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The revel now proceeds apace,
Deftly they frisk it o'er the place,
They fit, they drink, and eat;
The time with frolic mirth beguile,
And poor Sir Topaz hangs the while
'Till all the rout retreat.
By this the stars began to wink,
They shriek, they fly, the tapers sink,
And down ydrops the knight,
For never spell by fairie laid
With strong enchantment bound a glade,
Beyond the length of night.
Chill, dark, alone, adreed, he lay,
'Till up the welkin rose the day,
Then deem'd the dole was o’er:
But wot ye well his harder lot ?
His feely back the bunch had got
Which Edwin loft afore.
This tale a Sybil-nurse ared ;
She softly stroak’d my youngling head,
And when the tale was done,
“ Thus some are born, my son, she cries,
“ With base impediments to rise,
" And some are born with none.
" But virtue can itself advance
" To what the fav’rite fools of chance
“ By fortune seem'd design'd:
“ Virtue can gain the odds of fate,
" And from itself thake off the weight
“ Upon th' unworthy mind.”
Y the blue taper's trembling light,
No more I waste the wakeful night,
Intent with endless view to pore
The schoolmen and the sages o'er :
Their books from wisdom widely stray,
Or point at best the longest way.
I'll seek a readier path, and go
Where wisdom's surely taught below.
How deep yon azure dies the sky!
Where orbs of gold unnumber'd lye,
While thro' their ranks in silver pride
The nether crescent seems to glide.
The slumb'ring breeze forgets to breathe,
The lake is smooth and clear beneath,
Where once again the spangled show
Descends to meet our eyes below.
The grounds which on the right aspire,
In dimness from the view retire :
The left presents a place of graves,
Whose wall the filent water laves.
That steeple guides thy doubtful fight
Among the livid gleams of night.
There pass with melancholy state,
By all the solemn heaps of fate;
And think, as foftly-fad you cread
Above the venerable dead,
Time was, like thee they life pofseft,
And time shall be, that thou shalt rest.
Those graves, with bending osier bound,
That nameless heave the crumbled ground,
Quick to the glancing thought disclose,
Where toil and poverty repose.
The flat smooth stones that bear a name,
The chiffel's slender help to fame,
(Which ere our set of friends decay
Their frequent steps may wear away ;)
A midile race of mortals own,
Men, half ambitious, all unknown.
The marble tombs that rise on high,
Who e dead in vaulted arches lie,
Whose pillars swell with sculptur'd stones,
Arms, angels, epitaphs, and bones;
These, all the poor remains of state,
Adora the rich, or praise the great ;
Who, while on earth, in fame they live,
Are senfeless of the fame they give.
Ha! while I gaze, pale Cynthia fades,
The bursting earth unveils the shades !
All slow, and
They rise in visionary crowds ;
And all with sober accent cry,
Think, mortal, what it is to die.
Now from yon black and fun'ral yew,
That bathes the charnel-house with dew,
Methinks, I hear a voice begin;
(Ye ravens, cease your croaking din,
Ye tolling clocks, no time resound
O'er the long lake and midnight ground.)
It sends a peal of hollow groans,
Thus speaking from among the bones.
When men my scythe and darts supply,
How great a king of fears am I!
They view me like the last of things;
They make, and then they dread my fings;
Fools ! if you less provok'd your fears,
No more my spectre-form appears.
Death’s but a path that must be trod,
If man would ever pass to God:
port of calms, a state of eafe
From the rough rage of swelling seas.
Why then thy flowing fable stoles, Deep pendent cypress, mourning poles,
Loose scarfs to fall athwart thy weeds,
Long palls, drawn herses, cover'd steeds,
And plumes of black, that as they tread,
Nod o'er the 'scutcheons of the dead?
Nor can the parted body know,
Nor wants the soul, these forms of woe:
As men who long in prison dwell,
With lamps that glimmer round the cell,
When-e'er their fuff'ring years are run,
Spring forth to greet the glitt'ring sun :
Such joy, tho’ far transcending sense,
Have pious souls at parting hence.
On earth, and in the body plac'd,
A few, and evil, years they waste :
But when their chains are cast aside,
See the glad scene unfolding wide,
Clap the glad wing, and tow'r away,
And mingle with the blaze of day.