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STANZAS

Subjoined to the Yearly Bill of Mortality of the

Parish of

ALL-SAINTS, NORTHAMPTON,

Anno Domini 1787.

Pallida Mors æquo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas, Regumque turres.

HORACE.

Pale death with equal foot strikes wide the door
Of royal halls, and hovels of the poor.

While thirteen moons saw smoothly run

The Nen's barge-laden wave,
All these, life's rambling journey done,

Have found their home, the grave.

Was man (frail always) made more frail

Than in foregoing years?
Did famine or did plague prevail,

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,
With its new foliage on,

the thoughtless, I have seen, I passed—and they were gone.

The gay,

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;
No medicine, though it often cure,

Can always baulk the tomb.

VOL. II.

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,
Begs you for once to take his part

And answer all-Amen!

ON A SIMILAR OCCASION,

FOR THE YEAR 1788.

Quod adest, memento
Componere æquus. Cætera fluminis
Ritu feruntur.

Hor:

Improve the present hour, for all befide
Is a mere feather on a torrent's tide.

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,
On which the press might ftamp him next to die;
And, reading here his sentence, how replete
With anxious meaning, heaven-ward turn his eye!

Time then would seem more precious than the joys,
In which he sports away the treasure now;
And prayer more seasonable than the noise
Of drunkards, or the music-drawing bow.

Then doubtless many a trifler, on the brink
Of this world's hazardous and headlong shore,
Forced to a pause, would feel it good to think,
Told that his setting fun must rise no more.

Ah self-deceived! Could I prophetic say
Who next is fated, and who next to fall,
The rest might then seem privileged to play ;
But, naming none, the Voice now speaks to ALL.

Observe the dappled forefters, how light
They bound, and airy o'er the sunny glade-
One falls—the rest, wide-scattered with affright,
Vanish at once into the darkest shade.

Had we their wisdom, should we often warned,
Still need repeated warnings, and at laft,
A thousand awful admonitions fcorned,
Die self-accused of life run all to wafte ?

Sad waste! for which no after-thrift atones .
The grave admits no cure for guilt or fin;
Dew-drops may deck the turf that hides the bones,
But tears of godly grief ne'er flow within.

Learn then ye living ! by the mouths be taught
Of all these fepulchres, instructors true,
That, soon or late, death also is

your lot, And the next opening grave may yawn

for

you.

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