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What thou, in folemn filence, all
Move round the dark terrestrial ball ?
What tho' nor real voice nor found
Amid their radiant orbs be found?
In reason's ear they all rejoice,
And utter forth a glorious voice,
For ever singing, as they shine,
“ The band that made us is divine.”
In midnight darkness, whisper'd my laft figh.
I whisper'd what should echo thro' their realms :
Nor writ her name, whose tomb should pierce the skies.
Presumptuous fear! how durst I dread her foes,
While nature's loudest dictates I obey'd ?
Pardon necessity, bleft shade! Of grief
And indignation rival bursts I pour'd;
Half-execration mingled with my pray’r;
Kindled at man, while I his God ador’ds
Sore-grudg'd the favage land her facred duft;
Stampt the curst foil ; and with humanity
(Depy'd Narcissa) wish'd them all a grave.
Glows my resentment into guilt? what guilt
Can equal violations of the dead?
The dead how facred! facred is the dust
Of this heav'n-labour'd form, erect, divine !
This heav'n-affum'd majetic robe of earth,
He deign'd to wear, who hung the vast expanse
With azure bright, and cloath'd the fun in gold.
When every passion sleeps that can offend;
When strikes us ev'ry motive that can melt;
When man can wreak his rancour uncontroul'd,
That strongest curb on insult and ill-will ;
Then, spleen to dust ? the dust of innocence ?
An angel's duft!-this Lucifer transcends ;
When he contended for the patriarch's bones,
'Twas not the strife of malice, but of pride;
The strife of pontiff pride, not pontiff gall,
Far less than this is shocking in a race
Most wretched, but from streams of mutual love ;
And uncreate, but for love divine ;
And, but for love divine, this moment, loft,
By fate resorb’d, and sunk in endless night.
Man hard of heart to man! of horrid things
Most horrid! ’mid stupendous, highly strange!
Yet oft his courtesies are smoother wrongs;
Pride brandishes the favours he confers,
And contumelious his humanity:
What then his vengeance? hear it not, ye stars!
And thou, pale moon! turn paler at the found;
Man is to man the forest, fiirest, ill.
A previous blast foretels the rising storm;
O'erwhelming turrets threaten ere they fall;
Volcanos bellow ere they disembogue ;
Earth trembles ere her yawning jaws devour;
And smoke betrays the wide-consuming fire:
Ruin from man is most conceal'd when near,
And sends the dreadful tidings in the blow.
Is this the flight of fancy? would it were !
Heav'n's Sov'reign faves all beings but himfelf,
That hideous fight, a naked human heart.
Fir'd is the muse? and let the muse be fir’d:
Who not inflam'd, when what he speaks, he feels,
And in the nerve most tender, in his friends ?
Shame to mankind! Philander had his foes ;
He felt the truths I fing, and I in him.
But he, nor I, feel more: paft ills, Narcisfa!
Are funk in thee, thou recent wound of heart !
Which bleeds with other cares, with other pangs ;
Pangs num'rous, as the num'rous ills that swarm’d
O'er thy distinguisht fate, and, clust'ring there
Thick as the locuft on the land of Nile,
Made death more deadly, and more dark the grave.
Reflect (if not forgot my touching tale)
How was each circumstance with afpics arm’d?
An aspic, each ; and all, an hydra woe.
What strong Herculean virtue could suffice:
Or is it virtue to be conquer'd here?
This hoary cheek a train of tears bedews ;
And each tear mourns its own distinct distress
And each distress, diftinctly mourn'd, demands
Of grief still more, as heighten'd by the whole.
A grief like this proprietors excludes:
Not friends alone such obsequies deplore ;
They make mankind the mourner ; carry fighs
Far as the fatal fame can wing her way ;
And turn the gayest thought of gayest age,
Down their right channel, thro' the vale of death.
The vale of death! that husht Cimmerian vale,
Where darkness, brooding o'er unfinisht fates,
With raven wing incumbent, waits the day
(Dread day!) that interdicts all future change !
That subterranean world, that land of ruin!
Fit walk, Lorenzo, for proud human thought!
There let my thought expatiate; and explore
Balsamic truths, and healing sentiments,
Of all most wanted, and most welcome, here.
For gay Lorenzo's fake, and for thy own,
My soul ! “ The fruits of dying friends survey;
Expose the vain of life; weigh life and death:
“ Give death his eulogy; thy fear fubdu'd;
“ And labour that first palm of noble minds,
“ A manly scorn of terror from the tomb,”
This harvest reap from thy Narcisla’s grave. As poets feign’d, from Ajax' streaming blood Arose, with grief inscrib'd, a mournful flow'r; Let wisdom blossom from my mortal wound. And first, of dying friends ; what fruit from these? It brings us more than triple aid; an aid To chase our thoughtlessness, fear, pride, and guilt. Our dying friends come o'er us like a cloud, To damp our brainless ardors; and abate That glare of life, which often blinds the wise. Our dying friends are pioneers, to smooth Our rugged pass to death; to break those bars Of terror, and abhorrence, nature throws Cross our obstructed way; and, thus, to make Welcome, as safe, our port from ev'ry storm. Each friend by fate snatch'd from us, is a plume Pluckt from the wing of human vanity, Which makes us stoop from our aëreal heights,