« PreviousContinue »
Subjoined to the Yearly Bill of Mortality of the
Anno Domini 1787.
Pallida Mors æquo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas, Regumque turres.
Pale death with equal foot strikes wide the door
While thirteen moons saw smoothly run
The Nen's barge-laden wave,
Have found their home, the grave.
Was man (frail always) made more frail
Than in foregoing years?
That so much death appears?
No; these were vigorous as their fires,
Nor plague nor famine came; This annual tribute death requires,
And never waves his claim.
Like crowded forest-trees we stand,
And some are marked to fall; The axe will smite at God's command,
And foon shall smite us all.
Green as the bay-tree, ever green,
the thoughtless, I have seen, I passed—and they were gone.
Read, ye that run, the folemn truth,
With which I charge my page; A worm is in the bud of youth,
And at the root of age.
No present health can health insure
For yet an hour to come;
Can always baulk the tomb.
And Oh! that humble as my lot,
And scorned as is my ftrain, These truths, though known, too much forgot,
I may not teach in vain.
So prays your clerk with all his heart,
And re he quits the pen,
And answer all-Amen!
ON A SIMILAR OCCASION,
FOR THE YEAR 1788.
Quod adest, memento
Improve the present hour, for all befide
Could I, from heaven inspired, as sure presage To whom the rising year shall prove his last; As I can number in my punétual page, And.item down the victims of the past;
How each would trembling wait the mournful sheet,
Time then would seem more precious than the joys,
Then doubtless many a trifler, on the brink
Ah self-deceived! Could I prophetic say
Observe the dappled forefters, how light
Had we their wisdom, should we often warned,
Sad waste! for which no after-thrift atones .
Learn then ye living ! by the mouths be taught
your lot, And the next opening grave may yawn