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Touches the secret spring that opes the cell Where Conscience lurks, and slumbering horrors.
dwell. Lo! as the wretch his careless path pursues, Struck by his foot a rusted knife he views. In thought the blade conceal’d from mortal eyes Beneath the lake his troubled soul descries. In wild dismay his clouded senses swim ; Cold streams of terror bathe each shivering limb; Then with new fires in every nerve he burns; To earth, to heaven, his flashing eyeballs turns ; Buries with frantic hand the avenging knife Deep in his breast, and renders life for life.
REV. T. GISBORNE.
THE VANITY OF FAME, As vapours from the marsh's miry bed Ascend, and, gathering on the mountain head, Spread their long train in splendid pomp on high;
Now o'er the vales in awful grandeur lour, Now flashing, thundering down the trembling sky, Rive the rough oak, or dash the’aspiring tower;
Then melting down in rain
Drop to their base original again; Thus earth-born heroes, the proud sons of praise, Awhile on Fortune's airy summit blaze,
The world's fair peace confound,
And deal dismay and death and ruin round, Then back to earth these idols of an hour Sink on a sudden, and are known no more. Where is each boasted favourite of Fame,
Whose wide expanded name
Fill'd the loud echoes of the world around,
Victors and vanquish'd mingle in the grave; Worms prey upon the mouldering god,
Nor know a Cæsar from his slave;
In vain with various arts they strive
To keep their little names alive;
The rolling tide of years,
To black Oblivion's sea;
Where's now imperial Rome, Who erst to subject kings denounced their doom, And shook the sceptre o'er a trembling world? From her proud height by force barbarian hurld! Now, on some broken capital reclined,
The sage of classic mind
Her awful relics views with pitying eye,
In melancholy majesty along ;
The curious traveller explores in vain
The barren shores and solitary plain, Where erst majestic Babel's turret stood ; All vanish'd from the view her proud abodes, Her walls, and brazen gates, and palaces of gods ! A shapeless heap o'erspreads the dreary space, Of mingled piles an undistinguish'd mass; There the wild tenants of the desert dwell; The serpent's hiss is heard, the dragon's yell; And doleful howlings o'er the waste affright And drive afar the wanderers of the night. Yet, 'tis Divinity's implanted fire Which bids the soul to glorious heights aspire ;
Enlarge her wishes, and extend her sight Beyond this little life's contracted round,
And wing her eagle flight To grandeur, fame, and bliss beyond a bound. Ambition's ardent hopes, and golden dreams, Her towering madness, and her wild extremes Unfold this sacred truth to Reason's eye, That ‘Man was made for Immortality.'
Yes, friend! let noble deeds and noble aims
Are dropp'd to dust away,
To future times, we were !'
On Virtue's adamantine rock,
Superior to the surge's shock.
Rising majestic on its ample base,
By just degrees, and with a daring grace, Erect, unmoved amid the storms of time!
Of time! no, that's a period too confined
When the loud clarion's dreadful roll
Shall virtue see her honours shine ;
REV. H. MOORE.
THE SOUL'S ERRAND.
Go, soul, the body's guest,
Upon a thankless errand ! Fear not to touch the best, The truth shall be thy warrant;
Go, since I needs must die,
And give the world the lie. Go, tell the court it glows,
And shines like rotten wood; Go, tell the church it shows What's good, and doth no good :
If church and court reply,
Then give them both the lie. Tell potentates they live
Acting by others actions, Not loved unless they give, Not strong but by their factions :
If potentates reply,
Give potentates the lie. Tell men of high condition,
That rule affairs of state, Their purpose is ambition, Their practice only hate ;
And if they once reply,
Then give them all the lie. Tell them that brave it most,
They beg for more by spending,
And if they make reply,