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Transporting thought !--but am I sure
That endless life will joy secure ?
Joy's only to the just decreed !
The guilty wretch expiring, goes
endless life bestows, That endless mis'ry may fucceed.
Great God, how aweful is the scene !
A breath, a transient breath between;
And can I jest, and laugh, and play!
To earth, alas! too firmly bound,
Trees deeply rooted in the ground,
Are fhiver'd when they're torn away.
Vain joys, which envy'd greatness gains,
How do ye bind with silken chains,
Which afk Herculean strength to break!
How with new terrors have
arm'd The pow'r whose slightest glance alarm’d? How many deaths of one
Yet, dumb with wonder, I behold
Man's thoughtless race in error bold,
Forget or scorn the laws of death;
With these no projects coincide,
Nor vows, nor toils, nor hopes, they guide,
Each thinks he draws immortal breath.
Each blind to fate's approaching hour,
Intrigues, or fights, for wealth, or pow'r,
And slumb'ring dangers dare provoke:
And he who tott’ring scarce sustains
A century's age, plans future gains,
And feels an unexpected stroke.
Go on, unbridled desp'rate band,
Scorn rocks, gulphs, winds, search sea and land,
And spoil new worlds wherever found.
Seize, hafte to seize the glittring prize,
And fighs, and tears, and pray’rs despise,
Nor spare the temple’s holy ground.
They go, fucceed, but look again,
The desp'rate hand you seek in vain,
Now trod in duft the peasant's fcorn.
But who that saw their treasures (well,
That heard th' insatiate vow rebel,
Would e'er have thought them mortal born ?
See the world's victor mount his car,
Blood marks his progress wide and far,
Sure he shall reign while ages fly ;
No, vanish'd like a morning cloud,
The hero was but just allow'd
To fight, to conquer, and to die.
And is it true, I ask with dread,
That nations heap'd on nations bled
Beneath his chariot's fervid wheel,
With trophies to adorn the spot,
Where his pale corse was left to rot,
And doom'd the hungry reptile's meal?
Yes, Fortune weary'd with her play,
Her toy, this hero, cafts away,
And scarce the form of man is seen :
Awe chills my breaft, my eyes o'erflow,
Around my brows no roses glow,
The cypress mine, funereal green!
Yet in this hour of grief and fears,
When aweful Truth unveil'd appears,
Some pow'r unknown usurps my breast;
Back to the world my thoughts are led,
My feet in Folly's lab'rynth tread,
And fancy dreams that life is bleft.
How weak an empress is the mind,
Whom Pleasure's Aow'ry wreaths can bind,
And captive to her altars lead!
Weak Reason yields to Phrenzy's rage,
And all the world is Folly's stage,
And all that act are fools indeed.
And yet this strange, this sudden fight,
From gloomy cares to gay delight,
This fickleness, fo light and vain,
In life's delusive transient dream,
Where men nor things are what they seem,
Is all the real good we gain.
The Hymns of DIONYSIUS: Translated
from the Greek.
To the MUSÉ.
END thy voice, celestial maid :
Through thy vocal grove convey'd,
Let a sudden call from thee
Wake my soul to harmony.
Raise, oh! raise the hallow'd strain,
Mistress of the tuneful train.
And thou sacred source of light,
Author of our myftic rite,
Thou whom erst Latona bore
On the sea-girt Delian shore,
Join the fav'ring Muse, and shed
All thy influence on my head. .
II. TO APOLLO.
Be still, ye vaulted kies ! be still
Each hollow vale, each echoing hill,
Let earth and seas, and winds attend;
Ye birds awhile your notes suspend;
Be hush'd each found; behold him nigh,
Parent of sacred harmony;
He comes ! his unshorn hair behind
Loose floating to the wanton wind,
Hail, fire of day, whose rosy car,
Through the pathless fields of air,
By thy winged coursers borne,
Opes the eyelids of the morn.
Thou, whose locks their light display
O'er the wide ætherial way,
Wreathing their united rays
Into one promiscuous blaze.
Under thy all-seeing eye
Earth's remoteft corners lie;
While, in thy repeated course,
Issuing from thy fruitful source,