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THE

COMPLAINT.

NIGHT THE FIRST.

ON

LIF E, D E A TH,

A N D

I M M O R T A L IT Y.

HUMBLY INSCRIBED

TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE

ARTHUR ONSLOW, Esq.

SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.

A

COM P L AIN T.

NIGHT THE FIRST.

TH

IR’D nature's sweet restorer, balmy sleep!

He, like the world, his ready visit pays
Where fortune smiles; the wretched he forsakes:
Swift on his downy pinions flies from woe,
And lights on lids unsully'd with a tear.

From short (as usual) and disturb'd repose,
I wake: how happy they who wake no more!
Yet that were vain, if dreams infest the grave.
I wake, emerging from a sea of dreams
Tumultuous; where my wreck'a desponding thought,
From wave to wave of fancy'd misery,
At random drove, her helm of reason lost:
Tho' now restor'd, 'tis only change of pain,
(A bitter change!) feverer for severe.
The day too short for my distress! and night,
Even in the zenith of her dark domain,
Is sunshine, to the colour of my fate.

Night, sable goddess! from her ebon throne,
In rayless majesty, now stretches forth
Her leaden sceptre o'er a slumb’ring world.
Silence, how dead! and darkness, how profound!
Nor eye, nor list’ning ear, an object finds;
Creation sleeps. 'Tis as the general pulse

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Of life stood ftill, and nature made a pause,
An awful pause! prophetic of her end.
And let her prophecy be foon fulfillid:
Fate! drop the curtain ; I can lose no more.

Silence, and darkness! solemn sisters! twins
From ancient night, who nurse the tender thought
To reason, and on reason build resolve,
(That column of true majesty in man)
Aflift me: I will thank you in the grave;
The grave, your kingdom: there this frame shall fall
A victim sacred to your dreary shrine.
But what are ye?—Thou, who didst put to flight
Priinaeval filence, when the morning-stars,
Exulting, shouted o'er the rising ball;
O Thou, whose word from solid darkness ftruck
That spark, the sun, strike wisdom from my soul;
My soul, which flies to thee, her trust, her treasures
As misers to their gold, while others rest.

Thro' this opaque of nature, and of soul,
This double night, transmit one pitying ray,
To lighten, and to chear. O lead my mind,
(A mind that fain would wander from its woe,)
Lead it thro' various scenes of life and death;
And from each scene, the noblest truths inspire.
Nor less inspire my conduct, than my song;
Teach

my best reason, reason; my best will
Teach rectitude; and fix my firm resolve
Wisdom to wed, and pay her long arrear:
Nor let the phial of thy vengeance, pour’d
On this devoted head, be pour'd in vain.

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