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And he, from whom the nations should receive Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the Justice and freedom, lies himself a slave,
fire came down from Heaven, and consumed the burnt.
offering, and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord Tortur'd by cruel change of wild desires,
filled the house."-2 CHRON. vii. 1. Lash'd by mad rage, and scorch'd by brutal fires. “O Reason! once again to thee I call;
* By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down; yea, Accept my sorrow, and retrieve my fall.
we wept, when we remembered Sion," &c.--Psalm Wisdom, thou say'st, from Heaven receiv'd her birth, cxxxvii. 1. Her beams transmitted to the subject Earth :
" I said of laughter, It is mad; and of mirth, What doth Yet this great empress of the human soul
it?"-Eccles. ii. 2. Does only with imagin'd power control, If restless Passion, by rebellious sway,
"No man can find out the work that God maketh, from Compels the weak usurper to obey.
the beginning to the end."- Ch. iii. 11. “O troubled, weak, and coward, as thou art, " Whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever; nothing can Without thy poor advice, the laboring heart
be put to it, nor any thing taken from it; and God To worse extremes with swifter steps would run, doeth it, that men should fear before him."-Ver. 14. Not sav'd by virtue, yet by vice undone !"
" Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; fear Oft have I said, the praise of doing well
God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole Is to the ear as ointment to the smell.
duty of man."-Ch. xij. 13.
and conditions of life, and concludes, in general, Into the balm of purest virtue cast,
that we are all miserable. He reflects more par. Annoy all life with one contagious blast.
ticularly upon the trouble and uncertainty of Lost Solomon ! pursue this thought no more: greatness and power; gives some instances thereof Of thy past errors recollect the store ;
from Adam down to himself; and still concludes And silent weep, that, while the deathless Muse that all is vanity. He reasons again upon life, Shall sing the just, shall o'er their heads diffuse death, and a future being; finds human wisdom Perfumes with lavish hand, she shall proclaim too imperfect to resolve his doubts; has recourse Thy crimes alone, and, to thy evil fame
to religion ; is informed by an angel, what shall Impartial, scatter damps and poisons on thy name. happen to himself, his family, and his kingdom Awaking, therefore, as who long had dream'd, till the redemption of Israel ; and, upon the Much of my women and their gods asham'd; whole, resolves to submit his inquiries and anxiFrom this abyss of exemplary vice
eties to the will of his Creator. Resolv’d, as time might aid my thought, to rise ; Again I bid the mournful goddess write
Come then, my soul! I call thee by that name, The fond pursuit of fugitive delight;
Thou busy thing, from whence I know I am : Bid her exalt her melancholy wing,
For, knowing what I am, I know thou art; And, rais'd from earth, and sav'd from passion, sing Since that must needs exist, which can impart. Of human hope by cross event destroy'd, But how cam'st thou to be, or whence thy spring ? Of useless wealth and greatness unenjoy'd,
For various of thee priests and poets sing. Of lust and love, with their fantastic train,
Bear'st thou submissive, but a lowly birth, Their wishes, smiles, and looks, deceitful all, and Some separate particles of finer earth, vain.
A plain effect which Nature must beget,
As motion orders, and as atoms meet;
From force of instinct, more than choice of will;
Conscious of fear or valor, joy or pain,
As the wild courses of the blood ordain ;
In youth dost flourish, and with age shalt fail"; “ Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be Till, mingled with thy partner's latest breath,
broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the Thou fly'st dissolv'd in air, and lost in death? wheel broken at the cistern."-Eccles. chap. xii. ver. 6.
Or, if thy great existence would aspire “The Sun ariseth, and the Sun goeth down, and hasteth To causes more sublime, of heavenly fire to his place where he arose."-Ch. i. 5.
Wert thou a spark struck off, a separate ray,
Ordain'd to mingle with terrestrial clay ; “The wind goeth towards the south, and turneth about With it condemn'd for certain years to dwell,
unto the north. It whirleth about continually; and To grieve its frailties, and its pain to feel; the wind returneth again, according to his circuit."— To teach it good and ill, disgrace or fame, Ver. 6.
Pale it with rage, or redden it with shame; “ All the rivers run into the sea : yet the sea is not full. To guide its actions with informing care,
Unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither In peace to judge, to conquer in the war; they return again."-Ver. 7.
Render it agile, witty, valiant, sage, " Then shall the dust return to the earth, as it was: and As fits the various course of human age;
the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”- Till as the earthly part decays and falls, Ch. xii. 7.
