페이지 이미지

Fatigue and weaken ev'ry foe
By long attack-fecure, though flow.
Plague reprefents his rapid pow'r,
Who thinn'd a nation in an hour.

All spoke their claim, and hop'd the wand.
Now expectation hufh'd the band,
When thus the monarch from the throne:
Merit was ever modeft known.
What, no Physician speak his right?
None here! but fees their toils requite.
Let then Intemp'rance take the wand,
Who fills with gold their zealous hand.
You Fever, Gout, and all the reft,
Whom wary men as foes deteft,
Forego your claim; no more pretend;
Intemp'rance is efteem'd a friend;
He shares their mirth, their focial joys,
And as a courted guest destroys.
The charge on him muft justly fall,
Who finds employment for you all.

At this the Gard'ner's paffion grows; From oaths and threats he fell to blows. The ftubborn brute the blows fuftains, Affaults his leg, and tears his veins.

Ah, foolish fwain! too late you find, That fties were for fuch friends defign'd. Homeward he limps with painful pace, Reflecting thus on paft difgrace: Who cherishes a brutal mate

Shall mourn the folly foon or late.

$169. FABLE XLIX. The Man and the Flea.
WHETHER in carth, in air, or main,
Sure ev'ry thing alive is vain!
Does not the hawk all fowls furvey
As deftin'd only for his prey?
And do not tyrants, prouder things,
Think men were born for flaves to kings?
When the crab views the pearly ftrands,
Or Tagus, bright with golden fands;
Or crawls befide the coral grove,

§168. FABLE XLVIII. The Gardener and the Hog. And hears the ocean roll above;


GARDINER of peculiar tafte

On a young Hog his favour plac'd,

Who fed not with the common herd;
His tray was to the hall preferr'd.
He wallow'd underneath the board,
Or in his master's chamber fnor'd;
Who fondly ftrok'd him ev'ry day,
And taught him all the puppy's play.
Where'er he went, the grunting friend
Ne'er fail'd his pleafure to attend.

As on a time the loving pair
Walk'd forth to tend the garden's care,
The Mafter thus addrefs'd the Swine:

My houfe, my garden, all is thine.
On turnips feaft whene'er you please,
And riot in my beans and peafe;
If the potatoe's tafte delights,
Or the red carrot's fweet invites,
Indulge thy morn and ev'ning hours,
But let due care regard my flow'rs.
My tulips are my garden's pride,
What vaft expence thofe beds fupplied!
The Hog, by chance, one morning roam'd
Where with new ale the veffels foam'd:
He munches now the ftreaming grains;
Now with full fwill the liquor drains.
Intoxicating fumes arife;

He reels, he rolls his winking eyes;
Then, ftaggering, through the garden fcours,
And treads down painted ranks of flow'rs.
With delving fnout he turns the foil,
And cools his palate with the fpoil.

The Mafter came, the ruin fpied;
Villain, fufpend thy rage! he cried :
Hafte thou, thou most ungrateful fot!
My charge, my only charge forgot?
What, all my flow'rs! No more he faid,
But gaz'd, and figh'd, and hung his head.
The Hog with ftutt'ring fpeech returns,
Explain, Sir, why your anger burns.
See there, untouch'd, your tulips firewn,
For I devour'd the roots alone.

Nature is too profufe, fays he,
Who gave all thefe to pleasure me!

When bord'ring pinks and rofes bloom,
And ev'ry garden breathes perfume;
When peaches glow with funny dyes,
Like Laura's cheek when blushes rife ;
When with huge figs the branches bend,
When clusters from the vine depend;
The feil looks round on flow'r and tree,
And cries, All thefe were made for me!
What dignity's in human nature!
Says Man, the moft conceited creature,
As from a cliff he caft his eyes,

And view'd the fea and arched skies:
The fun waa funk beneath the main;
The moon, and all the starry train,
Hung the vast vault of heaven. The Man
His contemplation thus began:

When I behold this glorious fhow,
And the wide wat'ry world below,
The fcaly people of the main,
The beafts that range the wood or plain,
The wing'd inhabitants of air,
The day, the night, the various year,
And know all thefe by Heaven defign'd
As gifts to pleafure human-kind;
I cannot raife my worth too high;
Of what vaft confequence am I !

