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Strange things, the neighbours say, have happen'd here:

Wild shrieks have issued from the hollow tombs:

Dead men have come again, and walk'd about;

And the great bell has toll'd, unrung, untouch'd,

(Such tales their cheer at wake or gossiping, When it draws near to witching time of night.)

Oft, in the lone churchyard at night I've


By glimpse of moonshine chequering through the trees,

The schoolboy, with his satchel in his hand, Whistling aloud to bear his courage up, And lightly tripping o'er the long flat stones (With nettles skirted, and with moss o'ergrown),

That tell in homely phrase who lie below. Sudden he starts, and hears, or thinks he hears,

The sound of something purring at his heels; Full fast he flies, and dares not look behind him,

Till out of breath he overtakes his fellows:
Who gather round, and wonder at the tale
Of horrid apparition, tall and ghastly,

That walks at dead of night, or takes his stand

O'er some new-open'd grave; and (strange to

tell !)

Evanishes at crowing of the cock.

Robert Blair.-Born 1699, Died 1746.

Assumed a dye more deep; whilst every flower

Vied with its fellow plant in luxury

Of dress-Oh! then, the longest summer's day

Seem'd too, too much in haste: still the full heart

Had not imparted half: 'twas happiness
Too exquisite to last. Of joys departed,
Not to return, how painful the remembrance!
Robert Blair.-Born 1699, Died 1746.


Here the lank-sided miser, worst of felons, Who meanly stole (discreditable shift!) From back, and belly too, their proper cheer, Eased of a tax it irk'd the wretch to pay To his own carcase, now lies cheaply lodged, By clamorous appetites no longer teased, Nor tedious bills of charges and repairs. But, ah! where are his rents, his comingsin ?

Ay! now you've made the rich man poor indeed;

Robb'd of his gods, what has he left behind?
O cursed lust of gold! when for thy sake
The fool throws up his interest in both

First starved in this, then damn'd in that to


Robert Blair.-Born 1699, Died 1746.


Invidious grave!-how dost thou rend in sunder

Whom love has knit, and sympathy made one !

A tie more stubborn far than nature's band. Friendship! mysterious cement of the soul; Sweetener of life, and solder of society,

I owe thee much. Thou hast deserved from


Far, far beyond what I can ever pay.
Oft have I proved the labours of thy love,
And the warm efforts of the gentle heart,
Anxious to please.-Oh! when my friend
and I

In some thick wood have wander'd heedless


Hid from the vulgar eye, and sat us down Upon the sloping cowslip-cover'd bank, Where the pure limpid stream has slid along In grateful errors through the underwood, Sweet murmuring: methought the shrilltongued thrush

Mended his song of love; the sooty blackbird Mellow'd his pipe, and soften'd every note: The eglantine smell'd sweeter, and the rose

845.-UNPREPARED FOR DEATH. How shocking must thy summons be, O Death!

To him that is at ease in his possessions; Who, counting on long years of pleasure here,

Is quite unfurnish'd for that world to come!
In that dread moment, how the frantic soul
Raves round the walls of her clay tenement,
Runs to each avenue, and shrieks for help,
But shrieks in vain -How wishfully she

On all she's leaving, now no longer hers!
A little longer, yet a little longer,

Oh! might she stay, to wash away her stains,

And fit her for her passage.


sight! Her very eyes weep blood;-and every groan She heaves is big with horror: but the foe, Like a staunch murderer, steady to his purpose,

Pursues her close through every lane of life, Nor misses once the track, but presses on; Till, forced at last to the tremendousverge, At once she sinks to everlasting ruin.

Robert Blair.-Born 1699, Died 1746.


Sure 'tis a serious thing to die! My soul, What a strange moment it must be, when


Thy journey's end, thou hast the gulf in view!

That awful gulf no mortal e'er repass'd
To tell what's doing on the other side.
Nature runs back and shudders at the sight,
And every life-string bleeds at thoughts of

For part they must: body and soul must part;

Fond couple! link'd more close than wedded pair.

