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PROSPECT OF ETON COLLEGE. 23
Difporting on thy margent green
The paths of pleasure trace,
Who foremost now delight to cleave
With pliant arm thy glaffy wave ?
The captive linnet which enthrall ?
To chase the rolling circle's speed,
urge the flying ball ?
While some on earnest business bent
Their murm'ring labours ply
'Gainst graver hours, that bring constraint
To sweeten Liberty :
Some bold adventurers disdain
The limits of their little reign,
And unknown regions dare descry;
Still as they run they look behind,
They hear a voice in every wind,
And snatch a fearful joy.
Gay Hope is theirs by Fancy fed,
Less pleasing when possest;
The tear forgot as soon as shed,
The sunshine of the breast :
Theirs buxom Health of rofy hue,
Wild Wit, Invention ever new,
And lively Chear of vigour born,
The thoughtless day, the easy night,
The spirits pure, the flumbers light,
That fly th' approach of morn,
Alas, regardless of their doom, The little victims play! No sense have they of ills to come, Nor care beyond to-day. Yet see how all around them wait The ministers of human fate, And black misfortune's baleful train! Ah, shew them where in ambush ftand To seize their prey the murth'rous band ! Ah, tell them they are men !
These shall the fury Passions tear, The vultures of the mind, Disdainful Anger, pallid Fear, And Shame that skulks behind ; Or pining Love shall waste their youth, Or Jealousy with rankling tooth,
PROSPECT OF ETON COLLEGE. 25
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 rise,
Then whirl the wretch from high,
To bitter Scorn a sacrifice,
And grinning Infamy.
The stings of Falsehood those shall try,
And hard Unkindness' alter'd eye,
That mocks the tear it forc'd to flow;
And keen Remorse with blood defild,
And moody Madness * laughing wild
Amidst fevereft woe.
Lo, in the vale of years beneath
A grisly troop are seen,
The painful family of Death,
More hideous than their queen ::
+ ----Madness laughing in his ireful mood. Dryden's Fable of Palamon and Areite,
This racks the joints, this fires the veins,
That every labouring finew strains,
Those in the deeper vitals rage :
Lo, Poverty to fill the band,
That numbs the foul with icy hand,
And flow-consuming Age.
To each his suff'rings : 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.