[Page 127]

UPON READING SOME VERSES UPON A SCULL.

1 And are we thus transformed by fate?
2 Is this the shape each face must wear?
3 Well might'st thou paint that final state,
4 Thy purity can never fear,
5 Yet let my soul survey the grace,
6 The fashion of her fair abode,
7 There thro' the wond'rous fabrick trace
8 The finger of unerring God.
9 Who bade the blood in equal round
10 It's vital warmth throughout dispense?
11 Who tun'd the ear for every sound?
12 Who lent the hand its ready sense?
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13 Whence had the eye its subtle force,
14 The visual and enlight'ning ray?
15 Who tun'd the lips with prompt discourse,
16 And whence the soft and honey'd lay?
17 Yes, thy Creator's image there
18 In each expressive part is seen,
19 But thine immortal part doth bear
20 That image pictur'd best within.
21 Else what availed the enraptured strain,
22 Did not the mind her aid impart?
23 The melting eye might speak in vain,
24 Flow'd not it's language from the heart.
25 The blood in stated pace had crept
26 Along the dull and sluggish veins,
27 The ear insensibly had slept,
28 Tho' angels sung in choicest strains.
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29 No victor laurel had been seen
30 Upon the brow of glorious war,
31 The regulated fight had been
32 A casual, blind, tumultuous jar.
33 Know, 'tis the soul, the work of heaven,
34 That sets the proper stamp on all;
35 According to the freedom given,
36 The man, when judg'd, shall stand or fall,
37 Nor shall this habitation frail
38 The active spirit content alone,
39 Wond'ring it scans the mighty scale,
40 Which links the whole creation one.
41 Strong and extensive in it's view,
42 It launches midst the boundless sky,
43 Sees planets other orbs pursue,
44 Whose systems other suns supply.
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45 Blush then, if thou hast sense of shame,
46 Inglorious, ignorant, impious slave,
47 Who think'st this heaven-created frame
48 Shall basely perish in the grave!
49 False as thou art, dar'st thou suggest
50 That the Almighty is unjust?
51 Wilt thou the truth with him contest,
52 Whose wisdom form'd thee from the dust?
53 Say, dotard, hath he idly wrought,
54 Or are his works to be believed?
55 Speak! is the whole creation nought?
56 Mortal! is God, or thou, deceived?
57 Thy harden'd spirit convict at last
58 It's damned error shall perceive,
59 Speechless shall hear it's sentence pass'd,
60 Condemn'd to tremble and believe.
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61 But thou, in Reason's sober light,
62 Death clad with terrors canst survey
63 And from that foul and ghastly sight
64 Derive the pure and moral ray.
65 Go on, sweet nymph, in virtue's course,
66 So shall the tomb corrupt and vile,
67 The shades of darkness lose their force,
68 The distant frown become a smile.
69 And when the necessary day
70 Shall call thee to thy saving God,
71 Secure, thou'lt chuse that better way,
72 Which none but saints like thee have trod.
73 Thus shall thy soul at length forsake
74 The sweetest form e'er soul receiv'd,
75 Of those rich blessings to partake
76 Which eye ne'er saw, nor heart conceiv'd.
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77 There, midst the full angelic throng,
78 Praise him who those rich blessings gave;
79 There shall resume the grateful song,
80 ' A joyful victor o'er the grave. '

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    Title (in Source Edition): UPON READING SOME VERSES UPON A SCULL.
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    Genres: occasional poem

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    Poems, &c. &c. by the Late Mrs. Mary Alcock [poems only]. London: Printed for C. Dilly, Poultry, 1799, pp. 127-132. vii,[25],183,[1]p. (ESTC T86344) (Page images digitized by University of California Libraries.)

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    The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.

    Other works by Mary Alcock (née Cumberland)