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ELEGY ON THE DEATH OF ADAUGHTER.
How vain the wish of long-continuing joy,
Form'd on the transient pleasures of a day! How weak, that man should serious toil employ, To rest his thoughts on clouds which fleet away!
As well from hence he may attempt to rise
Arrest its motion through the liquid aiṛ.
Scarce hath swift Time his laughing circle drawn,
In manhood's course, how artfully are thrown
Of human ties that bind us most to earth,
In either period friendship takes the lead.
Happy their lot, whose ever-seeking minds
At home, its radiance beam from ev'ry eye!
Thus my past life hath prov'd and yet may prove Save that my Harriet is no longer giv'n!
Her soul of frienship and her looks of love, Fled to their source, have found a home in heay'n.
Alas! reflection now alternate guides
The mind, infeebled, to each different theme: As bury'd joy, or living hope presides,
Till balmy slumbers give this lenient dream :
Methinks I see, with sympathetic woe,
Pale sorrow moving from that hallow'd tomb, In sighs as mild as Summer zephyrs blow
To breathe these accents thro' the midnight gloom :
Mourner, approach! yon moon will light thy
O'er fun ral hillocks in the cypress glade; These flowing eyes shall catch her waning ray, And show the flow'ry turf where Harriet's laid!
Esger I haste, with dying voice, to speak
Her life ne'er caus'd a blush upon her cheek,
When Faith, descending on a seraph's wing, Points out my progress to a happier shore; There the bright saint, she said, can welcome bring,
And hail with rapture, “we shall part no more."
ELEGY TO THE MEMORY OF AN UNFORTUNATE LADY.
What beck'ning ghost, along the moon-light shade
Is there no bright reversion in the sky,
And sep'rate from their kindred dregs below;
Nor left one virtue to redeem her race.
But thou, false guardian of a charge too good, Thou, mean deserter of thy brother's blood! See on these ruby lips the trembling breath, These cheeks, now fading at the blast of death; Cold is that breast which warm'd the world before, And those love-darting eyes must roll no more, Thus if eternal Justice rules the ball,
Thus shall your wives, and thus your children fall:
On all the line a sudden vengeance waits, And frequent herses shall besiege your gates; There passengers shall stand, and pointing say, (While the long fun'rals blacken all the way) Lo! these were they, whose souls the Furies steel'd,
And curs'd with hearts unknowing how to yield.
The gaze of fools, and pageant of a day!
By foreign hands thy dying eyes were clos'd,
To midnight dances, and the public show?
Nor hallow'd dirge be mutter'd o'er thy tomb?