Page images





[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

WHEN the Cock crew he wept,-smote by that

Which looks on me, on all: That pow'r, who bids
This midnight centinel, with clarion shrill,
Emblem of that which shall awake the dead,
Rouse souls from slumber, into thoughts of Heav'n.
Shall I too weep? Where then is fortitude?
And, fortitude abandon'd, where is man?
I know the terms on which he sees the light;
He that is born, is listed ; life is war;
Eternal war with woe. Who bears it best,
Deserves it least.-On other themes I'll dwell.
LORENZO ! let me turn my thoughts on thee,
And thine, on themes may profit; profit there,
Where most thy need. Themes, too, the genuine growth
Of dear PHILANDER's dust. He, thus, tho' dead,
May still befriend—What themes? Time's wondrous

Price, i
Death, Friendship, and PHILANDER's final scene.
So could I touch these themes, as might obtain

[ocr errors]


Thine ear, nor leave thy heart quite disengag'd,-
The good deed would delight me; half impress
On my dark cloud an Iris; and from grief
Call glory-Dost thou mourn PHILANDER's fate?
I know thou say’st it: Say thy life the same ?
He mourns the dead, who lives as they desire.
Where is that thrift, that avarice of TIME,
(O glorious avarice !) thought of death inspires,
As rumour'd robberies endear our gold?
O Time ! than gold more sacred; more a load
Than lead to fools; and fools reputed wise.
What moment granted man without account?
What years are squander'd, wisdom's debt unpaid?
Our wealth in days, all due to that discharge.
Haste, haste, he lies in wait, he's at the door,''
Insidious Death ! should his strong hand arrest,
No composition sets the pris'ner free.
Eternity's inexorable chain. .
Fast binds; and vengeance claims the full arrear.

How late I shudder'd on the brink! how late
Life call’d for her last refuge in despair!
That Time is mine, O MEAD! to thee I owe;
Fain would I pay thee with Eternity.
But ill my genius answers my desire ;
My sickly song is mortal, past thy cure.
Accept the will;--that dies not with my strain
· For what calls thy disease, LORENZO ? not
For Esculapian, but for Moral aid.
Thou think'st it folly to be wise too soon.
Youth is not rich in Time, it may be poor;

Part with it as with money, sparing; pay
No moment, but in purchase of its worth;
And what its worth, ask death-beds; they can tell.
Part with it as with life, reluctant big;
With only hope of nobler time to come;
Time higher aim'd, still nearer the great mark
Of men and angels; virtue more divine.

Is this our duty, wisdom, glory, gain?
(These heav'n benign in vital union binds)
And sport we like the natives of the bough,
When vernal suns inspire ? Amusement reigns
Man's great demand: To trifle is to live :
And is it then a trifle, too, to die?

Thou say'st I preach, LORENZO ! 'Tis confest.
What, if for once, I preach thee quite awake?
Who wants amusement in the flame of battle?
Is it not treason, to the soul immortal,
Her foes in arms, eternity the prize ?
Will toys amuse, when med'cines cannot cure ?
When spirits ebb, when life's enchanting scenes
Their lustre lose, and lessen in our sight,
As lands, and cities with their glitt'ring spires,
To the poor shatter'd bark, by sudden storm
Thrown off to sea, and soon to perish there?
Will Toys amuse ? No: Thrones will then be toys,
And earth and skies seem dust upon the scale.

Redeem we time?—Its loss we dearly buy. What pleads LORENZO for his high-priz'd sports?. He pleads time's num'rous blanks ; he loudly pleads The straw-like trifles on life's common stream.

« PreviousContinue »