Wednesday, 21 June 2000

From "THOUGHTS ON THE AUTHOR's OWN DEATH. WRITTEN WHILE VERY YOUNG."

"Thou'lt know, indeed," it answers with a groan,
"The pangs of death too sure shall be thy own;
Pains yet unfelt must seize thy every part,
And Death's cold horrors hover round thy heart;
Thy dying eyes fix'd on some darling friend,
While strong convulsions their wild orbs extend;
One gasp, and deep eternity in view,
The soul shoots forth, and groans a last adieu.
I dare no more---but Oh! too curious maid,
Seek not to pierce th'impenetrable shade
Which wraps futurity; thou 'rt sure to die;
Rest there, nor farther search, nor question why;
Scan not Omnipotence---of that beware;
Oft the too curious eye is dimm'd by blank despair."
Farewel, poor Ghost! ye horrors of the night,
Begone, nor more my shudd'ring soul affright;
The question unresolv'd I soon shall know,
Then let me haste from this sad scene of woe.
Henceforth, vain Pleasure, I renounce thy joy,
Enchanting Fair, who tempt'st but to destroy;
Ye thoughtless maids who transient dreams pursue,
No more my moments must be lost with you;
No more my soul in empty mirth shall share,
Or fondly relish pleasures ting'd with care.
And thou, all-merciful! omniscient Power!
O teach me to redeem each mis-spent hour;
In youth the mind's best gifts most strongly shine,
Ah! let them not too suddenly decline!
In mercy add a few remaining years,
The grave shall lose its sting, my soul shall lose its fears.

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