The Common Lot / James Montgomery

Once in the flight of ages past,
There liv'd a man; and who was he?
Mortal! howe'er there lot be cast,
That man resembled thee.

Unknown the region of his birth;
The land in which he died unknown;
His name hath perish'd from the earth;
This truth survives alone-

That joy and grief, and hope and fear,
alternate triumph in his breast;
His bliss and woe- a smile, a tear;
oblivion hides the rest.

The bounding pulse, the languid limb,
The changing spirits rise and fall;
We know that these were felt by him,
for these are felt by all.

He suffer'd- but his pangs are o'er;
enjoy'd-but his delights are fled;
had friends- but his friends are now no more;
And foes- his foes are dead.

He lov'd- but whom he lov'd, the grave
Hath lost in its unconscious womb;
O she was fair- but nought could save
Her beauty from the tomb.

The rolling seasons, day and night,
Sun, moon, and stars, the earth and main,
Erewhile his portion; life and light,
To him exist in vain.

He saw whatever thou hast seen,
Encounter'd all that troubles thee;
He was- whatever thou hast been;
He is- what thou shall be

The clouds and sun-beams, o're his eye
That once their shades and glory threw,
Have left in yonder silent sky
No vestige where they flew.

The annals of the human race,
Their ruins since the world began,
Of HIM afford no other trace
Than this- THERE LIV'D A MAN

by Cee Bea

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