The captive breaks her prison's mouldering walls;
Hovers awhile upon the sad remains,
But, looking back, we see the dreadful train Which now the pile or sepulchre contains ; Of woes anew, which were we to sustain, And thence with liberty unbounded flies,
We should refuse to tread the path again; Impatient to regain her native skies.
Still adding grief, still counting from the first, Whate'er thou art, where'er ordain'd to go, Judging the latest evils still the worst, (Points which we rather may dispute than know,) And sadly finding each progressive hour Come on, thou little inmate of this breast,
Heighten their number and augment their power. Which for thy sake from passions I divest, Till, by one countless sum of woes opprest, For these, thou say'st, raise all the stormy strife, Hoary with cares, and ignorant of rest, Which hinder thy repose, and trouble life. We find the vital springs relax'd and worn, Be the fair level of thy actions laid,
Compellid our common impotence to mourn. As temperance wills, and prudence may persuade: Thus through the round of age to childhood we. Be thy affections undisturb'd and clear,
return; Guided to what may great or good appear, Reflecting find, that naked from the womb And try if life be worth the liver's care.
We yesterday came forth ; that in the tomb Amass'd in man, there justly is beheld Naked again we must to-morrow lie, What through the whole creation has excell'd: Born to lament, to labor, and to die. The life and growth of plants, of beasts the sense, Pass we the ills which each man feels or dreads The angel's forecast and intelligence:
The weight or fallen or hanging o'er our heads; Say from these glorious seeds what harvest flows, The bear, the lion, terrors of the plain, Recount our blessings, and compare our woes. The sheepfold scatter'd, and the shepherd slain ; In its true light let clearest reason see
The frequent errors of the pathless wood, The man dragg'd out to act, and forc'd to be; The giddy precipice, and the dangerous Nood; Helpless and naked, on a woman's knees
The noisome pestilence, that, in open war, To be expos'd and rear'd as she may please, Terrible marches through the mid-day air, Feel her neglect, and pine from her disease: And scatters death ; the arrow that by night His tender eye by too direct a ray
Cuts the dank mist, and fatal wings its flight; Wounded, and flying from unpractis'd day ; The billowing snow, and violence of the shower, His heart assaulted by invading air,
That from the hills disperse their dreadful store, And beating fervent to the vital war;
And o'er the vales collected ruin pour; To his young sense how various forms appear, The worm that gnaws the ripening fruit, sad guest, That strike his wonder, and excite his fear: Canker or locust, hurtful to infest By his distortions he reveals his pains;
The blade; while husks elude the tiller's care, He by his tears and by his sighs complains ; And eminence of want distinguishes the year. Till time and use assist the infant wretch,
Pass we the slow disease, and subtle pain, By broken words and rudiments of speech, Which our weak frame is destin'd 10 sustain ; His wants in plainer characters to show,
The cruel stone with congregated war And paint more perfect figures of his woe; Tearing his bloody way; the cold catarrh, Condemn’d to sacrifice his childish years
With frequent impulse, and continued strife, To babbling ignorance, and to empty fears; Weakening the wasted seats of irksome life ; To pass the riper period of his age,
The gout's fierce rack, the burning fever's rage, Acting his part upon a crowded stage;
The sad experience of decay; and age, To lasting toils expos'd, and endless cares,
Herself the sorest ill; while Death and ease, To open dangers, and to secret snares;
Oft and in vain invok'd or to appease
Nought shall it profit, that the charming fair, Prone to forget the good, and blame the ill; Angelic, softest work of Heaven, draws near Or sadly censur'd in their curs'd debate,
To the cold shaking paralytic hand, Who, in the scorner's or the judge's seat,
Senseless of beauty's touch, or love's command; Dare to condemn the virtue which they hate. Nor longer apt or able to fulfil Or, would he rather leave this frantic scene, The dictates of its feeble master's will. And trees and beasts prefer to courts and men, Nought shall the psaltery and the harp avail, In the remotest wood and lonely grot
The pleasing song, or well-repeated tale, Certain to meet that worst of evils, Thought; When the quick spirits their warm march forbear, Different ideas to his memory brought,
And numbing coldness has unbrac'd the ear.
