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AMEULANTES IN HORTO AUDIERUNT VOCEM DEI. eminence to be passed over without notice. In all They heard the voice of God walking in the garden.

his works, the marks of strong genius appear. His This seriousness occasioned him to be charged

Universal Passion, possesses the full merit of that with gloominess of temper; yet he was fond of

animated conciseness of style, and lively descriprural sports and innocent amusements.

tion of character, which I mention as requisite in

He would sometimes visit the assembly and the bowling wit may often be thought too sparkling, and his

satirical and didactic compositions. Though his green; and we see in his satires that he knew how to laugh at folly. His wit was poignant, and sentences too pointed, yet the vivacity of his fancy always levelled at those who showed any contempt

is so great, as to entertain every reader. In his for decency or religion; an instance of which we

Night Thoughts there is much energy of expreshave remarked in his extemporary epigram on yol- sion; in the three first, there are several pathetic

passages; and scattered through them all, happy taire.

Dr. Young rose betimes, and engaged with his images and allusions, as well as pious reflections, domestics in the duties of Morning Prayer. He

But the sentiments are frequently overis said to have read but little; but he noted what struined, and turgid; and the style is too harsh

and obscure to be pleasing." he read, and many of his books were so swelled with folding down his favourite passages, that they ther place, that his “merit in figurative language

The same critic has said of our author in anowould hardly shut. He was moderate in his meals, and rarely drank wine, except when he was ill;

is great, and deserves to be remarked. No writer, being (as he used to say) unwilling to waste the

ancient or modern, had a stronger imagination succours of sickness on the stability of health.than Dr. Young, or one more fertile in figures of After a slight refreshment, he retired to rest early, every kind; his metaphors are often new, and often in the evening, even though he might have com

natural and beautiful. But his imagination was pany who wished to prolong his stay.

strong and rich, rather than delicate and correct."

These strictures may be thought severe; but it He lived at a moderate expense, rather inclined to parsimony than profusion; and seems to have should be remembered, that an author derives far possessed just conceptions of the vanity of the more honour from such a discriminate character, world; yet (such is the inconsistency of man!) he from a judicious critic, than from the indiscriminate courted honours and preferments at the borders commendation of an admirer. The following is of the grave, even so late as 1758; but none were

the conclusion of Dr. Johnson's critique, and shall then conferred. It has, however, been asserted, conclude these memoirs. that he had a pension of 2001. a year from govern abounds in thought, but without much accuracy

“It must be allowed of Young's poetry, that it ment, conferred under the auspices of Walpole. of selection. When he lays hold on a thought, he

At last, when he was full fourscore, the author of the Night Thoughts,

pursues it beyond expectation, [and] sometimes

happily, as in his parallel of quieksi/ ver and plege “Who thought e’en gold itself might come a day too late," sure .... which is very ingenious, very subtle,

and almost exact was made Clerk of the Closet to the Princess Dow- “ His versification is his own; neither his blank ager of Wales. What retarded his promotion so nor his rhyming lines have any resemblance to long is not easy to determine. Some attribute it those of former writers; he picks up no hemisticks, to his attachment to the Prince of Wales and his le copies no favourite expressions; he seems to friends; and others assert, that the King thought have laid up no stores of thought or diction, but him sufficiently provided for. Certain it is, that to owe all to the fortuitous suggestions of the prehe knew no straits in pecuniary matters; and that sent moment. Yet I have reason to believe that, in the method he has recommended of estimating when he once formed a new design, he then lahuman life, honours are of little value.

boured it with very patient industry, and that he His merits as an author have already been con- composed with great labour and frequent revisions. sidered in a review of his works; and nothing seems “ His verses are formed by no certain model; necessary to be added, but the following gereral he is no more like himself in his different produccharacters of his composition, from Blair and tions than he is like others. He seems never to Johnson.

have studied prosody, nor to have any direction, Dr. Blair says, in his celebrated lectures: "Among but from his own ear. But with all his defects, moral and didactic poets, Dr. Young is of too great he was a man of genius, and a poet.”





The Complaint.