This wings its way to its Almighty Source, The witness of its actions, now its judge: That drops into the dark and noisome grave, Like a disabled pitcher of no use.

Robert Blair.-Born 1699, Died 1746.


Death's shafts fly thick!-Here falls the village-swain,

And there his pamper'd lord!-The cup goes round;

And who so artful as to put it by?
"Tis long since death had the majority;
Yet, strange the living lay it not to heart.
See yonder maker of the dead man's bed,
The Sexton, hoary-headed chronicle;

Of hard, unmeaning face, down which ne'er stole

A gentle tear; with mattock in his hand Digs through whole rows of kindred and acquaintance,

By far his juniors.-Scarce a skull's cast up,

But well he knew its owner, and can tell Some passage of his life. - Thus hand in hand

The sot has walk'd with death twice twenty years;

And yet ne'er younker on the green laughs louder,

Or clubs a smuttier tale: when drunkards meet,

None sings a merrier catch, or lends a hand More willing to his cup.-Poor wretch! he minds not,

That soon some trusty brother of the trade Shall do for him what he has done for thousands.

On this side, and on that, men see their friends

Drop off, like leaves in autumn; yet launch


Into fantastic schemes, which the long livers In the world's hale and undegenerate days Could scarce have leisure for.-Fools that we are !

Never to think of death and of ourselves
At the same time: as if to learn to die
Were no concern of ours.-O more than

For creatures of a day, in gamesome mood,
To frolic on eternity's dread brink
Unapprehensive; when, for aught we know,
The very first swoln surge shall sweep us in!
Think we, or think we not, time hurries on
With a resistless, unremitting stream;
Yet treads more soft than e'er did midnight

That slides his hand under the miser's
And carries off his prize. What is this


What but a spacious burial field unwall'd, Strew'd with death's spoils, the spoils of


Savage and tame, and full of dead men's bones!

The very turf on which we tread once lived;
And we that live must lend our carcases
To cover our own offspring: in their turns
They too must cover theirs.-'Tis here all

The shivering Icelander, and sun-burnt Moor;
Men of all climes, that never met before;
And of all creeds, the Jew, the Turk, the

Here the proud prince, and favourite yet prouder,

His sovereign's keeper, and the people's


Are huddled out of sight.-Here lie abash'd
The great negotiators of the earth,
And celebrated masters of the balance,
Deep read in stratagems, and wiles of courts.
Now vain their treaty skill: death scorns to

Here the o'er-loaded slave flings down his burden

From his gall'd shoulders ;-and when the cruel tyrant,

With all his guards and tools of power about him,

Is meditating new unheard-of hardships, Mocks his short arm,-and, quick as thought,


Where tyrants vex not, and the weary rest.
Here the warm lover, leaving the cool shade,
The tell-tale echo, and the babbling stream
(Time out of mind the favourite seats of love),
Fast by his gentle mistress lays him down,
Unblasted by foul tongue.-Here friends and

Lie close; unmindful of their former feuds.
The lawn-robed prelate and plain presbyter,
Erewhile that stood aloof, as shy to meet,
Familiar mingle here, like sister streams
That some rude interposing rock had split.
Here is the large-limb'd peasant ;-here the

Of a span long, that never saw the sun,
Nor press'd the nipple, strangled in life's

Here is the mother, with her sons and daughters;

The barren wife; the long-demurring maid,
Whose lonely unappropriated sweets

Smiled like yon knot of cowslips on the cliff,

Not to be come at by the willing hand.

Here are the prude severe, and gay coquette,
The sober widow, and the young green virgin,
Cropp'd like a rose before 'tis fully blown,
Or half its worth disclosed. Strange medley

Here garrulous old age winds up his tale;,
And jovial youth, of lightsome vacant heart,
Whose every day was made of melody,
Hears not the voice of mirth.-The shrill-
tongued shrew,

Meek as the turtle-dove, forgets her chiding. Here are the wise, the generous, and the brave;

The just, the good, the worthless, the profane;

The downright clown, and perfectly wellbred;

The fool, the churl, the scoundrel, and the

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848.-THE DEATH OF A GOOD MAN. Sure the last end

Of the good man is peace!-How calm his exit !

