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THE GRAVE.

The house appointed for all living. Job. Whilst some affect the sun, and some the shade, Some flee the city, some the hermitage ; Their aims as various as the roads they take In journeying through life ;—the task be mine To paint the gloomy horrors of the tomb; Th' appointed place of rendezvous, where all These travellers meet.-Thy succours I implore, Eternal King! whose potent arm sustains The keys of Hell and Death.-The Grave, dread

thing! Men shudder when thou'rt nam'd: nature appallid Shakes off her wonted firmness.-Ah! how dark Thy long extended realms, and rueful wastes ! Where nought but silence reigns, and night, dark Dark as was chaos, ere the infant Sun [night, Was rolld together, or had tried his beams Athwart the gloom profound.—The sickly taper, By glimmering through thy low-brow'd misty

vaults, (Furr'd round with mouldy damps and ropy slime) Lets fall a supernumerary horror, And only serves to make thy night more irksome. Well do I know thee by thy trusty yew, Cheerless, unsocial plant ! that loves to dwell Midst sculls and coffins, epitaphs and worms: Where light-heel'd ghosts, and visionary shades, Beneath the wan cold Moon (as fame reports) Embodied, thick, perform their mystic rounds. No other merriment, dull tree! is thine.

See yonder hallow'd fane--the pious work

Of names once fam'd, now dubious or forgot,
And buried midst the wreck of things which were;
There lie interr'd the more illustrious dead.
The wind is up: hark! how it howls! Methinks
Till now I never heard a sound so dreary:
Doors creak, and windows clap, and night's foul

bird, Rook'd in the spire, screams loud: the gloomy aisles, Black-plaster'd, and hung round with shreds of

'scutcheons And tatter'd coats of arms, send back the sound, Laden with heavier airs, from the low vaults, The mansions of the dead.-Rous'd from their

slumbers, In grim array the grisly spectres rise, Grin horrible, and, obstinately sullen, Pass and repass, hush'd as the foot of night. Again the screech-owl shrieks : ungracious sound! I'll hear no more ; it makes one's blood run chill.

Quite rour the pile, a row of reverend elms, (Coeval near with that) all ragged show, Long lash'd by the rude winds. Some rift half down Their branchless trunks; others so thin a-top, That scarce two crows could lodge in the same tree. Strange things, the neighbours say, have happen'd

here: Wild shrieks have issued from the hollow tombs; Dead men have come again, and walk'd about; And the great bell has toll’d, unrung, untouch'd. (Such tales their cheer, at wake or gossiping, When it draws near the witching time of night.)

Oft in the lone church-yard at night I've seen, By glimpse of moonshine chequering through the

trees,

The school-boy, with his satchel in his hand,
Whistling aloud to bear his courage up,
And lightly tripping o'er the long flat stones,
(With nettles skirted, and with moss o’ergrown,)
That tell in homely phrase who lie below.
Sudden he starts, and hears, or thinks he hears,
The sound of something purring at his heels;
Full fast he flies, and dares not look behind him,
Till out of breath he overtakes his fellows;
Who gather round, and wonder at the tale
Of horrid apparition, tall and ghastly,
That walks at dead of night, or takes his stand
O'er some new-open'd grave; and (strange to tell !)
Evanishes at crowing of the cock.

The new-made widow, too, I've sometimes spied,
Sad sight! slow moving o'er the prostrate dead :
Listless, she crawls along in doleful black,
Whilst bursts of sorrow gush from either eye,
Fast falling down her now untasted cheek.
Prone on the lowly grave of the dear man
She drops ; whilst busy, meddling memory,
In barbarous succession musters up
The past endearments of their softer hours,
Tenacious of its theme. Still, still she thinks
She sees him, and, indulging the fond thought,
Clings yet more closely to the senseless turf,
Nor heeds the passenger who looks that way.

Invidious Grave! how dost thou rend in sunder Whom love has knit, and sympathy made one ! A tie more stubborn far than Nature's band. Friendship! mysterious cement of the soul, Sweetner of life, and

solder of society, I owe thee much. Thou hast deserv'd from me Far, far beyond what I can ever pay.

Of names once fam'd, now dubious or forgot,
And buried midst the wreck of things which were;
There lie interr'd the more illustrious dead.
The wind is up: hark! how it howls! Methinks
Till now I never heard a sound so dreary:
Doors creak, and windows clap, and night's fou

bird, Rook'd in the spire, screams loud: the gloomy aisles, Black-plaster'd, and hung round with shreds of

'scutcheons And tatter'd coats of arms, send back the sound, Laden with heavier airs, from the low vaults, The mansions of the dead.-Rous'd from their

slumbers, In grim array the grisly spectres rise, Grin horrible, and, obstinately sullen, Pass and repass, hush'd as the foot of night. Again the screech-owl shrieks : ungracious sound! I'll hear no more ; it makes one's blood run chill.

Quite round the pile, a row of reverend elms, (Coeval near with that) all ragged show, Long lash'd by the rude winds. Some rift half down Their branchless trunks; others so thin a-top, That scarce two crows could lodge in the same tree. Strange things, the neighbours say, have happen'd

here: Wild shrieks have issued from the hollow tombs; Dead men have come again, and walk’d about; And the great bell has toll’d, unrung, untouchd. (Such tales their cheer, at wake or gossiping, When it draws near the witching time of night.)

Oft in the lone church-yard at night I've seen, By glimpse of moonshine chequering through the

trees,

The school-boy, with his satchel in his hand,
Whistling aloud to bear his courage up,
And lightly tripping o'er the long flat stones,
(With nettles skirted, and with moss o’ergrown,)
That tell in homely phrase who lie below.
Sudden he starts, and hears, or thinks he hears,
The sound of something purring at his heels ;
Full fast he flies, and dares not look behind him,
Till out of breath he overtakes his fellows;
Who gather round, and wonder at the tale
Of horrid apparition, tall and ghastly,
That walks at dead of night, or takes his stand
O'er some new-open'd grave; and (strange to tell!)
Evanishes at crowing of the cock.

The new-made widow, too, I've sometimes spied,
Sad sight ! slow moving o'er the prostrate dead :
Listless, she crawls along in doleful black,
Whilst bursts of sorrow gush from either eye,
Fast falling down her now untasted cheek.
Prone on the lowly grave of the dear ma
She drops ; whilst busy, meddling memory,
In barbarous succession musters up
The past endearments of their softer hours,
Tenacious of its theme. Still, still she thinks
She sees him, and, indulging the fond thought,
Clings yet more closely to the senseless turf,
Nor heeds the passenger who looks that way.

Invidious Grave! how dost thou rend in sunder Whom love has knit, and sympathy made one ! A tie more stubborn far than Nature's band. Friendship! mysterious cement of the soul, Sweetner of life, and solder of society, I owe thee much. Thou hast deserv'd from me Far, far beyond what I can ever pay.

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