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Ah, foolish swain! too late you find, Was known by all the bestial train
Homeward he limps with painful pace, Her care was, never to offend;
And ev'ry creature was her friend. Who cherishes a brutal mate
As forih she went, at early dawn, Shall mourn the folly soon or late.
To taste the dew-besprinkled lawn,
Behind she hears the hunter's cries, $ 126. FABLE xlix. The Man and the Flea.
And from the deep-mouth'd thunder flies : Whether in earth, in air, or main,
She starts, she stops, she pants for breath ; Sure ev'ry thing alive is vain!
She hears the near allvance of death; Does not the hawk all fowls survey
She doubles to mislead the hound, As destin'd ovly for his prey ?;
And measures back her mazy round; And do not tyrants, prouder things,
Till, fainting in the public way, Think men were born for slaves to kings? Half dead with fear, she gasping lay.
When the crab views the pearly strands, What transport in her bosom grew, Or Tagus, bright with golden sands ;
When first the Horse appear'd in view! Or crawls beside the coral grove,
Let me, says she, your back ascend, And hears the dcean roll above;
And owe my safety to a friend. Nature is too profusé, says he,
You know my feet betray my flight: Who gave all these to pleasure me!
To friendship ev'ry burthen's light. When bord'ring pinks and roses bloom, The Horse replied, Poor honest Puss ! And ev'ry garden breathes perfume;
It grieves my heart to see thee thus :
Be comforted, relief is near;
And thus replied the mighty lord :
I may, without offence, pretend Says Man, the most conceited creature, To take the freedom of a friend. As from a clift he cast his eyes,
Love calls me hence! a fav’rite cow And view'd the sea and arched skies:
Expects me near yon barley-mow; The sun was sunk beneath she main;
And when a lady's in the case, The moon and all the starry train,
You know all other things give place. Hung the vast vault of heaven. The Mair- To leave you thus might seem unkind; His contemplation thus began :
But see, the Goat is just behind. When I behold this glorious show,
The Goat remark'd her pulse was high, And this wide wat'ry world below,
Her languid head, her heavy eye; The scaly people of the main,
My back, says he, may do you harm; The beasts that range the wood or plain, The Sheep's at hand, and wool is warm. The wing'd inhabitants of air,
The Sheep was feeble, and complain'd The day, the night, the various year,
His sides a load of wool sustain'd: And know all these by Heaven design'd Said he was slow, confess'd his fears; As gifts to pleasure human kind;
For hounds eat sheep as well as hares. I cannot raise my worth too high :
She now the trotting Calf address'd, Of what vast consequence am I!
To save from death a friend distress'd. Not of th' importance you suppose,
Shall I, says he, of tender age, Replies a Flea upon his nose :
In this important care engage? Be humble, learn thyself to scan;
Older and abler pass'd you by: Know, pride was never made for man. How strong are ihose ! how weak am I! 'Tis vanity that swells thy mind,
Should I presume to bear you hence, What, heaven and earth for thee design'd! Those friends of mine may take offence. For thee, made only for our need,
Excuse me, then. You know my heart,
How shall we all lament! Adieu !
YOUNG's Night THOUGHTS.
NIGHT 1. Sleep. 'Tis thus in friendship; who depend Tir'd Nature's sweet restorer, balmy Sleep! On many, rarely find a friend.
He, like the world, his ready visit pays A hare, who in a civil way
Where Fortune smiles; the wretched he fore Complied with ev'ry thing, like GAY,
Swift on his downy pinion flies from woe, Look down-on what? A fathomless abyss ; And lights on lids unsullied with a tear. A dread eternity! how surely mine!
From short (as usual) and disturb'd repose And can eternity belong to me, I wake: How happy they who wake no more! Poor pensioner on the bounties of an hour? Yet that were vain, if dreains infest the grave. I wake, emerging from a sea of dreams
§ 132. Man. Tumultuous, where my wreck’d, desponding How poor! how rich! how abject! how august! thought,
How complicate! how wonderful is Man! From wave to wave of fancy'd misery, How passing wonder He who made him such! At random drove, her helm
of reason lost : Who centred in our make such strange extremes ! Though now restor'd, 'tis only change of pain, From different natures marvellously mixt, A bitter change; severer for severe:
Connexion exquisite of distant worlds! The day too short for my distress! and night, Distinguish'd link in being's endless chain! Evin in the zenith of her dark domain, Midway from nothing to the Deity! Is sunshine, to the color of my fate.
