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While some on earnest business bent
Some bold adventurers disdain
Gay hope is theirs by fancy fed,
The sunshine of the breast:
And lively cheer, of vigor born; The thoughtless day, the easy night, The spirits pure, the slumbers light, That fly the approach of morn.
Alas! regardless of their doom
No sense have they of ills to come,
Yet see, how all around them wait
The ministers of human fate,
And black Misfortune's baleful train!
Ah, show them where in ambush stand,
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,
That inly gnaws the secret heart;
Ambition this shall tempt to rise,
And grinning Infamy.
The stings of Falsehood those shall try,
That mocks the tear it forced to flow;
Amid severest woe.
Lo! in the vale of years beneath
A griesly troop are seen, The painful family of Death,
More hideous than their queen:
This racks the joints, this fires the veins,
Lo! Poverty, to fill the band,
To each his sufferings: all are men,
The tender for another's pain,
The unfeeling for his own.
Yet, ah! why should they know their fate, lo Since sorrow never comes too late,
And happiness too swiftly flies? Thought would destroy their paradise. where ignorance is bliss,
DAUGHTER of Jove, relentless power,
Bound in thy adamantine chain,
The proud are taught to taste of pain,
With pangs unfelt before, unpitied and alone.
When first thy sire to send on earth
To thee he gave the heavenly birth,
And bade to form her infant mind.
Stern rugged nurse! thy rigid lore
With patience many a year she bore:
What sorrow was, thou bad'st her know,
And from her own she learned to melt at others' woe.
Scared at thy frown terrific, fly
Self-pleasing Folly's idle brood,
Wild Laughter, Noise, and thoughtless Joy,
And leave us leisure to be good. Light they disperse, and with them go The summer friend, the flattering foe;
By vain Prosperity received,
To her they vow their truth, and are again believed.
Wisdom in sable garb arrayed,
Immersed in rapturous thought profound,
And Melancholy, silent maid,
With leaden eye that loves the ground,
Still on thy solemn steps attend:
Warm Charity, the general friend,
With Justice, to herself severe,
And Pity, dropping soft the sadly-pleasing tear.
Oh! gently on thy suppliant's head,
Dread goddess, lay thy chastening hand!
Not in thy Gorgon terrors° clad,
Not circled with the vengeful band°
(As by the impious thou art seen),
With thundering, voice, and threatening mien,
Despair, and fell Disease, and ghastly Poverty: 40
Thy form benign, oh goddess, wear,
Thy milder influence impart, Thy philosophic train be there
To soften, not to wound, my heart. The generous spark extinct revive, Teach me to love, and to forgive, Exact my own defects to scan,
What others are to feel, and know myself a Man.
ON THE DEATH OF MR. RICHARD WEST
IN vain to me the smiling mornings shine,