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Time, in advance, behind him hides his wings,
And seems to creep, decrepit with his age.
Behold him when passed by; what then is seen
But his broad pinions swifter than the winds ?
And all mankind, in contradiction strong,
Rueful, aghast, cry out on his career.
We waste, not use our time; we breathe, not live;
Time wasted is existence; used, is life:
And bare existence man, to live ordained,
Wrings and oppresses with enormous weight.
And why? since time was given for use, not waste,
Enjoined to fly, with tempest, tide, and stars,
To keep his speed, nor even wait for man.
Time's use was doomed a pleasure, waste a pain,
That man might feel his error if unseen,
And, feeling, fly to labour for his cure;
Not blundering, split on idleness for ease,
We push time from us, and we wish him back;
Life we think long and short; death seek and shun
O the dark days of vanity; while
Here, how tasteless ! and how terrible when gone!
Gone? they ne'er go; when past, they haunt us still:
The spirit walks of every day deceased,
And smiles an angel, or a fury frowns.
Nor death nor life delight us. If time past,
And time possessed, both pain us, what can please ?
That which the Deity to please ordained,
Time used. The man who consecrates his hours
By vigorous effort, and an honest aim,
At once he draws the sting of life and death:
He walks with nature, and her paths are peace.
'Tis greatly wise to talk with our past hours,
And ask them what report they bore to heaven,
And how they might have borne more welcome news.
Their answers form what men experience call;
If wisdom's friend her best, if not, worst foe.
The Man whose Thoughts are not of this World.
Some angel guide my pencil, while I draw,
What nothing less than angel can exceed-
A man on earth devoted to the skies;
Like ships in seas, while in, above the world.
With aspect mild, and elevated eye,
Behold him seated on a mount serene,
Above the fogs of sense, and passion's storm;
All the black cares and tumults of this life,
Like liarmless thunders, breaking at his feet,
Excite his pity, not impair his peace.
Earth's genuine sons, the sceptred and the slave
A mingled mob! a wandering herd! he sees,
Bewildered in the vale ; in all unlike !
His fall reverse in all !' what higher praise ?
What stronger demonstration of the right ?
The present all their care; the future his.
When public welfare calls, or private want,
They give to Fame; bis bounty he conceals.
Their virtues varnish Nature ; his exalt.
Mankind's csteem they court; and he his owL.
Theirs the wild chase of false felicities;
His the composed possession of the true.
Alike throughout is his consistent peace,
All of one colour, and an even thread;
While party-coloured shreds of happiness,
With hideous gaps between, patch up for them
A madman's robe; each puff of Fortune blows
The tatters by, and shews their nakedness.
Be wise to-day; 'tis madness to defer :
Next day the fatal precedent will plead;
Thus on, till wisdom is pushed out of life.
Procrastination is the thief of time;
Year after year it steals, till all are fled,
And to the mercies of a moment leaves
The vast concerns of an eternal scene.
If not so frequent, would not this be strange ?
That 'tis so frequent, this is stranger still.
Of man's miraculous mistakes, this bears
The palm, That all men are about to live,'
For ever on the brink of being born:
themselves the compliment to think
They one day shall not drivel, and their pride
On this reversion takes up ready praise ;
At least their own their future selves applaud;
How excellent that life they ne'er will lead !
Time lodged in their own hands is Folly's vails;
That lodged in Fate's to wisdom they consign;
The thing they can't but purpose, they postpone.
'Tis not in folly not to scorn a fool,
And scarce in human wisdom to do more
All promise is poor dilatory man,
And that through every stage. When young, indeed,
In full content we sometimes nobly rest,
Unanxious for ourselves, and only wish
As duteous sons, our fathers were more wise.
At thirty, man suspects himself a fool;
Knows it at forty, and reforms his plan;
At fifty, chides his infamous delay,
Pushes his prudent purpose to resolve ;
In all the magnanimity of thought
Resolves, and re-resolves; then dies the same.
