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He call'd philosophy, and with his heart Reasond. He call’d religion, too, but callid Reluctantly, and therefore was not heard. Ashamed to be o'ermatch'd by earthly woes, He sought, and sought, with eye that dimm'd apace, To find some avenue to light, some place On which to rest a hope; but sought vain. Darker and darker still the darkness grew. At length he sunk, and Disappointment stood His only comforter, and mournfully Told all was past.
His interest in life, In being, ceased: and now he seemd to feel, And shudder'd as he felt, his powers of mind Decaying in the spring-time of his day. The vigorous, weak became; the clear, obscure; Memory gave up her charge; Decision reeld: And from her flight, Fancy return’d, return'd Because she found no nourishment abroad. The blue heavens wither’d, and the moon, and sun, And all the stars, and the green earth, and morn And evening, wither’d; and the eyes, and smiles, And faces of all men and women, wither'd, Wither'd to him; and all the universe, Like something which had been, appear'd, but now Was dead and mouldering fast away. He tried No more to hope, wish'd to forget his vow, Wishod to forget his harp; then ceased to wish. That was his last: enjoyment now was done. He had no hope, no wish, and scarce a fear. Of being sensible, and sensible Of loss, he as some atom seem'd, which God Had made superfluously, and needed not To build creation with; but back again To nothing threw, and left it in the void, With everlasting sense that once it was.
Oh! who can tell what days, what nights he spent, Of tideless, waveless, sailless, shoreless woe! And who can tell how many, glorious once, To others and themselves of promise full, Conducted to this pass of human thought, This wilderness of intellectual death, Wasted and pined, and vanish'd from the earth, Leaving no vestige of memorial there!
It was not so with him. When thus he lay, Forlorn of heart, wither'd and desolate,
As leaf of autumn, which the wolfish winds,
Such things were Disappointment and Remorse; And oft united both, as friends severe, To teach men wisdom; but the fool, untaught, Was foolish still. His ear he stopp’d, his eyes He shut, and blindly, deafly obstinate, Forced desperately his way from woe to woe.
One place, one only place, there was on earth,
THE DUELLIST AND THE SUICIDE.
With groans that made no pause, lamenting there Were seen the duellist and suicide. This thought, but thought amiss, that of himself He was entire proprietor; and so, When he was tired of time, with his own hand, He open'd the portals of eternity, And sooner than the devils hoped, arrived In hell. The other, of resentment quick, And, for a word, a look, a gesture, deem'd Not scrupulously exact in all respect, Prompt to revenge, went to the cited field, For double murder arm’d, his own, and his That as himself he was ordain'd to love. The first in pagan books of early times,
Was heroism pronounced, and greatly praised.
THE LAST DAY.
No sign of change appear’d: to every man That day seem'd as the past. From noontide path The sun look'd gloriously on earth, and all Her scenes of giddy folly smiled secure, When suddenly, alas, fair Earth! the sun Was wrapp'd in darkness, and his beams returned Up to the throne of God, and over all The earth came night, moonless and starless night! Nature stood still. The seas and rivers stood, And all the winds, and every living thing. The cataract, that like a giant wroth, Rush'd down impetuously, as seized, at once, By sudden frost with all his hoary locks, Stood still: and beasts of every kind stood still. A deep and dreadful silence reign'd alone! Hope died in every breast, and on all men Came fear and trembling. None to his neighbour spoke. Husband thought not of wife, nor of her child The mother, nor friend of friend, nor foe of foe. In horrible suspense all mortals stood; And, as they stood and listen d, chariots were heard Rolling in heaven. Reveal'd in flaming fire, The angel of God appear’d in stature vast, Blazing, and lifting up his hand on high, By Him that lives for ever, swore, that Time Should be no more. Throughout, creation heard And sigh’d; all rivers, lakes, and seas, and woors, Desponding waste, and cultivated vale, Wild cave, and ancient hill, and every rock, Sigh’d. Earth, arrested in her wonted path, As ox struck by the lifted axe, when nought Was fear’d, in all her entrails deeply groan'd. A universal crash was heard, as if The ribs of nature broke, and all her dark Foundations fail'd: and deadly paleness sat On every face of man, and every heart Grew chill, and every knee his fellow smote. None spoke, none stiird, none wept; for horror held All motionless, and fetter'd every tongue. Again, o'er all the nations silence fell: And, in the lieavens, robed in excessive light, That drove the thick of darkness far aside, And walk'd with penetration keen, through all
The abodes of men, another angel stood,
Mysterious, infinite, exhaustless Love
But why should I to thee of Love divine?
Kindred to this, part of this holy flame,