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Unfathomable Night! how dost thou sweep
Over the flooded earth, and darkly hide
The mighty city under thy full tide;
Making a silent palace for old Sleep,
Like his own temple under the hush'd deep,
Where all the busy day he doth abide,
And forth at the late dark, outspreadeth wide
His dusky wings, whence the cold waters sweep!
How peacefully the living millions lie!
Lull'd unto death beneath his poppy spells;
There is no breathno living stirno cry
No tread of footno songno music-call
Only the sound of melancholy bells
The voice of Timesurvivor of them all!
Tim Turpin he was gravel-blind,
And ne'er had seen the skies :
For Nature, when his head was made,
Forgot to dot his eyes.
So, like a Christmas pedagogue,
Poor Tim was forced to do -
Look out for pupils; for he had
A vacancy for two.
There's some have specs to help their sight
Of objects dim and small :
But Tim had specks within his eyes,
And could not see at all.
Now Tim he wooed a servant maid,
And took her to his arms;
For he, like Pyramus, had cast
A wall-eye on her charms.
By day she led him up and down.
Where'er he wished to jog,
A happy wife, altho' she led
The life of any dog.
But just when Tim had lived a month
In honey with his wife,
A surgeon ope'd his Milton eyes,
Like oysters, with a knife.
But when his eyes were opened thus,
He wished them dark again :
For when he looked upon his wife,
He saw her very plain.
Her face was bad, her figure worse,
He couldn't bear to eat :
For she was anything but like
A grace before his meat.
Now Tim he was a feeling man :
For when his sight was thick
It made him feel for everything -
But that was with a stick.
So, with a cudgel in his hand
It was not light or slim -
He knocked at his wife's head until
It opened unto him.
And when the corpse was stiff and cold,
He took his slaughtered spouse,
And laid her in a heap with all
The ashes of her house.
But like a wicked murderer,
He lived in constant fear
From day to day, and so he cut
His throat from ear to ear.
The neighbours fetched a doctor in :
Said he, "'This wound I dread
Can hardly be sewed up -
his life Is hanging on a thread."
But when another week was gone,
He gave him stronger hope -
Instead of hanging on a thread,
Of hanging on a rope.
Ah ! when he hid his bloody work
In ashes round about,
How little he supposed the truth
Would soon be sifted out.
But when the parish dustman came,
His rubbish to withdraw,
He found more dust within the heap
Than he contracted for !
A dozen men to try the fact
Were sworn that very day ;
But though they all were jurors, yet
No conjurors were they.
Said Tim unto those jurymen,
You need not waste your breath,
For I confess myself at once
The author of her death.
And, oh ! when I refect upon
The blood that I have spilt,
Just like a button is my soul,
Inscribed with double guilt !
Then turning round his head again,
He saw before his eyes,
A great judge, and a little judge,
The judges of a-size !
The great judge took his judgment cap,
And put it on his head,
And sentenced Tim by law to hang
Till he was three times dead.
So he was tried, and he was hung
(Fit punishment for such)
On Horsham-drop, and none can say
It was a drop too much.
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The Autumn is old,
The sere leaves are flying;
He hath gather'd up gold,
And now he is dying;
Old Age, begin sighing!
The vintage is ripe,
The harvest is heaping;
But some that have sow'd
Have no riches for reaping;
Poor wretch, fall a-weeping!
The year's in the wane,
There is nothing adorning,
The night has no eve,
And the day has no morning;
Cold winter gives warning.
The rivers run chill,
The red sun is sinking,
And I am grown old,
And life is fast shrinking;
Here's enow for sad thinking!
Ode To Melancholy
Come, let us set our careful breasts,
Like Philomel, against the thorn,
To aggravate the inward grief,
That makes her accents so forlorn;
The world has many cruel points,
Whereby our bosoms have been torn,
And there are dainty themes of grief,
In sadness to outlast the morn,
True honor's dearth, affection's death,
Neglectful pride, and cankering scorn,
With all the piteous tales that tears
Have water'd since the world was born.
