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In all the magnanimity of thought Resolves, and re-resolves; then dies

the same. And why? Because he thinks himself immortal. All men think all men mortal, but

themselves; Themselves, when some alarming

shock of fate strikes through their wounded hearts

the sudden dread: But their hearts wounded, like the

wounded air, Soon close; where passed the shaft,

no trace is found. As from the wing no scar the sky

retains;

The parted wave no furrow from the keel;

So dies in human hearts the thought of death.

[From Night Thoughts.]

NIOnT II.

TIME, ITS USE AND MISUSE.

Time, in advance, behind him hides

his wings, And seems to creep, decrepit with

his age:

Behold him, when past by; what

then is seen, But his broad pinions swifter than

the winds?

We waste, not use, our time: we

breathe, not live. Time wasted is existence, used is

life:

We push time from us, and we wish

him back; Lavish of lustrums, and yet fond of

life;

Life we think long, and short; death

seek, and shun; Body and soul, like peevish man and

wife.

United jar, and yet are loth to part. Oh, the dark days of vanity! while here,

How tasteless! and how terrible, when gone!

Gone? they ne'er go; when past, they haunt us still:

The spirit walks of every day deceased;

And smiles an angel, or a fury frowns.

Nor death, nor life, delight us. If time past,

And time possessed, both pain us, what can please?

That which the Deity to please ordained,

Time used. The man who consecrates his hours

By vigorous effort, and an honest aim,

At once he draws the sting of life

and death: He walks with nature; and her paths

are peace.

[From Night Thoughts.]

night II.

JOY TO BE SHAR ED.

NATURE, in zeal for human amity, Denies, or damps, an undivided joy. Joy is an import; joy is an exchange; Joy flies monopolists: it calls for two; Rich fruit! Heaven-planted! never

plucked by one. Needful auxiliars are our friends, to

give

To social man true relish of himself. Full on ourselves, descending in a line.

Pleasure's bright beam is feeble in delight:

Delight intense is taken by rebound; Reverberated pleasures fire the breast.

[From Night Thoughts.]

NIOIIT II.

CONSCIENCE.

O Treacherous conscience! while she seems to sleep

On rose and myrtle, lulled with syren song;

While she seems nodding o'er her charge, to drop

On headlong appetite the slackened rein,

And give us up to license, unrecalled, Unmarked; see, from behind her

secret stand, The sly informer minutes every fault, And her dread diary with horror fills. Not the gross act alone employs her

pen:

She reconnoitres fancy's airy band,
A watchful foe! the formidable spy,
Listening; o'erhears the whispers of

our camp; Our dawning purposes of heart explores,

And steals our embryos of iniquity.

As all-rapacious usurers conceal

Their doomsday-book from all-consuming heirs;

Thus, with indulgence most severe, she treats

Us spendthrifts of inestimable time;

Unnoted, notes each moment misapplied;

In leaves more durable than leaves

of brass, Writes our whole history.

( From Night Thought$.]
NIGHT II.

EFFECT OF CONTACT WITH THE
WORLD.

Virtue, for ever frail, as fair, below, Her tender nature suffers in the crowd,

Nor touches on the world, without a stain:

The world's infectious; few bring

back at eve. Immaculate, the manners of the

morn.

Something we thought, is blotted;

we resolved, Is shaken; we renounced, returns

again.

Each salutation may slide in a sin Unthought before, or fix a former flaw.

Nor is it strange: light, motion, concourse, noise, All, scattered us abroad. Thought, outward-bound, Neglectful of her home affairs, flies off

In fume and dissipation, quits her charge,

And leaves the breast unguarded to the foe.

present example gets within our guard,

And acts with double force, by few repelled.

Ambition fires ambition; love of gain Strikes, like a pestilence, from breast

to breast: Riot, pride, perfidy, blue vapors

breathe;

And inhumanity is caught from man,

from smiling man. A slight, a single glance,

And shot at random, often has brought home

A sudden fever to the throbbing heart,

Of envy, rancor, or impure desire. We see, we hear, with peril; safety dwells

Remote from multitude; the world's a school

Of wrong, and what proficients

swarm around We must, or imitate, or disapprove; Must list as their accomplices, or

foes.

[From Night Thoughts.]

NIOIIT II.

THE CROWNING DISAPPOINTMENT.

So prone our hearts to whisper what we wish,

ms later with the wise than he's aware.

And all mankind mistake their time of day;

Even age itself. Fresh hopes are

hourly sown In furrowed brows. To gentle life's

descent

We shut our eyes, and think it is a plain.

We take fair days in winter, for the spring;

And turn our blessings into bane. Since oft

Man must compute that age he can

'not feel, He scarce believes he's older for his

years. [store Thus, at life's latest eve, we keep in One disappointment sure, to crown

the rest;

The disappointment of a promised hour.

Mid night Thoughts.]

KIOHT II.

INSUFFICIENCY OF THE WORLD.

'Tis greatly wise to talk with our past hours;

And ask them, what report they bore to heaven;

And how they might have borne more welcome news.

Their answers form what men experience call;

If wisdom's friend, her best; if not, worst foe.

Oh, reconcile them! Kind experience cries,

"There's nothing here, but what as nothing weighs:

The more our joy, the more we know it vain;

And by success are tutored to despair."

Nor is it only thus, but must be so. Who knows not this, though gray, is

still a child; Loose then from earth the grasp of

fond desire, Weigh anchor, and some happier

clime explore.

[From Night Thoughts.]

EFFORT, THE GAUGE OF GREATNESS.

No blank, no trifle, nature made, or meant.

Virtue, or purposed virtue, still be thine:

This cancels thy complaint at

this leaves In act no trifle, and no blank in

time.

