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Forlorn he must and persecuted fly,
Climb the steep mountain, in the cavern lie,
And often ask, and be refus'd, to die.
For ever, from his manly toil, are known
The weight of power, and anguish of a crown.
What tongue can speak the restless monarch's woes,
When God and Nathan were declar'd his foes?
When every object his offence revil'd,
The husband murder d, and the wife defil'd,
The parent's sins impress'd upon the dying child?
What heart can think the grief which he sustain'd,
When the king's crime brought vengeance on the
And the inexorable prophet's voice [choice?
Gave famine, plague, or war, and bid him fix his
He died; and, oh! may no reflection shed
Its poisonous venom on the royal dead!
Yet the unwilling truth must be express'd,
Which long has labor'd in this pensive breast:
Dying, he added to my weight of care;
He made me to his crimes undoubted heir;
Left his unfinish'd murder to his son,
And Joab's blood entail'd on Judah's crown.
Young as I was, I hasted to fulfil
The cruel dictates of my parent's will.
Of his fair deeds a distant view I took,
But turn'd the tube, upon his faults to look,
Forgot his youth, spent in his country's cause,
His care of right, his reverence to the laws;
But could with joy his years of folly trace,
Broken and old in Bathsheba's embrace;
Could follow him, where'er he stray'd from good,
And cite his sad example, whilst I trod
Paths open to deceit, and track'd with blood.
Soon docile to the secret acts of ill,
With smiles I could betray, with temper kill;
Soon in a brother could a rival view,
Watch all his acts, and all his ways pursue.
In vain for life he to the altar fled :
Ambition and revenge have certain speed.
In the still shades of Death: for dread and pain,
And griefs, will find their shafts elanc'd in vain,
And their points broke, retorted from the head,
Safe in the grave, and free among the dead.
Yet tell me, frighted Reason! what is death?
Blood only stopp'd, and interrupted breath;
The utmost limit of a narrow span,
And end of motion, which with life began.
As smoke that rises from the kindling fires
Is seen this moment, and the next expires;
As empty clouds by rising winds are tost,
Their fleeting forms scarce sooner found than lost
So vanishes our state, so pass our days;
So life but opens now, and now decays;
The cradle and the tomb, alas! so nigh,
To live, is scarce distinguish'd from to die.
Cure of the miser's wish, and coward's fear,
Death only shows us what we knew was near.
With courage, therefore, view the pointed hour,
Dread not Death's anger, but expect his power;
Nor Nature's law with fruitless sorrow mourn,
But die, O mortal man! for thou wast born.
Cautious thro' doubt, by want of courage wise,
To such advice the reasoner still replies.
Yet measuring all the long-continued space,
Every successive day's repeated race,
Since Time first started from his pristine goal,
Till he had reach'd that hour wherein my soul,
Join'd to my body, swell'd the womb; I was
(At least I think so) nothing: must I pass
Again to nothing, when this vital breath,
Ceasing, consigns me o'er to rest and death?
Must the whole man, amazing thought! return
To the cold marble, or contracted urn?
And never shall those particles agree,
That were in life this individual he?
But, sever'd, must they join the general mass,
Through other forms and shapes ordain'd to pass,
Nor thought nor image kept of what he was ?
Does the great Word, that gave him sense, ordain
Ev'n there, my soul, ev'n there he should have fell, That life shall never wake that sense again?
But that my interest did my rage conceal.
Doubling my crime, I promise, and deceive,
Purpose to slay, whilst swearing to forgive.
Treaties, persuasions, sighs, and tears, are vain;
With a mean lie curs'd vengeance I sustain,
Join fraud to force, and policy to power,
Till, of the destin'd fugitive secure,
In solemn state to parricide I rise,
And, as God lives, this day my brother dies.
Be witness to my tears, celestial Muse;
In vain I would forget, in vain excuse,
Fraternal blood by my direction spilt;
In vain on Joab's head transfer the guilt;
The deed was acted by the subject's hand;
The sword was pointed by the king's command.
Mine was the murder; it was mine alone:
Years of contrition must the crime atone;
Nor can my guilty soul expect relief,
But from a long sincerity of grief.
