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TO-MORROW, didst thou say!
Methought I heard Horatio say, To-morrow.
Go to~I will not hear of it.-To-morrow!
'Tis a sharper, who stakes his penury
Against thy plenty-who takes thy ready cash,
And pays thee nought but wishes, hopes, and pro-
The currency of idiots. Injurious bankrupt,
That gulls the easy creditor !—To-morrow!
It is a period nowhere to be found
In all the hoary registers of time,
Unless, perchance, in the fool's calendar.
Wisdom disclaims the word, nor holds society
With those who own it. No, my Horatio,
'Tis Fancy's child, and Folly is its father;
Wrought of such stuff as dreams are, and baseless
As the fantastic visions of the evening.
But soft, my friend-arrest the present moments;
For, be assured, they all are arrant tell-tales ;
And tho their flight be silent, and their path
Trackless as the wing'd couriers of the air,
They post to heaven, and there record thy folly;
Because, tho' stationed on the important watch,
Thou, like a sleeping faithless sentinel,
Didst let them pass unnotic'd, unimprov'd.
And know, for that thou slumber'dst on the guard,
Thou shalt be made to answer at the bar
For every fugitive; and when thou thus
Sbalt stand impleaded at the high tribunal
Of hood-winkt justice, who shall tell thy audit?
Then stay the present instant, dear Horatio; Imprint the marks of wisdom on its wings. 'Tis of more worth than kingdoms ! far more pre
cious Than all the crimson treasures of life's fountain ! Oh! let it not elude thy grasp, but, like The good old patriarch upon record, Hold the fleet angel fast until he bless thee.
FRIENDS (for I cannot stint, as some have done, Too rigid in my view, that name to one ;) Friends, not adopted with a school-boy's haste, But chosen with a nice discerning taste, Well-born, well-disciplined, who, placed apart From vulgar minds, have honour much at heart; And, though the world may think the ingredients
odd, The love of virtue, and the fear of God !
Such friends prevent what else would soon succeed,
A temper rustic as the life we lead,
And keep the polish of the manners clean,
As their's, who bustle in the busiest scene.
For solitude, however some may rave,
Seeming a sanctuary, proves a grave,
A sepulchre, in which the living lie,
Where all good qualities grow sick and die.
I praise the Frenchman; his remark was shrewd,-
How sweet, how passing sweet, is solitude !
But grant me still a friend in my retreat,
Whom I may whisper-Solitude is sweet.
Yet neither these delights, nor aught beside,
That appetite can ask, or wealth provide,
Can save us always from a tedious day,
Or shine the dulness of still life away;
Divine communion, carefully enjoyed,
Or sought with energy, must fill the void.
Oh ! sacred art, to which alone life owes
Its happiest seasons, and a peaceful close,
Scorned in a world, indebted to that scorn,
For evils daily felt and hardly borne.
These, and a thousand plagues, that baunt the
breast, Fond of the phantom of an earthly rest, Divine communion, chases, as the day Drives to their dens the obedient beasts of prey.
Religion does not censure or exclude
Unnumbered pleasures harmlessly pursued;
To study culture, and with artful toil
To meliorate and tame the stubborn soil :
To cherish virtue in an humble state,
And share the joys your bounty may create;
To mark the matchless workings of the power,
That shuts within its seed the future flower,
To teach the canvass innocent deceit,
Or lay the landscape on the snowy sheet :
These, these are arts pursued without a crime,
That leave no stain upon the wing of time.
Domestic happiness, thou only bliss
Of Paradise, that hast survived the fall !
Though few now taste thee unimpaired and pure,
Or tasting long enjoy thee ! too infirm,
Or too incautious, to preserve thy sweets
Unmixt with drops of bitter, which neglect
Or temper sheds into thy crystal cup;
Thou art the nurse of Virtue, in thine arms
She smiles, appearing, as in truth she is,
Heaven-born, and destined to the skies again.
Thou art not known where Pleasure is adored,
That reeling goddess with the zoneless waist
And wandering eyes, still leaning on the arm
Of Novelty, her fickle frail support;
For thou art meek and constant, hating change,
And finding in the calm of truth-tried love
Joys, that her stormy raptures never yield.
Forsaking thee, what shipwreck have we made
Of honour, dignity, and fair renown!
Till Prostitution elbows us aside
In all our crowded streets, and sepates seem
Convened for purposes of empire less,
Than to release the adultress from her bond.
The adultress ! what a theme for
What provocation to the indignant heart,
That feels for injured love! but I disdain
The nauseous task to paint her as she is.
Whom matrons now of character unsmirch'd,
And chaste themselves, are not ashamed to own.
Virtue and Vice had boundaries in old time
Not to be passed : and she, that had renounc'd
Her sex's honour, was renounced herself
By all that prized it; not for prudery's sake,
But dignity's, resentful of the wrong."
Twas hard perhaps on here and there a waif,
Desirous to return, and not receiv'd,
But was an wholesome rigour in the main,
And taught the unblemished to preserve with care
That purity whose loss was loss of all.
Men too were nice in honour in those days,
And judged offenders well.—But now, yes, now
We are become so candid and so fair,
So liberal in construction, and so rich
In Christian charity, (good-natured age !)
That they are safe, sinners of either sex,
Transgress what laws they may,
Hypocrisy, detest her as we may,
(And no man's hatred ever wrong'd her yet)