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The Visions of the Sleeping Bard eBook

Ellis Wynne
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 133 pages of information about The Visions of the Sleeping Bard.

6 Ye who rejoice in heedless youth
   And follow fleeting pleasures,
Know that ye cannot conquer Death
   By valor, arts, or treasures.

7 Ye who exult in madding song
   The giddy dances treading,
Think not that all the mirth of France
   Can thwart the fate you’re dreading.

8 Ye who have roamed the wide world o’er,
   Where have ye found the tower,
With walls and portals strong enough
   To check Death’s awful power?

9 Statesmen and learned sages, all
   Of godlike understanding,
What will your craft and skill avail? 
   ’Tis Death who is commanding.

10 The greatest foes of man are now
   The world, the flesh, the devil;
And yet, ere long, we’ll surely find
   In Death a greater evil.

11 How little now it seems to die —
   To gain the suit or lose it? 
But when the doom is of thyself
   How great thy care to chose it?

12 We care, at present, not a jot
   Which way our gains may turn us;
Eternal life, howe’er so great,
   We think can not concern us.

13 But when thou’rt hedged on every side
   And Death himself is nearest,
For one brief, ling’ring space we’ll give
   Whate’er to us is dearest.

14 Think not that thou canst make thy terms
   For thine eternal dwelling,
On either side of that dread gulf,
   With death thy steps compelling.

15 Repentence, faith, and righteousness,
   Alone are thy Salvation,
And in the agony of Death
   Shall be thy consolation.

16 And when the world is passing by,
   Its joys and pleasures ending,
Infinite thou wilt deem their worth
   When to the bourne descending!

III.—­THE VISION OF HELL

One April morning, bright and mild, when earth was with verdure laden, and Britain, like a paradise, had donned its brilliant livery, foretelling summer’s sunshine, I sauntered along the banks of the Severn, while around me, chaunting their sweet carols, the forest’s little songsters in rivalry poured forth songs of praise to their Maker; and I, who was far more bounden than they to give praise, at one while lifted up my voice with the gentle winged choristers, and at another read “The Practice of Piety.” {67a} For all that, my previous visions would not from my mind, but time after time broke in upon every other thought.  They continued to trouble me until after careful reasoning I concluded that every vision is a heaven-sent warning against sin, and that therefore it was my duty to write them down as a warning to others also.  And whilst occupied with this work, and sadly endeavouring to recall some of those awful memories, there fell upon me at my task such drowsiness that soon opened the way for Master Sleep to glide in perforce.  No sooner had sleep taken possession of my senses than there drew nigh unto me a glorious apparition

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