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WRITTEN IN THE PROSPECT OF DEATH.
SAD solitary Thought, who keep'st thy vigils,
Thy solemn vigils, in the sick man's mind;
Communing lonely with his sinking soul,
And musing on the dubious glooms that lie
In dim obscurity before him,-thee,
Wrapt in thy dark magnificence, I call
At this still midnight hour, this awful season,
When on my bed, in wakeful restlessness,
I turn me wearisome; while all around,
All, all, save me, sink in forgetfulness;
I only wake to watch the sickly taper
Which lights me to my tomb.-Yes, 'tis the hand
Of Death I feel press heavy on my vitals,
Slow sapping the warm current of existence.
My moments now are few-The sand of life
Ebbs fastly to its finish.-Yet a little,
And the last fleeting particle will fall,
Silent, unseen, unnoticed, unlamented.
Come then, sad Thought, and let us meditate
While meditate we may.-We have now
But a small portion of what men call time
To hold communion; for even now the knife,
The separating knife, I feel divide
The tender bond that binds my soul to earth.
Yes, I must die-I feel that I must die;
And though to me has life been dark and dreary,
Though Hope for me has smil'd but to deceive,
And Disappointment still pursued her blandishments,
Yet do I feel my soul recoil within me
As I contemplate the dim gulph of death,
The shuddering void, the awful blank-futurity.
Aye, I had plann'd full many a sanguine scheme
Of earthly happiness,-romantic schemes,
And fraught with loveliness; and it is hard
To feel the hand of Death arrest one's steps,
Throw a chill blight o'er all one's budding hopes,
And hurl one's soul untimely to the shades,
Lost in the gaping gulph of blank oblivion.
Fifty years hence, and who will hear of Henry?
Oh! none;-another busy brood of beings
Will shoot up in the interim, and none
Will hold him in remembrance. I shall sink,
As sinks a stranger in the crowded streets
Of busy London :-Some short bustle's caus'd,
A few enquiries, and the crowds close in,
And all's forgotten.-On my grassy grave
The men of future times will careless tread,
And read my name upon the sculptured stone;
Nor will the sound, familiar to their ears,
Recall my vanish'd memory.—I did hope
For better things!-I hop'd I should not leave
The earth without a vestige;-Fate decrees
It shall be otherwise, and I submit.
Henceforth, oh world, no more of thy desires!
No more of hope! the wanton vagrant Hope!
I abjure all.-Now other cares engross me,
And my tir'd soul, with emulative haste,
Looks to its God, and prunes its wings for Heaven.
COME, Anna! come, the morning dawns,
Faint streaks of radiance tinge the skies;
Come, let us seek the dewy lawns,
And watch the early lark arise;
While Nature, clad in vesture gay,
Hails the lov'd return of day.
Our flocks, that nip the scanty blade
Upon the moor, shall seek the vale;
And then, secure beneath the shade,
We'll listen to the throstle's tale;
And watch the silver clouds above,
As o'er the azure vault they rove.
Come, Anna! come, and bring thy lute,
That with its tones, so softly sweet,
In cadence with my mellow flute,
We may beguile the noon-tide heat;
While near the mellow bee shall join,
To raise a harmony divine.
And then at eve, when silence reigns,
Except when heard the beetle's hum,
We'll leave the sober-tinted plains,
To these sweet heights again we'll come;
And thou to thy soft lute shall play
A solemn vesper to departing day.
WHEN pride and envy, and the scorn
Of wealth, my heart with gall embued,
I thought how pleasant were the morn
Of silence, in the solitude;
To hear the forest bee on wing,
Or by the stream, or woodland spring,
To lie and muse alone-alone,
While the tinkling waters moan,
Or such wild sounds arise, as say
Man and noise are far away.
Now, surely, thought I, there's enow
To fill life's dusty way;
And who will miss a poet's feet,
Or wonder where he stray :
So to the woods and waste I'll go,
And I will build an ozier bower;
And sweetly there to me shall flow
The meditative hour.
And when the Autumn's withering hand; Shall strew with leaves the sylvan land, I'll to the forest caverns hie;
And in the dark and stormy nights
I'll listen to the shrieking sprites,
Who, in the wint'ry wolds and floods,
Keep jubilee, and shred the woods;
Or, as it drifted soft and slow,
Hurl in ten thousand shapes the snow.
Bloomfield, thy happy-omen'd name
Ensures continuance to thy fame;
Both sense and truth this verdict give,
While fields shall bloom, thy name shall live!