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There angels watch thy peaceful rest,
They guard the slumbers of the blest,
Their placid brightness doth relume.
The deepest—darkest tomb.
But thou shalt wake-the day shall be
When wrath shall urge the restless sea,
And the last tempest long and dread,
Shall rouse th' unnumber'd dead.
That warning blast-that voice of fear,
Shall fall with gladness on thine ear,
While bending spirits shall explain
What bade thee wake again.
Rise from thy briny tomb, arise !
The fire, devouring yonder skies,
Will light thee to the burning throne,
T'adore the Holy One.
Till then, in some deep sapphire vale,
While o'er thee rolls the unheeded gale,
Thy sleep be pleasant!-0 may mine
Be undisturb'd as thine!
With hope like thine- and faith-and love
That link'd thee to the realms above,
Ah, I could covet thy deep rest,
And call thy cold grave blest !
Spirit of Death ; whose outstretch'd pennons dread
Wave o'er the world beneath their shadow spread,
Who darkly speedest on thy destin'd way,
'Mid shrieks, and cries, and sounds of dire dismay;
Spirit ! behold thy victory-assume
A form more terrible, an ampler plume;
For He, who wander'd o'er the world alone,
List’ning to mis’ry's universal moan;
He, who, sustain'd by Virtue's arm sublime,
"Tended the sick and poor from clime to clime,
Low in the dust is laid- thy noblest spoil ! · And Mercy ceases from her awful toil!
'Twas where the pestilence at thy command A rose to desolate the sick’ning land, When many a mingled cry and dying prayer Resounded to the list’ning midnight air, When deep dismay beard not the frequent knell, And the wan carcase fester'd as it fell: 'Twas there, with holy virtue's awful mien, Amid the sad sights of that fearful scene, Calm he was found : The dews of death he dry’d; He spoke of comfort to the poor that cry'd; He watch'd the fading eye, the flagging breath, Ere yet the languid sense was lost in death; And, with that look protecting angels wear, Hung o'er the dismal couch of pale despair ! Friend of mankind! thy righteous task is o’er, The heart, that throbb’d with pity, beats no more.
Around the limits of this rolling sphere, Where'er the just and good thy tale shall hear, A tear shall fall :- Alone, amidst the gloom Of the still dungeon, his long sorrow's tomb, The captive, mourning o'er his chain, shall bend, To think the cold earth holds his only friend! He who with labour draws his wasting breath On the forsaken silent bed of death, Rememb’ring thy last look, and anxious eye, Shall gaze around, invisited, and die !
Friend of mankind, farewell!--these tears we shed, So nature dictates, o'er thy earthly bed; Yet we forget not, it was His bigh will, Who saw thee virtue's arduous task fulfil, Thy spirit from its toil at last should rest :So wills thy God, and what he wills is best. - Thou hast encounter'd dark disease's train, Thou hast convers’d with poverty and pain, Thou hast beheld the dreariest forms of woe, That through this mournful vale unfriended go; And, pale with sympathy, hast paus'd to hear The saddest plaints e'er told to human ear. Go then, the task fulfill'd, the trial o'er, Where sickness, want, and pain, are known no more!
Howard! it matters not, that far away
From Albion's peaceful shore thy bones decay.
Him it might please, by whose sustaining hand
Thy steps were led through many a distant land,
Thy long and last abode shall there be found,
Where many a savage nation prowls around;
That Virtue from the hallow'd spot might rise,
And, pointing to the finish'd sacrifice,
Teach, to the roving Tartar's savage clan,
Lessons of love, and higher aims of man.
Nor vain the thought, that fairer hence may rise
New views of life, and wider charities.
For from the bleak Riphean mountains hoar,
From the cold Don, and Wolga's wand'ring shore,
From many a shady forest's length’ning tract,
From many a dark-descending cataract,
Succeeding tribes shall come, and o'er the place,
Where sleeps the gen’ral friend of human race,
Instruct their children what a debt they owe;
Speak of the man who trod the paths of woe;
Then bid them to their native woods depart,
With new-born virtue aching at their heart.
When o'er the sounding Euxine's stormy rides
In hostile pomp the Turk’s proud navy rides,
If onward to those shores they haply steer
Where, Howard, thy cold dust reposes near ;
Whilst o'er the wave the silken pennants stream,
And, seen far off, the golden crescents gleam,
Amid the pomp of war, the swelling breast
Sball feel a still unwonted awe impress'd,
And the relenting Pagan turn aside
To think-on yonder shore the Christian dy'd !
But thou, O Briton, doom'd perhaps to roam
An exile many a year, and far from home,
If ever fortune thy lone footsteps leads
To the wild Nieper's banks, and whispering reeds,
O'er Howard's Grave thou shalt impassion'd bend,
As if to hold sad converse with a friend.
Whate'er thy fate upon this various scene,
Where'er thy weary pilgrimage has been,
There shalt thou pause; and shutting from thy neart
Some vain regrets that oft unbidden start,
Think upon him to ev'ry lot resign'd,
Who wept, who toild, who perish'd for mankind.
(POPE.) Know then this truth (enough for man to know), Virtue alone is happiness below: The only point where human bliss stands still, And tastes the good without the fall to ill; Where only merit constant pay receives, Is blest in what it takes, and what it gives;
The joy unequall'd, if its end it gain,
And if it lose, attended with no pain :
Without satiety, though e'er so bless'd,
And but more relish'd as the more distress'd :
The broadest mirth unfeeling folly wears,
Less pleasing far than virtue's very tears :
Good, from each object, from each place, acquir'd,
For ever exercis’d, yet never tir'd;
Never elated, while one man's oppress’d,
Never dejected, while another's blest :
And where no wants, no wishes can remain,
Since but to wish more virtue, is to gain.
See the sole bliss Heaven could on all bestow !
Which who but feels can taste, but thinks can know;
Yet poor with fortune, and with learning blind, .
The bad must miss, the good untaught will find;
Slave to no sect, who takes no private road,
But looks through nature, up to nature's God;
Pursues that chain which links th' immense design,
Joins heaven and earth, and mortal and divine ;
Sees that no being any bliss can know,
But touches some above, and some below;
Learns from this union of the rising whole,
The first, last purpose of the human soul;
And knows where faith, law, morals, all began,
All end in love of God and love of man.
For him alone, hope leads from goal to goal,
And opens still, and opens on his soul;
Till lengthen’d on to faith, and unconfin'd,
It pours the bliss that fills up all the mind.
He sees why nature plants in man alone
Hope of known bliss, and faith in bliss unknown:
(Nature, whose dictates to no other kind
Are given in vain, but what they seek they find)
Wise is her present; she connects in this
His greatest virtue, and his greatest bliss;