Not of th' importance you fuppofe,
Replies a Flea upon his nofe:
Be humble, learn thyfelf to fcan;
Know, pride was never made for Man..
'Tis vanity that fwells thy mind.
What, heaven and earth for thee defign'd!
For thee! made only for our need,
That more important Fleas might feed.
$170. FABLE L. The Hare and many Friends.
FRIENDSHIP, like love, is but a name,
Unless to one you ftint the flame.
The child, whom many fathers fhare,
Hath feldom known a father's care.

[ocr errors]

'Tis thus in friendship; who depend
On many, rarely find a friend.

A Hare, who in a civil way
Complied with ev'ry thing, like GAY,
Was known by all the beftial train
Who haunt the wood, or graze the plain.
Her care was, never to offend;
And ev'ry creature was her friend.

As forth the went, at carly dawn,
To tafte the dew-befprinkled lawn,
Behind the hears the hunter's crics,

And from the deep-mouth'd thunder flies:
She ftarts, fhe ftops, fhe pants for breath;
She hears the near advance of death;
She doubles to mislead the hound,
And meafures back her mazy round;
Till, fainting in the public way,
Half-dead with fear the gafping lay.
What tranfport in her bofom grew,
When first the Horfe appear'd in view!
Let me, fays fhe, your back afcend,
And owe my fafety to a friend.
You know my feet betray my flight;
To friendship ev'ry burthen's light.
The Horfe replied, Poor honett Pufs!
It grieves my heart to fee thee thus:
Be comforted, relief is near;
For all your friends are in the rear.

She next the ftately Bull implor'd,
And thus replied the mighty lord:
Since ev'ry beaft alive can tell
That I fincerely wish you well,
I may, without offence, pretend
To take the freedom of a friend.

Love calls me hence; a fav'rite cow

Expects me near yon barley-mow;
And when a lady 's in the cafe,

You know all other things give place.
To leave you thus might feem unkind;
But fee, the Goat is juft behind.

The Goat remark'd her pulfe was high,
Her languid head, her heavy eye;
My back, fays he, may do you harm;
The Sheep 's at hand, and wool is warm.
The Sheep was feeble, and complain'd
His fides a load of wool fuftain'd:
Said he was flow, confefs'd his fears;
For hounds eat Sheep as well as Hares.

She now the trotting Calf addrefs'd,
To fave from death a friend diftrefs'd.
Shall I, fays he, of tender age,
In this important care engage?
Older and abler pafs'd you by:
How ftrong are thofe ! how weak am I!
Should I prefume to bear you hence,
Thofe friends of mine may take offence.
Excufe me, then. You know my heart,
But dearest friends, alas! muft part.
How fhall we all lament! Adicu!
For, fee, the hounds are juft in view.

§ 171. NIGHT I. Strap.
TIR'D Nature's fweet reftorer, balmy Sleep!
He, like the world, his ready vifit pays

Where Fortune fmiles; the wretched he for


Swift on his downy pinion flies from woe,
And lights on lids unfullied with a tear.

From fhort (as usual) and disturb'd repose
I wake: How happy they who wake no more!
Yet that were vain, if dreams infeft the grave.
I wake, emerging from a fea of dreams
Tumultuous; where my wreck'd, desponding

From wave to wave of fancy'd mifery

At random drove, her helm of reason loft;
Tho' now reftor'd, 'tis only change of pain,
A bitter change; feverer for fevere :

The day too fhort for my diftrefs! and night
Ev'n in the zenith of her dark domain,
Is fun-fhine, to the colour of my fate.

