« PreviousContinue »
As waving fresh their gladsome wing,
To breathe a second spring.
Say, father Thames, for thou hast seen
Full many a sprightly race
The paths of pleasure trace ;
The captive linnet which enthral ?
Or urge the flying ball ?
While some, on earnest business bent,
Their murmuring labours ply
To sweeten liberty:
And unknown regions dare descry:
And snatch a fearful joy.
Gay hope is theirs by fancy fed,
Less pleasing when possess'd ; The tear forgot as soon as shed,
The sunshine of the breast:
Theirs buxom health, of rosy hue,
And lively cheer, of vigour born!
That fly the approach of morn.
Alas! regardless of their doom,
The little victims play;
Nor care beyond to-day:
And black Misfortune's baleful train ! Ah, show them where in ambush stand, To seize their prey the murderous 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,
That inly gnaws the secret heart ; And Envy wan, and faded Care, Grim-visaged 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
That mocks the tear it forced to flow;
Amid severest woe.
Lo! in the vale of years beneath,
A grisly troop are seen,
More hideous than their queen:
Those in the deeper vitals rage :
And slow consuming Age.
To each his sufferings: all are men,
Condemn'd alike to groan ;
The' unfeeling for his own.
And happiness too swiftly flies?
'Tis folly to be wise.
DAUGHTER of Jove, relentless power,
Thou tamer of the human breast,
The bad affright, afflict the best!
unfelt before, unpitied and alone. When first thy sire to send on earth
Virtue, his darling child, design’d, 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 badest her know,
Self-pleasing Folly's idle brood,
And leave us leisure to be good.
Light they disperse, and with them go
By vain Prosperity received,
Wisdom in sable garb array'd,
Immersed in rapturous thought profound,
With leaden eye that loves the ground,
With Justice, to herself severe,
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
With screaming Horror's funeral cry,
Thy form benign, oh goddess, wear,
Thy milder influence impart, Thy philosophic train be there
To soften, not to wound my heart.
Exact my own defects to scan,