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Swift on his downy pinion flies from woe,
And lights on lids unsullied with a tear.

From short (as usual) and disturbed repose I wake: how happy they who wake no more! Yet that were vain, if dreams infest the grave.

I wake, emerging from a sea of dreams Tumultuous; where my wrecked desponding thought

From wave to wave of fancied misery

At random drove, her helm of reason lost. Though now restored, 'tis only change of pain

(A bitter change!) severer for severe :

The day too short for my distress; and night,

E'en in the zenith of her dark domain,
Is sunshine to the colour of my fate.

Night, sable goddess! from her ebon throne,

In rayless majesty, now stretches forth
Her leaden sceptre o'er a slumb'ring world.
Silence how dead! and darkness how pro-


Nor eye nor list'ning ear an object finds;
Creation sleeps. 'Tis as the general pulse
Of life stood still, and Nature made a pause;
An awful pause! prophetic of her end.
And let her prophecy be soon fulfilled:
Fate drop the curtain; I can lose no more.
Silence and Darkness ! solemn sisters!

From ancient Night, who nurse the tender thought

To reason, and on reason build resolve
(That column of true majesty in man),
Assist me I will thank you in the grave;
The grave your kingdom: there this frame
shall fall

A victim sacred to your dreary shrine.
But what are ye?

Thou, who didst put to flight
Primeval Silence, when the morning stars,
Exulting, shouted o'er the rising ball;

Oh Thou! whose word from solid darkness struck

That spark, the sun, strike wisdom from my soul;

My soul, which flies to thee, her trust, her treasure,

As misers to their gold, while others rest.

Through this opaque of nature and of soul,

This double night, transmit one pitying ray, To lighten and to cheer. Oh lead my mind. (A mind that fain would wander from its woe),

Lead it through various scenes of life and death,

And from each scene the noblest truths inspire.

Nor less inspire my conduct than my song: Teach my best reason, reason; my best will Teach rectitude; and fix my firm resolve Wisdom to wed, and pay her long arrear: Nor let the phial of thy vengeance, poured

On this devoted head, be poured in vain. ** How poor, how rich, how abject, how august,

How complicate, how wonderful is man! How passing wonder He who made him such!

Who centred in our make such strange extremes,

From different natures marvellously mixed,
Connexion exquisite of distant worlds!
Distinguished link in being's endless chain!
Midway from nothing to the Deity!
A beam ethereal, sullied and absorpt!
Though sullied and dishonoured, still divine!
Dim miniature of greatness absolute!
An heir of glory! a frail child of dust:
Helpless immortal! insect infinite!

A worm! a god! I tremble at myself,
And in myself am lost. At home, a stranger,
Thought wanders up and down, surprised,

And wondering at her own. How reason reels!

Oh what a miracle to man is man! Triumphantly distressed! what joy! what dread!

Alternately transported and alarmed!

What can preserve my life! or what destroy! An angel's arm can't snatch me from the grave;

Legions of angels can't confine me there.

'Tis past conjecture; all things rise in proof:

While o'er my limbs sleep's soft dominion spread,

What though my soul fantastic measures trod

O'er fairy fields; or mourned along the gloom Of silent woods; or, down the craggy steep Hurled headlong, swam with pain the mantled


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This is the desert, this the solitude:
How populous, how vital is the grave!
This is creation's melancholy vault,
The vale funereal, the sad cypress gloom;
The land of apparitions, empty shades!
All, all on earth, is shadow, all beyond
Is substance; the reverse is folly's creed;
How solid all, where change shall be no
more !

This is the bud of being, the dim dawn,
The twilight of our day, the vestibule ;
Life's theatre as yet is shut, and death,
Strong death alone can heave the massy bar,
This gross impediment of clay remove,
And make us embryos of existence free

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From real life; but little more remote
Is he, not yet a candidate for light,
The future embryo, slumb'ring in his sire.
Embryos we must be till we burst the shell,
Yon ambient azure shell, and spring to life,
The life of gods, oh transport! and of man.

