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(That Eagle genius!) O had he let fall
One feather as he flew! I, then, had wrote,
What friends might flatter; prudent foes forbear;
Rivals scarce damn; and ZoILUS reprieve.
Yet what I can, I must: It were profane
To quench a glory lighted at the skies,
And cast in shadows his illustrious close.
Strange! the theme most affecting, most sublime,
Momentous most to man, should sleep unsung!
And yet it sleeps, by genius unawak❜d,
Painim or Christian; to the blush of wit.
Man's highest triumph! Man's profoundest fall!
The death-bed of the just! is yet undrawn
By mortal hand: It merits a divine:
Angels should paint it, angels ever there;
There, on a post of honour, and of joy.
Dare I presume, then? But PHILANDER bids;
And glory tempts, and inclination calls→→→→
Yet am I struck; as struck the soul, beneath
Aërial groves' impenetrable gloom;
Or, in some mighty ruin's solemn shade;
Or gazing by pale lamps on high-born dust,
In vaults; thin courts of poor unflatter'd kings!
Or, at the midnight altar's hallow'd flame.
It is religion to proceed: I pause-
And enter, aw'd, the temple of my theme.
Is it his death-bed? No: It is his shrine :
Behold him, there, just rising to a God.
The chamber where the good man meets his fate,
Is privileg'd beyond the common walk
Of virtuous life, quite in the verge of heav'n.
Fly, ye profane! If not, draw near with awe,
Receive the blessing and adore the chance,
That threw in this Bethesda your disease;
If unrestor❜d by this, despair your cure.
For, here, resistless demonstration dwells;
A death-bed's a detector of the heart.
Here, tir'd dissimulation drops her mask,
'Through life's grimace, that mistress of the scene !
Here, real, and apparent, are the same.
You see the man; you see his hold on heav'n;
If sound his virtue; as PHILANDER's sound.
Heav'n waits not the last moment; owns her friends
On this side death; and points them out to men;
A lecture silent, but of sov'reign pow'r!
To vice, confusion; and to virtue, peace.
Whatever farce the boastful hero plays,
Virtue alone has majesty in death;
And greater still, the more the tyrant frowns.
PHILANDER! he severely frown'd on thee.
"No warning giv'n! Unceremonious fate!
A sudden rush from life's meridian joys!
A wrench from all we love! from all we are !
A restless bed of pain! a plunge opaque
Beyond conjecture! Feeble nature's dread!
Strong reason's shudder at the dark unknown!
A sun extinguish'd! a just op'ning grave!
And Oh! the last, last; what? (can words express?
Thought reach?) the last, last-Silence of a friend!" "
Where are those horrors, that amazement where,
This hideous group of ills, which singly shock,
Demand from man?-I thought him man till now.
Thro' nature's wreck, thro' vanquish'd agonies,
(Like the stars struggling thro' this midnight gloom)
What gleams of joy! what more than human peace!
Where, the frail mortal? the poor abject worm?
No, not in death, the mortal to be found.
His conduct is a legacy for all.
Richer than mammon's for his single heir.
His comforters he comforts; great in ruin,
With unreluctant grandeur, gives, not yields
His soul sublime; and closes with his fate.
Sweet peace, and heav'nly hope, and humble joy, : Divinely beam on his exalted soul;
How our hearts burnt within us at the scene! Whence, this brave bound o'er limits fix'd to man? His God sustains him in his final hour! His final hour brings glory to his God! Man's glory heav'n vouchsafes to call her own. We gaze; we weep; mixt tears of grief and joy! Amazement strikes! Devotion bursts to flame! Christians adore! and Infidels believe.
As some tall tow'r, or lofty mountain's brow,
Detains the sun, illustrious from its height;
While rising vapours, and descending shades,
With damps, and darkness, drown the spacious vale,
Undamp'd by doubt, undarken'd by despair,
PHILANDER, thus, augustly rears his head,
At that black hour, which genʼral horror sheds
On the low level of th' inglorious throng:
Destruction gild, and crown him for the skies,
With incommunicable lustre, bright.
Ignoscenda quidem, scirent si ignoscere Manes.-Virg.
FROM dreams, where thought in fancy's maze runs mad,
To reason, that heav'n lighted lamp in man,
Once more I wake; and at the destin'd hour,
Punctual as lovers to the moment sworn,
I keep my assignation with my woe.
O! lost to virtue, lost to manly thought,
Lost to the noble sallies of the soul!
Who think it solitude to be alone.
Communion sweet! Communion large, and high!
Our reason, guardian angel, and our God!
Then nearest these, when others most remote ;
And all, ere long, shall be remote, but these.
How dreadful then, to meet them all alone,