Painful source of many a sorrow!

First Line Painful source of many a sorrow!
Author Helen Maria Williams

Ode [Death, afterlife]. 

Transcribed from Williams, H.M. "On the Word Last." The western country magazine, for the year... By a society of gentlement... vol. 5, 1789–1792, p. 27. Eighteenth Century Collections Online, GALE|CW0124929652.



["What a desolate Word is the Monosyllable of last!"]

Painful source of many a sorrow!

Sound precluding Hope's to-morrow!

Sad finisher of life's repast!

What shadows all our joys appear,

When thou com'st lagging in the rear,

And whispering tells thou art the Last!


Whate'er is given us from above;

Blessings of Frienship or of Love,

Thy baleful shade doth overcast;

The Tears that parting cheeks bestrew,

The broken voice that sobs Adieu,

Belong to thee, thou cruel Last!


Time on his rapid pinions flies;

The world recedes before our eyes,

And aweful death approaches fast:

Revolving suns each year proclaim

The solemn hour that bears thy name,

Thou dreaded formidable Last!


Yet that I may not shrink from thee;

Let Virtue keep my bosom free

From dread of future and of past:

Then when my transient day is o'er,

And life exhausted yields no more,

I need not fear thy moment Last.