Then to the Lip of this poor earthen Urn
I lean’d, the Secret of my Life to learn:
And Lip to Lip it murmur’d — “While you live,
“Drink! — for, once dead, you never shall return.”
I think the Vessel, that with fugitive
Articulation answer’d, once did live,
And drink; and Ah! the passive Lip I kiss’d,
How many Kisses might it take — and give!
For I remember stopping by the way
To watch a Potter thumping his wet Clay:
And with its all-obliterated Tongue
It murmur’d — “Gently, Brother, gently, pray!”*
And has not such a Story from of Old
Down Man’s successive generations roll’d
Of such a cloud of saturated Earth
Cast by the Maker into Human mould?