[blocks in formation]

§ 173. Invocation to Silence and Darkness. SILENCE and Darkness! folemn fifters! twins From ancient Night, who nurse the tender thought

To reafon, and on reafon build refolve,
(That column of true majefty in man)
Affift me: I will thank you in the grave;
The grave, your kingdom: There this frame
fhall fall

A victim facred to your dreary fhrine:
But what are ye? Thou, who didft put to flight
Primeval Silence, when the morning stars
Exulting, fhouted o'er the rifing ball;

O Thou! whofe word from folid darkness struck
That fpark, the fun; ftrike wifdom from my foul,
My foul which flies to Thee,her truft,her treasure;
As mifers to their gold, while others reft.

Thro' this opaque of nature, and of foul, This double night, tranfmit one pitying ray, To lighten, and to cheer: O lead my mind, (A mind that fain would wander from its woe) Lead it thro' various fcenes of Life and Death, And from each fcene, the nobleft truths infpire: Nor lefs infpire my conduct, than my long; Nor let the vial of thy vengeance, pour'd On this devoted head, be pour'd in vain.

[blocks in formation]

Of tenderness, let heavenly pity fall

Where are they? with the years beyond the Flood: [ Unkindled, unconceiv'd; and from an eye
It is the signal that demands dispatch;
How much is to be done! my hopes and fears
Start up alarm'd, and o'er life's narrow verge
Look down-on what? a fathomlefs abyfs;
A dread eternity! how furely mine!
And can eternity belong to me,

Poor pentioner on the bounties of an hour?

§ 175. Man.

HOW poor! how rich! how abject! how auguft!

How complicate how wonderful is Man!
How paffing wonder He who made him fuch!
Who centred in our make such strange extremes!
From different natures, marvelously mixt,
Connection exquisite of diftant worlds!
Diftinguith'd link in being's endless chain!
Midway from nothing to the Deity!
A beam ethereal fullied, and absorb'd!
Tho' fullied, and dishonour'd, still divine!
Dim miniature of greatnefs abfolute !
An heir of glory! a frail child of duft!
Helpless immortal! infect infinite!
A worm! a god! I tremble at myself,
And in myself am loft! at home a ftranger,
Thought wanders up and down, furpris'd, aghaft,
And wond'ring at her own: how reafon reels!
O what a miracle to man is man!

Triumphantly diftrefs'd, what joy, what dread!
Alternately tranfported and alarm'd!
What can preserve my life? or what destroy?
An angel's arm can't inatch me from the grave;
Legions of angels can't confine me there.

§ 176. Dreams.

"TIS paft conjecture; all things rife in proof:
While o'er my limbs Sleep's foft dominion

What tho' my foul phantaftic measures trod
O'er fairy fields; or mourn'd along the gloom
Of pathlefs woods; or, down the craggy steep
Hurl'd headlong, fwam with pain the mantled

Or fcal'd the cliff; or danc'd on hollow winds,
With antic shapes, wild natives of the brain?
Her ceafelefs flight, tho' devious, speaks her nature
Of fubtler effence than the trodden clod;
Active, aerial, tow'ring, unconfin'd,
Unfetter'd with her grofs companion's fall:
Ev'n filent night proclaims my foul immortal:
Ev'n filent night proclaims eternal day :
For human weal, heaven husbands all events,
Pull fleep instructs, nor fport vain dreams in vain.

177. Vanity of Lamentation over the Dead. WHY then their lofs deplore, that are not loft: Why wanders wretched thought their tombs around,

In infidel diftrefs are angels there?
Slumbers, rak'd up in dust, ethereal fire ?
They live! they greatly live a life on earth

On me, more juftly number'd with the dead:
This is the defert, this the folitude:
How populous! how vital, is the grave!
This is creation's melancholy vault,
The vale funereal, the fad cypress gloom;
The land of apparitions, empty fhades:
All, all on earth is fhadow, all beyond
Is fubftance; the reverfe is folly's creed;
How folid all, where change fhall be no more!

$178. Life and Eternity.