The verdant rising of the flowery hill,
Thus, through what path soe'er of life we rove, Day follows night; the clouds return again
Behold where Age's wretched victim lies, For hope is but the dream of those that wake : See his head trembling, and his half-clos'd eyes:
Frequent for breath his panting bosom heaves; Who breathes, must suffer; and who thinks, must To broken sleep his remnant sense he gives,
mourn , And only by his pains, awaking, finds he lives. And he alone is bless'd, who ne'er was born.
Loos'd by devouring Time, the silver cord “ Yet in thy turn, thou frowning preacher, hear. Dissever'd lies; unhonor'd from the board Are not these general maxims too severe ? The crystal urn, when broken, is thrown by, Say: cannot power secure its owner's bliss ? And apter utensils their place supply.
And is not wealth the potent sire of peace? These things and thou must share one equal lot, Are victors bless'd with fame, or kings with ease!" Die and be lost, corrupt and be forgot ;
I tell thee, life is but one common care, While still another and another race
And man was born to suffer, and to fear. Shall now supply, and now give up the place ; “But is no rank, no station, no degree, From earth all came, to earth must all return, From this contagious taint of sorrow free?" Frail as the cord, and brittle as the urn.
None, mortal! none. Yet in a bolder strain But be the terror of these ills suppress'd, Let me this melancholy truth maintain. And view we man with health and vigor blest. But hence, ye worldly and profane, retire; Home he returns with the declining Sun, For I adapt my voice, and raise my lyre, His destin'd task of labor hardly done;
To notions not by vulgar ear receiv'd : Goes forth again with the ascending ray,
Yet still must covet life, and be deceivid; Again his travel for his bread to pay,
Your very fear of death shall make you try And find the ill sufficient to the day.
To catch the shade of immortality; Haply at night he does with horror shun
Wishing on Earth to linger, and to save A widow'd daughter or a dying son ;
Part of its prey from the devouring grave; His neighbor's offspring he to-morrow sees, To those who may survive you to bequeath And doubly feels his want in their increase ; Something entire, in spite of Time and Death ; The next day, and the next, he must attend A fancied kind of being 10 retrieve, His foe triumphant, or his buried friend.
And in a book, or from a building, live. In every act and turn of life, he feels
False hope! vain labor! let some ages fly, Public calamities, or household ills;
The dome shall moulder, and the volume die : The due reward to just desert refus'd,
Wretches, still taught, still will ye think it strange, The trust betray'd, the nuptial bed abus'd; That all the parts of this great fabric change, The judge corrupt, the long-depending cause, Quit their old station, and primeval frame, And doubtful issue of misconstrued laws;
And lose their shape, their essence, and their name? The crafty turns of a dishonest state,
Reduce the song : our hopes, our joys, are vain; And violent will of the wrong-doing great; Our lot is sorrow, and our portion pain. [bring The venom'd tongue, injurious to his fame,
What pause from woe, what hopes of comfort Which nor can wisdom shun, nor fair advice re- The name of wise or great, of judge or king? claim.
What is a king ?-a man condemnd to bear Esteem we these, my friends, event and chance, The public burthen of the nation's care; Produc'd as atoms from the fluttering dance ? Now crown'd some angry faction to appease; Or higher yet their essence may we draw
Now falls a victim to the people's ease; From destin'd order and eternal law ?
From the first-blooming of his ill-taught youth, Again, my Muse, the cruel doubt repeat:
Nourish'd in flattery, and estrang'd from truth; Spring they, I say, from accident or Fate !
At home surrounded by a servile crowd, Yet such we find they are as can control
Prompt to abuse, and in detraction loud ; The servile actions of our wavering soul :
Abroad begirt with men, and swords, and spears, Can fright, can alter, or can chain, the will; His very state acknowledging his fears; Their ills all built on life, that fundamental ill. Marching amidst a thousand guards, he shows
O fatal search! in which the laboring mind, His secret terror of a thousand foes : Still press'd with weight of woe, still hopes to In war, however prudent, great, or brave, find
To blind events and fickle chance a slave; A shadow of delight, a dream of peace,
Seeking to settle what for ever flies, From years of pain one moment of release; Sure of the toil, uncertain of the prize. Hoping at least she may herself deceive,
But he returns with conquest on his brow, Against experience willing to believe,
Brings up the triumph, and absolves the vow: Desirous to rejoice, condemn’d to grieve.
The captive generals to his car were tied ;
What is this triumph ? madness, shouts, and noise
What may to-morrow be the victor's fate. He, happier yet, who, privileg'd by Fate
The spoils and trophies, borne before him, show To shorter labor and a lighter weight,
National loss, and epidemic woe, Receiv'd but yesterday the gift of breath,
Various distress, which he and his may know. Order'd to-morrow to return to death.
