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Of glorious acts by saints and angels done;
Of all the phantoms fleeting in the mist
Such was her nature, and her practice such: But, Oh! her voice was sweet to mortal ears; And touched so pleasantly the strings of pride And vanity, which in the heart of man Were ever strung harmonious to her note, That many thought, to live without her song Was rather death than life: to live unknown, Unnoticed, unrenowned! to die unpraised, Unepitaphed! to go down to the pit, And moulder into dust among vile worms! And leave no whispering of a name on earth! Such thought was cold about the heart, and chilled The blood. Who could endure it? who could choose, Without a struggle, to be swept away
From all remembrance, and have part no more
A name to leave some vestige as they passed,
Many the roads they took, the plans they tried. The man of science to the shade retired, And laid his head upon his hand, in mood Of awful thoughtfulness; and dived, and dived Again, deeper and deeper still, to sound The cause remote, resolved, before he died, To make some grand discovery, by which He should be known to all posterity.
And in the silent vigils of the night, When uninspired men reposed, the bard, Ghastly of countenance, and from his eye Oft streaming wild unearthly fire, sat up; And sent imagination forth; and searched The far and near-heaven, earth, and gloomy hell, For fiction new, for thought unthought before: And when some curious rare idea peered
Upon his mind, he dipped his hasty pen,
And sometimes too, the reverend divine,
And vanities of Time, heard Fame's sweet voice
And oft times too, the simple hind, who seemed Ambitionless, arrayed in humble garb,
While round him spreading, fed his harmless flock,
Upon the aged thorn; or on the face
Of purity within but oft, alas!
The bloom was on the skin alone; and when
To re-create, with frail and mortal things,
In purple some, and some in rags, stood forth For reputation: some displayed a limb Well-fashioned; some of lowlier mind, a cane Of curious workmanship, and marvellous twist; In strength some sought it, and in beauty more. Long, long the fair one laboured at the glass, And, being tired, called in auxiliar skill, To have her sails, before she went abroad, Full spread, and nicely set, to catch the gale Of praise. And much she caught, and much deserved,
When outward loveliness was index fair
THE cheerful supper done, with serious face,
The big Ha'-Bible, once his father's pride: His bonnet reverently is laid aside,
His lyart haffets wearing thin and bare; Those strains that once did sweet in Zion glide, He wales a portion with judicious care; And Let us worship God!' he says with solemu air.
They chant their artless notes in simple guise;
They tune their hearts, by far the noblest aim;
The tickled ears no heart-felt raptures raise;
The priest-like father reads the sacred page,
With Amalek's ungracious progeny;
Beneath the stroke of heav'n's avenging ire;
Perhaps the Christian volume is the theme,
The precepts sage they wrote to many a land;
Saw in the Sun a mighty angel stand;
Then, kneeling down, to Heaven's eternal King
That thus they all shall meet in future days, There ever bask in uncreated rays,
No more to sigh, nor shed the bitter tear Together hymning their Creator's praise, In such society, yet still more dear,
While circling time moves round in an eternal sphere.
Compared with this, how poor religion's pride,
May hear, well pleased, the language of the soul, And in his book of life the inmates poor enrol.