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Our portion is not large, indeed,
For nature's calls are few !
And make that little do.
Nor aim beyond our power; For, if our stock be very small, 'Tis prudence to enjoy it all,
Nor lose the present hour.
And pleased with favours given;
Whose fragrance smells to heaven. We'll ask no long-protracted treat, Since winter-life is seldom sweet;
But, when our feast is o'er, Grateful from table we'll arise, Nor grudge our sons, with envious eyes,
The relics of our store. Thus hand in hand through life we'll go; Its checker'd paths of joy and wo
With cautious steps we'll tread; Quit its vain scenes without a tear, Without a trouble or a fear,
And mingle with the dead.
And cheer our dying breath;
And smooth the bed of death.
SIR WILLIAM JONES. 1746-1794.
A PERSIAN SONG OF HAFIZ.
Sweet maid, if thou wouldst charm my sight,
Oh! when these fair perfidious maids,
In vain with love our bosoms glow:
Speak not of fate : ah! change the theme,
Beauty has such resistless power,
But ah! sweet maid, my counsel hear
What cruel answer have I heard !
how fell that bitter word
Go boldly forth, my simple lay,
AN ODE, IN IMITATION OF ALCÆUS.
What constitutes a State ?
Thick wall or moated gate;
Not bays and broad-arm’d ports,
Not starr'd and spangled courts,
No: men, high-minded men,
With pow'rs as far above dull brutes endued
As beasts excel cold rocks and brambles rude;
But know their rights, and, knowing, dare maintain,
And crush the tyrant while they rend the chain:
And sov'reign law, that state's collected will,
Sits empress, crowning good, repressing ill;
The fiend Discretion like a vapour sinks, gee Jesse.
And e'en th' all-dazzling crown
Hides his faint rays, and at her bidding shrinks.
Such was this heaven-loved isle,
Than Lesbos fairer and the Cretan shore !
Shall Britons languish, and be men no more?
Those sweet rewards which decorate the brave, "Tis folly to decline,
And steal inglorious to the silent grave.
SAMUEL BISHOP. 1731-1795.
TO HIS WIFE.
"THEE, Mary, with this ring I wed"— So, fourteen years ago, I said. Behold another ring! "for what?" "To wed thee o'er again?" Why not?
With that first ring I married youth, Grace, beauty, innocence, and truth; Taste long admired, sense long revered, And all my Molly then appear'd.
If she, by merit since disclosed,
Here then to-day (with faith as sure,
And why? They show me every hour Honour's high thought, Affection's power, Discretion's deed, sound Judgment's sentenceAnd teach me all things but-repentance.
WILLIAM MASON. 1725-1797.
EPITAPH ON MRS. MASON.
TAKE, holy earth! all that my soul holds dear : Take that best gift which Heav'n so lately gave: To Bristol's fount I bore with trembling care
Her faded form; she bow'd to taste the wave, And died. Does youth, does beauty read the line? Does sympathetic Fear their breasts alarm? Speak, dead Maria! breathe a strain divine:
Ev'n from the grave thou shalt have power to charm.