This greatens. fills, immortalizes, all; This, the blest art of turning all to gold;

This, the good heart's prerogative, to raise

A royal tribute from the poorest hours:

Immense revenue! every moment pays.

If nothing more than purpose in thy power;

Thy purpose firm is equal to the

deed:

Who does the t his circumstance allows,

Does well, acts nobly; angels could no more.

Our outward act, indeed, admits restraint;

'Tis not in things o'er thought to

domineer. Guard well thy thought; our thoughts

are heard in Heaven.

[From Night Thoughts.]
NIOHT II.

THE END OF THE VIRTUOUS.

The chamber where the good man

meets his fate. Is privileged beyond the common

walk

Of virtuous life, quite in the verge of heaven.

A death-bed's a detector of the heart. Here, tired dissimulation drops her mask;

Through life's grimace, that mistress

of the scene! Here, real and apparent are the same. You see the man; you see his hold

on heaven.

Whatever farce the boastful hero

plays,

Virtue alone has majesty in death; And greater still, the more the tyrant frowns.

[From Night Thoughts.]

NIGHT III.

THE OTHER LIFE THE END OF THIS.

"He sins against this life who slights

the next." What is this life? How few their

favorite know! Fond in the dark, and blind in our

embrace,

By passionately loving life we make Loved life unlovely; hugging her to death.

We give to time eternity's regard; And, dreaming, take our passage for our port.

Life has no value as an end, but means;

An end, deplorable! a means, divine!

When 'tis our all, 'tis nothing; worse than nought;

A nest of pains; when held as nothing, much:

Like some fair humorists, life is "most enjoyed

When courted least; most worth, when disesteemed:

Then 'tis the seat of comfort, rich in peace;

In prospect, richer far; important! awful!

Not to be mentioned, but with shouts

of praise; Not to be thought on, but with tides

of joy;

The mighty basis of eternal bliss!

[From Night Thoughts.]

Night III.

THE GLORY OF DEATH.

Death but entombs the body; life the soul.

Death has no dread, but what frail

life imparts; Nor life true joy, but what kind

death improves.

Death, that absolves my birth; a

curse without it! Rich death, that realizes all my cares,

Toils, virtues, hopes; without it a chimera [joy:

Death, of all pain the period, not of

Joy's source, and subject, still subsist unhurt,

One, in my soul: and one, in her great Sire.

Death is the crown of life; Were death denied, poor man would

live in vain; Were death denied, to live would not

be life;

Were death denied, even fools would

wish to die. Death wounds to cure: we fall; we

rise; we reign; Spring from our fetters, fasten in the

skies [sight: Where blooming Eden withers in our Death gives us more than was in

Eden lost. This king of terrors is the prince of

peace.

When shall I die to vanity, pain, death?

When shall I die? When shall I live for ever?

[From Night Thoughts.]

NIOHT III.

CRUELTY.

Man is to man the sorest, surest 111, A previous blast foretells the rising storm;

O'erwhelming turrets threaten ere they fall;

Volcanoes bellow ere they disembogue;

Earth trembles ere her yawning jaws devour;

And smoke betrays the wide-consuming fire:

Ruin from man is most concealed when near, [blow. And sends the dreadful tidings in the Is this the flight of fancy? Would it were!

Heaven's Sovereign saves all beings,

but himself, That hideous sight, a naked human

heart.

[From Night Thoughts.]

NIGHT IV.

FALSE TERRORS IN VIEW OF DEATH.

Why start at death! Where is he? Death arrived,

Is past; not come, or gone, he's never here.

Ere hope, sensation fails; blackboding man

Receives, not suffers, death's tremendous blow.

The knell, the shroud, the mattock, and the grave;

The deep, damp vault, the darkness, and the worm; [eve,

These are the bugbears of a winters

The terrors of the living, not the dead.

Imagination's fool and error's wretch, Man makes a death, which nature

never made: Then on the point of his own fancy

falls;

And feels a thousand deaths, in fearing one.

{From Night Thoughts.]
Night v.

DIFFERENT SOURCES OF FUNE-
RAL TEARS.

Our funeral tears from different

causes rise. As if from cisterns in the soul, Of various kinds they flow. From

tender hearts By soft cover called, some burst

at once,

And stream obsequious to the leading eye.

Some ask more time, by curious art distilled.

Some hearts, in secret hard, unapt to melt.

Struck by the magic of the public eye, Like Moses' smitten rock, gush out amain.

Some weep to share the fame of the

deceased,

So high in merit, and to them so dear:

They dwell on praises, which they think they share;

And thus, without a blush, commend themselves.

Some mourn, in proof that something they could love:

They weep not to relieve their grief, but show.

Some weep in perfect justice to the dead,

As conscious all their love is in arrear. Some mischievously weep, not unapprised,

Tears, sometimes, aid the conquest

of an eye. With what address the soft Ephesians

draw

Their sable network o'er entangled hearts!

As seen through crystal, how their

roses glow, While liquid pearl runs trickling

down their cheek! Of hers not prouder Egypt's wanton

queen,

Carousing gems, herself dissolved in love.

Some weep at death, abstracted from the dead,

And celebrate, like Charles, their

own decease. By kind construction some are

deemed to weep because a decent veil conceals their

joySome weep in earnest, and yet weep

in vain,

As deep in indiscretion as in woe. Passion, blind passion! impotently pours

Tears, that deserve more tears; while

Reason sleeps, Or gazes like an idiot, unconcerned; Nor comprehends the meaning of the

storm;

Knows not it speaks to her, and her alone.

Half-round the globe, the team

pumped up by death Are spent in watering vanities of life; In making folly flourish still more

fair.

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