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· ELEGANT EXTRACTS.

PART II.

Moral and Preceptive.

IMMORTALITY:

OR,
THE CONSOLATION OF HUMAN LIFE.

A Monody.

Animi natura videtur
Atque animæ claranda meis jam versibus esse
Et metus ille foras præceps Acherontis agendus
Fanditus, humanam qui vitam turbat ab imo,
Omnia suffundas mortis nigrore.

Lucr.

WHEN black-browed Night her dusky mantle

spread, And wrapt in solemn gloom the sable sky; When soothing Sleep her opiate dews had shed,

And seal'd in silken slumbers every eye; My wakeful thoughts admit no balmy rest,

Nor the sweet bliss of soft oblivion share; But wakeful woe distracts my aching breast, · My heart the subject of corroding care : From haunts of men with wandering steps and slow

I solitary steal, and soothe my pensive woe. VOL. I.

CC

Yet no fell passion's rough discordant rage

Untuned the music of my tranquil mind; Ambition's tinsel'd charms could ne'er engage,

No harbour there could sordid avarice find : From lust's foul spring my grief disdains to flow,

No sighs of envy from my bosom break, But soft compassion melts my soul to woe,

And social tears fast trickle down my cheek; Ah me! when nature gives one general groan, Each heart must beat with woe, each voice re

sponsive moan. Where'er I cast my moisten's eyes around,

Or stretch my prospect o'er the distant land, There foul Corruption's tainted steps are found,

And Death, grim-visaged, waves his iron hand. Though now soft Pleasure gild the smiling scene,

And sportive Joy call forth her festive train, Sinking in night each vital form is seen,

Like air-blown bubbles on the watery plain; Fell Death, like brooding harpy, the repast Will snatch with talons foul, or sour its grateful

taste. Ye smiling glories of the youthful year,

That ope your fragrant bosoms to the day, That glad in all the pride of spring appear,

And steep'd in dews your silken leaves display; In Nature's richest robes though thus bedight,

Though her soft pencil trace your various dye, Though lures your roseate hue the charmed sight, Though odours sweet your nectarous breath supply,

(prey, Soon on your leaves Time's cankerous tooth shall Your dulcet dews exhale, your beauteous bloom

decay.

Ye hedgerow elms, beneath whose fragrant shade

The grazing herds defy the rattling shower; Ye lofty oaks, in whose wide arms display'd

The clamorous rook builds high his airy bower; Stripp'd by hoar Winter's rough inclement rage

In mournful heaps your leafy honours lie, Even your hard ribs shall feel the force of age,

And your bare trunks the friendly shade deny; No more by cheerful vegetation green Your sapless bolls shall sink, and quit the’ evanid

scene. Ye feather'd warblers of the vernal year,

That careless sing nor fear the frowns of fate, Tune your sad notes to death and winter drear!

Ill suit these mirthful strains your transient state. No more with cheerful song nor sprightly air

Salute the blushes of the rising day,
With doleful ditties, drooping wings, repair

To the lone covert of the nightly spray; Where love-lorn Philomela strains her throat, Surround the budding thorn, and swell the mourn

ful note.
Come, sighing Elegy, with sweetest airs

Of melting music teach my grief to flow,
I too must mix my sad complaint with theirs,

Our fates are equal, equal be our woe.
Come, Melancholy, spread thy raven wing,

And in thy ebon car, by Fancy led,
To the dark charnel vault thy votary bring,

The murky mansions of the mouldering dead, Where dank dews breathe and taint the sickly

skies, Where in sad loathsome heaps all human glory lies. Wrapp'd in the gloom of uncreated night,

Secure we slept in senseless matter's arms, Nor pain could vex, nor pallid fear affright,

Our quiet fancy felt no dream's alarms. Soon as to life our animated clay

Awakes, and conscious being opes our eyes, Care's fretful family at once dismay,

With ghastly air a thousand phantoms rise, Sad Horror hangs o'er all the deepening gloom, Grief prompts the labour'd sigh, Death opes the

marble tomb. : Yet life's strong love intoxicates the soul, , And thirst of bliss inflames the feverous mind, With eager draughts we drain the poisonous bowl,

And in the dregs the cordial hope to find. O Heaven! for this light end were mortals made,

And placed on earth, with happiness in view, To catch with cheated grasp the flitting shade,

And with vain toil the fancied form pursue, Then give their short lived being to the wind, As the wing'd arrow flies, and leaves no track

behind! Thus, lonely wandering through the nightly shade,

Against the stern decrees of stubborn Fate, To mockful echo my complaints I made,

Of life's short period, or its toilsome state. 'Tis deathlike silence all, no sound I hear,

Save the hoarse raven croaking from the sky, Or scaly beetle murmuring through the air,

Or screech owl screaming with ill omen'd cry; Save when with brazen tongue from yon high tower, The clock, deep-sounding, speaks, and counts the

passing hour.

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