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Of man's miraculous mistakes this bears
The palm,
"That all men are about to live,"
For ever on the brink of being born.
All pay 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 applauds :
How excellent that life they ne'er will lead !
Time lodg'd in their own hands is Folly's vails;
That lodg'd 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 ev'ry 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 reresolves, 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 dread; But their hearts wounded, like the wounded air, Soon close; where pass'd 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. Ev'n with the tender tear, which nature sheds O'er those we love, we drop it in the grave.




BEHOLD the ways

Of Heav'n's eternal destiny to man,
For ever just, benevolent, and wise :
That Virtue's awful steps; howe'er pursued
By vexing Fortune and intrusive Pain,
Should never be divided from her chaste,
Her fair attendant, Pleasure. Need I urge
Thy tardy thought through all the various round
Of this existence, that thy soft'ning soul
At length may learn what energy the hand
Of Virtue mingles in the bitter tide

Of passion swelling with distress and pain,
To mitigate the sharp with gracious drops
Of cordial Pleasure? Ask the faithful youth,
Why the cold urn of her whom long he lov'd
So often fills his arms; so often draws
His lonely footsteps, at the silent hour,
To pay the mournful tribute of his tears?
O! he will tell thee, that the wealth of worlds
Should ne'er seduce his bosom to forego
That sacred hour, when stealing from the noise
Of Care and Envy, sweet Remembrance soothes
With Virtue's kindest looks his aching breast,
And turns his tears to rapture.-Ask the crowd,
Which flies impatient from the village walk
To climb the neighb'ring cliffs, when far below
The cruel winds have hurl'd upon the coast
Some hapless bark; while sacred Pity melts
The gen'ral eye, or Terrour's icy hand
Smites their distorted limbs and horrent hair;
While ev'ry mother closer to her breast
Catches her child, and, pointing where the waves
Foam through the shatter'd vessel, shrieks aloud,
As one poor wretch, that spreads his piteous arms
For succour, swallow'd by the roaring surge,

As now another, dash'd against the rock,
Drops lifeless down. O! deemest thou indeed
No kind endearment here by Nature giv'n
To mutual Terrour and Compassion's tears?
No sweetly-melting softness, which attracts,
O'er all that edge of pain, the social pow'rs
To this their proper action and their end ?—
Ask thy own heart; when, at the midnight hour,
Slow through that studious gloom thy pausing eye,
Led by the glimm'ring taper, moves around
The sacred volumes of the dead, the songs
Of Grecian bards, and records writ by Fame
For Grecian heroes, where the present pow'r
Of heav'n and earth surveys th' immortal page,
E'en as a father blessing, while he reads
The praises of his son; if then thy soul,
Spurning the yoke of these inglorious days,
Mix in their deeds and kindle with their flame:
Say, when the prospect blackens on thy view,
When rooted from the base, heroic states
Mourn in the dust, and tremble at the frown
Of curs'd Ambition;-when the pious band
Of youths that fought for freedom and their sires
Lie side by side in gore ;-when ruffian Pride
Usurps the throne of Justice, turns the pomp
Of public pow'r, the majesty of rule,
The sword, the laurel, and the purple robe,
To slavish empty pageants, to adorn
A tyrant's walk, and glitter in the eyes

Of such as bow the knee;-when honour'd urns
Of patriots and of chiefs, the awful bust
And storied arch, to glut the coward rage
Of regal envy, strew the public way

With hallow'd ruins !-when the muse's haunt,
The marble porch where Wisdom, wont to talk
With Socrates or Tully, hears no more,
Save the hoarse jargon of contentious monks,
Or female Superstitiou's midnight pray'r;-
When ruthless Rapine from the hand of Time
Tears the destroying sithe, with surer blow
To sweep the works of Glory from their base;

Till Desolation o'er the grass-grown street
Expands his raven-wings, and up the wall,
Where senates once the pride of monarchs doom'd,
Hisses the gliding snake through hoary weeds,
That clasp the mould'ring column:-thus defac'd,
Thus widely mournful when the prospect thrills
Thy beating bosom, when the patriot's tear
Starts from thine eye, and thy extended arm
In fancy hurls the thunderbolt of Jove,
To fire the impious wreath on Philip's brow,
Or dash Octavius from the trophied car ;—
Say, does thy secret soul repine to taste
The big distress? Or wouldst thou then exchange
Those heart-ennobling sorrows, for the lot
Of him who sits amid the gaudy herd
Of mute barbarians bending to his nod,
And bears aloft his gold-invested front,
And says within himself, "I am a king,
"And wherefore should the clam'rous voice of Wo
"Intrude upon mine ear?"-The baleful dregs
Of these late ages, this inglorious draught
Of servitude and folly, have not yet,
Blest be th' Eternal Ruler of the world!
Defil'd to such a depth of sordid shame
The native honours of the human soul,
Nor so effac'd the image of it's sire.




SAY, what is Taste, but the internal pow'rs
Active and strong, and feelingly alive
To each fine impulse? a discerning sense
Of decent and sublime, with quick disgust
From things deform'd, or disarrang'd, or gross
In species? This nor gems, nor stores of gold,
Nor purple state, nor culture can bestow;
But God alone, when first his active hand

Imprints the sacred bias of the soul.
He, Mighty Parent! wise and just in all,
Free as the vital breeze, or light of heav'n,
Reveals the charms of Nature. Ask the swain
Who journeys homeward from a summer-day's
Long labour, why, forgetful of his toils
And due repose, he loiters to behold

The sunshine gleaming as through amber clouds
O'er all the western sky! Full soon, I ween,
His rude expression, and untutor'd airs,
Beyond the pow'r of language, will unfold
The form of Beauty smiling at his heart,

How lovely! how commanding! But though Heav'n
In every breast hath sown these early seeds
Of love and admiration, yet in vain,
Without fair Culture's kind parental aid,
Without enliv'ning suns and genial show'rs,
And shelter from the Llast, in vain we hope
The tender plant should rear it's blooming head,
Or yield the harvest promis'd in it's spring.
Nor yet will ev'ry soil with equal stores
Repay the tiller's labour; or attend
His will, obsequious, whether to produce
The olive or the laurel. Diff'rent minds
Incline to diff'rent objects: one pursues
The vast alone, the wonderful, the wild;
Another sighs for harmony and grace,

And gentlest beauty. Hence when lightning fires
The arch of heav'n, and thunders rock the ground;
When furious whirlwinds rend the howling air,
And Ocean, groaning from his lowest bed,
Heaves his tempestuous billows to the sky;
Amid the mighty uproar, while below
The nations tremble, Shakspeare looks abroad
From some high cliff, superior, and enjoys
The elemental war. But Waller longs,
All on the margin of some flow'ry stream
To spread his careless limbs, amid the cool
Of plantane shades, and to the list'ning deer
The tale of slighted vows and Love's disdain
Resounds, soft warbling, all the livelong day:

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