PREFACE. As the occasion of this poem was real, not fictitious, so the method pursued in it was rather imposed by what spontaneourly arose in the Author's mind on that occasion, than meditated or designed; which will appear very probable from the nature of it; for it dillers from the common mode of poetry, which is, from long narrations to draw short morals: here, on the contrary, the narrative is short, and the morality arising from it makes the bulk of the Poem. The reason of it is, that the facts mentioned did naturally pour these moral reflections on the thoughts of the writer.


To reason, and on reason build resolve,

(That column of true majesty in man) ON LIFE, DEATH, AND IMMORTALITY. Assist me: I will thank you in the grave;

The grave your kingdom: there this frame shall To the Right Hon. Arthur Onslow, Esq., Speaker of the

fall House of Commons.

A victim sacred to your dreary shrine. Tired Nature's sweet restorer, balmy Sleep!

But what are ye?-
He, like the world, his ready visit pays,

Thou who did'st put to flight
Where Fortune smiles; the wretched he forsakes; Primeval Silence, when the morning stars,
Swift on his downy pinion flies from wo, Exulting, shouted o’er the rising ball;
And lights on lids unsullied with a tear.

0 Thou! whose word from solid darkness struck
From short (as usual) and disturbed repose That spark, the sun, strike wisdom from my soul;
I wake: how happy they who wake no more ! My soul, which flies to thee, her trust her treasure,
Yet that were vain, if dreams infest the grave. As inisers to their gold, while others rest.
I wake, emerging from a sca of dreams

Through this opaque of nature and of soul, Tumultuous, where my wrecked desponding This double night, transmit one pitying ray, thought

To lighten and to cheer. O lead my mind, From wave to wave of fancied misery

(A mind that fain would wander from its wo) At random drove, her helm of reason lost. Lead it through various scenes of life and death, Though now restored, 'tis only change of pain, And from each scene the noblest truths inspire, (A bitter change!) severer for severe;

Nor less inspire my conduct than my song; The day too sbort for my distress; and night, Teach my best reason, reason; my best will Evin in the zenith of her dark domain,

Teach rectitude; and fix my firm resolve Is sunshine to the colour of my fate.

Wisdom to wed, and pay her long arrear: Night, sable goddess! from her ebon throne, Nor let the phial of thy vengeance, poured In rayless majesty now stretches forth

On this devoted head, be poured in vain. Her leaden sceptre o'er a slumbering world.

The bell strikes one. We take no note of time Silence how dead! and darkness how profound! But from its loss: to give it then a tongue Nor

eye nor listening ear an object finds; Is wise in man. As if an angel spoke Creation sleeps. 'Tis as the general pulse I feel the solemn sound. If heard aright, Of life stood still, and Nature made a pause;

It is the knell of my departed hours. An awful pause! prophetic of her end.

Where are they? With the years beyond the And let her prophecy be soon fulfilled:

flood. Fate drop the curtain; I can lose no more. It is the signal that demands despatch:

Silence and Darkness! solemn sisters! twins How much is to be done? My hopes and fears From ancient Night, who nurse the tender thought' Start up alarmed, and o'er life's narrow verge

Look down-on what? A fathomless abyss. All, all on earth is shadow, all beyond
A dread eternity! how surely mine!

Is substance; the reverse is Folly's creed.
And can eternity belong to me,

How solid all, where change shall be no more! Poor pensioner on the bounties of an hour! This is the bud of being, the dim dawn,

How poor, how rich, how abject, how august, The twilight of our day, the vestibule. How complicate, how wonderful, is man! Life's theatre as yet is shut, and Death, How passing wonder He who made him such! Strong Death, alone can heave the inassy bar, Who centered in our make such strange extremes, This gross impediment of clay remove, From different natures marvellously mixed, And make us, embryos of existence, free. Connexion exquisite of distant worlds!

From real life but little more remote Distinguished link in being's endless chain! Is he, not yet a candidate for light, Midway from nothing to the Deity!

The future embryo, slumbering in his sire. A beam ethereal, sullied and absorpt!

Embryos we must be till we burst the shell, Though sullied and dishonoured, still divine! Yon ambient azure shell, and spring to life, Dim miniature of greatness absolute!

The life of gods, O transport ! and of man. An heir of glory, a frail child of dust!

Yet man, fool man! here buries all his thoughts, Helpless immortal! insect infinite!

