'd thy bliss complete!
And on a foreign shore; where strangers wept!
Strangers to thee; and more surprising still,
Strangers to kindness, wept: their eyes let fall
Inhuman tears! strange tears! that trickled down
From marble hearts! obdurate tenderness!
A tenderness that call'd them more severe;
In spite of Nature's soft persuasion, steel'd!
While Nature melted, Superstition rav'd;
That mourn'd the dead; and this denied a grave.
Their sighs incens'd; sighs foreign to the will!
own,Their will the tiger suck'd, outrag'd the storm.
For, oh! the curst ungodliness of zeal'
While sinful flesh relented, spirit nuret
In blind Infallibility's embrace,
The sainted spirit petrified the breast
Denied the charity of dust, to spreat.
O'er dust! a charity their dogs enjoy.
What could I do? What succor? What resource?
Gay title of the deepest misery!
As bodies grow more ponderous, robb'd of life;
Good lost weighs more in grief, than gain'd in joy,
Like blossom'd trees o'erturn'd by vernal storm,
Lovely in death the beauteous ruin lay;
And out-blush (mine excepted) every fair;
You gladlier grew, ambitious of her hand,
Which often cropt your odors, incense meet
To thought so pure! Ye lovely fugitives!
Coeval race with man! for man you smile!
Why not smile at him too? You share indeed
His sudden pass; but not his constant pain.
So man is made; nought ministers delight,
But what his glowing passions can engage;
And glowing passions, bent on aught below,
Must, soon or late, with anguish turn the scale ;
And anguish, after rapture, how severe !
Rapture? Bold man who tempt'st the wrath