THIS is the bud of being, the dim dawn;
Life's theatre as yet is fhut, and death,
Strong death alone can heave the maffy bar,
This grofs impediment of clay remove,
And make us embryos of existence free.
From real life, but little more remote
Is he, not yet a candidate for light,
The future embryo, lumbering in his fire.
Embryos we must be, till we burst the thell,
You ambient, azure fhell, and fpring to life,
The life of gods-O tranfport! and of man.

Yet man, fool man! here buries all his thoughts;
Inters celeftial hopes without one figh:
Prifoner of earth, and pent beneath the moon,
Here pinions all his wifhes: wing'd by heaven.
To fly at infinite; and reach it there,
Where feraphs gather immortality,
On life's fair tree, faft by the throne of God.
What golden joys ambrofial cluft ring glow
In his full beam, and ripen for the Just,
Where momentary ages are no more!
Where time, and pain, and chance, and death-

And is it in the flight of threefcore years,
To pufh eternity from human thought,
And mother fouls immortal in the duft?
A foul immortal, fpending all her fires,
Wafting her ftrength in ftrenuous idlenefs,
Thrown into tumult, raptur'd, or alarm'd,
At aught this fcene can threaten or indulge,
Refembles ocean into tempeft wrought,
To waft a feather, or to drown a fly.

Where falls this cenfure? It o'erwhelms myfelf.
How was my heart encrufted by the world!
how felf-fetter'd was my grovelling foul!
How, like a worm, was I wrapt round and round
In filken thought, which reptile Fancy fpun,
Till darken'd Reafon lay quite clouded o'er
With foft conceit of endlefs comfort here,
Nor yet put forth her wings to reach the skies!

Our waking dreanis are fatal: how I dreamt Of things impoflible! (could fleep do more t) Of joys perpetual in perpetual change! Of table pleasures on the toffing wave! Eternal funfhine in the torins of life! How richly were my noon-tide trances hung With gorgeous tapestries of pictur'd joys! Joy behind joy, in endless perfpective! Till at Death's toll, whofe reftiefs iron tongue Calls daily for his millions at a meal, Starting, I woke, and found myself undone I


Where now my phrenfy's pompous furniture?
The cobweb'd cottage with its ragged wall
Of mould'ring mud, is royalty to me!
The fpider's thread is cable to man's tie
On carthly blifs; it breaks at every breeze.

§ 179.

Time and Death.

YE bleft scenes of permanent delight!
Full, above meafure! lafting, beyond bound!
Could you, fo rich in rapture, fear an end,
That ghafly thought would drink up all your

And quite unparadife the realms of light.
Safe are you lodg'd above thefe rolling fpheres,
The baleful influence of whofe giddy dance
Sheds fad viciffitude on all beneath.
Here teems with revolutions every hour;
And rarely for the better; or the best,
More mortal than the common births of fate :
Each moment has its fickle, emulous

Of Time's enormous feythe, whofe ample fweep
Strikes empires from the root; each moment

His little weapon in the narrower fphere
Of fweet domeftic comfort, and cuts down
The faireft bloom of fublunary blifs.

Blifs! fublunary blifs! proud words, and vain!
Implicit treafon to divine decree !

A bold invafion of the rights of heaven!
I clafp'd the phantoms, and I found them air.
O had I weigh'd it ere my fond embrace,
What darts of agony had mifs'd my heart!
Death! great proprietor of all! 'Tis thine
To tread out empire, and to quench the stars:
The fun himfelf by thy permiffion fhines;
And, one day, thou shalt pluck him from his

Amid fuch mighty plunder, why exhaust
Thy partial quiver on a mark fo mean ?
Why thy peculiar rancour wreck'd on me?
Infatiate archer! could not one fuffice?

