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In the thick darkness round it. Now, he tries
With all his might to raise fome weighty thought,
Of me, of fate, or of th' eternal round,
Which but recoils to crush the labouring mind.
High are his reasonings, but the feeble clue
Of fleeting images he draws in vain
To wondrouš length; (for Itill the turning maze
Eludes his art) its end fies far away,
And leaves hím tracing round the toilfome path,
Returning oft on the fame beaten thought.
For much of good he talks, and life serene,
Of happiness deny’d, the dismal waste
Of wisdom's privilege, and th’ obdurate breast,
Stubborn in anguish; idle wisdom all,
Weak sorcery to charm a real pain;
Diftasting crowds and business, thus he feeks
Diversion in himself, but with deep thoughts
He kindles doubt; and while he ftrives to blow
The ashes off, revives the brand of care.

Hence far remov'd, a diff'rent noisy race
In cities full and frequent take their seat,
Where honour's crush’d, and gratitude opprefsd
With swelling hopes of gain, that raise within
A tempest, and, driv'n onward by successy


Can find no bounds. For creatures of a day
Stretch their wide cares to ages; full increase
Starves the penurious foul, while empty found
Fills the ambitious; that shall ever shrink,
Pining with endless cares, whilft this shall swell
To tympany enormous. Bright in arms
Here shines the hero, out he fiercely leads
A martial throng, his instruments of rage,
To fill the world with death, and thin mankind.
Ambition drives, and round the world he roams,
Marking his way with blood; the dreadful noise
Begets a fame; and all the breath he leaves
Is spent in his false praise, and vainly bloats
The tyrant's soul ; while high his kingdoms rise
In fiçeting pomp, hov'ring their gaudy wings
Around the fervile globe, that tamely bends
Beneath his haughty reign; and all his slaves
Under his yoke shall groan, and scarce shall groan
Without a crime. Here torturing engines roar
With human voice disguis'd; earth, water, fire,
Are made (dire elements of cruelty !)
Subservient to his lust, and power to kill;
Yet shall the herd endure, nor dare to break
United their imaginary chain;
N 2


While their great monarch chills with equal fears,
No less a Nave than they. Each rumour shakes
The haughty purple, dark and cloudy cares
Involve the aweful throne, that stands erect,
Balanc'd on the wild people's temper'd rage,
And fortify'd with dangerous arts of power.
But death shall shift those scenes of misery ;
Then doubtful titles kindle up new wars,
And urge on ling’ring fate; the ensigns blaze
About the camp, and drums and trumpets sound,.
Prepare a solemn way to griezly war ;
Javelins and bearded spears in ghastly ranks
Erect their shining heads, and round the filed
A harvest's scene of formidable death;
Then joins the horrid shock, whose bellowing burst
Torments the shatter'd air, and drowns the groans.
Of men below that roll in certain death.
These are the mortal sports, the tragic plays
By man himself embroild ; the dire debate
Makes the waste desart seem ferene and mild,
Where savage nature in one common lies,
By homely cots possess’d; all squalid, wild,
And despicably poor, they range the field,
And feel their share of hunger, care, and pain,


Cheated by flying prey; and now they tear
Their panting flesh; and now with nails unclean
They tug their shaggy beards ; and deeply quaff
Of human woe, even when they rudely sip
The flowing stream, or chew the favory pulp
Of nature's freshest viands ; fragrant fruits
Enjoy'd with trembling, and in danger fought.

But where th' appointed limits of a law
Fences the general safety of the world,
No greater quiet reigns ; for wanton man,
In giddy frolic, easily leaps o’er
His own invented bounds; hence rapine, fraud,
Revenge, and lust, and all the hideous train
Of nameless ills, diftort the meagre mind .
To endless shapes of woe. Here misers mourn
Departed gold, and their defrauded heirs
Dire perjuries complain ; the blended loads
Of punishment'and crime deform the world,
And give no rest to man; with pangs and throes
He enters on the stage; prophetic tears
And infant cries prelude his future woes ;
And all is one continu'd scene of grief,
'Till the fad fable curtain falls in death.

N 3


But that last act shall in one moment close
Of doubt and darkness'; pain shall crack the strings
Of life decay'd; no less the foul convuls’d,
Trembles in anxious cares, and shuddering stands,
Afraid to leap into the opening gulph
Of future fate, 'till all the banks of clay
Fall from beneath his feet : in vain he grafps
The shatter'd reeds that cheat his eafy with.
Reason is now no more ; that narrow lamp
(Which with its fickly fires would shoot its beams
To distances unknown, and stretch its rays
Afkance my paths, in deepest darkness veild)
Is sunk into his socket; inly there
It burns a dismal light; th' expiring flame
Is choak’d in fumes, and parts in various doubt.

Then the gay glories of the living world
Shall cast their empty varnish, and retire
Out of his feeble view; and rising shade
Sit hov'ring o'er all nature's various face.
Music shall cease, and instruments of joy
Shall fail that sullen hour ; nor can the mind
Attend their sounds, when fancies swim in death,
Confus’d and crush'd with cares : for long shall seem
The dreary road, and melancholy dark,


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