With an imperfect hand, and trembling heart,
Her love of truth superior to her art,
Already the reflecting Muse has trac'd
The mournful figures of my actions past.
The pensive goddess has already taught
How vain is hope, and how vexatious thought;
From growing childhood to declining age,
How tedious every step, how gloomy every stage.
This course of vanity almost complete,
Tir'd in the field of life, I hope retreat
And will no power his sinking spirits save
From the dark caves of Death, and chambers of the
Each evening I behold the setting Sun,
With downward speed, into the Ocean run:
Yet the same light (pass but some fleeting hours)
Exerts his vigor, and renews his powers;
Starts the bright race again: his constant flame
Rises and sets, returning still the same.
I mark the various fury of the winds;
These neither seasons guide, nor order binds;
They now dilate, and now contract their force;
Various their speed, but endless is their course.
From his first fountain and beginning ouze,
Down to the sea each brook and torrent flows:
Though sundry drops or leave or swell the stream,
The whole still runs, with equal pace, the same;
Still other waves supply the rising urns,
And the eternal flood no want of water mourns.
Why then must man obey the sad decree,
Which subjects neither sun, nor wind, nor sea?
A flower, that does with opening morn arise,
And, flourishing the day, at evening dies;
A winged eastern blast, just skimming o'er
The ocean's brow, and sinking on the shore;
A fire, whose flames through crackling stubble fly,
A meteor shooting from the summer sky;
A bowl adown the bending mountain roll'd;
A bubble breaking, and a fable told;
A noontide shadow, and a midnight dream;
Are einblems which, with semblance apt, proclaim
Our earthly course: but, O my soul! so fast
Must life run off, and death for ever last?
This dark opinion, sure, is too confin'd:
Else whence this hope, and terror of the mind?
Does something still, and somewhere, yet remain,
Reward or punishment, delight or pain?
Say, shall our relics second birth receive?
Sleep we to wake, and only die to live?
When the sad wife has closed her husband's eyes,
And pierc'd the echoing vault with doleful cries,
Lies the pale corpse not yet entirely dead,
The spirit only from the body fled;
The grosser part of heat and motion void,
To be by fire, or worm, or time, destroy'd;
The Soul, immortal substance, to remain,
Conscious of joy, and capable of pain?
And, if her acts have been directed well,
While with her friendly clay she deign'd to dwell,
Shall she with safety reach her pristine seat?
Find her rest endless, and her bliss complete?
And, while the buried man we idly mourn,
Do angels joy to see his better half return?
But, if she has deform'd this earthly life
With murderous rapine, and seditious strife,
Amaz'd, repuls'd, and by those angels driven
From the ethereal seat, and blissful Heaven,
In everlasting darkness must she lie,
Still more unhappy, that she cannot die?
Amid two seas, on one small point of land,
Wearied, uncertain, and amaz'd, we stand:
On either side our thoughts incessant turn;
Forward we dread, and looking back we mourn;
Losing the present in this dubious haste,
And lost ourselves betwixt the future and the past.
These cruel doubts contending in my breast,
My reason staggering, and my hopes oppress'd,
Once more," I said, "once more I will inquire,
What is this little, agile, pervious fire,
This fluttering motion, which we call the Mind?
How does she act? and where is she confin'd?
Have we the power to guide her as we please?
Whence then those evils that obstruct our ease?
We happiness pursue; we fly from pain;
Yet the pursuit, and yet the flight, is vain:
And, while poor Nature labors to be blest,
By day with pleasure, and by night with rest,
Some stronger power eludes our sickly will,
Dashing our rising hope with certain ill;
And makes us, with reflective trouble, see
That all is destin'd, which we fancy free.
That Power superior then, which rules Is his decree by human prayer inclin'd? Will he for sacrifice our sorrows ease? And can our tears reverse his firm decrees? Then let Religion aid, where Reason fails: Throw loads of incense in, to turn the scales; And let the silent sanctuary show,
What from the babbling schools we may not know,
How man may shun or bear his destin'd part of woe.