Does he not mourn the valiant thousands slain, But 0! beyond description happiest he,
The heroes, once the glory of the plain, Who ne'er must roll on life's tumultuous sea; Left in the conflict of the fatal day, Who, with bless'd freedom, from the general doom Or the wolf's portion, or the vulture's prey ! Exempt, must never force the teeming womb, Does he not weep the laurel which he wears, Nor see the Sun, nor sink into the tomb!
Wet with the soldier's blood, and widow's tears 1
See, where he comes, the darling of the war! Yet why these sorrows heap'd upon the sire,
Each age sinn'd on, and guilt advanc'd with
“Lo! it repenteth me that man was made! And popular change, obscur'd amid the dust Withdraw thy light, thou Sun! be dark, ye skies ! That rises from the victor's rapid wheel?
And from your deep abyss, ye waters, rise!" Can the loud clarion or shrill fife repel
The frighted angels heard th' Almighty Lord, The inward cries of care? can Nature's voice, And o'er the Earth from wrathful vials pour'd Plaintive, be drown'd or lessen'd in the noise ; Tempests and storms, obedient to his word. Though shouts of thunder loud afflict the air, Meantime, his providence to Noah gave Slun the birds, now releas'd, and shake the ivory The guard of all that he design'd to save. chair?
Exempt from general doom the patriarch stood, “ Yon crowd,” he might reflect, “yon joyful Contemn'd the waves, and triumph'd o'er the food. crowd,
The winds fall silent, and the waves decrease, Pleasd with my honors, in my praises loud, The dove brings quiet, and the olive peace; (Should fleeting Victory to the vanquish'd go, Yet still his heart does inward sorrow feel, Should she depress my arms, and raise the foe,) Which faith alone forbids him to reveal. Would for that foe with equal ardor wait
If on the backward world his views are cast, At the high palace, or the crowded gale ;
"Tis death diffus'd, and universal waste : With restless rage would pull my statues down, Present, (sad prospect !) can he aught descry And cast the brass anew to his renown.
But (what affects his melancholy eye) “() impotent desire of worldly sway!
The beauties of the ancient fabric lost, That I, who make the triumph of to-day,
In chains of craggy hill, or lengths of dreary coast? May of to-morrow's pomp one part appear, While, to high Heaven his pious breathings turn'd, Ghastly with wounds, and lifeless on the bier! Weeping he hop'd, and sacrificing mourn'd; Then (vileness of mankind !) then of all these, When of God's image only eight he found Whom my dilated eye with labor sees,
Snatch'd from the watery grave, and sav'd from Would one, alas! repeat me good, or great,
nations drown'd; Wash my pale body, or bewail my fate?
And of three sons, the future hopes of Earth, Or, march'd I chain'd behind the hostile car, The seed whence empires must receive their birth, The victor's pastime, and the sport of war,
One he foresees excluded heavenly grace, Would one, would one his pitying sorrow lend, And mark'd with curses, fatal to his race! Or be so poor, to own he was my friend ?”
Abraham, potent prince, the friend of God, Avails it then, O Reason, to be wise ?
of human ills must bear the destin'd load; To see this cruel scene with quicker eyes ? By blood and battles must his power maintain, To know with more distinction io complain, And slay the monarchs ere he rules the plain; And have superior sense in feeling pain ?
Must deal just portions of a servile life
Adam, great type, for whom the world was made, To trembling Moriam's melancholy top,
Moses beheld that God; but how beheld ?
Nor staying longer than one swill-wing'd night. Destind the next his journey to pursue,
The following days, and months, and years, decreed
My father's life was one long line of care,
Alarm'd, expos’d, his childhood must engage First-fruit of Death, lies plaintive of a wound The bear's rough gripe, and foaming lion's rage Given by a brother's hand : his eldest birth By various turns his threaien'd youth must fear Flies, mark'd by Heaven, a fugitive o'er Earth. Guliah's lifted sword, and Saul's emitted spear.
Forlorn he must and persecuted fly,
In the still shades of Death: for dread and pain, Climb the steep mountain, in the cavern lie, And griefs, will find their shafts elanc'd in vain, And often ask, and be refus'd, to die.
