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That strength would fail, oppos'd against the push And feeble onset of a pigmy rush.
Say not (and if the thought of such defence Should spring within thy bosum, drive it thence) What nation amongst all my foes is free From crimes as base as any charg'd on mę ? Their measure fill'd, they too shall pay the debt, Which God, though long forborne, will not forget. But know that wrath divine, when most severe, Makes justice still the guide of his career, And will not punish, in one mingled crowd, Them without light, and thee without a cloud. Muse, hang this harp upon yon aged
doceas iter, et sacra otia pandas.
Virg. Æn. vi. 109.
Ask what is human life—the sage replies,
Dangling his cane about, and taking snuff,
0, querulous and weak !-whose useless brain
For lift thy palsied head, shake off the gloom
A sounds, Thy yellow tilth,green meads, rocks, rising grounds, Streams edg’d with osiers, fattning ev'ry field, Where'er they flow, now seen and now conceald; From the blue rim, where skies and mountains meet, Down to the very turf beneath thy feet, Ten thousand charms, that only fools despise, Or Pride can look at with indiff'rent eyes, All speak one language, all with one sweet voice Cry to her universal realm, Rejoice! Man feels the spur of passions and desires, And she gives largely more than he requires ; Not that his hours devoted all to Care, Hollow-ey'd Abstinence and lean Despair, The wretch may pine, while to his smell, taste, sight, She holds a paradise of rich delight; But gently to rebuke his awkward fear, To prove that what she gives, she gives sincere; To banish hesitation, and proclaim His happiness, her dear, her only aim.
Tis grave philosophy's absurdest dream,
Thus things terrestrial wear a diff'rent hue,
To rise at noon, sit slipshod and undress’d, To read the news, or fiddle, as seems best, Till half the world comes rattling at his door, To fill the dull vacuity till four; And, just when ev’ning turns the blue vault gray, To spend two hours in dressing for the day; To make the sun a bauble without use, Save for the fruits his heav'nly beams produce ; Quite to forget, or deem it worth no thought, Who bids him shine, or if he shine or not; Through mere necessity to close his eyes Just when the larks and when the shepherds rise ; Is such a life, so tediously the same, So void of all utility or aim, That poor Jonquil, with almost ev'ry breath Sighs for his exit, vulgarly callid death? For he, with all his follies, has a mind Not yet so blank, or fashionably blind, But now and then perhaps a feeble ray Of distant wisdom shoots across his way, By which he reads, that life without a plan, As useless as the moment it began, Serves merely as a soil for discontent To thrive in; an encumbrance ere half spent. Oh! weariness beyond what asses feel, That tread the circuit of the cistern wheel; A dull rotation, never at a stay, Yesterday's face twin-image of to day;
While conversation, an exhausted stock,
That remedy, not hid in deeps profound,
like all that we partake, Royally, freely, for his bounty's sake; Transcient indeed, as is the fleeting hour, And yet the seed of an immortal flow'r; Design'd in honour of his endless love, To fill with fragrance his abode No trifle, howsoever short it seem, And, howsoever shadowy, no dream; Its value, what nu thought can ascertain, Nor all an angel's eloquence explain ; Men deal with life as children with their play Who first misuse, then cast their toys away; Live to no sober purpose, and contend That their Creator had no serious end. When God and man stand opposite in view, Man's disappointment must of course ensue. The just Creator condescends to write, In beams of inextinguishable light, His names of wisdom, goodness, pow'r, and love, On all that blooms below, or shines above; To catch the wand'ring notice of mankind, And teach the world, if not perversely blind, His gracious attributes, and prove the share His offspring hold in his paternal care.