What shall amend, or what absolve, our fate?
Anxious we hover in a mediate state,
Betwixt infinity and nothing, bounds,
Or boundless terms, whose doubtful sense confounds.
Unequal thought! whilst all we apprehend
Is, that our hopes must rise, our sorrows end,
As our Creator deigns to be our friend."
I said; and instant bad the priests prepare
The ritual sacrifice and solemn prayer.
Select from vulgar herds, with garlands gay,
A hundred bulls ascend the sacred way.
The artful youth proceed to form the choir;
They breathe the flute, or strike the vocal wire.
The maids in comely order next advance;
They beat the timbrel, and instruct the dance.
Follows the chosen tribe from Levi sprung,
Chanting, by just return, the holy song.
Along the choir in solemn state they past:
-The anxious king came last.
The sacred hymn perform'd, my promis'd vow
I paid; and, bowing at the altar low,
"Father of Heaven!" I said, "and Judge of Earth!
Whose word call'd out this universe to birth;
By whose kind power and influencing care
The various creatures move, and live, and are;
But ceasing once that care, withdrawn that power,
They move, (alas!) and live, and are no more:
Omniscient Master, omnipresent King,
To thee, to thee, my last distress I bring.
"Thou, that canst still the raging of the seas,
the winds, and bid the tempests cease!
Redeem my shipwreck'd soul from raging gusts
Of cruel passion and deceitful lusts:
From storms of rage, and dangerous rocks of pride
Let thy strong hand this little vessel guide
(It was thy hand that made it) through the tide
Impetuous of this life: let thy command
Direct my course, and bring me safe to land!
"If, while this wearied flesh draws fleeting breath,
Not satisfied with life, afraid of death,
It haply be thy will, that I should know
Glimpse of delight, or pause from anxious woe!
From Now, from instant Now, great Sire! dispel
The clouds that press my soul; from Now reveal
A gracious beam of light; from Now inspire
My tongue to sing, my hand to touch the lyre;
My open thought to joyous prospects raise,
And for thy mercy let me sing thy praise.
Or, if thy will ordains I still shall wait
Some new hereafter, and a future state,
Permit me strength, my weight of woe to bear,
And raise my mind superior to my care.
Let me, howe'er unable to explain
The secret labyrinths of thy ways to man,
With humble zeal confess thy awful power;
Still weeping hope, and wondering still adore:
So in my conquest be thy might declar'd,
And for thy justice be thy name rever'd."
My prayer scarce ended, a stupendous gloom Darkens the air; loud thunder shakes the dome. To the beginning miracle succeed
An awful silence and religious dread.
Sudden breaks forth a more than common day;
The sacred wood, which on the altar lay,
Untouch'd, unlighted, glows—
Ambrosial odor, such as never flows
From Arab's gum, or the Sabean rose,
Does round the air evolving scents diffuse:
The holy ground is wet with heavenly dews:
Celestial music (such Jessides' lyre,
Such Miriam's timbrel, would in vain require)
Strikes to my thought through my admiring ear,
With ecstacy too fine, and pleasure hard to bear.
And lo! what sees my ravish'd eye? what feels
My wand'ring soul? An opening cloud reveals
An heavenly form, embodied, and array'd
With robes of light. I heard. The angel said:
"Cease, man of woman born, to hope relief
From daily trouble and continued grief;
Thy hope of joy deliver to the wind,
Suppress thy passions, and prepare thy mind;
Free and familiar with misfortune grow,
Be us'd to sorrow, and inur'd to woe;
By weakening toil and hoary age o'ercome,
See thy decrease, and hasten to thy tomb;
Leave to thy children tumult, strife, and war,
Portions of toil, and legacies of care;
Send the successive ills through ages down,
And let each weeping father tell his son,
That deeper struck, and more distinctly griev'd,
He must augment the sorrows he receiv'd.
"The child to whose success thy hope is bound,
Ere thou art scarce interr'd, or he is crown'd,
To lust of arbitrary sway inclin'd,
(That cursed poison to the prince's mind!)