A beam ethereal sullied, and absorb’d!
Though sullied, and dishonor'd, still divine ! $ 129. Night.
Dim miniature of greatness absolute! Night, sable goddess ! froin her ebon throne,
An heir of glory! a frail child of dust! In rayless majesty, now stretches forth
Helpless immortal! insect infinite! Her leaden sceptre o'er a slumb'ring world :
A worm! a god! I tremble at myself; Silence, how dead! and darkness, how profound! And in myself am lost! At home a stranger, Nor eye, nor list'ning ear an object finds;
Thought wanders up and down, surpris'd, aghast, Creation sleeps. 'Tis as the general pulse Of life stood still, and Nature made a pau se
And wond'ring at her own : how reason reels!
O what a miracle to man is man! An awful pause, prophetic of her end. Triumphantly distress'd, what joy, what dread! And let her prophecy be soon fulfill'd: Fate! drop the curtain: I can lose no more.
Alternately transported and alarm'd!
What can preserve my life, or what destroy? $ 130. Invocation to Silence and Darkness.
An angel's arm can't snatch me from the grave; Silence and Darkness! solemn sisters! twins Legions of angels can't confine me there. From ancient Night, who nurse the tender
$ 133. Dreams. thought To reason, and on reason build resolve,
'Tis past conjecture; all things rise in proof : (That column of true majesty in man)
Whileo'er my limbs Sleep's soft dominion spread, Assist me: I will thank you in the grave;
What though my soul fantastic measures irod The grave, your kingdom : There this frame O'er fairy fields; or mourn'd along the gloom shall fall
Of pathless woods; or down the craggy steep, A victim sacred to your dreary shrine.
Hurl'd headlong, swam with pain the maniled But what are ye? Thou who didst put to flight or scal'a the cliff or danc'd on hollow winds,
pool; Primeval Silence, when the morning stars Exulting, shouted o'er the rising ball;
With antic shapes, wild natives of the brain ? O Thou! whose word from solid darkness struck Her ceaseless fight, tho'devious,speaks her nature That spark, the sun; strike wisdom from my soul. Of subtler essence than the trodden clod; My soul which flies to thee, her trust, her treasure, Active, aerial, tow'ring, unconfin'd, As misers to their gold, while others rest.
Un fetter'd with her gross companion's fall: Throligh this opaque of nature, and of soul,
Ev'n silent night proclaims my soul immortal: This double night, transmit one pitying ray,
Ev'n silent night proclaims eternal day. To lighten and to cheer: O lead my mind,
For human weal, 'heaven husbands all events, (A miod that fain would wander from its woe) Dull sleep instructs, norsport vain dreams in vain. Leadit through various scenes of Life and Death, |ş 134. Vanity of Lamentation over the Dead. And from each scene, the noblest truths inspire. Why then their loss deplore, that are not lost? Nor less inspire my conduct than my song; Nor let the vial of thy vengeance, pour'd
Why wanders wretched thought their tombs On this devoted head, be pour d in vain.
In infidel distress? Are angels there? [around,
Slumbers, rak'd up in dust, ethereal fire ? § 131. Time..
They live! they greatly live a life on earth The bell strikes one: We take no note of time, Unkindled, unconceiv'd ; and from an eye But from its loss. To give it then a tongue, Of tenderness, let heavenly pity fall Is wise in man. As if an angel spoke, On me, more justly number'd with the dead. I feel the solemn sound. If heard aright, This is the desert, this the solitude : It is the knell of my departed hours;
How populous ! how vital is the grave ! Where are they? With the years beyond the This is creation's melancholy vault, It is the signal that demands dispatch; [Flood. The vale funereal, the sad cypress gloom; How much is to be done! my hopes and fears The land of apparitions, empty shades! Start up alarm'd, and o'er life's narrow verge All, all on earth is shadow, all beyond
Is substance; the reverse is folly's creed : That ghastly thought would drink up all yourjoy, How solid all, where change shall be no more! And quite unparadise the realms of light.
Safe are you lodg'd above these rolling spheres, $135. Life and Eternity.