Yet man, fool man! here buries all his

Inters celestial hopes without one sigh.
Prisoner of earth, and pent beneath the

Here pinions all his wishes; winged by

To fly at infinite: and reach it there
Where seraphs gather immortality,

On life's fair tree, fast by the throne of God.
What golden joys ambrosial clust'ring glow,
In his full beam, and ripen for the just,
Where momentary ages are no more!
Where time, and pain, and chance, and death

And is it in the flight of threescore years
To push eternity from human thought,
And smother souls immortal in the dust?
A soul immortal, spending all her fires,
Wasting her strength in strenuous idleness,
Thrown into tumult, raptured or alarmed,
At aught this scene can threaten or indulge,
Resembles ocean into tempest wrought,
To waft a feather, or to drown a fly.

Edward Young.-Born 1681, Died 1765.

We take no note of

The bell strikes one.

But from its loss: to give it then a tongue
As if an angel spoke,
Is wise in man.

I feel the solemn sound. If heard aright,
It is the knell of my departed hours.

Where are they? With the years beyond the

It is the signal that demands despatch:

How much is to be done? My hopes and fears

Start up alarmed, and o'er life's narrow

A fathomless abyss.
Look down-on what?
A dread eternity! how surely mine!
And can eternity belong to me,
Poor pensioner on the bounties of an hour?

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 squandered, wisdom's debt

Our wealth in days all due to that discharge.
Haste, haste, he lies in wait, he's at the


Insidious Death; should his strong hand

No composition sets the prisoner free.
Eternity's inexorable chain

Fast binds, and vengeance claims the full


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 it's worth, ask death-beds; they
can tell.

Part with it as with life, reluctant; big
With holy hope of nobler time to come;
Time higher aimed, still nearer the great

Of men and angels, virtue more divine.

On all important time, through every age, Though much, and warm, the wise have urged, the man

Is yet unborn who duly weighs an hour. "I've lost a day"-the prince who nobly


Had been an emperor without his crown.
Of Rome? say, rather, lord of human race:
He spoke as if deputed by mankind.
So should all speak; so reason speaks in all :
From the soft whispers of that God in man,
Why fly to folly, why to frenzy fly,

For rescue from the blessings we possess?
Time, the supreme !-Time is eternity;
Pregnant with all that makes archangels

Who murders Time, he crushes in the birth
A power ethereal, only not adored.

Ah! how unjust to nature and himself
Is thoughtless, thankless, inconsistent man!
Like children babbling nonsense in their

We censure Nature for a span too short;
That span too short we tax as tedious, too;
Torture invention, all expedients tire,
To lash the ling'ring moments into speed,
And whirl us (happy riddance) from our-

Time, in advance, behind him hides his

And seems to creep, decrepit with his age.
Behold him when passed by; what then is


But his broad pinions swifter than the winds?

And all mankind, in contradiction strong,
Rueful, aghast, cry out on his career.

We waste, not use our time; we breathe, not live;

Time wasted is existence; used, is life:
And bare existence man, to live ordained,
Wrings and oppresses with enormous weight.
And why? since time was given for use, not

Enjoined to fly, with tempest, tide, and stars,
To keep his speed, nor ever wait for man.
Time's use was doomed a pleasure, waste a


That man might feel his error if unseen, And, feeling, fly to labour for his cure; Not blundering, split on idleness for ease.

We push time from us, and we wish him back;

Life we think long and short; death seek and shun.

Oh the dark days of vanity! while

Here, how tasteless! and how terrible when gone!

Gone? they ne'er go; when past, they haunt us still :

The spirit walks of every day deceased,
And smiles an angel, or a fury frowns.
Nor death nor life delight us. If time past,
And time possessed, both pain us, what can

That which the Deity to please ordained, Time used. The man who consecrates his hours

By vigorous effort, and an honest aim,

At once he draws the sting of life and death: He walks with nature, and her paths are peace.

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On his important embassy to man.
Lorenzo no: on the long destined hour,
From everlasting ages growing ripe,
That memorable hour of wondrous birth,
When the Dread Sire, on emanation bent,
And big with nature, rising in his might,
Called forth creation (for then time was

By Godhead streaming through a thousand worlds;

Not on those terms, from the great days of heaven,

From old eternity's mysterious orb

Was time cut off, and cast beneath the skies;

The skies, which watch him in his new abode,

Measuring his motions by revolving spheres, That horologe machinery divine.

