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Alas, regardless of their doom,
The little victims play!
Nor care beyond to-day ;
Yet see how all around 'em wait
The Ministers of human fate,
And black Misfortune's baleful train !
Ah shew them where in ambush stand
To seize their prey the murth'rous band !
Ah, tell them, they are men !
Or pining Love shall waste their youth,
That inly gnaws the secret heart, And Envy wan, and faded Care, Grim-visag'd comfortless Despair,
And Sorrow's piercing dart.
Ambition this shall tempt to rile,
Then whirl the wretch from high,
And grinding Infamy.
That mocks the tear it forc'd to flow ;
And keen Remorse with blood defild,
Amid fevereft woe.
Madness laughing in his ireful mood.,
Dryden's Fable of Palamon and Arcite.
Lo, in the vale of years beneath
A grilly troop are seen,
More hideous than their Queen:
Those in the deeper vitals rage :
And flow-consuming Age.
To each his suffrings: all are men,
Condemn'd alike to groan, The tender for another's pain :
Th' unfeeling for his own,
Yet, ah! why should they know their fate?
Since sorrow never comes too late,
And happiness too swiftly flies.
Thought would destroy their paradise, No more ; where ignorance is bliss,
'Tis folly to be wise.