And their points broke, retorted from the head, For ever, from his manly toil, are known Safe in the grave, and free among the dead. The weight of power, and anguish of a crown. Yet tell me, frighted Reason! what is death? What tongue can speak the restless monarch's woes, Blood only stopp'd, and interrupted breath; When God and Nathan were declar'd his foes? The utmost limit of a narrow span, When every object his offence revil'd,
And end of motion, which with life began. The husband murder d, and the wife defild, As smoke that rises from the kindling fires The parent's sins impress'd upon the dying child ? Is seen this moment, and the next expires ; Whai heart can think the grief which he sustain'd, As empty clouds by rising winds are tost, When the king's crime brought vengeance on the Their fleeting forms scarce sooner found than lost land;
So vanishes our state, so pass our days; And the inexorable prophet's voice (choice? So life but opens now, and now decays; Gave famine, plague, or war, and bid him fix his The cradle and the tomb, alas! so nigh,
He died; and, oh! may no reflection shed To live, is scarce distinguish'd from to die. Its poisonous venom on the royal dead !
Cure of the miser's wish, and coward's fear, Yet the unwilling truth must be express'd, Death only shows us what we knew was near. Which long has labor'd in this pensive breast : With courage, therefore, view the pointed hour, Dying, he added to my weight of care ;
Dread not Death's anger, but expect his power; He made me to his crimes undoubted heir; Nor Nature's law with fruitless sorrow mourn, Left his unfinish'd murder to his son,
But die, O mortal man! for thou wast born. And Joab's blood entail'd on Judah's crown.
Cautious thro' doubt, by want of courage wise, Young as I was, I hasted to fulfil
To such advice the reasoner still replies. The cruel dictates of my parent's will.
Yet measuring all the long-continued space, Of his fair deeds a distant view I took,
Every successive day's repeated race, But turn'd the tube, upon his faults to look, Since Time first started from his pristine goal, Forgot his youth, spent in his country's cause, Till he had reach'd that hour wherein my soul, His care of right, his reverence to the laws; Join'd to my body, swellid the womb; I was But could with joy his years of folly trace, (At least I think so) nothing : must I pass Broken and old in Bathsheba's embrace ;
Again to nothing, when this vital breath, Could follow him, where'er he stray'd from good, Ceasing, consigns me o'er to rest and death? And cite his sad example, whilst I trod
Must the whole man, amazing thought! return Paths open to deceit, and track'd with blood. To the cold marble, or contracted urn? Soon docile to the secret acts of ill,
And never shall those particles agree, With smiles I could betray, with temper kill; That were in life this individual he? Soon in a brother could a rival view,
But, sever'd, must they join the general mass, Watch all his acts, and all his ways pursue. Through other forms and shapes ordain'd to pass, In vain for life he to the altar fled :
Nor thought nor image kept of what he was
Yet the same light (pass but some fleeting hours) Till, of the destin'd fugitive secure,
Exerts his vigor, and renews his powers; In solemn state to parricide I rise,
Starts the bright race again : his constant Name And, as God lives, this day my brother dies. Rises and sets, returning still the same.
Be witness to my tears, celestial Muse; I mark the various fury of the winds; In vain I would forget, in vain excuse,
These neither seasons guide, nor order binds; Fraternal blood by my direction spilt;
They now dilate, and now contract their force ; In vain on Joab's head transfer the guilt; Various their speed, but endless is their course. The deed was acted by the subject's hand; From his first fountain and beginning ouze, The sword was pointed by the king's command. Down to the sea each brook and torrent flows: Mine was the murder; it was mine alone: Though sundry drops or leave or swell the stream, Years of contrition must the crime atone; The whole still runs, with equal pace, the same ; Nor can my guilty soul expect relief,
Sull other waves supply the rising urns, But from a long sincerity of grief.
And the eternal flood no want of water mourns. With an imperfect hand, and trembling heart, Why then must man obey the sad decree, Her love of truth superior to her art,
Which subjects neither sun, nor wind, nor sea ? Already the reflecting Muse has trac'd
A flower, that does with opening morn arise, The mournful figures of my actions past.
And, flourishing the day, at evening dies; The pensive goddess has already taught
A winged eastern blast, just skimming o'er How vain is hope, and how vexatious thought; The ocean's brow, and sinking on the shore ; From growing childhood to declining age, A fire, whose flames through crackling stubble ay, How tedious every step, how gloomy every stage. A meteor shooting from the summer sky; This course of vanity almost complete,
A bowl adown the bending mountain rollid; Tir'd in the field of life, I hope retreat
A bubble breaking, and a fable told ;