And why? because he thinks himself immortal.
All men think all men mortal but themselves;
Themselves, when some alarming shock of fate
Strikes through their wounded hearts the sudden dreadi:
But their hearts wounded, like the wounded air,
Soon close; where passed the shaft no trace is found,
As from the wing no scar the sky retains,
The parted wave no furrow from the keel,
So dies in human hearts the thought of death:
E'en with the tender tear which nature sheds
O'er those we love, we drop it in their grave. The 'Night Thoughts' have eclipsed the other works of Young; but his satires, published from 1725 to 1728 ('Love of Fame, the Universal Passion, in Seven Characteristical Satires '), are poems of high merit, in many passages equalling the satires of Pope, which they seem to have suggested.
From the Love of Fame.
Not all on books their criticism waste;
The genius of a dish some justly taste,
And eat their way to fame! with anxious thought
The salmon is refused, the turbot bought.
Impatient Art rebukes the sun's delay,
And bids December yield the fruits of May.
Their various cares in one great point combine
The business of their lives, that is, to dine;
Half of their precious day they give the feast,
And to a kind digestion spare the rest.
Apicius here, the taster of the town,
Feeds twice a week, to settle their renown.
These worthies of the palate guard with care
The sacred annals of their bills of fare ;
In those choice books their panegyrics read,
And scorn the creatures that for hunger feed;
If man, by feeding well, commences great,
Much more the worm, to whom that man is meat.
Brunetta 's wise in actions great and rare,
But scorns on trifles to bestow her care.
Thus every hour Brunetta is to blame,
Because th' occasion is beneath her aim.
Think nought a trifle, though it small appear;
Small sands the mountain, moments make the year,
And trifles, life. Your cares to trifles give,
Or you may die before you truly live.
Belus with solid glory will be crowned ;
He buys no phanton, no vain empty sound,
He builds himself a name; and to be great,
Sinks in a quarry an immense estate ;
In cost and grandeur Chandos he'll outdo;
And, Burlington, thy taste is not so true;
The pile is finished, every toil is past,
And full perfection is arrived at last;
When lo! my lord to some small corner runs,
And leaves state-rooms to strangers and to duns,
The man who builds, and wants wherewith to pay,
Provides a home from which to run away.
In Britain, what is many a lordly seat,
But a discharge in full for an estate ?
Some for renown on scraps of learning dote,
And think they grow immortal as they quote.
To patchwork learned quotations are allied ;
Both strive to make our poverty our pride.
Let high birth triumph! what can be more great ?
Nothing-but merit in a low estate.
To Virtue's humblest son let none prefer
Vice, though descended from the Conqueror.
like figures, pass for high or base,
Slight or important only by their place ?
Titles are marks of honest men, and wise;
The fool or knave that wears a title, lies.
They that on glorious ancestors enlarge,
Produce their debt instead of their discharge.
Envious Grub-Street Authors and Critics.-From 'Epistle 1. to Mr.
With fame in just proportion envy grows;
The man that makes a character makes foes ;
Slight peevish insects round a genius rise,
As a bright day awakes the world of flies;
With hearty malice, but with feeble wing,
To shew they live, they flutter and they sting:
But as by depredations wasps proclaim
The fairest fruit, so these the fairest fame.
Shall we not censure all the motley train,
Whether with ale irriguous or champagne ?
Whether they tread the vale of prose, or climb
And whet their appetites on cliffs of rhyme;
The college sloven or embroidered spark,
The purple prelate or the parish clerk,
The quiet quidnunc or demanding prig,
The plaintiff Tory or defendant Whig;
Rich, poor, male, female, young, old, gay or sad,
Whether extremely witty or quite mad;
Profoundly dull or shallowly polite,
Men that read well, or men that only write;
Whether peers, porters, tailors, tune their reeds,
And measuring words to measuring shapes succeeds ;
For bankrupts write, when ruined shops are shut,
As maggots crawl from out a perished nut.