Night dews fall not more gently to the ground,

Nor weary, worn-out winds expire so soft.
Behold him in the evening-tide of life,
A life well spent, whose early care it was
His riper years should not upbraid his

By unperceived degrees he wears away;
Yet, like the sun, seems larger at his setting.
High in his faith and hopes, look how he

After the prize in view! and, like a bird,
That's hamper'd, struggles hard to get

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849. THE RESURRECTION. Even the lag flesh Rests, too, in hope of meeting once again Its better half, never to sunder more. Nor shall it hope in vain :-the time draws on,

When not a single spot of burial earth,
Whether on land, or in the spacious sea,
But must give back its long-committed dust
Inviolate!-and faithfully shall these

Make up the full account; not the least atom

Embezzled, or mislaid, of the whole tale.
Each soul shall have a body ready furnish'd;
And each shall have his own.-Hence, ye
profane !

Ask not how this can be ?-Sure the same power

That rear'd the piece at first, and took it down,

Can reassemble the loose scatter'd parts,
And put them as they were.-Almighty God
Has done much more; nor is his arm im-

Through length of days: and what he can, he will:

His faithfulness stands bound to see it done. When the dread trumpet sounds, the slumber

ing dust,

Not unattentive to the call, shall wake;
And every joint possess its proper place,
With a new elegance of form, unknown
To its first state. Nor shall the conscious
Mistake its partner, but, amidst the crowd,
Singling its other half, into its arms
Shall rush, with all the impatience of a man
That's new come home; and, having long
been absent,

With haste runs over every different room,
In pain to see the whole. Thrice happy

Nor time, nor death, shall ever part them


'Tis but a night, a long and moonless night; We make the grave our bed, and then are gone.

Thus, at the shut of even, the weary bird Leaves the wide air, and in some lonely brake

Cowers down, and dozes till the dawn of day,

Then claps his well-fledged wings, and bears


Robert Blair.-Born 1699, Died 1746.

850.-THE ROSE.

How fair is the rose! what a beautiful flower, The glory of April and May!

But the leaves are beginning to fade in an hour,

And they wither and die in a day.


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How fine has the day been, how bright was the sun,

How lovely and joyful the course that he run, Though he rose in a mist when his race he begun,

And there followed some droppings of rain!

But now the fair traveller's come to the west,

His rays are all gold, and his beauties are best;

He paints the sky gay as he sinks to his rest,

And foretells a bright rising again.

Just such is the Christian; his course he begins,

Like the sun in a mist, when he mourns for his sins,

And melts into tears; then he breaks out and shines,

And travels his heavenly way :

But when he comes nearer to finish his race, Like a fine setting sun, he looks richer in grace,

And gives a sure hope at the end of his days, Of rising in brighter array.

Dr. Watts.-Born 1674, Died 1748.

Not the wild herd of nymphs and swains
That thoughtless fly into thy chains,
As custom leads the way:
If there be bliss without design,
Ivies and oaks may grow and twine,
And be as blest as they.

Not sordid souls of earthly mould,
Who drawn by kindred charms of gold
To dull embraces move:

So two rich mountains of Peru
May rush to wealthy marriage too,
And make a world of love.

Not the mad tribe that hell inspires
With wanton flames; those raging fires
The purer bliss destroy;
On Etna's top let furies wed,
And sheets of lightning dress the bed
T'improve the burning joy.

Nor the dull pairs whose marble forms
None of the melting passions warms,
Can mingle hearts and hands:
Logs of green wood that quench the coals
Are married just like Stoic souls,
With osiers for their bands.

Not minds of melancholy strain,
Still silent, or that still complain,

Can the dear bondage bless:
As well may heavenly concerts spring
From two old lutes with ne'er a string,
Or none besides the bass.

Nor can the soft enchantments hold
Two jarring souls of angry mould,

The rugged and the keen:
Samson's young foxes might as well
In bonds of cheerful wedlock dwell,
With firebrands tied between.

