WHAT’s life? what’s death? Fate’s sunshine or its gloom?
And what th’ alternate gift that each bestows?
A glittering bubble, or a silent tomb,
A giddy whirlwind, or a calm repose.
Amid the agitating storm, too long
My wearied soul has felt the direful blast:
Now, DEATH, to thee I pour my pensive song,
And claim from thee a tranquil hour at last.
Yes, mighty AZRAEL! I with transport view
Thy pale-wing’d messengers before thee fly:
Soon shall my grateful heart declare anew,
How pleasing to the wretched ’tis to die.
Such is the bliss from adverse fate that springs,
Thou beamst all-radiant on my closing hour:
I mount from earth, O AZRAEL! on thy wings,
And rapturous enter RUZVAN’s* happy bower.
While FORTUNE’s sons, and PLEASURE’s giddy train,
Start from their revels at thy sullen call;
And as they seek some sheltering shield in vain,
Their vital flame is quench’d in viper’s gall.
How dire a fate life’s blessings to forego!
But, ah! how sweet to quit a world of woe.