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Heaven fends misfortunes; why should we repine ?
'Tis Heaven has brought me to the state you fee;
And your condition may be foon like mine,
The child of Sorrow and of Misery.
A little farm was my paternal lot,
Then like the lark I sprightly hail'd the morn ;
But ah! oppreffion forc'd me from my cot,
My cattle dy'd, and blighted was my corn."
My daughter, once the comfort of my age,
Lur'd by a villain from her native home,
Is cast abandon'd on the world's wide stage,
And doom'd in scanty poverty to roam.
My tender wife, fweet foother of my care!
Struck with fad anguish at the stern decree,
Fell, ling'ring fell, a victim to despair,
And left the world to wretchednefs and me.
Pity the forrows of a poor old man,
Whofe trembling limbs have borne him to your door,
Whose days are dwindled to the shortest span,
Oh! give relief, and Heaven will blefs your ftore.
CHA P. IV.
ELEGY ON THE DEATH OF AN UNFORTUNATE LADY.
WHAT beck'ning ghoft, along the Moon-light shade
Invites my steps, and points to yonder glade? "Tis fhe!but why that bleeding bafom gor'd, Why dimly gleams the vifionary fword ?
Oh ever beauteous, ever friendly! tell,
Is it, in heav'n a crime to love too well?
To bear too tender, or too firm a heart,
To act a Lover's or a Roman's part?
Is there no bright reversion in the sky,
For those who greatly think, or bravely die?
Why bade ye elfe, ye pow'rs! her foul aspire Above the vulgar flight of low defire? Ambition firft fprung from your bleft abodes; The glorious fault of Angels and of Gods: Thence to their images on earth it flows, And in the breasts of Kings and Heroes glows. Moft fouls, 'tis true, but peep out once an age, Dull fullen pris'ners in the body's cage: Dim lights of life, that burn a length of years Ufelefs, unfeen, as lamps in fepulchres; Like Eastern Kings a lazy ftate they keep, And, close confin'd to their own palace, fleep.
From these perhaps (ere nature bade her die)
Fate fnatch'd her early to the pitying sky.
As into air the purer spirits flow,
And fep'rate from their kindred dregs below;
So flew the foul to its congenial place,
Nor left one virtue to redeem her race.
But thou, falfe guardian of a charge too good, Thou, mean deferter of thy brother's blood! See on these ruby lips the trembling breath, These cheeks, now fading at the blaft of death; Cold is that breast which warm'd the world before, And thofe love-darting eyes must roll no more. Thus, if Eternal Juftice rules the ball,
Thus fhall your wives, and thus your children fall:
On all the line a fudden vengeance waits,
And frequent hearses shall befiege your gates.
There paffengers fhall ftand, and pointing fay,
(While the long fun'rals blacken all the way)
Lo these were they, whofe fouls the furies steel'd,
And curs'd with hearts unknowing how to yield.
Thus unlamented pass the proud away,
The gaze of fools, and pageant of a day!
So perifh all, whose breast ne'er learn'd to glow
For others good, or melt at others woe.
What can atone (oh ever injur'd shade !)
Thy fate unpity'd, and thy rites unpaid?
No friend's complaint, no kind domestic tear
Pleas'd thy pale ghoft, or grac'd thy mournful bier :
By foreign hands thy dying eyes were clos'd,
By foreign hands thy decent limbs compos'd;
By foreign hands thy humble grave adorn'd,
By ftrangers honour'd, and by strangers mourn'd.
What tho' no friends in fable weeds appear,
Grieve for an hour, perhaps, then mourn a year,
And bear about the mockery of woe
To midnight dances, and the public show?
What tho' no weeping Loves thy ashes grace,
Nor polish'd marble emulate thy face?
What tho' no facred earth allow thee room,
Nor hallow'd dirge be mutter'd o'er thy tomb?
Yet fhall thy grave with rising flow'rs be drest,
And the green turf lie lightly on thy breaft:
There fhall the morn her earliest tears beftow,
There the first rofes of the year fhall blow;
While Angels with their filver wings o'erfhade
The ground, now facred by thy reliques made.
So peaceful refts, without a ftone, a name, What once had beauty, titles, wealth, and fame. How loy'd, how honour'd once, avails thee not, To whom related, or by whom begot;
A heap of duft alone remains of thee,
'Tis all thou art, and all the proud fhall be!
Poets themselves muft fall, like thofe they fung,
Deaf the prais'd ear, and mute the tuneful tongue.
Ev'n he, whofe foul now melts in mournful lays,
Shall shortly want the gen'rous tear he pays;
Then from his clofing eyes thy form shall part,
And the last pang fhall tear thee from his heart;
Life's idle business at one gafp be o'er,
The Mufe forgot, and thou belov'd no more!
In these thy lowlieft works; yet these declare
Thy goodness beyond thought, and pow'r divine.
Speak ye who beft can tell, ye fons of light,
Angels; for ye behold him, and with songs
And choral fymphonies, day without night,
Circle his throne rejoicing; ye in heav'n,
On earth join all ye creatures to extol
Him firft, him last, him midft, and without end.
HESE are thy glorious work, Parent of good!
Almighty thine this univerfal frame,
Thus wond'rous fair! thyfelf how wond'rous then!
Unfpeakable! who fitt'ft above these heav'ns,
To us invifible, or dimly feen
Fairest of ftare, laft in the train of night,
If better thou belong not to the dawn,
Sure pledge of day, that crown'd the fmiling morn
With thy bright circlet, praife him in thy sphere,
While day arises, that sweet hour of prime.
Thou fun, of this great world both eye and foul,
Acknowledge him thy greater; found his praise
In thy eternal course, both when thou climb'ft,
And when high noon haft gain'd, and when thou fall'st.
Moon that now meets the orient fun, now fly'ft
With the fix'd stars, fix'd in their orb that flies;
And ye five other wand'ring fires, that move
In myftic dance not without fong, refound
His praife, who out of darkness call'd up light.
Air, and ye elements, the eldest birth
Of nature's womb, that in quaternion run
Perpetual circle, multiform, and mix,
And nourish all things; let your ceaseless change
Vary to our great Maker ftill new praise.
Ye mists and exhalations, that now rife
From hill or ftreaming lake, dufky or grey,
Till the fun paint your fleecy skirts with gold,
In honour to the world's great Author rife,
Whether to deck with clouds th' uncolour'd sky,
Or wet the thirsty earth with falling showers,
Rifing or falling ftill advance his praise.
His praife, ye winds, that from four quarters blow,
Breathe foft or loud; and wave your tops, ye pines,
With every plant, in fign of worship wave.
Fountains, and ye, that warble, as ye flow,
Melodious murmurs, warbling tune his praife.
Join voices all ye living fouls; ye birds,