Thy fhaft flew thrice, and thrice my peace was
And thrice, ere thrice yon moon had fill'd her
O Cynthia! why fo pale? doft thou lament
Thy wretched neighbour? grieve, to fee thy


Of ceafelefs change outwhirl'd in human life?
In ev'ry varied pofture, place, and hour,
How widow'd every thought of every joy!
Thought, bufy thought! too bufy for my peace,
Thro' the dark poftern of time long claps'd
Led foftly, by the ftillness of the night,
Strays, wretched rover! o'er the pleasing past,
In queft of wretchednefs perverfely ftrays;
And finds all defert now; and meets the ghofts
Of my departed joys, a numerous train!
I rue the riches of my former fate;
Sweet comfort's blafted clusters make me figh:
I tremble at the bleffings once fo dear;
And ev'ry pleasure pains me to the heart.
Yet why complain? or why complain for one!
I mourn for millions: 'Tis the common lot;

In this fhape, or in that, has fate entail'd
The mother's throes on all of woman born,
Not more the children, than fure heirs of pain.

§ 180. Oppreffion, Want, and Difeafe.
WAR, famine, peft, volcano, ftorm, and fire,
Inteftine broils, oppreffion with her heart
Wrapt up in triple brafs, befiege mankind :
God's image, difinherited of day,
Here plung'd in mines, forgets a fun was made;
There beings, deathlefs as their haughty lord,
Are hammer'd to the galling oar for life;
And plough the winter's wave, and reap defpair;
Some, for hard mafters, broken under arms,
In battle lopt away, with half their limbs,
Beg bitter bread thro' realms their valour fav'd,
If fo the tyrant, or his minion doom:
Want and incurable Difcafe (fell pair!)
On hopeless multitudes remorfelefs feize
At once; and make a refuge of the grave:
How groaning hofpitals eject their dead!
What numbers groan for fad admiffion there !
What numbers, once in Fortune's lap high-fed,
Solicit the cold hand of charity!

To fhock us more, folicit it in vain!

Not Prudence can defend, or Virtue fave;
Difeafe invades the chafteft temperance;
And punishment the guiltlefs; and alarm
Thro' thickeft fhades purfues the fond of peace:
Man's caution often into danger turns,
And, his guard falling, cruthes him to death.
Not Happinefs itfelf makes good her name;
Our very withes give us not our wish;
How diftant oft the thing we dote on moft,
From that for which we dote, felicity!

The finootheft courfe of nature has its pains,
And trueft friends, thro' error, wound our reft;
Without misfortune, what calamities!
And what hoftilities, without a foe!

Nor are foes wanting to the best on earth:
But endless is the lift of human ills,
And. fighs might fooner fail, than cause to figh.

§ 181. Reflections on viewing a Map of the World.
APART how fmall of the terraqueous globe

Is tenanted by man! the reft a waste,
Rocks, deferts, frozen feas, and burning fands;
Wild haunts of monfters, poifons, ftings, and

More fad! this earth is a true map of man:
Such is earth's melancholy map! but, far
So bounded are its haughty lord's delights
To woe's wide empire; where deep troubles tofs;
Loud forrows howl; envenom'd paflions bite;
Ravenous calamities our vitals feize,

And threat'ning fate wide opens to devour.

$182. Sympathy.

WHAT then am I, who forrow for myself?

In age, in infancy, from other's aid
Is all our hope; to teach us to be kind.
That, Nature's firft, laft leffon to mankind:


The felfifh heart deferves the pain it feels;
More generous forrow, while it finks, exalts,
And confcious virtue mitigates the pang.
Nor Virtue, more than Prudence, bids me give
Swoln thought a fecond channel; who divide,
They weaken too, the torrent of their grief.
Take then, O world! thy much indebted tear:
How fad a fight is human happiness [hour!
To thofe whofe thought can pierce beyond an
0 thou! whate'er thou art, whofe heart exults!
Wouldst thou I fhould congratulate thy fate?
I know thou wouldft; thy pride demands it from
Letthy pride pardon,what thy nature needs, [me.
The falutary cenfure of a friend:

Thou happy wretch' by blindness art thou bleft;
By dorage dandled to perpetual finiles :
Know, fimiler! at thy peril art thou pleas'd;
Thy pleature is the promife of thy pain.
Misfortune, like a creditor fevere,
But rifes in demand for her delay;
She makes a fcourge of past profperity,

To fting thee more, and double thy diftrefs.

