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For he was frail as thou or I,

And evil felt within ;
And, when he felt it, heaved a sigh,

And loathed the thought of sin.

Such lived Aspasio; and at last

Calld up from earth to heaven,
The gulf of death triumphant pass'd, -

By gales of blessing driven.
His joys be mine, each reader cries,

When my last hour arrives :
They shall be yours, my verse replies,

Such only be your lives.

ON A SIMILAR OCCASION,

FOR THE YEAR 1790.

BUCHANAN.

Ne commonentem recta sperne.
Despise not my good counsel.

He who sits from day to day

Where the prison'd lark is hung, Heedless of his loudest lay,

Hardly knows that he has sung,

Where the watchman in his round

Nightly lifts his voice on high, None, accustom’d to the sound,

Wakes the sooner for his cry,

So your verse-man I and clerk,

Yearly in my song proclaim Death at hand-yourselves his mark

And the foe's unerring aim.

Duly at my time I come,

Publishing to all aloud-
Soon the grave must be your home,

And your only suit a shroud.

But the monitory strain,

Oft repeated in your ears, Seems to sound too much in vain,

Wins no notice, wakes no fears.

Can a truth, by all confess’d

Of such magnitude and weight, Grow, by being oft impress’d,

Trivial as a parrot's prate ?

Pleasure's call attention wins,

Hear it often as we may; New as ever seem our sins,

Though committed every day.

Death and judgment, heaven and hell

These alone, so often heard, No more move us than the bell,

When some stranger is interr’d.

0, then, ere the turf or tomb

Cover us from every eye,
Spirit of instruction, come,
Make us learn that we must die.

ON A SIMILAR OCCASION,

FOR THE YEAR 1792.

Felis, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas
Atque metus omnes et inexorabile fatum
Subjecit pedibus, strepitumque Acherontis avari !

VIRG.
Happy the mortal, who has traced effects
To their first cause, cast fear beneath his feet,
And death, and roaring hell's voracious fires !

THANKLESS for favours from on high,

Man thinks he fades too soon; Though 'tis his privilege to die,

Would he improve the boon.

But he, not wise enough to scan

His best concerns aright,
Would gladly stretch life's little span

To ages, if he might:

To ages in a world of pain,

To ages, where he goes
Gall'd by affliction's heavy chain,

And hopeless of repose.

Strange fondness of the human heart,

Enamour'd of its harm! Strange world, that costs it so much smart,

And still has power to charm.

Whence has the world her magic power?

Why deem we death a foe? Recoil from weary life's best hour,

And covet longer woe?

The cause is Conscience-Conscience oft

Her tale of guilt renews:
Her voice is terrible, though soft,

And dread of death ensues.

Then anxious to be longer spared,

Man mourns his feeting breath : All evils then seem light, compared

With the approach of death.

"Tis judgment shakes him; there's the fear

That prompts the wish to stay: He has incurr'd a long arrear,

And must despair to pay.

Pay!--follow Christ, and all is paid;

His death your peace ensures;
Think on the grave where he was laid,

And calm descend to yours.

ON A SIMILAR OCCASION,

FOR THE YEAR 1793.

De sacris autem hæc sit una sententia, ut conserventur.

Cic. DE LEG. But let us all concur in this one sentiment, that things sacred

be inviolate.

He lives who lives to God alone,

And all are dead beside;
For other source than God is none

Whence life can be supplied.

To live to God is to requite

His love as best we may;
To make his precepts our delight,

His promises our stay.

But life, within a narrow ring

Of giddy joys comprised,
Is falsely named, and no such thing,

But rather death disguised.
Can life in them deserve the name,

Who only live to prove
For what poor toys they can disclaim

An endless life above?

Who much diseased, yet nothing feel;

Much menaced, nothing dread;
Have wounds which only God can heal,

Yet never ask his aid?

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