Hours, days, and months, and years, his chil

dren play,

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But why on time so lavish is my song: On this great theme kind Nature keeps a school

To teach her sons herself. Each night we die

Each morn are born anew; each day a life; And shall we kill each day? If trifling kills, Sure vice must butcher. O what heaps of slain

Cry out for vengeance on us! time destroyed Is suicide, where more than blood is spilt. Throw years away?

Throw empires, and be blameless: moments seize ;

Heaven's on their wing: a moment we may wish,

When worlds want wealth to buy. Bid day stand still,

Bid him drive back his car and re-impart
The period past, re-give the given hour.
Lorenzo more than miracles we want.
Lorenzo! O for yesterdays to come.

Edward Young.-Born 1681, Died 1765.


Be wise to-day; 'tis madness to defer:
Next day the fatal precedent will plead;
Thus on, till wisdom is pushed out of life.
Procrastination is the thief of time;
Year after year it steals, till all are fled,
And to the mercies of a moment leaves
The vast concerns of an eternal scene.
If not so frequent, would not this be strange ?
That 'tis so frequent, this is stranger still.
Of man's miraculous mistakes, this bears
The palm, "That all men are about to live,"
For ever on the brink of being born:
All pay themselves the compliment to think
They one day shall not drivel, and their pride
On this reversion takes up ready praise;
At least their own; their future selves

How excellent that life they ne'er will lead !
Time lodged in their own hands is Folly's


That lodged in Fate's to wisdom they consign;

The thing they can't but purpose, they


'Tis not in folly not to scorn a fool,
And scarce in human wisdom to do more.

All promise is poor dilatory man,

And that through every stage. When young, indeed,

In full content we sometimes nobly rest,
Unanxious for ourselves, and only wish,

As duteous sons, our fathers were more wise.
At thirty man suspects himself a fool;
Knows it at forty, and reforms his plan;
At fifty chides his infamous delay,
Pushes his prudent purpose to resolve;
In all the magnanimity of thought
Resolves, and re-resolves; then dies the same.
And why? because he thinks himself

All men think all men mortal but themselves; Themselves, when some alarming shock of fate

Strikes through their wounded hearts the sudden dread:

But their hearts wounded, like the wounded air,

Soon close; where past the shaft no trace is found,

As from the wing no scar the sky retains,
The parted wave no furrow from the keel,
So dies in human hearts the thought of

E'en with the tender tear which nature sheds

O'er those we love, we drop it in their grave. Edward Young.-Born 1681, Died 1765.

859.-THE EMPTINESS OF RICHES. Can gold calm passion, or make reason shine? Can we dig peace or wisdom from the mine? Wisdom to gold prefer, for 'tis much less To make our fortune than our happiness: That happiness which great ones often see, With rage and wonder, in a low degree, 'Themselves unbless'd. The poor are only poor.

But what are they who droop amid their store ?

Nothing is meaner than a wretch of state;
The happy only are the truly great.
Peasants enjoy like appetites with kings,
And those best satisfied with cheapest things.
Could both our Indies buy but one new sense,
Our envy would be due to large expense;
Since not, those pomps which to the great

Are but poor arts to mark them from the throng.

See how they beg an alms of Flattery:
They languish! oh, support them with a lie!
A decent competence we fully taste;

It strikes our sense, and gives a constant


More we perceive by dint of thought alone;
The rich must labour to possess their own,
To feel their great abundance, and request
Their humble friends to help them to be

To see their treasure, hear their glory told,
And aid the wretched impotence of gold.

But some, great souls! and touch'd with
warmth divine,

Give gold a price, and teach its beams to shine;

All hoarded treasures they repute a load,
Nor think their wealth their own, till well

Grand reservoirs of public happiness,
Through secret streams diffusively they bless,
And, while their bounties glide, conceal'd
from view,

Relieve our wants, and spare our blushes too.

Edward Young.-Born 1681, Died 1765.

860.-THE LOVE OF PRAISE. What will not men attempt for sacred praise!

