Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
XVIII. The Great Mystery
The Soliloquy of Cato
By Joseph Addison (1672–1719)
ETERNITY!—thou pleasing-dreadful thought!
Through what variety of untried being—
Through what new scenes and changes must we pass!
The wide, the unbounded prospect lies before me;
But shadows, clouds, and darkness rest upon it….        5
  What means this heaviness, that hangs upon me?
This lethargy, that creeps through all my senses?
Nature, oppressed and harassed out with care,
Sinks down to rest. This once, I’ll favour her!
That my awakened Soul may take her flight,        10
Renewed in all her strength, and fresh with life,
An off’ring fit for Heaven! Let guilt, or fear,
Disturb Man’s rest: Cato knows neither of them!
Indiff’rent in his choice, to sleep, or die….

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