Some Reflections upon hearing the Bell toll for the Death of a FRIEND.
1 HARK! — what a mournful solemn sound
2 Rolls murm'ring thro' the cloudy air:
3 It strikes the soul with awe profound,
4 Affects the gay, — alarms the fair.
5 With what a pathos does it speak!
6 Affecting deep the thoughtful mind:
7 The golden schemes of folly break,
8 That hold in glittering snares mankind.
9 'Tis Death's dread herald calls aloud,
10 Proclaims his conquest thro' the skies:
11 The sun retires behind a cloud,
12 And Nature seems to sympathize.
13 Reflect, ye restless sons of care!
14 Your vain designs his hand can spoil,
15 Make hard oppressors lend an ear,
16 And wretched misers cease their toil.
17 For what avail vast heaps of gold,
18 When Death his aweful writ shall send?
19 Tho' folly swell, and pride look bold,
20 The mask must drop, the farce must end.
21 It is not hoary tottering age
22 That now lies stretch'd beneath his stroke;
23 The tyrant stern, that feels his rage:
24 Th' oppressor's rod, that now is broke.
25 But oh! — 'tis generous Cynthio's bell!
26 Fall'n in his prime of youthful bloom:
27 For Cynthio sounds the doleful knell,
28 And calls him to the silent tomb.
29 Cynthio! — whose happy healing art
30 Turn'd from his friends death's fatal blow,
31 And shielded from that threatening dart,
32 Which now, alas! — has laid him low.
33 But Cynthio's virtues ne'er can die,
34 They leave a grateful rich perfume:
35 And now transplanted to the sky,
36 In heav'n's immortal gardens bloom.
37 And hark! — ah, what celestial notes,
38 With grateful accents charm my ear!
39 As down th' etherial music floats,
40 The sun breaks forth, the skies are clear.
41 From heav'n descends the joyful strain,
42 Convey'd to earth on angels wings:
43 To mitigate our grief and pain,
44 And this the theme of joy it brings:
45 "Thus write (the voice from heav'n proclaims)
46 "The virtuous dead are ever blest!
47 "Their works immortalize their names,
48 "Their labours cease, and here they rest.
49 "Behold, the Saviour wide display
50 "The trophies of his gen'rous love,
51 "To cheer you thro' life's thorny way,
52 "And lead to flowery realms above.
53 "'Tis He destroys Death's baneful sting,
54 "And bids the grave's dread horrors fly,
55 "The choirs of heav'n his triumph sing,
56 "And hail him victor thro' the sky. "