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With all the fiercer tortures of the mind,
Unbounded paffion, madness, guilt, remorfe ;
Whence, trembling headlong from the height of life,
They furnish matter for the tragic muse :
Even in the vale, where wisdom loves to dwell,
With friendship, peace, and contemplation join'd,
How many rack'd, with honest paffions droop
In deep retir'd distress : how many stand
Around the death-bed of their deareft friends
And point the parting anguish-Thought fond man
Of these, and all the thousand nameless ills,
That one incessant struggle render life,
One scene of toil, of suffering, and of fate,
Vice in his high career would stand appalld,
And heedless rambling Impulse learn to think ;
The conscious heart of Charity would warm,
And her wide wish benevolence dilate ;
The focial tear would rise, the social figh;
And into clear perfection, gradual blissy
Refining still, the social paffions work.
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REFLECTIONS ON A FUTURE STATE.
IS done !_dread WINTER spreads his latest glooms,
And reigns tremendous o'er the conquer'd year.
How dead the vegetable kingdom lies !
How dumb the tuneful! horror wide extends
His desolate domain. Behold, fond Man !
See here thy pictur'd life, pass some few years :
Thy flowering Spring, thy Summer's ardent strength,
Thy fober Autumn fading into age, And pale concluding Winter comes at last, And shuts the scene. Ah! whither now are fied Those dreams of greatness ? those unfolid hopes Of happiness ? those longings after fame? Those restless cares? those busy bustling days? Those gay-spent festive nights ? those veering thoughts Loft between good and ill, that shar'd thy life? All now are vanish'd! VIRTUE sole survives, Immortal never-failing friend of Man, His guide to happiness on high-And see! 'Tis come, the glorious morn ! the second birth Of heaven, and earth ? awakening Nature hears The new creating word, and starts to life, In every heightened form pain and death For ever free. The great eternal scheme Involving all, and in a perfect whole Uniting, as the prospect wider spreads, To reason's eye refin’d clears up apace. Ye vainly wise ! ye blind presumptuous ! now, Confounded in the dust, adore that Power, And Wisdom oft arraign'd : fee now the cause, Why unassuming worth in secret liv’d, And dy'd, neglected : why the good Man's share In life was gall and bitterness of foul : Why the lonie widow, and her orphans, pin'd In starving solitude ; while luxury, In palaces, lay ftraining her low thought, To form unreal wants : why heaven'n-born truth, And moderation fair, wore the red marks Of superstition's fcourge : why licens'd pain, That cruel spoiler, that embosom’d foe,
Imbitter'd all our bliss. Ye good distrest !
Ye noble few! who here unbending stand
Beneath life's pressure, yet bear up a while,
And what your bounded view, which only saw
A little part, deem'd Evil, is no more.
The storms of Wintry Time will quickly pass,
And one unbounded SPRING encircle all.
E wise to day ; 'tis madness to defer ;
Next day the fatal precedent will plead;
Thus on, till wisdom is push'd out of life.
Procrastination is the thief of time ;
Year after year it steals, till all are fled,
And to the mercies of a moment leaves
The vast concerns of an eternal scene.
Of man's miraculous mistakes, this bears
The palm. “That all men are about to live,
For ever on the brink of being born.
All pay themselves the compliment to think
They, one day, shall not drivel; and their pride
On this reversion takes up ready praise ;
At least, their own ; their future felves applauds ;
How excellent that life they ne'er will lead !
Time lodg'd in their own hands is folly's vails ;
That lodg’d in Fate's, to Wisdom they consign;
The thing they can't but purpose, they postpone,
"Tis not in Folly, not to scorn a fool ;
And scarce in human Wisdom to do more.
All promise is poor dilatory man,
And that thro' every stage. When young, indeed,
In full content, we sometimes nobly rest,
Un-anxious for ourselves : and only wish,
As duteous son, our fathers were more wise.
At thirty man suspects himself a fool;
Knows it at forty, and reforms his plan ;
At fifty chides his infamous delay,
Pushes his prudent purpose to Resolve ;
In all the magnanimity of thought,
Resolves, and re-refolves, then dies the fame.
And why? Because he thinks himself immortal,
All men think all men mortal, but themselves ;
Themselves, when some alarming shock of fate
Strikes thro' their wounded hearts the sudden dread;
But their hearts wounded, like the wounded air,
Soon close ; where paft the shaft, no trace is found,
As from the wing no fear the sky retains ;
The parted wave no furrow from the keel ;
So dies in human hearts the thought of death,
Ev'n with the tender tear which nature sheds
O'er those we love, we drop it in their grave.
THE PAIN ARISING FROM VIRTUOUS EMOTIONS
EHOLD the ways
Of Heav'n's eternal diftiny to man,
For ever just, benevolent and wise :
That Virtue's awful steps, howe'er pursued
By vexing Fortune and intrusive Pain,
Should never be divided from her chaste,
Her fair attendant, PLEASURE. Need I urge
Thy tardy thought through all the various round
Of this existence, that thy soft'ning foul
At length may learn what energy the hand
Of Virtue mingles in the bitter tide
Of passion swelling with diftress and pain,
To mitigate the sharp with gracious drops
Of cordial Pleasure ? Ak the faithful youth,
Why the cold urn of her whom long he lov'd:
So often fills his arms; so often draws
His lonely footsteps at the filent hour,
the mournful tribute of his tears?
O! he will tell thee, that the wealth of worlds
Should ne'er feduce his bosom to forego
That sacred hour, when stealing from the noise
Of care and envy, sweet remembrancefooth.
With virtue's kindeft looks his aching breast,
And turns his tears to rapture.--Ask the crowd
Which flies impatient from the village walk
To climb the neighb'ring cliffs, when far below
The cruel winds have hurl'd
Some hapless bark ; while sacred pity melts
The gen'ral eye, or terror's icy hand
Smites their distorted limbs and horrent hair ;
mother closer to her breast
Catches her child, and pointing where the waves
Foam thro' the shatter'd veffel, shrieks aloud,
As one poor wretch, that spreads his piteous arms
For fuccour, swallow'd by the roaring surge,
As now another, dash'd against the rock,