Nor let the cruel fetters bind
A gentle to a savage mind;

For love abhors the sight:
Loose the fierce tiger from the deer,
For native rage and native fear
Rise and forbid delight.

Two kindest souls alone must meet,
'Tis friendship makes the bondage sweet,
And feeds their mutual loves:
Bright Venus on her rolling throne
Is drawn by gentlest birds alone,
And Cupids yoke the doves.

Dr. Watts.-Born 1674, Died 1748.

852.-FEW HAPPY MATCHES. Say, mighty Love, and teach my song, To whom thy sweetest joys belong, And who the happy pairs Whose yielding hearts, and joining hands, Find blessings twisted with their bands, To soften all their cares.

853.-THE DAY OF JUDGMENT. When the fierce north wind, with his airy forces,

Roars up the Baltic to a foamy fury;
And the red lightning, with a storm of hail,


Rushing amain down,

How the poor sailors stand amazed and tremble

While the hoarse thunder, like a bloody trumpet,

Roars a loud onset to the gaping waters
Quick to devour them!

Such shall the noise be, and the wild disorder,

If things eternal may be like those earthly, Such the dire terror, when the great Archangel

Shakes the creation;

Tears the strong pillars of the vault of heaven,

Breaks up old marble, the repose of princes: See the graves open and the bones arisingFlames all around them!

Hark, the shrill outcries of the guilty wretches!

Lively bright horror and amazing anguish Stare through their eyelids, while the living worm lies

Gnawing within them.

Thoughts, like old vultures, prey upon their heart-strings,

And the smart twinges, when the eye beholds the

Lofty Judge, frowning, and a flood of


Rolling afore him.

Stop here, my fancy (all away, ye horrid
Doleful ideas); come, arise to Jesus!
How he sits God-like; and the saints around

Throned, yet adoring.

O may I sit there, when he comes triumphant Dooming the nations! then ascend to glory; While our hosannahs all along the passage Shout the Redeemer.

Dr. Watts.-Born 1674, Died 1748.


Stand and adore! how glorious He
That dwells in bright eternity!
We gaze and we confound our sight,
Plunged in th' abyss of dazzling light.

Thou sacred One, Almighty Three,
Great, everlasting Mystery,
What lofty numbers shall we frame
Equal to thy tremendous name?

Seraphs, the nearest to the throne, Begin to speak the Great Unknown: Attempt the song, wind up your strings To notes untried, and boundless things.

You, whose capacious powers survey
Largely beyond our eyes of clay,
Yet what a narrow portion too
Is seen or thought or known by you!

How flat your highest praises fall
Before th' immense Original!
Weak creatures we, that strive in vain
To reach an uncreated strain.

Great God forgive our feeble lays,
Sound out thine own eternal praise;
A song so vast, a theme so high,
Call for the voice that tuned the sky.
Dr. Watts.-Born 1674, Died 1748.


These thoughts, O Night! are thine; From thee they came like lovers' secret sighs, While others slept. So Cynthia, poets feign, In shadows veiled, soft, sliding from her sphere,

Her shepherd cheered; of her enamoured less

Than I of thee. And art thou still unsung, Beneath whose brow, and by whose aid, I sing?

Immortal silence! where shall I begin?
Where end? or how steal music from the


To soothe their goddess?

O majestic Night!

Nature's great ancestor! Day's elder born!
And fated to survive the transient sun!
By mortals and immortals seen with awe!
A starry crown thy raven brow adorns,
An azure zone thy waist; clouds, in heaven's

Wrought through varieties of shape and shade,

In ample folds of drapery divine,

Thy flowing mantle form, and, heaven through. out,

Voluminously pour thy pompous train: Thy gloomy grandeurs-Nature's most august,

Inspiring aspect!-claim a grateful verse; And, like a sable curtain starr'd with gold, Drawn o'er my labours past, shall clothe the


Edward Young.-Born 1681, Died 1765.


Tired Nature's sweet restorer, balmy Sleep!
He, like the world, his ready visit pays
Where Fortune smiles; the wretched he for-

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