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Lead it through various scenes of life and death;
And from each scene, the noblest truths inspire.
Nor less inspire my conduct than my sang;
Teach

my
best
reason, reason; my best will

50 Teach rectitude; and fix my

firm resolve Wisdom to wed, and pay her long arrear: Nor let the phial of thy vengeance pour'd On this devoted head, be pour’d in vain.

The bell strikes one-We take no note of time, 55 But from its loss—To give it then a tongue, Is wise in man-As if an angel spoke, I feel the solemn sound. If heard aright, It is the knell of my departed hours: Where are they? With the years beyond the flood. 60 It is the signal that demands dispatch: How much is to be done! My hopes and fears Start up alarm’d, and o'er life's narrow verge Look down-On what? A fathomless abyss; A dread eternity! how surely mine!

65 And can eternity belong to me, Poor pensioner on the bounties of an hour? How poor,

how rich, how abject, how august, How complicate, how wonderful, is Man! How passing wonder He, who made him such! 70 Who center'd in our make such strange extremes! From diff'rent natures marvellously mix'd, Connection exquisite of distant worlds! Distinguish'd link in being's endless chain! Midway from Nothing to the Deity!

75 A beam ethereal, sully'd and absorpt! Though sully'd and dishonour'd still divine ! Dim miniature of greatness absolute!

80

90

An heir of glory! a frail child of dust!
Helpless immortal! insect infinite!
A worm! a god !-I tremble at myself,
And in myself am lost! At home, a stranger,
Thought wanders up and down, surpris'd, aghast,
And wond'ring at her own: How reason reels!
O what a miracle to Man is Man,

85
Triumphantly distress’d! what joy, what dread!
Alternately transported, and alarm’d!
What can preserve my life? or what destroy?
An angel's arm can't snatch me from the

grave, Legions of angels can't confine me there. 'Tis past conjecture; all things rise in proof: While o'er my limbs Sleep's soft dominion spreads, What though my soul fantastic measures trod O’er fairy fields; or mourn'd along the gloom Of pathless woods; or down the craggy steep

95 Hurl'd headlong, swam with pain the mantled pool; Or scal'd the cliff; or danc'd on hollow winds, With antic shapes—wild natives of the brain! Her ceaseless flight, though devious, speaks her nature Of subtler essence than the trodden clod;

100 Active, aërial, tow'ring, unconfin’d, Unfetter'd with her gross companion's fall. Ev'n silent Night proclaims my soul immortal: Ev'n silent Night proclaims eternal day. For human weal, Heav'n husbands all events: 105 Dull Sleep instructs, nor sport vain dreams in vain.

Why then their loss deplore that are not lost? Why wanders wretched thought their tombs around, In infidel distress? Are angels there? Slumber's rak'd up in dust, ethereal fire?

110

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Yote Huw.fort. Mun here buris all his thought.com

lage. 5.

London: Published Oct? 25.4 1797 by 7. Heptinstall W!30 4 Holbom.

1

They live! they greatly live! a life on earth
Unkindled, unconceiv'd! and from an eye
Of tenderness, let heav'nly pity fall
On me, more justly number'd with the dead.
This is the desert, this the solitude:

115
How populous, how vital, is the grave!
This is creation's melancholy vault,
The vale funereal, the sad cypress gloom;
The land of apparitions, empty shades!
All, all on earth is shadow, all beyond

120 Is substance: The reverse is Folly's creed: How solid all, where change shall be no more!

This is the bud of being, the dim dawn, The twilight of our day, the vestibule; Life's theatre as yet is shut, and Death,

125 Strong Death alone can heave the massy bar, This gross impediment of clay remove, And make us, embryos of existence, free. From real life, but little more remote Is he, not yet a candidate for light,

130 The future embryo, slumb'ring in his sire. Embryos we must be, till we burst the shell, Yon ambient azure shell, and spring to life, The life of gods, (O transport!) and of man.

Yet Man, fool Man! here buries all his thoughts; Inters celestial hopes without one sigh.

136 Pris'ner of earth, and pent beneath the moon, Here pinions all his wishes: Wing'd by Heav'n To Ay at infinite; and reach it there, Where seraphs gather immortality.

140 On Life's fair tree, fast by the throne of God, What golden joys ambrosial clust'ring glow

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