Inters celestial hopes without one sigh: A worm! a god!—I tremble at myself,

Prisoner of earth and pent beneath the moon, And in myself am lost. At home a stranger, Here pinions all his wishes; wing'd by Heav'n Thought wanders up and down, surprised, aghast, To fly at infinite, and reach it there, And wondering at her own. How reason reels? Where seraphs gather immortality. O what a miracle to man is man!

On Life's fair tree, fast by the throne of God, Triumphantly distressed! what joy! what dread! What golden joys ambrosial clustering glow Alternately transported and alarmed;

In his full beam, and ripen for the just, What can preserve my life! or what destroy! Where momentary ages are no more! An angel's arm can't snatch me from the grave; Where Time, and Pain, and Chance, and Death Legions of angels can't confine me there.

expire ! 'Tis past conjecture; all things rise in proof. And is it in the flight of threescore years While o'er my limbs Sleep's sost dominion spread, To push eternity from human thought, What though my soul fantastic measures trod And smother souls immortal in the dust? O'er fairy fields, or mourned along the gloom A soul immortal, spending all her fires, Of pathless woods, or down the craggy steep Wasting her strength in strenuous idleness, Hurled headlong, swam with pain the mantled Thrown into tumult, raptur'd, or alarm'd pool,

At aught this scene can threaten or indulge, Or scaled the cliff, or danced on hollow winds Resembles ocean into tempest wrought, With antic shapes, wiid natives of the brain! To was a feather, or to drown a fly. Her ceaseless flight, though devious, speaks her Where falls this censure ? it o'erwhelms myself. nature

How was my heart instructed by the world! Of subtler essence than the trodden clod; O how self-fetter'd was my groveling soul ! Active, aërial, towering, unconfined,

How, like a worm, was I wrapt round and round Unfettered with her gross companion's fall. In silken thought, which reptile Fancy spun, Even silent night proclaims my soul immortal; Till darken’d Reason lay quite clouded o'er, Even silent night proclaims eternal day! With soft conceit of endless comfort here, For human weal Heaven husbands all events: Nor yet put forth her wings to reach the skies! Dull sleep instructs, nor sport vain dreams in vain. Night-visions may befriend, (as sung above :)

Why then their loss deplore, that are not lost ? Our waking dreams are fatal. How I dream, Why wanders wretched Thought their tombs of things impossible ! (could sleep do more ?) around

Of joys perpetual in perpetual change! In infidel distress? Are angels there? Of stable pleasures on the tossing wave; Slumbers, raked up in dust, ethereal fire ? Eternal sunshine in the storms of life!

They live! they greatly live a life on earth How richly were my noon-tide trances hung Unkindled, unconceived, and from an eye With gorgeous tapestries of pictur'd joys, Of tenderness let heavenly pity fall,

Joy behind joy, in endless perspective; On me, more justly numbered with the dead. Till at Death's toll, whose restless iron tongue This is the desert, this the solitude:

Calls daily for his millions at a meal, How populous, how vital is the grave !

Starting I woke, and found myself undone. This is creation's melancholy vault,

Where now my frenzy's pompous furniture ? The vale funereal, the sad cypress gloom; The cobweb'd cottage, with its ragged wall The land of apparitions, empty shades ! Of mouldering mud, is royalty to me!

The spider's most attenuated thread

The single man? are angels all beside ? Is cord, is cable, to man's tender tie

I mourn for millions; 'tis the common lot: On earthly bliss: it breaks at every breeze. In this shape or in that has Fate entail'd

O ye blest scenes of permanent delight! The mother's throes on all of woman born; Full above measure ! lasting beyond bound ! Not more the children than sure heirs of pain. A perpetuity of bliss is bliss.

War, famine, pest, volcano, storm, and fire, Could you, so rich in rapture, fear an end,

Intestine broils, Oppression, with her heart That ghastly thought would drink up all your joy, Wrapt up in triple brass, besiege mankind. And quite unparadise the realms of light.

God's image, disinherited of day, Safe are you lodged above these rolling spheres,

Here plung'd in mines, forgets a sun was made: The baleful influence of whose giddy dance

There beings, deathless as their haughty lord, Sheds sad vicissitude on all beneath.