The baleful influence of whose giddy dance This is the bud of being, the dim dawn; Sheds sad vicissitude on all beneath. Life's theatre as yet is shut, and death, Here teems with revolutions every hour; Strong death alone can heave the massy bar, And rarely for the better; or the best, This gross impediment of clay remove, More mortal than the common births of fate : And make us embryos of existence free. Each moment has its sickle, emulous From real life, but little more remote
OrTime's enormous scythe, whose ample sweep Is he, not yet a candidate for light,
Strikes empires from the root; each moment plies The future embryo, slumbering in his sire. His little weapon in the narrower sphere Embryos we must be, till we burst the shell, Of sweet domestic comfort, and cuts down Yon ambient azure shell, and spring to life, The fairest bloom of sublunary bliss. The life of gods transport! and of man. Bliss! sublunary bliss ! proud words and vain!
Yet man, fool man! here buries all his thoughts; Implicit treason to divine decree! Inters celestial hopes without one sigh: A bold invasion of the rights of heaven! Prisoner of earth, and pent beneath the moon, I clasp'd the phantoms, and I found them air ! Here pinions all his wishes : wing’d by heaven O had I weigh'd it ere my fond embrace, To Ay at infinite, and reach it there,
What darts of agony had 'miss'd my heart! Where seraphs gather immortality,
Death! great proprietor of all! 'tís thine On life's fair tree, fast by the throne of God. To tread out empire, and to quench the stars : What golden joys ambrosial clust'ring glow The sun himself by thy permission shines; In His full beam, and ripen for the just, And, one day, thou shalt pluck him from his Where momentary ages are no more! (expire! Amid such mighty plunder, why exhaust(sphere. Where time, and pain, and chance, and death Thy partial quiver on a mark so mean? And is it in the flight of threescore years, Why thy peculiar rancour wreak'd on me? To push eternity from human thought, Insatiate archer! could not one suffice? And smother souls immortal in the dust! Thy shaft flew thrice, and thrice my peace was A soul immortal, spending all her fires,
(horn. Wasting her strength in strenuous idleness, And thrice, ere thrice yon moon had fili'd her Thrown into tumult, raptur’d, or alarm’d, O Cynthia ! why so pale? Dost thou lament At aught this scene can threaten or indulge, Thy wretched neighbour grieve, to see thy wheel Resembles ocean into tempest wrought, Of ceaseless change outwhirl'd in human life? To waft a feather or to drown a fly.
In ev'ry varied posture, place, and hour, Where falls this censure? It o'erwhelmsmyself. How widow'd every thought of every joy! How was my heart encrusted by the world! Thought, busy thought! too busy for my peace, O how self-fetter'd was my groveling soul ! Through the dark postern of time long elaps'd, How, likeaworm, was I wrapt round and round Led sofily, by the stillness of the night, In silken thought, which reptile Fancy spun, Strays, wretched rover! o'er the pleasing past, Till darken’d Reason lay quite clouded'o'er In
of wretchedness, perversely strays; With soft conceit of endless comfort here, And finds all desert now; and meets the ghosts Nor yet put forth her wings to reach the skies! Of my departed joys, a numerous train!
Our waking dreams are fatal: how I dreamt I rue the riches of my former fate, Of things impossible! (could sleep do more ?) Sweet comfort's blasted clusters make me sigh: Of joys perpetual in perpetual change! I tremble at the blessings once so dear ; Of stable pleasures on the tossing wave! And ev'ry pleasure pains me to the heart. Eternal sunshine in the storms of life! Yet why complain or why complain for one ? How richly were my noon-tide trances hung I mourn for millions: 'tis the common lot; With gorgeous tapestries of pictur'd joys! In this shape, or in that, has fate entail'd Joy behind joy, in endless perspective ! The mother's throes on all of woman born, Till at Death's toll, whose restless iron tongue Not more the children, than sure heirs of pain. Calls daily for his millions at a meal, Starting I woke, and found myself undone !
$ 137. Oppression, Want, and Disease. Where now my phrensy's pompous furniture! War, famine, pest, volcano, storm, and fire, The cobweb'd cottage with its ragged wall Intestine broils, oppression with her heart Of mouldering mud, is royalty to me! Wrapt up in triple brass, besiege mankind. The spider's thread is cable to man's tie God's image, disinherited of day, On earthly bliss; it breaks at every breeze. Here plung'd in mines, forgets a sun was made;
There beings, deathless as their haughty lord, $ 136. Time and Death.