His hammer this, and that his trowel quits,
And wanting sense for tradesmen, serve for wits.
By thriving men, subsists each other trade;
Of every broken craft a writer's made.
Thus his material, paper, takes its birth
From tattered rags of all the stuff on earth.
WILLIAM SOMERVILE. The author of 'The Chase' is still included in our list of poets, but is now rarely read or consulted. WILLIAM SOMERVILE (1677– 1742) was, as he tells Allan Ramsay, his brother-poet,
A squire well born, and six foot high. His patrimonial estate (to which he succeeded in 1704) lay in Warwickshire, and was worth £1500 per annum-from which, however, had to be deducted a jointure of £600 to his mother. He was generous, but extravagant, and died in distressed circumstances. Leaving no issue, his estate descended to Lord Somerville. Somervile's poetical works are · The Two Springs, a Fable,' 1725; ‘Occasional Poem,' 1727; and 'The Cbase,' 1735. The Chase' is in blank verse, and contains practical instructions and admonitions to sportsmen. The following is an animated sketch of a morning in autumn, preparatory to “throwing off the pack:'
Now golden Autumn from her open lap,
Her fragrant bounties showers; the fields are shorn;
Inwardly smiling, the proud farmer views
The rising pyramids that grace his yard,
And counts his large increase ; his barns are stored,
And groaning staddles bend beneath their load.
All now is free as air, and the gay pack
In the rough bristly stubbles range unblamed ;
No widow's tears o'erflow, no secret curse
Swells in the farmer's breast, which his pale lips
Trembling conceal, by his fierce landlord awed :
But courteous now he levels every fence,
Joins iu the common cry, and halloos loud,
Charmed with the rattling thunder of the field.
O bear me, some kind power invisible!
To that extended lawn where the gay court
View the swift racers, stretching to the goal;
Games more renowned, and a far nobler train,
Than proud Elean fields could boast of old.
Oh! were a Theban lyre not wanting here,
And Pindar's voice, to do their merit right!
Or to those spacious plains, where the strained eye,
In the wide prospect lost, beholds at last
Sarum's proud spire, that o'er the hills ascends,
And pierces through the clouds. Or to thy downs,
Fair Cotswold, where the well-breathed beagle climbs,
With matchless speed, thy green aspiring brow,
And leaves the lagging multitude behind.
Hail, gentle Dawn ! mild, blushing goddess, hail
Rejoiced I see thy purple mantle spread
O'er half the skies ; gems pave thy radiant way,
And orient pearls from every shrub depend.
Farewell, Cleora; here deep sunk in down,
Slumber secure, with happy dreams amused,
Till grateful streams shall tempt thee to receive
Thy early meal, or thy officious maids;
The toilet placed shall urge thee to perform
The important work. Me other joys invite;
The horn sonorous calls, the pack awaked,
Their matins chant, nor brook they long delay.
My courser hears their voice; see there with ears
And tail erect, neighing, he paws the ground;
Fierce rapture kindles in his reddening eyes,
And boils in every vein. As captive boys,
Cowed by the ruling rod and haughty frowns
Of pedagogues severe, from their hard tasks
If once dismissed, no limits can contain
The tumult raised within their little breasts,
But give a loose to all their frolic play;
So from their kennel rush the joyous pack;
A thousand wanton gaieties express
Their inward ecstasy, their pleasing sport
Once more indulged, and liberty restored.
The rising sun that o'er the horizon peeps,
As many colours from their glossy skins
Beaming reflects, as paint the various bow
When April showers descend. Delightful scene !
Where all around is gay; men, horses, dogs;
And in each smiling countenance appears
Fresh blooming health, and universal joy. Somervile wrote a poetical address to Addison, on the latter purchasing his estate in Warwickshire. • In his verses to Addison,' says Johnson, the couplet which mentions Clio is written with the most exquisite delicacy of praise; it exhibits one of those happy strokes that are seldom attained.' Addison, it is well known, signed his