Shall from thy dictates and his duty rove,
And lose his great defence, his people's love;
Ill-counsell'd, vanquish'd, fugitive, disgrac'd,
Shall mourn the fame of Jacob's strength effac'd;
Shall sigh the king diminish'd, and the crown
With lessen'd rays descending to his son;
Shall see the wreaths, his grandsire knew to reap
By active toil and military sweat,
Pining, incline their sickly leaves, and shed
Their falling honors from his giddy head;
By arms or prayer unable to assuage
Domestic horror and intestine rage,
Shall from the victor and the vanquish'd fear,
From Israel's arrow, and from Judah's spear;
Shall cast his wearied limbs on Jordan's flood,
By brother's arms disturb'd, and stain'd with kin-
"Hence laboring years shall weep their destin'd
Charg'd with ill omens, sullied with disgrace.
Time, by necessity compell'd, shall go
Through scenes of war, and epochas of woe.
The empire, lessen'd in a parted stream,
Shall lose its course-
Indulge thy tears: the Heathen shall blaspheme;
Judah shall fall, oppress'd by grief and shame,
And men shall from her ruins know her fame.
"New Egypts yet and second bonds remain,
A harsher Pharaoh, and a heavier chain.
Again, obedient to a dire command,
Thy captive sons shall leave the promis'd land. Their name more low, their servitude more vile, Shall on Euphrates' bank renew the grief of Nile. "These pointed spires, that wound the ambient sky,
(Inglorious change!) shall in destruction lie
Low, levell'd with the dust; their heights unknown,
Or measur'd by their ruin. Yonder throne,
For lasting glory built, design'd the seat
Of kings for ever blest, for ever great,
Remov'd by the invader's barbarous hand,
Shall grace his triumph in a foreign land.
The tyrant shall demand yon sacred load
Of gold, and vessels set apart to GOD,
Then, by vile hands to common use debas'd,
Shall send them flowing round his drunken feast,
With sacrilegious taunt, and impious jest.
"Twice fourteen ages shall their way complete;
Empires by various turns shall rise and set;
While thy abandon'd tribes shall only know
A different master, and a change of woe,
With down-cast eye-lids, and with looks aghast,
Shall dread the future, or bewail the past.
Afflicted Israel shall sit weeping down, Fast by the stream where Babel's waters run ; Their harps upon the neighboring willows hung, Nor joyous hymn encouraging their tongue, Nor cheerful dance their feet; with toil oppress'd, Their wearied limbs aspiring but to rest. In the reflective stream the sighing bride, Viewing her charms impair'd, abash'd, shall hide Her pensive head; and in her languid face The bridegroom shall foresee his sickly race, While ponderous fetters vex their close embrace. With irksome anguish then your priests shall mourn Their long-neglected feasts' despair'd return, And sad oblivion of their solemn days. Thenceforth their voices they shall only raise, Louder to weep. By day, your frighted seers Shall call for fountains to express their tears, And wish their eyes were floods; by night, from dreams
Of opening gulfs, black storms, and raging flames, Starting amaz'd, shall to the people show Emblems of heavenly wrath, and mystic types of woe. "The captives, as their tyrant shall require That they should breathe the song, and touch the lyre,
Shall say: Can Jacob's servile race rejoice,
Untun'd the music, and disus'd the voice?
What can we play,' (they shall discourse,) how sing
In foreign lands, and to a barbarous king?
We and our fathers, from our childhood bred
To watch the cruel victor's eye, to dread
The arbitrary lash, to bend, to grieve,
(Outcast of mortal race!) can we conceive
Image of aught delightful, soft, or gay?
Alas! when we have toil'd the longsome day,
The fullest bliss our hearts aspire to know
Is but some interval from active woe,
In broken rest and startling sleep to mourn,
Till morn, the tyrant, and the scourge, return.
Bred up in grief, can pleasure be our theme?
Our endless anguish does not Nature claim?
Reason and sorrow are to us the same.
Alas! with wild amazement we require,
If idle Folly was not Pleasure's fire?
Madness, we fancy, gave an ill-tim'd birth
To grinning Laughter, and to frantic Mirth.'
