« 上一頁繼續 »
doceas iter, et sacra ostia pandas.
VIRG. En. 6.
Ask what is human life--the fage replies,
With disappointment lowering in his eyes,
A painful passage over a reftless flood,
A vain pursuit of fugitive false good,
A scene of fancied bliss and heart-felt care,
Closing at laft in darkness and despair.
The poor, inured to drudgery and distress,
Act without aim, think little, and feel less,
And no where, but in feigned Arcadian scenes,
Taste happiness, or know what pleasure means.
Riches are passed away from hand to hand,
As fortune, vice, or folly may command;
As in a dance the pair that take the lead
Turn downward, and the lowest pair succeed,
So Thifting and so various iš the plan,
By which Hcaven rules the mixt affairs of man
Viciffitude wheels round the motley crowd,
The rich grow poor, the poor become purse-proud;
Business is labour, and man's weakness such,
Pleasure is labour too, and tires as much,
The very sense of it foregoes its use,
By repetition palled, by age obtuse.
Youth loft in diffipation we deplore,
Through life's sad remnant, what no sighs reftore;
Our years, a fruitless race without a prize,
Too many, yet too few to make us wise.
Dangling his cane about, and taking snuff,
Lothario cries, What philosophic stuff-
Oh querulous and weak! - whose useless brain
Once thought of nothing, and now thinks in vain ;
Whose eye reverted weeps over all the past,
Whose prospe&t shows thee a disheartening waste;
Would age in thee resign his wintry reign,
And youth invigorate that frame again,
Renewed desire would grace with other speech
Joys always prized, when placed within our reach.
For lift thy pallied head, shake off the gloom,
That overhangs the borders of thy tomb,
See nature gay, as when the firft began
With smiles alluring her admirer man;
She spreads the morning over eastern hills,
Earth glitters with the drops the night diftils;
The sun obedient at her call appears,
To fling his glories over the robe she wears;
Banks clothed with flowers, groves filled with sprightly
The yellow tilth, green meads, rocks, rising grounds,
Streams edged with ofiers, fattening every field
Wherever they flow, now seen and now concealed;
From the blue rim where skies and mountains meet,
Down to the very turf beneath thy feet,
Ten thousand charms, that only fools despise,
Or pride can look at with indifferent eyes,
All speak one language, all with one sweet voice
Cry to her universal realm, Rejoice!
Man feels the fpur of paffions and desires,
And she gives largely more than he requires ;
Not that his hours devoted all to care,
Hollow-eyed abftinence, and lean despair,
The wretch may pine, while to his smell, tafte, fight,
She holds a paradise of rich delight;
But gently to rebuke his awkward fear,
To prove that what she gives, she gives fincere,
To banish hesitation, and proclaim
His happiness, her dear, her only aim.
'Tis grave philosophy's absurdest dream,
That heaven's intentions are not what they seem,
That only shadows are dispensed below,
And earth has no reality but woe.
Thus things terrestrial wear a different hue,
As youth or age persuades; and neither true.
So Flora's wreath through coloured crystal seen,
The rose or lily appears blue or green,
But still the imputed tints are those alone
The medium represents, and not their own.
To rise at noon, fit flipshod and undressed, To read the news, or fiddle, as seems beft, Till half the world comes rattling at his door, To fill the dull vacuity till four; And, juft when evening turns the blue vault gray, To spend two hours in dreffing for the day; To make the sun a bauble without use, Save for the fruits his heavenly beams produce; Quite to forget, or deem it worth no thought, Who bids him shine, or if he shine or not; Through mere neceffity to close his eyes Juft when the larks and when the shepherds rise; Is such a life, so tediously the same, So void of all utility or aim, That poor JONQUIL, with almoft every breath Sighs for his exit, vulgarly called death:
For he, with all his follies, has a mind
yet so blank, or fashionably blind,
But now and then, perhaps a feeble ray
Of diftant wisdom thoots across his way,
By which he reads, that life without a plan,
As useless as the moment it began,
Serves merely as a foil for discontent
To thrive in; an incumbrance ere half spent.
Oh weariness beyond what affes feel,
That tread the circuit of the ciftern wheel;
A dull rotation, never at a ftay,
Yefterday's face twin image of to-day;
While conversation, an exhaufted stock,
Grows drowsy as the clicking of a clock.
No need, he cries, of gravity ftuffed out
With academic dignity devout,
To read wife lectures, vanity the text:
Proclaim the remedy, ye learned, next;
For truth, self-evident, with pomp impreffed,
In vanity surpassing all the rest.
That remedy, not bid in deeps profound, Yet seldom sought where only to be found, While paffion turns aside from its due scope The inquirer's aim, that remedy is hope. Life is his gift, from whom whatever life needs, With every good and perfect gift proceeds ;