§ 183. The Inflability and Infufficiency of Human


We penetrate, we prophesy in vain,
Time is dealt out by particles; and each,
Ere mingled with the ftreaming fands of life,
By fate's inviolable oath is fworn
Deep filence, "Where eternity begins."

185. Prefumption of depending on To-morrow.
BY Nature's law, what may be, may be now;
In human hearts what bolder thought can rife,
There's no prerogative in human hours:
Where is to-morrow? In another world.
Than man's prefumption on to-morrow's dawn?
For numbers this is certain; the reverfe
This peradventure, infamous for lies,
Is fure to none; and yet on this perhaps,

As on a rock of adamant we build
Our mountain hopes; fpin out eternal schemes,
And, big with life's futurities, expire.

$186. Sudden Death.

OT ev'n Philander had bespoke his fhroud;
Nor had he caufe, a warning was deny'd
How many fall as fudden, not as fafe!
As fudden, tho' for years admonish'd home.
of human ilis the laft extreme beware,

LORENZO Fortune makes her court to thee,
Thy fond heart dances, while the fyren fings.
I would not damp, but to fecure thy joys:
Think not that fear is facred to the ftorm:
Stand on thy guard against the fmiles of fate.
Is heaven tremendous in its frown' most fure:
And in its favours formidable too;
Its favours here are trials, not rewards:
A call to dury, not discharge from care;
And thould alarm us, full as much as woes;
O'er our feana'd conduct give a jealous eye;
Awe Nature's tumult, and chaftife her joys,
Left while we chap we kill them; nay invert,
To work than fimple niifery, their charms:
Revolted joys, like foes in civil war,
Like bofom friend/hips to refentment four'd,
With rage envenom'd rife againft our peace.
Beware what earth calls happinefs; beware
All joys, but joys that never can expire:
Who builds on lefs than an immortal bafe,
Fond as he feems, condemns his joys to death.
Mine died with thee, Philander! thy laft figh
Difoiv'd the charm; the difenchanted earth
Loft all her luftre; where, her glittering towers
Her golden mountains, where all darken'd down
To naked wafte; a dreary vale of tears!
The great magician's dead! thou poor, pale piece
Of out-caft earth, in darknefs! what a change
From yesterday! thy darling hope fo near,
(Long-labour'd prize!) death's fubtle feed within
(Sly, treach'rous miner!) working in the dark,Knows it at forty, and reforms his plan;
Smil'd at thy well-concerted scheme, and beckon'd
The worm to riot on that rose so red,
Unfaded ere it fell; one moment's prey!

How dreadful that deliberate furprise !
Be wife to-day, 'tis madnefs to defer;
Next day the fatal precedent will plead!
Thus on, till wifdom is pufh'd out of life;
Procraftination is the thief of time,

Beware, Lorenzo! a flow-fudden death.

Year after year it ftcals, till all are fled,
And to the mercies of a moment leaves
The vaft concerns of an eternal scene
If not fo frequent, would not this be strange?
That 'tis fo frequent, this is ftranger still.

$187. Man's Pronens to poftpone Improvement.
man's miraculous mistakes, this bears

§ 184. Man bortfighted.
THE prefent moment terminates our fight;
Clouds thick as thofe on doomfday, drown

the next;

[ocr errors]

The palm," that all men are about to live."
For ever on the brink of being born:
All pay themfelves the compliment to think
They, one day, fhall not drivel; and their pride
On this reverfion takes up ready praise;
At leaft, their own; their future felves 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 wifdom they confign.
All promife is poor dilatory man,
And that thro' every ftage: when young, indeed,
In full content, we fometimes nobly reft,
Unanxious for ourselves; and only with,
As duteous fons, our fathers were more wife:
At thirty man fufpects himself a fool;

At fifty chides his infamous delay,
Pufhes his prudent purpofe to refolve;
In all the magnanimity of thought
Refolves; and re-refolves: then dies the fame.


§ 188. Man infenfible of his own Mortality. AND why? because he thinks himself immortal. All men think all men mortal, but themselves; Themfelves,

« 이전계속 »