The love of praise, howe'er conceal'd by art, Reigns, more or less, and glows, in every


The proud, to gain it, toils on toils endure;
The modest shun it, but to make it sure.
O'er globes, and sceptres, now on thrones it

Now trims the midnight lamp in college cells; 'Tis Tory, Whig; it plots, prays, preaches, pleads,

Harangues in senates, squeaks in masquerades.

Here, to Steele's humour makes a bold pretence;

There, bolder, aims at Pulteney's eloquence.
It aids the dancer's heel, the writer's head,
And heaps the plain with mountains of the

Nor ends with life; but nods in sable plumes,
Adorns our hearse, and flatters on our tombs.

Edward Young.-Born 1681, Died 1765.


Some nymphs prefer astronomy to love;
Elope from mortal man, and range above.
The fair philosopher to Rowley flies,
Where in a box the whole creation lies:
She sees the planets in their turns advance,
And scorns, Poitier, thy sublunary dance!
Of Desaguliers she bespeaks fresh air;
And Whiston has engagements with the fair.
What vain experiments Sophronia tries!
'Tis not in air-pumps the gay colonel dies.

But though to-day this rage of science reigns,
(O fickle sex!) soon end her learned pains.
Lo Pug from Jupiter her heart has got,
Turns out the stars, and Newton is a sot.
Edward Young.-Born 1681, Died 1765.

A lady? pardon my mistaken pen,
A shameless woman is the worst of men.
Edward Young.-Born 1681, Died 1765.


The languid lady next appears in state,
Who was not born to carry her own weight;
She lolls, reels, staggers, till some foreign aid
To her own stature lifts the feeble maid.
Then, if ordain'd to so severe a doom,

She, by just stages, journeys round the


But, knowing her own weakness, she despairs
To scale the Alps-that is, ascend the stairs.
My fan! let others say, who laugh at toil;
Fan! hood! glove! scarf! is her laconic

And that is spoke with such a dying fall,
That Betty rather sees, than hears, the call:
The motion of her lips, and meaning eye,
Piece out th' idea her faint words deny.
O listen with attention most profound!
Her voice is but the shadow of a sound.
And help, oh help! her spirits are so dead,
One hand scarce lifts the other to her head.
If there a stubborn pin it triumphs o'er,
She pants! she sinks away! and is no more.
Let the robust and the gigantic carve,
Life is not worth so much, she'd rather

But chew she must herself! ah cruel fate!
That Rosalinda can't by proxy eat.

Edward Young.-Born 1681, Died 1765.


Thalestris triumphs in a manly mien ;
Loud is her accent, and her phrase obscene.
In fair and open dealing where's the shame ?
What nature dares to give, she dares to


This honest fellow is sincere and plain,
And justly gives the jealous husband pain
(Vain is the task to petticoats assign'd,
If wanton language shows a naked mind.)
And now and then, to grace her eloquence,
An oath supplies the vacancies of sense.
Hark! the shrill notes transpierce the yielding


And teach the neighbouring echoes how to


By Jove is faint, and for the simple swain;
She on the Christian system is profane.
But though the volley rattles in your ear,
Believe her dress, she's not a grenadier.
If thunder's awful, how much more our dread,
When Jove deputes a lady in his stead?


The north-east spends his rage; he now, shut


Within his iron cave, the effusive south Warms the wide air, and o'er the void of heaven

Breathes the big clouds with vernal showers distent.

At first, a dusky wreath they seem to rise,
Scarce staining either, but by swift degrees,
In heaps on heaps the doubled vapour sails
Along the loaded sky, and, mingling deep,
Sits on the horizon round, a settled gloom;
Not such as wintry storms on mortals shed,
Oppressing life; but lovely, gentle, kind,
And full of every hope, of every joy,
The wish of nature. Gradual sinks the

Into a perfect calm, that not a breath
Is heard to quiver through the closing woods,
Or rustling turn the many twinkling leaves
Of aspen tall. The uncurling floods diffused
In glassy breadth, seem, through delusive

Forgetful of their course. 'Tis silence all,
And pleasing expectation. Herds and flocks
Drop the dry sprig, and, mute-imploring, eye
The falling verdure. Hushed in short sus-

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