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Elegy to a young Nobleman leaving the University.
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!
And this let voluntary friendship pay.
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 ,
And oft invokes Oblivion's aid in vain.
Condemn me , if I check the plausive string;
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.
Xvh little think the gay licentious proud,
Whence, tumblingheadlong from I he height of life,
( 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.
E wise to-day; 'tis madness to defer:
And to the mercies of a moment leaves
Of man's miraculous mistakes this bears
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.