This is the series of perpetual woe,
Which thou, alas! and thine, are born to know.
Illustrious wretch! repine not, nor reply:
View not what Heaven ordains with Reason's eye;
Too bright the object is; the distance is too high.
The man who would resolve the work of Fate,
May limit number, and make crooked straight:
Stop thy inquiry then, and curb thy sense,
Nor let dust argue with Omnipotence.
'Tis GOD who must dispose, and man sustain,
Born to endure, forbidden to complain.
Thy sum of life must his decrees fulfil;
What derogates from his command, is ill;
And that alone is good which centres in his will
"Yet, that thy laboring senses may not droop,
Lost to delight, and destitute of hope,
Remark what I, God's messenger, aver
From him, who neither can deceive nor err.
The land, at length redeem'd, shall cease to mourn
Shall from her sad captivity return.
Sion shall raise her long-dejected head,
And in her courts the law again be read.
Again the glorious temple shall arise,
And with new lustre pierce the neighboring skies
Cover the mountain, and command the plain;
The promis'd seat of empire shall again
The squire, whose good grace was to open the
And, from thy race distinguish'd, one shall spring, Seem'd not in great haste that the show should Greater in act than victor, more than king
In dignity and power, sent down from heaven,
To succor Earth. To him, to him, 'tis given,
Passion, and care, and anguish, to destroy.
Through him, soft peace, and plenitude of joy,
Perpetual o'er the world redeem'd shall flow;
No more may man inquire, nor angel know.
"Now, Solomon! remembering who thou art,
Act through thy remnant life the decent part.
Go forth be strong with patience and with care
Perform, and suffer: to thyself severe,
Gracious to others, thy desires suppress'd,
Diffus'd thy virtues; first of men! be best.
Thy sum of duty let two words contain;
(O may they graven in thy heart remain !)
Be humble, and be just." The angel said:-
With upward speed his agile wings he spread;
Whilst on the holy ground I prostrate lay,
By various doubts impell'd, or to obey,
Or to object; at length (my mournful look
Heaven-ward erect) determin'd, thus I spoke :
"Supreme, all-wise, eternal Potentate! Sole Author, sole Disposer of our fate! Enthron'd in light and immortality,
Whom no man fully sees, and none can see!
Original of beings! Power divine!
Since that I live, and that I think, is thine!
Benign Creator! let thy plastic hand
Dispose its own effect; let thy command
Restore, Great Father! thy instructed son;
And in my act may thy great will be done!"
THE THIEF AND THE CORDELIER,
To the Tune of King John and the Abbot of Canterbury.
WHO has e'er been at Paris, must needs know the
The fatal retreat of th' unfortunate brave; Where Honor and Justice most oddly contribute To ease heroes' pains by a halter and gibbet.
Derry down, down, hey derry down.
There Death breaks the shackles which Force had put on,
And the hangman completes what the judge but begun;
There the squire of the pad, and the knight of the post,
Find their pains no more balk'd, and their hopes
Now fitted the halter, now travers'd the cart,
And often took leave, but was loth to depart.
Derry down, &c.
"What frightens you thus, my good son?" says the priest:
'You murder'd, are sorry, and have been confest." "O father! my sorrow will scarce save my bacon; For 'twas not that I murder'd, but that I was taken." Derry down, &c.
"Pugh! pr'ythee ne'er trouble thy head with such fancies:
Rely on the aid you shall have from Saint Francis: If the money you promis'd be brought to the chest, You have only to die: let the church do the rest. Derry down, &c.
"And what will folks say, if they see you afraid? It reflects upon me, as I knew not my trade: Courage, friend; for to-day is your period of sorrow; And things will go better, believe me, to-morrow.' Derry down, &c.
In vain you tell your parting lover,
You wish fair winds may waft him over.
Alas! what winds can happy prove,
That bear me far from what I love?
Alas! what dangers on the main
Can equal those that I sustain,
From slighted vows, and cold disdain ?
