THE following VERSES, relative to the melancholy situation of the unfortunate WILLIAM POLLOCK,
now under Sentence of Death in the Jail of Edinburgh, for the Murder of his own Wife, and
who is to be Executed on Wednesday the 22d current, and his Body to be given for public Dissec-
tion, were composed by the author, one morning in bed, after having dreamed, he had really heard
the unhappy man making his Lamentation in a similar strain to these Lines.
'Twas night, and now the wearied sun
In western skies had set;
The time was come when men their cares
In sweet repose forget
Tir'd of the bustle of the day,
In solitude I hied
To where, from noise and toil set free,
My thoughts might range at wide.
By yon dark Jail I pass'd along,
For criminals prepar'd,
When from its cells a piteous sound
Of woe, methought I heard.
I sped to whence it did proceed,
The words distincter grew;
A murderer thus his fate bewail'd,
And did for mercy sue.
" Lock'd arc the golden gates of day,
'Tis thine, O night! the keys to keep,
Morpheus, in velvet's soft array,
Has hush'd the busy world to sleep.
Now Faucy waves her magic rod,
And roving spreads her airy wings ;
Now flatter'd Kings assume the God,
And dreaming vassals ape their kings.
The lover, free from hopes and fears,
In exstacy imparts the kiss ;
The nymph, undone, forgets her tears,
Exulting in imagin'd bliss.
They hail kind sleep in poppies drest,
Health's sweetest sister, queen of peace,
In her distinction sinks to rest,
In her their daily troubles cease,
To me no calm like this is known ;
Sleep from my eyes has ever fled ;
Conscience its snaky head has rais'd,
And all my sins before me led.
No more to me shall smiling morn
That joy impart all nature feels ;
Nor ev'ning's shade my grief assuage,
Which others cares and sorrows heal.
Far from my wretched mind has hope
On fleetest pinions soar'd away ;
No comfort left my state to cheer,
No balm my anguish to allay.
Companions in my revels, think
What you are now, and soon must be,
For God has me a warning made,
That speaks with solemn voice to thee.
Before to morrow's sun shall rise
To cheer the world, ah! who can tell,
But death may plunge your trembling souls
Down to the realms where devils dwell.
Oh ! can you bear the dreadful thought,
Should God this night your souls require,
Can you endure eternal wrath,
Or bear the pangs of quenchless fire ?
O ! Pow'r Divine, my sins forgive:
Thou'rt gracious, grace extend to me,
That when my flesh is turn'd to nought;
My spirit may be, Lord, with thee.
A few short days, and I am plac'd
Beyond the reach of mortal woe ;
Protect me in that trying hour,
That I may Satan overthrow.
Farewell my children, friends, and all,
For you my tears in torrents fall,
Forgive the effusions of my love,
We part in hope to meet above.
A few more hours, the struggle's past,
Life's curtain on this world is cast.
And then our spirits will soar above,
Where all is joy, and peace, and love."
The voice now faint and fainter grew ;
With solemn thoughts imprest,
I left th' abode of wretchedness,
And hasted home to rest.
But e'er my eye-lids I could close,
On bended knees I fell,
And pray'd that all might be secur'd
From wickedness and hell.
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1826 shelfmark: L.C.Fol.74(396)
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