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Let reason instruct you to shun
What it cannot instruct you to cure :
Beware how ye loiter in vain,
Amid nymphs of an higher degree :
It is not for me to explain
How fair, and how fickle they be.
Alas! from the day that we met,
What hope of an end to iny woes! When I cannot endure to forget
The glance that undid my repose.
Yet time may diminish the pain :
The flower, and the shrub, and the tree,
Which I rear'd for her pleasure in vain,
In time may have comfort for me.
The sweets of a dew-sprinkled rose,
The sound of a murmuring stream,
The peace which from solitude flows,
Henceforth shall be Corydon's theme.
High transports are shown to the sight,
But we are not to find them our own;
Fate never bestow'd such delight,
As I with my Phyllis had known.
O ye woods, spread your branches apace;
To your deepest recesses I fly;
I would hide with the beasts of the chase ;
I would vanish from every eye.
Yet my reed shall resound through the grove;
With the same sad complaint it begun; How she smiled, and I could not but lore;
Was faithless, and I am undone !
THE spacious firmament on high,
With all the blue ethereal sky,
And spangled heavens, a shining frame,
Their great Original proclaim.
Th’unwearied sun, from day to day,
Does his Creator's power display ;
And publishes to every land
The work of an Almighty hand.
Soon as the evening shades prevail,
The moon takes up the wondrous tale ;
And nightly, to the listening earth,
Repeats the story of her birth :
Whilst all the stars that round her burn,
And all the planets, in their turn,
Confirm the tidings as they roll,
And spread the truth from pole to pole.
What though, in solemn silence, all
Move round the dark terrestrial ball;
What though no real voice nor sound
On this our earthly globe is found;
In Reason's ear, they all rejoice,
And utter forth a glorious voice;
For ever singing as they shine,
66 The hand that made us is divine."
By the blue taper's trembling light,
No more I waste the wakeful night,
Intent with endless view to pore
The schoolmen and the
Their books from wisdom widely stray,
Or point, at best, the longest way.
I'll seek a readier path, and go
Where wisdom's surely taught below.
How deep yon azure dies the sky!
Where orbs of gold unnumber'd lie;
While through their ranks, in silver pride,
The nether crescent seems to glide.
The slumbering breeze forgets to breathe,
The lake is smooth and clear beneath,
Where once again the spangled show
Descends to meet our eyes below.
The grounds which on the right aspire,
In dimness from the view retire :
The left presents a place of graves,
Whose wall the silent water laves.
That steeple guides thy doubtful sight
Among the livid gleams of night.
There pass with melancholy state,
By all the solemn heaps of fate,
And think, as softly-sad you tread,
Above the venerable dead,
66 Time was, like thee they life possess'd,
66 And time shall be that thou shalt rest."
Those graves, with bending osiers bound, That nameless heave the crumbled ground, Quick to the glancing thought disclose Where toil and poverty repose.
The flat smooth stones that bear a name,
The chissel's slender help to fame,
(Which, ere our set of friends decay,
Their frequent steps may wear away)
A middle race of mortals own,
Men half ambitious, all unknown.
The marble tombs that rise on high,
Whose dead in vaulted arches lie,
Whose pillars swell with sculptured stones,
Arms, angels, epitaphs, and bones,
These (all the poor remains of state)
Adorn the rich, or praise the great;
Who, though on earth in fame they live,
Are senseless of the fame they give.
Ha! while I gaze, pale Cynthia fades,
The bursting earth unveils the shades !
All slow, and wan, and wrapp'd with shrouds,
They rise in visionary crowds,
And all with sober accent cry,
“ Think, mortal, what it is to die.”
Now from yon black and funeral yew,
That bathes the charnel house with dew,
Methinks I hear a voice begin;
(Ye ravens, cease your croaking din,
Ye tolling clocks, no time resound
O'er the long lake and midnight ground)
It sends a peal of hollow groans,
Thus speaking from among the bones :
When men my scythe and darts supply, How great a king of fears am I! They view me like the last of things, They make, and then they dread, my stings. Fools ! if you less provoked your fears, No more my spectre form appears. Death's but a path that must be trod, If man would ever pass to God; A port of calms, a state of ease, From the rough rage of swelling seas.
Why then thy flowing sable stoles, Deep-pendent cypress, mourning poles ; Loose scarfs to fall athwart thy weeds, Long palls, drawn herses, cover'd steeds, And plumes of black, that as they tread, Nod o'er the scutcheons of the dead ?
Nor can the parted body know,
Nor wants the soul these forms of woe;
As men who long in prison dwell,
With lamps that glimmer round the cell,
Whene'er their suffering years are run,
Spring forth to greet the glittering sun :
Such joy, though far transcending sense,
Have pious souls at parting hence.
On earth, and in the body placed,
A few, and evil years they waste :
But when their cares are cast aside,
See the glad scene unfolding wide,
Clap the glad wing and tower away,
And mingle with the blaze of day.