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Mine was the murder: it was mine alone;
Years of contrition must the crime atone:
Nor can my guilty soul expect relief,
But from a long sincerity of grief.

With an imperfect hand, and trembling heart,
Her love of truth superior to her art,
Already the reflecting Muse has trac'd
The mournful figures of my action paft.
The pensive Goddess has already taught,,
How vain is hope, and how vexatious thought;
From growing childhood to declining age,
How tedious every step, how gloomy every stage.
This course of vanity almost compleat,
Tir'd in the field of life, I hope retreat
In the still shades of death: for dread and pain,
And griefs will find their shafts elanc'd in rain,
And their points broke, retorted from the head,
Safe in the grave, and free among the dead.

Yet tell me, frighted Reason! what is Death?
Blood only stopp'd, and interrupted breath;
The utmost limit of a narrow span,
And end of motion which with life began,
As smoke that rises from the kindling fires
Is seen this moment, and the next expires :
As empty clouds by rising winds are toft,
Their fleeting forms scarce sooner found than loft ;
So vanishes our state, so pass our days;
So life but opens now, and now decays:
The cradle and the tomb, alas! fo nigh;
To live is scarce diftinguith'd from to die.
G 3


Cure of the miser's wish, and coward's fear, Diath only Mews us, what we knew was near. With courage therefore view : :le pointed hour; Dread not death's anger; but expect his power; Nor nature's law with fruitless forrow mourn; But die, O mortal man! for thou wast born.

Cautious through doubt; by want of courage, wise, To fuch advice the reasoner ftill replies.

Yet measuring all the long continued space,
Every successive day's repeated race,
Sinre Time first started from his pristine goal,
'Till he had reach'd that hour, wherein


soul Join’d to my body swell’d the womb; I was, (At least I think fo) nothing; must I pass Again to nothing, when this vital breath Ceasing, consigns me o'er, to rest, and death? Must the whole man, amazing thought! - return To the cold marble, or contracted urn? And never shall those particles agree, That were in life this individual He?. But fever'd, must they join the general mass Through other forms, and shapes ordain’d to pass; Nor thought nor image kept of what he was? Does the great word that gave him sense, ordain, That life shall never wake that sense again? And will no power his sinking spirits save From the dark caves of death and chambers of the grave



Each evening I behold the setting fun With down-ward speed into the ocean run: Yet the same light (pass but some fleeting hours.) Exerts his vigor, and renews his powers ; Starts the bright race again: his constant flame Rises and sets, returning still the same. I mark the various fury of the winds; These neither seasons guide, nor order binds: They now dilate, and now contract their force: Various their speed, but endless is their course. From his first fountain and beginning ouze, Down to the sea each brook and torrent flows: Tho' sundry drops or leave, or swell the stream; The whole still runs, with equal pace, the same. Still other waves supply the rising urns; And the eternal food no want of water mourns.

Why then must man obey the sad decree, Which subjects neither fun, nor wind, nor sea ?

A flower, that does with opening morn arise, And flourishing the day, at evening dies; A winged eastern blast, juft skimming o'er The ocean's brow, and finking on the shore; A fire, whose flames through crackling ftubble fly A meteor shooting from the summer sky; A bowl a-down the bending mountain rollid; A bubble breaking, and a fable told; A noon-tide shadow, and a midnight dream; Are emblems, which with semblance apt proclaim Our earthly course: but, O my soul! so fast Muft Life run off: and Death for ever





This dark opinion, sure, is too confin'd,
Else whence this hope, and terror of the mind?
Does something still, and somewhere yet remain,
Reward or punishment, delight or pain?
Say: fhall

relicks second birth receive?
Sleep we to wake, and only die to live ?
When the fad wife has closed her husband's eyes,
And pierc'd the echoing vault with doleful cries;
Lies the pale corps not yet entirely dead?
The spirit only from the body fled,
The groffer part of heat and motion void,
To be by fire, or worm, or time destroy’d:
The soul, immortal substance, to remain,
Conscious of joy, and capable of pain?
And if her acis have been directed well,
While with her friendly clay she deign'd to dwell;
Shall she with safety reach her priftine feat?
Find her rest endless, and her bliss compleat?
And while the buried man we idly mourn;
Do angels joy to see his better half return?
But if she has deform'd this earthly life
With murderous rapine, and seditious strife:
Amazed, repulsed, and by those angels driven
From the æthereal feat, and blissful Heaven,
In everlasting darkness must she lie,
Still more unhappy, that she cannot die?

Amid two seas on one small point of land
Weary'd, uncertain, and amaz'd we stand:
On either side our thoughts incessant turn:
Forward we dread ; and looking back we mourn.



Losing the present in this dubious haste;
And loft ourselves betwixt the future, and the past.

These cruel doubts contending in my breast,
My reason ftaggering, and my hopes oppress'd,
Once more I said: once more I will enquire,
What is this little, agile, pervious fire,
This fluttering motion, which we call the mind?
How does the act? and where is she confin’d?
Have we the power to guide her, as we please?
Whence then those evils, that obstruct our ease ?
We happiness pursue; we fly from pain;
Yet the pursuit, and yet the flight is vain:
And, while poor nature labours to be blest,
By day with pleasure, and by night with rest;
Some stronger power eludes our fickly will;
Dalhes our rising hope with certain ill;
And makes us with reflective trouble see,
That all is destin'd, which we fancy free,

That power superior then, which rules our mind, Is his decree by human prayer

inclin'd Will he for sacrifice our sorrows ease? And can our tears reverse his firm decrees? Then let religion aid, where reason fails: Throw loads of incense in, to turn the scales ; And let the filent fanctuary show, What from the babbling schools we may not know, How man may hun, or bear his destin'd

part of What shall amend, or what abfolve our fate ? Anxious wę hover in a mediate state,




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