« VorigeDoorgaan »
What need I more? O Death, the palm is thine.
Then welcome, Death! thy dreaded harbingers, Age and disease ; disease, though long my guest; That plucks my nerves, those tender strings of life: Which, plucked a little more, will toll the bell That calls my few friends to my funeral ; Where feeble nature drops, perhaps, a tear, While reason and religion, better taught, Congratulate the dead, and crown his tomb With wreath triumphant. Death is victory; It binds in chains the raging ills of life : Lust and ambition, wrath and avarice, Dragged at his chariot-wheel, applaud his power. That ills corrosive, cares importunate, Are not immortal too, O Death! is thine. Our day of dissolution !-name it right, 'Tis our great pay day; 'tis our harvest, rich And ripe. What though the sickle, sometimes keen, Just scars us as we reap the golden grain ? More than thy balm, 0 Gilead! heals the wound. Birth's feeble cry, and death's deep dismal groan, Are slender tributes low-taxed nature pays For mighty gain: the gain of each, a life ! But oh! the last the former so transcends, Life dies, compared ; life lives beyond the grave.
And feel I, Death! no joy from thought of thee? Death, the great counsellor, who man inspires With every nobler thought and fairer deed ! Death, the deliverer, who rescues man! Death, the rewarder, who the rescued crowns ! Death, that absolves my birth! a curse without it! Rich death, that realises all my cares, Toils, virtues, hopes; without it a chimera ! Death, of all pain the period, not of joy : Joy's source and subject still subsist unhurt; One in my soul, and one in her great Sire ; Though the four winds were warring for my dust. Yes, and from winds, and waves, and central night, Though prisoned there, my dust too I reclaim (To dust when drop proud nature's proudest spheris), And live entire. Death is the crown of life. Were death denied, poor man would live in vain ; Were death denied, to live would not be life ; Were death denied, even fools would wish to die. Death wounds to cure : we fall, we rise, we reign :
Spring from our fetters ; fasten in the skies;
ON LEAVING HOLLAND.
Farewell to Leyden's lonely bound,
For passive, persevering toils ;
And lest, from any prouder aim, The daring mind should scorn her homely spoils, She breathes maternal fogs to damp its restless flame.
Farewell the grave, pacific air,
While round them chaunt the croaking choir,
Farewell, ye nymphs, whom sober care of gain
And tells a monarch on his throne,
O my lov'd England, when with thee
Like mountain snows ; till down their side
Ye nymphs who guard the pathless grove,
To guide my lonely footsteps deign,
And thou, my faithful harp, no longer mourn
With Venus and with Juno move
Thee too, protectress of my lays,
The honours of a poet's name
Great citizen of Albion. Thee
While Truth, diffusing from on high
Fills and commands the public eye;
Hence the whole land the patriot's ardour shares :
A nation holds her prime applause,