Are hammer'd to the galling oar for life; O ve blest scenes of permanent delight! And plough the winter's wave, and reap despair Full above measure ! lasting beyond bound Some, for hard masters, broken under arms, Could you, so rich in rapture, fear an end, In battle lopt away, with half their limbs,
Beg bitter bread through realms their valor say'd, Misfortune, like a creditor severe,
140. The Instability and Insufficiency of What numbers groan for sad admission there!
LORENZO! Fortune makes her court to thee, To shock us more, solicit it in vain!
Thy fond heart dances, włiile the syren sings. Not Prudence can defend, or Virtue save; I would not damp, but to secure thy joys. Disease invades the chastest temperance;
Think not that fear is sacred to the storm : And punishment the guiltless ; and alarm Stand on thy guard against the smiles of fate. Thro thickest shades pursues the fond of peace : Is heaven tremendous in its frown! Most sure: Man's caution often into danger turns,
And in its favors formidable too;
And should alarm us, full as much as woes; How distant oft the thing we dote on most,
O'er our scann'd conduct give a jealous eye; From that for which we dote, felicity! Awe Nature's tumult, and chastise her joys,
The smoothest course of nature has its pains, Lest, while we clasp we kill them; nay, invert, And truest friends, thro' error, wound our rest; To worse than simple misery, their charms. Without misfortune, what calamities! Revolted joys, like foes in civil war, And what hostilities without a foe!
Like bosom friendships to resentment sour'd, Nor are foes wanting to the best on earth. With rage envenom'd rise against our peace. But endless is the list of human ills,
Beware what earth calls happiness ; beware And sighs might sooner fail, than cause to sigh. All joys, but joys that never can expire:
Who builds on less than an immortal base, $ 138. Reflections on viewing a Map of the World. Fond as he seems, condemns his joys to death. A PART how small of the terraqueous globe
Mine died with thee, Philander! thy last sigh Is tenanted by man! the rest a waste,
Dissolv'd the charm; the disenchanted earth Rocks, deserts, frozen seas, and burning sands;
Lost all her lustre. Where, her glittering towers? Wild haunts of monsters, poisons, stings, and Her golden mountains, where all darken'd down Such is earth's melancholy map! but, far (death. To naked waste; a dreary vale of tears ! More sad ; this earth is a true map of man: The great magician's dead! thou poor, pale piece So bounded are its haughty lord's delights Of outcast earth, in darkness! what a change To woe's wide empire; where deep troubles toss, From yesterday ! thy darling hope so near, Loud sorrows howl; envenom'd passions bite; (Long-labor'd prize!) death's subtle seed within Ravenous calamities our vitals seize,
(Sly treach'rous miner!) working in the dark, And threat'ning fate wide opens to devour. Smil'd ai thy well-concerted scheme, and beck.
The worm io riot on that rose so red,
[ond $ 139. Sympathy.
Unfaded ere it fell; one moment's prey!
$ 141. Man short-sighted.
Takethen, O world! thy much indebted tear: $ 142. Presumption of depending on To-morrow. How sad a sight is human happiness [hour! By Nature's law, what may
be To those whose thought can pierce beyond an There's no prerogative in human hours. O thou! whate'er thou art, whose heari exults ! | In human hearts what bolder thought can rise, Wouldst thou I should congratulate thy fate? Than man's presumption on to-morrow's dawn? I know thou wouldst; thy pride demands it from Where is to-morrow? In another world. Let thy pride pardon, what thy nature needs, [me. For numbers this is certain ; the reverse The salutary censure of a friend :
Is sure to none; and yet on this Perhaps, Thou happy wretch! by blindness art thou blest; This Peradventure, infamous for lies, By dotage dandled to perpetual smiles : As on a rock of adamant, we build Know, smiler! at thy peril art thou pleas'd; Our mountain hopes; spin out eternal schemes, Thy pleasure is the promise of thy pain. And, big with life's futurities, expire.
8 143. Sudden Deuth.
(Blest av'rice) which the thought of death in. Not ev'n Philander had bespoke his shroud;
spires. Nor had he cause, a warning was deny'd.
O time! than gold more sacred; more a load How many fall as sudden, not as safe! Than lead, to fools ; and fools reputed wise. As sudden, though for years admonish'd home? What moment granted man without account? Of human ills the last extreme beware, What years are squander’d, wisdom's debt unBeware, Lorenzo! a slow-sudden death. How dreadful that deliberate surprise !
