Eternity? thou pleasing, dreadful thought!
Through what variety of untried being,
Through what new scenes and changes must we pass?
The wide, th’ unbounded prospect, lies before me;
But shadows, clouds, and darkness rest upon it.
– – –
This in a moment brings me to an end;
But this informs me I shall never die.
The soul, secured in her existence, smiles
At the drawn dagger, and defies its point.
The stars shall fade away, the sun himself
Grow dim with age, and nature sink in years;
But thou shalt florish in immortal youth,
Unhurt amidst the wars of elements,
The wrecks of matter, and the crush of worlds.
– Joseph Addison, Cato (1712)