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'Tis past! That hand we grasped, alas, in vain! Nor shall we look upon his face again ! But to his closing eyes, for all were there, Nothing was wanting; and, through many a year We shall remember with a fond delight The words so precious which we heard to-night; His parting, though awhile our sorrow flows, Like setting suns or music at the close!
Then was the drama ended. Not till then,
opes the portals of Eternity. -When by a good man's grave
I muse alone, Methinks an Angel sits upon the stone; Like those of old, on that thrice-hallowed night, Who sate and watch'd in raiment heavenly bright; And, with a voice inspiring joy not fear, Says, pointing upward, “Know, He is not here!"
But now 'tis time to go ; the day is spent ; And stars are kindling in the firmament, To us how silent—though like ours perchance Busy and full of life and circumstance; Where some the paths of Wealth and Power pursue, Of Pleasure some, of Happiness a few;
And, as the sun goes round—a sun not ours—
P. 64, 1. 18.
Stand still to gaze, See the Iliad, 1. xviii. v. 496.
P. 66, 1. 17.
P. 66, 1. 28.
We fly; no resting for the foot we find ; “ I have considered," says Solomon, “all the works that are under the sun ; and behold all is vanity and vexation of spirit.” But who believes it, till death tells it us? It is death alone that can suddenly make man to know himself. He tells the proud and insolent, that they are but abjects, and humbles them at the instant. He takes the account of the rich man, and proves him a beggar, a naked beggar. He holds a glass before the eyes of the most beautiful, and makes them see therein their deformity; and they acknowledge it.
O eloquent, just, and mighty Death! whom none could advise, thou hast persuaded; what none have dared, thou hast done; and whom all the world have flattered, thou only hast cast out and despised : thou hast drawn together all the far-stretched greatness, all the pride, cruelty, and ambition of man, and covered it all over with these two narrow words, Hic jacet.—RALEIGH.
P. 67, l. 8. Now, seraph-winged, among the stars we soar ; Inconceivable are the limits to our progress in Science. * A point that yesterday was invisible, is our goal to-day, and will be our starting-post to-morrow.”
P. 67, 1. 14. Through the dim curtains of Futurity. Fancy can hardly forbear to conjecture with what temper Milton surveyed the silent progress of his work, and marked his reputation stealing its way in a kind of subterraneous current through fear and silence. I cannot but conceive him calm and confident, little disappointed, not at all dejected, relying on his own merit with steady consciousness, and waiting, without impatience, the vicissitudes of opinion, and the impartiality of a future generation.— JOHNSON.
After line 14, in the MS.
P. 67, 1. 17. Behold him now unbar the prison-door, An allusion to John Ho ard. “W rever he came, in whatever country, the prisons and hospitals were thrown open to him as to the general Censor. Such is the force of pure and exalted virtue !
P. 67, l. 25. Long with his friend in generous enmity, Aristotle's definition of Friendship, one soul in two bodies,” is well exemplified by some ancient Author in a dialogue between Ajax and Achilles. 6 Of all the wounds you ever received in battle,” says Ajax, “which was the most painful to you?” “ That which I received from Hector," replies Achilles.
_“ But Hector never gave you a wound ?” -“ Yes, and a mortal one ; when he slew my friend, Patroclus.”
P. 67, 1. 27.
Do what he will, dc. These ideas, whence are they derived ; or as Plato would have expressed himself, where were they acquired ? There could not be a better argument for his doctrine of a preexistent state.
L'homme ne sait à quel rang se mettre. Il est visiblement égaré et sent en lui des restes d'un état heureux, dont il est déchu, et qu'il ne peut retrouver. Il le cherche partout avec inquiétude et sans succès dans des ténèbres impenétrables.-Sa misère se conclut de sa grandeur, et sa grandeur se conclut de sa misère.-PASCAL.
P. 68, 1. 15.
But soon 'tis pastThis light, which is so heavenly in its lustre, and which is everywhere and on everything when we look round us on our arrival here; which, while it lasts, never leaves us, rejoicing us by night as well as by day, and lighting up our very dreams ; yet when it fades, fades so fast, and, when it goes, goes out for ever,--we may address it in the words of the Poet, words which we might apply so often in this transitory life: Too soon your value from your loss we learn!
Epistles in Verse, ii.