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Who, while on earth, in fame they live,
Are senseless of the fame they give.
Ha! while I gaze, pale Cynthia fades,
The bursting earth unveils the shades !
All now, and wan, and wrapt
They rise in visionary crowds ;
And all with sober accent cry,
Think, mortal, what it is to die.
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 ease
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 suff’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 waite :
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.
But (trust me Gentles !) never yet
Was dight a masquing half so neat,
Or half so rich before :
The country lent the fweet perfumes,
The sea the pearl, the sky the plumes,
The town its filken store.
Now whilft he gaz'd, a gallant dreft,
In flaunting robes above the rest,
With awful accent cry'd ;
What mortal of a wretched mind,
Whose fighs infect the balmy wind,
Has here presum'd to hide ?
At this the fwain, whole vent'rous soul
No fears of magic art controul,
Advanc'd in open fight ;
“ Nor have I cause of dreed, he said,
" Who view by no presumption led
." Your revels of the night.
“ 'Twas grief, for scorn of faithful love, « Which made my steps unweeting rove,
“ Amid the nightly dew." "Tis well the gallant cries again, We fairies never injure men
Who dare to tell us true.
Exalt thy love-dejected heart,
Be mine the talk, or ere we part,
To make thee grief resign;
Now take the pleasure of thy chaunce;
Whilft I with Mab, my part'ner, daunce,
Be little Mable thine.
He spoke, and all a sudden there
Light music floats in wanton air ;
The monarch leads the queen :
The rest their fairie part'ners found :
And Mable trimly tript the ground
With Edwin of the green.
The dauncing past, the board was laid,
And liker such a feast was made
As heart and lip desire,
Withouten hands the dishes fly,
The glasses with a wish come nigh,
And with a with retire.
But now to please the fairie king,
Full ev'ry deal they laugh and fing,
And antic feats devise ;
Some wind and tumble like an ape,
And other-some transmute their shape
In Edwin's wond'ring eyes.
'Till one at last that Robin hight,
Renown'd for pinching maids by night,
Has hent him up aloof;
And full against the beam he flung,
Where by the back the youth he hung
To spraul unneath the roof.
From thence, “ Reverse my charm, he cries, “ And let it fairly now fuffice
“ The gambol has been shown." But Oberon answers with a smile, Content thee Edwin for a while,
The vantage is thine own.
Here ended all the phantom-play;
They smelt the fresh approach of day,
And heard a cock to crow;
The whirling wind that bore the crowd
Has clap’d the door, and whistled loud,
To warn them all to go.
Then screaming all at once they fly,
And all at once the tapers dye ;
Poor Edwin falls to floor ;
Forlorn his state, and dark the place,
Was never wight in such a case
Thro' all the land before.