Are hammer'd to the galling oar for life, Here teems with revolutions every hour,

And plough the winter's wave, and reap despair. And rarely for the better; or the best

Some for hard masters, broken under arms, More mortal than the common births of Fate.

In battle lopt away, with half their limbs, Each Moment has its sickle, emulous

Beg bitter bread through realms their valour saved, Of Time's enormous scythe, whose ample sweep If so the tyrant or his minion doom. Strikes empires from the root : each Moment plays Want and incurable disease, (fell pair !) His little weapon in the narrower sphere

On hopeless multitudes remorseless seize Of sweet domestic comfort, and cuts down

At once, and make a refuge of the grave. The fairest bloom of sublunary bliss. Bliss! sublunary bliss!—proud words, and vain! What numbers groan for sad admission there!

How groaning hospitals eject their dead ! Implicit treason to divine decree!

What numbers, once in Fortune's lap high-fed, A bold invasion of the rights of Heaven!

Solicit the cold hand of Charity! I clasped the phantoms, and I found them air.

To shock us more, solicit it in vain! O had I weighed it ere my fond embrace,

Ye silken sons of Pleasure! since in pains What darts of agony had missed my heart !

You rue more modish visits, visit here, Death! great proprietor of all! 'tis thine

And breathe from your debauch: give, and reduce To tread out empire, and to quench the stars.

Surfeits dominion o'er you. But so great
The sun himself by thy permission shines,

Your impudence, you blush at what is right.
And, one day, thou shalt pluck him from his sphere:
Amid such mighty plunder, why exhaust

Happy! did sorrow seize on such alone.
Thy partial quiver on a mark so mean?

Not prudence can defend, or virtue save,

Disease invades the chastest temperance,
Why thy peculiar rancour wreaked on me ?
Insatiate archer! could not one suffice ?

And punishment the guiltless; and alarm,
Thyshaft new thrice, and thrice my peace was slain: Through thickest shades, pursues the fond of peace.
And thrice, ere thrice yon moon had filled her horn. Man's caution often into danger turns,
O Cynthia ! why so pale ? dost thou lament

And, his guard falling, crushes him to death. Thy wretched neighbour ? grieve to see thy wheel Not Happiness itself makes good her name; Of ceaseless change outwbirled in human life?

Our very wishes gives us not our wish. How wanes my borrow'd bliss! from Fortune's smile How distant oft the thing we dote on most Precarious courtesy! not virtue's sure,

From that for which we dote, felicity! Self-given, solar ray of sound delight.

The smoothest course of Nature has its pains,

And truest friends, through error, wound our rest. In every varied posture, place, and hour, How widowed every thought of every joy !

Without misfortune, what calamities! Thought, busy thought! too busy for my peace,

And what hostilities, without a foe! Through the dark postern of time long elaps’d,

Nor are foes wanting to the best on earth.

But endless is the list of human ills,
Led softly, by the stillness of the night,
Led, like a murderer, (and such it proves !)

And sighs might sooner fail than cause to sigh.
Strays (wretched rover !) o'er the pleasing past ; A part how small of the terraqueous globe
In quest of wretchedness perversely strays, Is tenanted by man! the rest a waste,
And finds all desert now; and meets the ghosts Rocks, deserts, frozen seas, and burning sands!
Of my departed joys, a numerous train! Wild haunts of monsters, poisons, stings, and
I rue the riches of my former fate;

death, Sweet comfort's blasted clusters I lament;

Such is earth's melancholy map! but, far I tremble at the blessings once so dear,

More sad! this earth is a true map of man: And every pleasure pains me to the heart. So bounded are its haughty lord's delights

Yet why complain? or why complain for one? To wo's wide empire, where deep troubles toss. Hangs out the sun his lustre but for me, Loud sorrows howl, envenom'd passions bite,



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Ravenous calamities our vitals seize,

Of outcast earth, in darkness: what a change And threatening Fame wide opens to devour. From yesterday! Thy darling hope so near,

What then am I, who sorrow for myself ? (Long-laboured prize!) O how ambition flushed In age, in infancy, from others' aid

Thy glowing cheek; ambition truly great, Is all our hope; to teach us to be kind:

Of virtuous praise. Death's subtle seed within, That Nature's first, last lesson to mankind. (Sly, treacherous miner !) working in the dark, The selfish heart deserves the pain it feels: Smiled at thy well concerted scheme, and beckoned More generous sorrow, while it sinks exalts, The worm to riot on that rose so red, And conscious virtue mitigates the pang. Unfaded ere it fell, one moment's prey! Nor virtue more than prudence bids me give Man's foresight is conditionally wise. Swoln thought a second channel: who divide, Lorenzo! wisdom into folly turns, They weaken, too, the torrent of their grief. Oft the first instant its idea fair Take, then, O World! thy much indebted tear. To labouring thought is born. How dim our eye! How sad a sight is human happiness

The present moment terminates our sight; To those, whose thought can pierce beyond an Clouds, thick as those on Doomsday, drown the hour!

O thou! whate'er thou art, whose heart exults, We penetrate, we prophesy in vain
Wouldst thou I should congratulate thy fate ! Time is dealt out by particles, and each
I know thou wouldst; thy pride demands it from Are mingled with the streaming sands of life,

By Fate's inviolable oath is sworn
Let thy pride pardon what thy nature needs, Deep silence,—where Eternity begins.
The salutary censure of a friend;

By Nature's law, what may be may be now:
Thou happy wretch! by blindness thou art bless'd; There's no prerogative in human hours.
By dotage dandled to perpetual smiles.

In human hearts what bolder thoughts can rise Know, smiler! at thy peril art thou pleas'd; Than man's presumption on to-morrow's dawn? Thy pleasure is the promise of thy pain.

Where is to-morrow? In another world. Misfortune, like a creditor severe,

For numbers this is certain; the reverse
But rises in demand for her delay;

Is sure to none; and yet on this perhaps,
She makes a scourge of past prosperity, This peradrenture, infamous for lies,
To sting thee more, and double thy distress. As on a rock of adamant we build

Lorenzo! Fortune makes her court to thee; Our mountain-hopes, spin out eternal schemes,
Thy fond heart dances while the syren sings. As we the fatal sisters could outspin,
Dear is thy welfare ; think me not unkind; And, big with life's futurities expire.
I would not damp, but to secure thy joys.

Not even Philander had bespoke his shroud; Think not that fear is sacred to the storm; Nor had he cause; a warning was denied. Stand on thy guard against the smiles of Fate. How many fall as sudden, not as safe! Is Heaven tremendous in its frowns? most sure: As sudden, though for years admonished home; And in its favours formidable too:

Of human ills the last extreme beware; Its favours here are trials, not rewards;

Beware, Lorenzo! a slow sudden death;
A call to duty, not discharge from care,

How dreadful that deliberate surprise!
And should alarm us full as much as woes, Be wise to-day; 'tis madness to defer:
Awake us to their cause and consequence, Next day the fatal precedent will plead,
And make us tremble, weighed with our desert; Thus on, till wisdom is pushed out of life.
Awe Nature's tumult, and chastise her joys, Procrastination is the thief of time;
Lest while we clasp we kill them; nay, invert Year after year it steals, till all are fled,
To worse than simple misery their charms. And to the mercies of a moment leaves
Revolted joys, like foes in civil war,

The vast concerns of an eternal scene.
Like bosom friendships to resentments soured, If not so frequent, would not this be strange?
With rage envenomed rise against our peace. That 'tis so frequent, this is stranger still.
Beware what earth calls happiness; beware Of man's miraculous mistakes this bears
All joys but joys that never can expire. The palm, ' That all men are about to live,'
Who builds on less than an immortal base, For ever on the brink of being born:
Fond as he seems, condemns his joys to death. All pay themselves the compliment to think

Mine died with thee, Philander; thy last sigh They one day shall not drivel, and their pride Dissolved the charm; the disenchanted earth On this reversion takes up ready praise; Lost all her lustre. Where her glittering towers? At least their own; their future selves applauds, Her golden mountains where? all darkened down How excellent that life they ne'er will lead ! To naked waste; a dreary vale of tears. Time lodged in their own hands is Folly's vails; The great magician's dead! Thou poor, pale piece That lodged in Fate's to wisdom they consign;

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