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Chap. XX.

Elegy to a young Nobleman leaving the University.

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J Re yet, ingenuous Youth , thy steps retire

From Cam's smooth margin , and the peaceful vale , Where Science call'd thee to her studious quire,

And met thee musing in her cloisters pale: O ! let thy friend (and may he boast the name)

Breathe from his artless reed one parting lay!
A lay like this thy early Virtues claim,

And this let voluntary friendship pay.
Yet know the timB arrives, the dangerous time

When all those Virtues , opening now so fair. Transplanted to the world's tempestuous clime,

Must learn each Passion's boisfrous breath to bear. There if Ambition , pestilent and pale ,

Or luxury should taint their vernal glow; If cold Self-interest, with her chilling gale,

Should blastth'unfoldingblossomserethey blow; If mimic hues , by Art, or Fashion spread,

Their genuine, simple colouring should supply | O ! with them may these laureate honours fade;

And with them (if it can) my friendship) die. And do not blame j if, tho' thyself inspire ,

Cautious I strike the panegyric string; The Muse full oft pursues a meteor fire ,

And vainly vent'rous, soars on waxen wing. Too actively awake at Friendship's voice,"

The poet's bosom pours the fervent strain ,
'Till sad reflection blames the hasty choice,

And oft invokes Oblivion's aid in vain.
Go then, my friend, nor let thy candid breast

Condemn me , if I check the plausive string;
Go to the wayward world ; compleat the rest;

Be , what the purest Muse would wish to sing, Be styll Thyself: that open path of Truth,

"Which led thee here, let Manhood firm pursue £ Retain the sweet simplicity of Youth ,

And all thy virtue dictates, dare to do. Still scorn , with conscious pride, the mask of Arty

On Vice's front let fearful Caution lour, And teach the diffident, discreeterpart

Oi knaves that plot, and fools that fawn for power. So, round thy brow when age's honours spread ,

When death's cold hand unstrings thy Mason's lyre, "When the green turf lies lightly on his head , .

Thy worth shall some superior bard inspire: He to the amplest bounds of Time's domain ,

On Rapture's plume shall give thy Name to fly $ For trust, -with rev'renee trust this Sahine strain:

s. The Muse forbids the virtuous Man to die. »


Chap. XX I.
On the Miseries of human Life.

Xvh little think the gay licentious proud,
"Whom pleasure, power , and affluence surround 5;
They, who their thoughtless hoars in giddy mirth,
And wanton , often cruel, riot waste 5
Ah little think they, while they dance along ,
How many feel, this very moment, death
And all the sad variety of pain:
How many sink in the devouring flood ,
Or more devouring flame: how many bleed ,
By shameful variance betwixt Man and Man:'
How many pine in want, and dungeon gloomsfi
Shut from the common air, and common use
Of their own limbs : how many drink the cup
Of baleful grief, or eat the bitter bread
'Of misery : sore pierc'd by wintry winds,
How many shrink into the sordid hut
Of cheerless poverty : how many shake
"With all the fiercer tortures of the mind,
Unbounded passion , madness, guilt, remorse %

Whence, tumblingheadlong from I he height of life,
They furnish matter for the tragic muse:
Even in the vale , where wisdom loves to dwell ,
With friendship, peace , and contemplation join'd ,
How many , raok'd wuh honest passions , droop
In deep retirM distress: how many stand
Around the deathbed of iheir dearest friends,
And point the partinganguish !—Thought fond man
Of these, and all the thousand nameless ills,
That one incessant struggle render life
One scene of toil, of suffering , and of fate ,
Vice in his high career would stand appall'd ,
And heediess rambling Impulse learn to think:
The conscious heart of Charity -would warm ,
And her wide wish Benevolence dilate;
The social tear would rise , the social sigh ;,
And into clear perfection, gradual bliss,
Refining still, the social passions work. Thomson.

Chap. XXII.
Reflections on a Juture State.

( X is done!—dread TVintcr spreads his latest

glooms, And reigns tremendous o'er the conquer'd year. How dead the vegetable kingdom lies I How dumb the tuneful! Horror wide extends His desolate domain. Behold , fond man! See here thy pictur'd life ; pass some few years: Thy flow'ringSpring, thy Summer's ardentstrength, Thy sober Autumn fading into age, And pale concluding "Winter comes at last, And shuts the scene. Ah! whither now are fled Those dreams of greatness? those unsolid hopes Of happiness? those longings after fame? Those restless cares? Those busy bustling days? Those gay-spent festive nights? those veering

thoughts Lost between good and ill, that shar'd thy life? All now are vanish'd! Virtue sole survives ,

Immortal never-failing friend of Man ,

His guide to happiness on high. And see!

'Tis come, the glorious morn ! the second birth

Of heaven j and earth ! awakening Nature hears

The new-creating word , and starts to life ,

In every heighteii'd form, from pain and death

For ever free. The great eternal scheme

Involving all, and in a perfect whole

Uniting as the prospect wider spreads ,

To reason's eye refinrd clears up apace.

Ye vainly wise .' ye blind presumptuous ! now,

Confounded in the dust, adore that Power,

And TVisdom oft arraign'd: see now the cause r

Why unassuming worth in secret liv'd ,

And dy'd, neglected: why the good Man's share'

In life Was gall and bitterness of soul:

"Why the lone widow, and her orphans , pin'd

In starving solitude; while luxury,

In palaces, lay straining her low thought,

To form unreal wants : why heaven-horn truth ,

And moderation fair, wore the red marks

Of superstition's scourge : why licens'd pain,

That cruel spoiler, that erabosom'd foe,

Imbitter'd all our bliss. Ye good distrest!

Ye noble few! who here unbending stand

Beneath life's pressure, yet bear up awhile ,

And what your bounded view, which only saw

A little part, deem'd Evil, is no moTe.

The storms of Pf^intry 77/reewill quickly pass,

And one unbounded Spring encircle all.


Chap. XXIII.

On Procrastination.

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E wise to-day; 'tis madness to defer:
Next day the fatal precedent will plead:
Thus on, till wisdom is push'd out of life.
Procrastination is the thief of time;
Year after year it steals , till all are fled,

And to the mercies of a moment leaves
The vast concerns of an eternal scene.

Of man's miraculous mistakes this bears
The palm, « That all men pre 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 np ready praise;
At least, their own ; their future selves applauds;;
How excellent that lile they ne'er will lead L
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.
*ris not in Foliy , not to scorn a fool;,
And scarce in human "Wisdom to do more.
All promise is poor dilatory man ,
And that thro' every stage. When young, indeed ,.
In full content, we sometimes nobly rest,
Un-anxions 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 plany
At (il.y , chides nis infamous delay,
Pushes his prudent purpose to Resolve;
In all the magnanimity of thought,
Resolves, and re-resolves, then dies the sitme.

And why? Because he thijiks himsell immortal'. All men think all men mortal, but themselves; Themselves , when some alarming shock of fate Strikes thro'iheir wounded hearts the sudden dread }But their hearts wounded, like the wounded air , Soon close; where past 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 th*ir grave.


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