The Church-Yard


While in this gloomy path I stray,
Where Graves and Stones obstruct the way,
O! deign my Muse, to lend thine aid,
And let he Solemn Scene be all displayed.

Here [illegible] Weeds [illegible] surround,
And things obscene bestrew the ground,
Skulls, Bones in mouldering fragments lie,
All dreadful Emblems of Mortality.

The mind now fixed upon the spot,
Where human Bodies lay and rot,
With reverence views the awful scene,
And ponders what each different corse has been.

Here lies perhaps some Jovial Soul,
Friend to the Bottle and the Bowl,
Well pleased his moments to prolong,
With many a merry-tale and chearful Song.

His Tongue is mute, his Mirth is fled,
And he lies mouldering with the dead,
His Songs forgot, no more prevail,
No more, alas! we hear the Mirthful Tale.

All undistinguished too just by,
Perhaps the Patriot may lie,
Gone is his virtue and his voice,
That often bid the oppressed land rejoice.

The Warrior too whose nervous Arm,
Rushed to Bellona’s dread alarm,
His sinews shrunk, unarmed he lies,
No longer feared by foreign enemies.

The Poet, in whose tuneful breast,
The Muse’s influence shone confest,
Though oft some pleasing lay he sung,
Gone is his voice, and ah! his line unstrung.

Ah! think Belinds, in your prime;
Think and regard a simple rhyme,
Your Sense can never deem me rude,
As you are fair, oh! strive to be as good.

The Wise, the Learned, the Great, the Brave,
All fill alike the yawning grave,
Sense, Beauty, Virtue can’t withstand,
All fall alike by Death’s relentless hand.

Ev’n while I write this simple lay,
Thousands, perhaps, are snatched away,
Levelled alike is Love, and Hate,
For so impartial is the Will of Fate.