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Night is the time to muse;
Then from the eye the soul
Takes flight, and, with expanding views,
Beyond the starry pole,
Descries, athwart the abyss of night,
The dawn of uncreated light.
Night is the time to pray ;
Our Savior oft withdrew
To desert mountains far away :
So will his followers do ;
Steal from the throng to haunts untrod,
And hold communion there with God.
Night is the time for death;
When all around is peace,
Calmly to yield the weary breath,
From sin and suffering cease;
Think of Heaven's bliss, and give the sign
To parting friends :-such death be mine!
SLEEP, gentle sleep!
Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down,
And steep my senses in forgetfulness?
Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,
Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee,
And hushed with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber,
Than in the perfumed chambers of the great,
Under the canopies of costly state,
And lulled with sounds of sweetest melody?
O thou dull god, why liest thou with the vile,
In loathsome beds; and leav'st the kingly couch,
A watch-case or a common 'larum bell?
Wilt thou upon the high and giddy mast
Seal up the ship-boy's eyes, and rock his brains
In cradle of the rude imperious surge,
And in the visitation of the winds,
Who take the ruffian billows by the top,
Curling their monstrous heads, and hanging them
With deafʼning clamors in the slippery clouds,
That, with the hurly, death itself awakes ?
Canst thou, O partial sleep! give thy repose
To the wet sea-boy, in an hour so rude;
And, in the calmest and the stillest night,
With all appliances, and means to boot,
Deny it to a king ?
The crowd are gone, the revelers at rest:
The courteous host, and all-approving guest,
Again to that accustomed couch must creep,
Where joy subsides, and sorrow sighs to sleep ;
And man, o'erlabored with his being's strife;
Shrinks to that sweet forgetfulness of life.
There lie love's feverish hope, and cunning's guile,
Hate's working brain, and lulled ambition's wile;
O’er each vain eye oblivion's pinions wave,
And quenched existence crouches in a grave:
What better name may slumber's bed become ?
Night's sepulcher, the universal home,
Where weakness, strength, vice, virtue, sunk supine,
Alike in naked helplessness recline ;
Glad, for a while, to heave unconscious breath,
Yet wake to wrestle with the dread of death,
And shun, though day but dawn on ills increased,
That sleep, the loveliest, since it dreams the least.
Death is here, and death is there,
Death is busy every where,
All around, within, beneath,
Above, is death; and we are death.
Death has set his mark and seal
On all we are, and all we feel.
First our pleasures die, and then
Our hopes, and then our fears, and when
These are dead, the debt is due,
Dust claims dust, and we die too. SAELLEY.
When by a good man's grave I muse alone,
Methinks an angel sits upon the stone;
Like those of old, on that thrice-hallowed night,
Who sat and watched in raiment heavenly bright:
And, with a voice inspiring joy, not fear,
Says, pointing upward, that he is not here,
That he is risen.
What is eternity? Can aught
Paint its duration to the thought ?
Tell every beam the sun emits,
When in sublimest noon he sits;
Tell every light-winged mote that strays
Within his ample round of rays;
Tell all the leaves and all the buds,
That crown the gardens and the woods;
Tell all the spires of grass the meads
Produce, when spring propitious leads
The new-born year; tell all the drops
The night upon their bended tops
Sheds in soft silence, to display
Their beauties with the rising day;
Tell all the sand the ocean laves,
Tell all its changes, all its waves,
Or tell, with more laborious pains,
The drops its mighty mass contains.
Be this astonishing account
Augmented with the full amount
Of all the drops the clouds have shed,
Where'er their watery fleeces spread,
Through all time's long continued tour,
From Adam to the present hour;
Still short the sum : it cannot vie
With the more numerous years that lie
Imbosomed in eternity.
DR. THOMAS GIBBONS.
MOREOVER, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if
ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
For I delivered unto you, first of all, that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures ; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures; and that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve. After that he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James ; then of all the apostles. And, last of all, he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
Now, if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead ? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen. And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God: because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ; whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised.
And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain, ye are yet in your sins. Then they, also, which are fallen asleep in Christ, are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
But some man will say, how are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come ? Thou fool! that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die. And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: but God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption: it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory: it is sown in
ss, it is raised in power : it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body: There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And as we have borne the image of the earthly, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.