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NIGHT THOUGHTS, by Dr. YOUNG.
IR'D nature's fweet restorer, balmy fleep!
He, like the world, his ready vifit pays
Where fortune fmiles; the wretched he forfakes:
Swift on his downy pinions flies from woe,
And lights on lids unfully'd with a tear.
From fhort (as ufual) and difturb'd repose,
I wake: how happy they, who wake no more!
The day too fhort for my diftrefs! and night,
Ev'n in the zenith of her dark domain,
Is fun-fhine, to the colour of my fate.
Night, fable goddefs! from her ebon throne,
In rayless majesty, now ftretches forth
Her leaden fceptre o'er a flumb'ring world.
Silence, how dead! and darkness, how profound!
Nor eye, nor lift'ning ear, an object finds;
Creation fleeps. 'Tis, as the gen❜ral pulse
Of life ftood ftill, and nature made a pause;
An awful paufe! prophetic of her end.
And let her prophecy be foon fulfill'd;
Fate! drop the curtain; I can lose no more.
O Thou! whofe word from folid darkness ftruck
That fpark the fun; ftrike wisdom from my foul;
My foul, which flies to thee, her truft, her treasure,
As mifers to their gold, while others rest.
Thro' this opaque of nature, and of foul,
This double night, tranfmit one pitying ray,
To lighten, and to chear. O lead my mind,
(A mind that fain would wander from its woe)
Lead it thro' various fcenes of life, and death,
And from each scene the nobleft truths infpire.
Nor lefs infpire my conduct, than my fong;
Teach my best reafon, reafon; my best will
Teach rectitude; and fix my firm refolve
Wisdom to wed, and pay her long arrear:
Nor let the phial of thy vengeance, pour'd
On this devoted head, be pour'd in vain.
The bell ftrikes one. We take no note of time,
But from its lofs. To give it then a tongue,
Is wife in man. As if an angel fpoke,
I feel the folemn found. If heard aright,
It is the knell of my departed hours:
Where are they? With the years beyond the flood.
It is the fignal that demands dispatch;
How much is to be done? my hopes and fears
Start up alarm'd, and o'er life's narrow verge
Look down-on what? a fathomless abyss;
A dread eternity! how furely mine!
And can eternity belong to me,
Poor penfioner on the bounties of an hour?
How poor, how rich, how abject, how auguft,
How complicate, how wonderful, is man!
How paffing wonder He, who made him fuch!
Who centred in our make fuch ftrange extremes !
From diff'rent natures marvelously mixt,
Connection exquifite of diflant worlds!
Distinguish'd link in Being's endless chain !
Midway from nothing to the Deity!
A beam ethereal fully'd, and abforpt!
Tho' fully'd, and difhonour'd, ftill divine!
Dim miniature of greatnefs abfolute !
An heir of glory! a frail child of duft!
Helpless immortal! infect infinite!
A worm! a god! I tremble at myself.
Our waking dreams are fatal. How I dreamt
Of joys perpetual in perpetual change!
Of stable pleasures on the toffing wave!
Eternal funshine in the ftorms of life!
How richly were my noon-tide trances hung
With gorgeous tapestries of pictur'd joys!
Joy behind joy, in endless perspective!
Till at death's toll, whofe reftlefs iron tongue
Calls daily for his millions at a meal,
Starting I woke, and found myself undone..
Where now my phrenfy's pompous furniture?
The cobweb'd cottage, with its ragged wall
Of mould'ring mud, is royalty to me!
The fpider's most attenuated thread
Is cord, is cable, to man's tender tie
On earthly blifs; it breaks at ev'ry breeze.
O ye bleft scenes of permanent delight!
Full, above measure! lafting, beyond bound!
A perpetuity of blifs, is bliss.
Could you, fo rich in rapture, fear an end,
That ghaftly thought would drink up all your joy,
And quite unparadise the realms of light.
Safe are you lodg'd above these rolling spheres ;
The baleful influence of whose giddy dance
Sheds fad viciffitude on all beneath.
Here teems with revolutions every hour;
And rarely for the better; or the best,
More mortal than the common births of fate.
Each moment has its fickle, emulous
Of time's enormous scythe, whofe ample sweep
Strikes empires from the root; each moment plays
His little weapon in the narrower sphere
Of sweet domeftic comfort, and cuts down
The fairest bloom of fublunary blifs.
Bliss! fublunary blifs!-Proud words, and vain!
Implicit treafon to divine decree!
A bold invafion of the rights of heav'n!
I clafp'd the phantoms, and I found them air.
Oh had I weigh'd it ere my
What darts of agony had mifs'd my
Death! great proprietor of all! 'tis thine
To tread out empire, and to quench the stars.
The fun himself by thy permiffion fhines;
And, one day, thou shalt pluck him from his sphere,
Amid fuch mighty plunder, why exhauft
Thy partial quiver on a mark fo mean?
Why thy peculiar rancour wreck'd on me?
Infatiate archer! could not one fuffice?
Thy fhaft flew thrice; and thrice my peace was flain;
And thrice, ere thrice yon moon had fill'd her horn.
O Cynthia! why fo pale? Doft thou lament
Thy wretched neighbour? Grieve to fee thy wheel
Of ceaseless change outwhirl'd in human life?
How wanes my borrow'd bliss! from fortune's fimile,
Precarious courtfey! not virtue's fure,
Self-given, folar, ray of found delight.
In ev'ry vary'd posture, place, and hour,
How widow'd ev'ry thought of ev'ry joy!
Thought, bufy thought! too bufy for my peace!
Thro' the dark poftern of time long claps'd,
Led foftly, by the ftillness of the night,
Led, like a murderer, (and fuch it proves !)