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What art thou Life? the shadow of a dream;

The past and future dwell in thought alone;

The present, erë we note its flight, is gone ! And all ideal, vain, fantastic seem.

Whence is thy source ? and whether dost thow

tend? So short thy period, and thy form so frail;

Poor pris'ners, pent in death's surrounding vale, Born but to breathe, to suffer, and to end.

Why shadow! bringøst thou, on thy raven wing,

Dark trains of grief, and visions of the night,

Rather than graces rob’d in purple light, Elysian flow’rs, and love's unclouded spring? Since sad or gay, whatever be thy theme, Death surely ends, at once, the dreamer and the A NIGHT-PIECE ON DEATH.


By the blue taper's trembling light,
No more I waste the wakeful night,
Intent with endless view to pore
The schoolmen and the sages o'er :
Their books from wisdom widely stray,
Or point at best the longest way.
I'll seek a readier path, and go
Where wisdom's surely taught below.

How deep yon azure dyes the sky!
Where orbs of gold unnumber'd lie;
While through their ranks in silver pride
The nether crescerit seems to glide.
The slumbering breeze forgets to breathe
The lake is smooth and clear beneath,
Where once again the spangled show
Descends to meet our eyes below.
The grounds which on the right ašpire
In dimness from the view retire ;
The left presents a place of graves,
Whose wall the silent water lates.
That steeple guides thy doabtful siglat
Among the livid gleams of night:




with melancholy state,
By all the solemn heaps of fate,
And think, as softly-sad you tread
Above the venerable dead,
Time was, like thee they life possest;
And time shall be, that thou shalt rest.

Those graves with bending osier bound, That nameless heave the crumbled ground; Quick to the glancing thought disclose, Where toil and poverty repose.

The flat smoothe stones that bear a name : The chissel's slender help to fame, (Which ere our set of friends decay Their frequent steps may wear away ;) A middle race of mortals own, Men half ambitious, all unknown.

The marble tombs that rise on high, Whose dead in vaulted arches lie, Whosc pillows swell with sculptur'd stones Arms, Angels, epitaphs, and bones, These, all the


remaills of state, Adorn the rich, or praise the great ; Who, while on earth in fame they live, Are senseless of the fame they give.

Ha! while I gaze, pale Cynthia fades, The bursting earth unvails the shades; All slow, and wan, and wrap'd with shouds, They rise in visionary crowds, And all with sober accent cry,. THINI, MORTAL, WHAT IT IS TO DIY!

Now from yon black and funereal yew, That bathes the charnel-house with dew, Methinks, I hear a voice begin; (Ye ravens, cease your croaking din, Ye tolling clocks, no time resound O'er the long lake and midnight ground!) It sends a peal of hollow groans, Thus speaking from among the bones.

When men my scythe and darts supply, How great a King of fears am I! They view me like the last of things ; They make, and then they dread my stings. Fools! If you less provoke your fears, No more my -spectre form appears. Death's but a path that must be trod, If man would ever pass to God: A port of calms, a state to ease From the rough rage of swelling seas.

Why then thy flowing sable stoles,
Deep pendant cypress, mourning poles,
Loose scarfs to fall athwart thy weeds,
Long palls, .drawn hearses, cover'd steeds,
And plumes of black, that, as they tread,
Nod o'er the 'scutcheons of the dead?

Nor can the parted body know,
Nor wants the soul these forms of woe;
As men wlio long in prison dwell,
With lamps that glimmer round the cell,

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Whene'er their suffering years are run,
Spring forth to greet the glittering sun;
Such joy, though far transcending sense,
Have pious souls at parting hence.
On earth and in the body plae'd,
A few and evil years, they waste :
But when their chains are east aside,
See the glad seene unfolding wide,
Clap the glad wing, and tower away,
And mingle with the blaze of day.


Parent of virtue, if thine ear

Attend not now to sorrow's cryi If now the pity-streaming tear

Should heply on thy cheek be dry; Indulge my votive strain, O sweet Humanity!

Come, ever welcome to my breast !
A tender, but a cheerful guests
Nor always in the gloomy cell
Of life-consuming sorrow dwell;
For sorrow, long-indulg'd and slow,
Is to Humanity a foe;
And grief, that makes the heart its prez,
Wears sensibility away.

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