The world!it is a wilderness,
Where tears are hung on every tree;
For thus my gloomy phantasy
Makes all things weep with me!
Come let us sit and watch the sky,
And fancy clouds, where no clouds be;
Grief is enough to blot the eye,
And make heaven black with misery.
Why should birds sing such merry notes,
Unless they were more blest than we?
No sorrow ever chokes their throats,
Except sweet nightingale; for she
Was born to pain our hearts the more
With her sad melody.
Why shines the Sun, except that he
Makes gloomy nooks for Grief to hide,
And pensive shades for Melancholy,
When all the earth is bright beside?
Let clay wear smiles, and green grass wave,
Mirth shall not win us back again,
Whilst man is made of his own grave,
And fairest clouds but gilded rain!
I saw my mother in her shroud,
Her cheek was cold and very pale;
And ever since I've look'd on all
As creatures doom'd to fail!
Why do buds ope except to die?
Ay, let us watch the roses wither,
And think of our loves' cheeks;
And oh! how quickly time doth fly
To bring death's winter hither!
Minutes, hours, days, and weeks,
Months, years, and ages, shrink to nought;
An age past is but a thought!
Ay, let us think of Him awhile
That, with a coffin for a boat,
Rows daily o'er the Stygian moat,
And for our table choose a tomb:
There's dark enough in any skull
To charge with black a raven plume;
And for the saddest funeral thoughts
A winding-sheet hath ample room,
Where Death, with his keen-pointed style,
Hath writ the common doom.
How wide the yew-tree spreads its gloom,
And o'er the dead lets fall its dew,
As if in tears it wept for them,
The many human families
That sleep around its stem!
How cold the dead have made these stones,
With natural drops kept ever wet!
Lo! here the bestthe worstthe world
Doth now remember or forget,
Are in one common ruin hurl'd,
And love and hate are calmly met;
The loveliest eyes that ever shone,
The fairest hands, and locks of jet.
Is't not enough to vex our souls,
And fill our eyes, that we have set
Our love upon a rose's leaf,
Our hearts upon a violet?
Blue eyes, red cheeks, are frailer yet;
And sometimes at their swift decay
Beforehand we must fret.
The roses bud and bloom, again;
But Love may haunt the grave of Love,
And watch the mould in vain.
O clasp me, sweet, whilst thou art mine,
And do not take my tears amiss;
For tears must flow to wash away
A thought that shows so stern as this:
Forgive, if somewhile I forget,
In woe to come, the present bliss;
As frighted Proserpine let fall
Her flowers at the sight of Dis,
Ev'n so the dark and bright will kiss.
The sunniest things throw sternest shade,
And there is ev'n a happiness
That makes the heart afraid!
Now let us with a spell invoke
The full-orb'd moon to grieve our eyes;
Not bright, not bright, but, with a cloud
Lapp'd all about her, let her rise
All pale and dim, as if from rest
The ghost of the late-buried sun
Had crept into the skies.
The Moon! she is the source of sighs,
The very face to make us sad;
If but to think in other times
The same calm quiet look she had,
As if the world held nothing base,
Of vile and mean, of fierce and bad;
The same fair light that shone in streams,
The fairy lamp that charmed the lad;
For so it is, with spent delights
She taunts men's brains, and makes them mad.
All things are touch'd with Melancholy,
Born of the secret soul's mistrust,
To feel her fair ethereal wings
Weigh'd down with vile degraded dust;
Even the bright extremes of joy
Bring on conclusions of disgust,
Like the sweet blossoms of the May,
Whose fragrance ends in must.
O give her, then, her tribute just,
Her sighs and tears, and musings holy;
There is no music in the life
That sounds with idiot laughter solely;
There's not a string attuned to mirth,
But has its chord in Melancholy.