Death! the deep, sublime and unsubdued fiat!
The licensed liberator of imprisoned souls!
The conqueror of conquerors! th' inexorable,
Unfathomed and unfathomable fate! Arch foe,
And dread antagonist of life! Its armed and fierce
Invader, horror, and dismay! whose naked sword,
In trembling balance hung, is over all its joys,
And banquets of delight, ready to pierce the heart
That with fond ardour beats! Oh! who can turn its point?
Or its swift aim arrest? Or its approach detect?
Its summons disobey? Unsparing, fell destroyer?
Far less his fav'rite haunts, the squalid dens of want,
Than the fair scenes of luxury and wealth, where few
Unscared, can hail with joy his trumpet's thrilling shout,
Or haste to ope the door and let the spectre in.
Aghast, the soul recedes, reluctant to depart,
Trembling with self-upbraidings and remorse, or clogg'd
With earth's affections and entanglements, corrupt
With unrepented lusts, and blind idolatries,
The world's besetting, and rebellious sins. Ah, there
He revels with success, reaping his victims down
With sickle of fine gold! Few and far between,
The wheat good angels glean, and small the sheaf
The Lord of harvest gains!