Haste, haste, he lies in wait, he's at the door, Be wise tq-day, 'tis madness to defer;
Insidious death! should his strong hand arrest, Next day the fatal precedent will plead ; No composition sets the prisoner free. Thus on, till wisdom is push'd out of life.
Eternity's inexorable chain Procrastination is the thief of time,
Fast binds; and vengeance claims the full arrear. Year after year it steals, till all are fled,
How late I shudder'd on the brink! how late And to the mercies of a moment leaves
Life call'd for her last refuge in despair ! The vast concerns of an eternal scene!
For what calls thy disease? For moral aid. If not so frequent, would not this be strange?
Thou think'st it folly to be wise too soon. That 'tis so frequent, this is stranger still.
Youth is not rich in time; it may be, poor :
Part with it as with money, sparing; pay $144. Man's Proneness to postpone Improvement. No moment, but in purchase of its worth ; Of man's miraculous mistakes, this bears And what its worth, ask death-beds; they can The palm, “ that all men are about to live."
Part with it as with life, reluctant; big [tell. For ever on the brink of being born.
With holy hope of nobler time to come. All pay themselves the compliment to think Is this our duty, wisdom, glory, gain? They, one day, shall not drivel ; and their pride and sport we like the natives of ihe bough, On this reversion takes up ready praise;
When vernal suns inspire ? Amusement reigns At least their own; their future selves applauds: Man's great demand : to trifle is to live: How excellent that life they ne'er will lead !
And is it then a trife, too, to die?Time lodg’d in their own hands is folly's vails; Who wants amusement in the fame of battle ? That lodg'd in fate's, to wisdom they consign.
Is it not treason to the soul immortal, All promise is poor dilatory man,
Her foes in arms, eternity the prize ? And that thro' every stage: when young, indeed, Will toys amuse, when med'cines cannot cure? In full content, we sometimes nobly rest, When spirits ebb, when life's enchanting scenes Unanxious for ourselves; and only wish,
Their lustre lose, and lessen in our sight? As dutcous sons, our fatlters were more wise. (As lands, and cities with their glitt'ring spires At thirty man suspects himself a fool; To the poor shatter'd bark, by sudden storm Knows it at forty, and reforms his plan;
Thrown off to sea, and soon to perish there) At fifty chides his infamous delay,
Will toys amuse ?-no: thrones will then be Pushes his prudent purpose to resolve ;
toys, In all the magnanimity of thought
And earth and skies seem dust upon the scale. Resolves, and re-resolves; then dies the same. Redeem we time?-its loss we dearly buy :
What pleads Lorenzo for his high-priz'd sports ? $ 145. Man insensible of his own Mortality. He pleads time's numerous blanks; he loudly AND why? Because he thinks himself immortal. pleads All men ihink all men mortal, but themselves; The straw-like trifes on life's common stream. Themselves, when some alarming shock of fate From whom those blanks and trifles, but from Strikes through their wounded hearts the sudden thee? dread;
No blank, no trifle, nature made or meant : But their hearts wounded, like the wounded air, Virtue, or purpos’d virtue, still be thine: Soon close; where pass'd the shaft, no trace is This cancels thy complaint at once; this leaves found.
In act no trifle, and no blank in time. As, from the wing no scar the sky retains ; This greatens, fills, immortalizes all ! The parted wave no furrow from the keel; This, the blest art of turning all to gold; So dies in human hearts the thought of death: This, the good heart's prerogative to raise Ev'n with the tender tear which nature sheds A royal tribute, from the poorest hours: O'er those we love, we drop it in their grave. Immense revenue ! every moment pays. Can I forget Philander ? That were strange; If nothing more than purpose in thy power, () my
full heart! but should I give it vent, Thy purpose firm, is equal to the deed : The longest night, though longer far, would fail, Who does the best his circumstance allows, And the lark listen to my midnight song. Does well, acts nobly, angels could no more.
Our outward act, indeed, admits restraint; $ 146. NIGHT 11. Avarice of Time recom- 'Tis not in things o'er thought to domineer: monded.
Guard well thy thoughts; our thoughts are heard He mourns the dead, who lives as they desire.
in heaven. Where is that thrift, that avarice of Time, On all important time, through every age,