What would'st thou--mortal rash and blind?
Has madness triumph'd o'er thy mind,
That thou seek'st the deep mysterious gloom
Of the world within the silent tomb?
Mortal! I heard thy frenzied call,
Afar in yonder shadowy hall,
Where spirits, passing on their way
To Heaven or Hell, a moment stay.
Could but thine eye have glanced around Those flitting forms--could but one sound
That there is heard have caught thine ear,
Thou hadst not dared to bring me here!
I read thy heart. Thou loathest life,
Thou faintest 'neath the inward strife
Of passions uncontroll'd: for thee
No more Hope chants her melody;
But Disappointment and Regret,
Like spectral foes, thy steps beset,
Till thou wouldst fly to aught unknown,
To 'scape the ills thyself hast sown.
Well! I have answer'd to thy call.
Behold the black funereal pall;
Behold the coffin's narrow bed,
Where thou shalt lay thine aching head!
Come! bid yon sun-lit fields adieu,
And yonder skies so softly blue;
Bid ocean's sparkling waves farewell,
And the verdant hills that gently swell;
All nature's scenes for thee must close
Along with life and earthly woes.
At my cold touch why startest thou?
'Tis vain to shrink and tremble now.
I come--not sent by His decree
Whose word is law to thee and me,
But summon'd by thy daring hand--
To bear thee to yon viewless land.
Come then! for Death brooks no delay.
Mortal! with me thou must away.
And let me whisper in thine ear,
While all around is fading here,
ETERNITY! Thou shudder'st now;
Cold dews are rising on thy brow.
ETERNITY! What wilt thou feel
When million voices loudly peal
That word of awe and mystery
Around thee, where thou soon shalt be?
Away, away! to the judgment seat
Of Him whom thou hast sought to meet!
Before Him how shalt thou appear,
Whom spirits pure adore, yet fear!
What sentence may thy crime await,
Oh thou! who thus hast dared thy fate!
Lost mortal, follow to the tomb,
And to thin everlasting doom!