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Like crowded forest-trees we stand,
And some are mark'd to fall;
And soon shall smite us all.
Green as the bay-tree, ever green,
With its new foliage on, The gay,
the thoughtless, have I seen, I pass'd—and they were gone.
Read, ye that run, the awful truth,
With which I charge my page ; A worm is in the bud of youth,
And at the root of age.
No present health can health ensure
For yet an hour to come;
Can always baulk the ton
And O ! that humble as my lot,
And scorn'd as is my strain, These truths, though known, too much forgot,
I may not teach in vain.
So prays your clerk with all his heart,
And ere he quits the pen,
And answer all-Amen!
ON A SIMILAR OCCASION.
FOR THE YEAR 1788.
Quod adest, memento
COULD T, from Heav'n inspir'd, as sure presage To whom the rising year shall prove his last, As I can number in my punctual page, And item down the victims of the past ;
How each would trembling wait the mournful sheet,
Time then would seem more precious than the joys,
Then doubtless many a trifler on the brink
Forc'd to a pause, would feel it good to think,
Ah self-deceiv'd ! Could I prophetick say
Observe the dappled foresters, how light
Had we their wisdom, should we, often warn’d,
Sad waste! for which no after-thrift atones,
Learn then, ye living! by the mouths be taught
ON A SIMILAR OCCASION.
FOR THE YEAR 1789.
- Placidaque ibi demum morte quievit. VIRG. There calm at length he breath'd his soul away.
'O MOST delightful hour by man
•Experienc'd here below,
• His folly, and his woe!
• Worlds should not bribe me back to tread
• Again life's dreary waste,
• With all the gloomy past.
My home henceforth is in the skies,
*Earth, seas, and sun adieu!
I have no sight for you.'
So spake Aspasio, firm possess'd
Of faith's supporting rod,
The bosom of his God.
He was a man among the few
Sincere on virtue's side ; And all his strength from Scripture drew,
To hourly use applied.
That rule he priz'd, by that he fear'd,
He hated, hop'd, and lov'd;
But when his heart had rov'd.
And evil felt within :
And loath'd the thought of sin.
Such liv'd Aspasio ; and at last
up from Earth to Heav'n, The gulf of death triumphant passid,
By gales of blessing driv'n.
His joys be mine, each Reader cries,
When my last hour arrives : They shall be yours, my Verse replies,
Such only be your lives: