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The man who by his labour gets
His bread, in independent state,
The Old Gentry.
Smile on the work, be to her merits kind,
Prologue to the Royal Mischief. *
Now fitted the halter, now travers'd the cart,
The Thief and the Cordelier. A Ballad.
Who breathes must suffer; and who thinks, must mourn ;
Lines 240, 241.
Nobles and heralds by your leave,
Here lies what once was Matthew Prior;
* “ The Royal Mischief," a Tragedy, was written by Mrs. Manley, authoress of “ The Lost Lover," and other plays, all unknown on the modern stage.
+ This ballad does not appear in all editions of Prior's works. It is quoted here from a 12mo edition, entitled, “ Poems on several occasions by the late Matthew Prior, Esq., London. Printed for J. and R. Tonson and S. Draper and H. Lintot, 1754.”
The son of Adam and of Eve,
Epitaph on Himself.
To John I owed great obligation ;
But John unhappily thought fit
Tired Nature's sweet restorer, balmy sleep!
Night, sable goddess ! from her ebon throne,
The bell strikes one.
We take no note of time
And can eternity belong to me,
Lines 66, 67.
Insatiate archer! could not one suffice ?
Night 1. Lines 212, 213.
Be wise to-day ; 'tis madness to defer ;
year it steals, till all are fled, And to the mercies of a moment leaves The vast concerns of an eternal scene.
At thirty, man suspects himself a fool,
Who does the best his circumstance allows,
Lines 90, 91.
* Alluding to three deaths in his own family, which had occurred within a short time of each other.
The man who consecrates his hours By vig'rous effort and an honest aim, At once he draws the sting of life and death ; He walks with Nature, and her paths are peace.
Night II. Lines 185-188.
Time flies, death urges, knells call,
Lines 291, 292.
Lovely in death the beauteous ruin lay;
Night III. Lines 104-106.
Man wants but little, nor that little long : *
dust, Which frugal nature lent him for an hour !
Night 10. Lines 118-120.
A God all mercy is a God unjust.
'Tis impious in a good man to be sad.
* “Man wants but little here below,
Nor wants that little long."