Be gentle, and in pity choose
To wish the wildest tempests loose :
That, thrown again upon the coast
Where first my shipwreck'd heart was lost,
I may once more repeat my pain;
Once more in dying notes complain
Of slighted vows, and cold disdain.
THE pride of every grove I chose,
The violet sweet and lily fair,
The dappled pink, and blushing rose,
To deck my charming Chloe's hair.
At morn the nymph vouchsaf'd to place
Upon her brow the various wreath;
The flowers less blooming than her face,
The scent less fragrant than her breath.
The flowers she wore along the day:
And every nymph and shepherd said,
That in her hair they look'd more gay
Than glowing in their native bed.
Undrest at evening, when she found
Their odors lost, their colors past;
She chang'd her look, and on the ground
Her garland and her eye she cast.
That eye dropt sense distinct and clear,
As any Muse's tongue could speak,
When from its lid a pearly tear
Ran trickling down her beauteous cheek.
Dissembling what I knew too well,
"My love, my life," said I, "explain This change of humor: pr'ythee tell :
That falling tear-what does it mean?"
She sigh'd; she smil'd; and, to the flowers
Pointing, the lovely moralist said:
"See, friend, in some few fleeting hours,
See yonder, what a change is made!
"Ah, me! the blooming pride of May, And that of Beauty, are but one: At morn both flourish bright and gay;
Both fade at evening, pale, and gone.
"At dawn poor Stella danc'd and sung; The amorous youth around her bow'd: At night her fatal knell was rung;
I saw, and kiss'd her in her shroud.
Such as she is, who died to-day; Such I, alas! may be to-morrow: Go, Damon, bid thy Muse display The justice of thy Chloe's sorrow."
AN ENGLISH PADLOCK. MISS Danaë, when fair and young, (As Horace has divinely sung,) Could not be kept from Jove's embrace By doors of steel, and walls of brass.
The reason of the thing is clear,
Would Jove the naked truth aver.
Cupid was with him of the party,
And show'd himself sincere and hearty;
For, give that whipster but his errand,
He takes my lord chief justice' warrant :
Dauntless as Death, away he walks;
Breaks the doors open, snaps the locks;
Searches the parlor, chamber, study;
Nor stops till he has culprit's body.
"Since this has been authentic truth,
By age deliver'd down to youth;
Tell us, mistaken husband, tell us,
Why so mysterious, why so jealous?
Does the restraint, the bolt, the bar,
Make us less curious, her less fair?
The spy, which does this treasure keep,
Does she ne'er say her prayers, nor sleep?
Does she to no excess incline?
Does she fly music, mirth, and wine?
Or have not gold and flattery power
To purchase one unguarded hour?
"Your care does further yet extend:
That spy is guarded by your friend.—
But has this friend nor eye nor heart?
May he not feel the cruel dart,
Which, soon or late, all mortals feel?
May he not, with too tender zeal,
Give the fair prisoner cause to see,
How much he wishes she were free?
May he not craftily infer
The rules of friendship too severe,
Which chain him to a hated trust;
Which make him wretched, to be just?
And may not she, this darling she,
Youthful and healthy, flesh and blood,
Easy with him, ill us'd by thee,
Allow this logic to be good?" "Sir, will your questions never end? I trust to neither spy nor friend. In short, I keep her from the sight Of every human face."-"She'll write.""From pen and paper she's debarr'd.”Has she a bodkin and a card? She'll prick her mind.”—“ She will, you say: But how shall she that mind convey?
"She'll thrust her letter through, Sir Martin."
"Dear, angry friend, what must be done? "Is there no way?"-" There is but one. Send her abroad: and let her see, That all this mingled mass, which she, Being forbidden, longs to know,
Is a dull farce, an empty show,
Powder, and pocket-glass, and beau;
A staple of romance and lies,
False tears and real perjuries:
Where sighs and looks are bought and sold.
And love is made but to be told:
Where the fat bawd and lavish heir
The spoils of ruin'd beauty share;
And youth, seduc'd from friends and fame.
Must give up age to want and shame.
Let her behold the frantic scene,
The women wretched, false the men:
And when, these certain ills to shun.
She would to thy embraces run,