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"But, poet, whence such wide extremes? "Well may you style your labors dreams. "A son of sorrow thou, I ween, "Whose Visions are the brats of Spleen. "Is bliss a vague, unmeaning name?

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Speak then the passions' use or aim; Why rage desires without control, "And rouse such whirlwinds in the soul? Why Hope erects her tow'ring crest, "And laughs and riots in the breast! "Think not my weaker brain turns round; "Think not I tread on fairy ground; "Think not your pulse alone beats true"Mine makes as healthful music too. "Our joys, when Life's soft spring we trace, "Put forth their early buds apace : "See the bloom loads the tender shoot; "The bloom conceals the future fruit. "Yes, manhood's warm meridian sun "Shall ripen what in spring begun. "Thus infant roses, ere they blow, "In germinating clusters grow; "And only wait the summer's ray, "To burst and blossom to the day.' What said the gay unthinking boy? Methought Hilario talk'd of joy! Tell, if thou canst, whence joys arise, Or what those mighty joys you prize. You'll find (and trust superior years) The vale of life a vale of tears. Could wisdom teach where joys abound, Or riches purchase them when found, Would sceptred Solomon complain That all was fleeting, false, and vain? Yet sceptred Solomon could say, Returning clouds obscur'd his day. Those maxims, which the preacher drew, The royal sage experienc'd true. He knew the various ills that wait Our infant and meridian state; That toys our earliest thoughts engage, And diff'rent toys maturer age; That grief at ev'ry stage appears, But diff'rent griefs at diff'rent years; That vanity is seen, in part, Inscrib'd on ev'ry human heart; In the child's breast the spark began, Grows with his growth, and glares in man. But when in life we journey late, If follies die, do griefs abate?

Ah! what is life at fourscore years? [and tears.
One dark, rough road, of sighs, groans, pains,
Perhaps you'll think I act the same
As a sly sharper plays his game:
You triumph ev'ry deal that's past,
He's sure to triumph at the last!

Who often wins some thousands more
Than twice the sums you won before.
But I'm a loser with the rest;
For life is all a deal at best,
Where not the prize of wealth or fame
Repays the trouble of the game-
(A truth no winner e'er denied,
An hour before that winner died.)

Not that with me these prizes shine;
For neither fame nor wealth is mine.
My cards, a weak plebeian band,
With scarce an honor in my hand!
And, since my trumps are very few,
What have I more to boast than you?
Nor am I gainer by your
fall;

That harlot Fortune bubbles all!
'Tis truth (receive it ill or well),
'Tis melancholy truth I tell.
Why should the preacher take your pence,
And smother truth to flatter sense?
I'm sure physicians have no merit,
Who kill through lenity of spirit.

That life's a game, divines confess
This says at cards, and that at chess:
But, if our views be centred here,
'Tis all a losing game I fear.

;

Sailors, you know, when wars obtain, And hostile vessels crowd the main, If they discover from afar

A bark as distant as a star,

Hold the perspective to their eyes,
To learn its colors, strength, and size;
And, when this secret once they know,
Make ready to receive the foe;

Let you
and I from sailors learn
Important truths of like concern.
I clos'd the day, as custom led,
With reading till the time of bed;
Where Fancy, at the midnight hour,
Again display'd her magic pow'r-
(For know that Fancy, like a sprite,
Prefers the silent scenes of night)
She lodg'd me in a neighb'ring wood,
No matter where the thicket stood;
The Genius of the place was nigh,
And held two pictures to my eye.
The curious painter had pourtray'd
Life in each just and genuine shade.
They, who have only known its dawn,
May think these lines too deeply drawn ;
But riper years, I fear, will show
The wiser artists paint too true.

One piece presents a rueful wild, Where not a summer's sun had smil'd; The road with thorns is cover'd wide, And Grief sits weeping by the side; Here tears with constant tenor flow, And form a mournful lake below; Whose silent waters, dark and deep, Through all the gloomy valley creep.

Passions that flatter, or that slay, Are beasts that fawn, or birds that prey. Her Vice assumes the serpent's shape; There Folly personates the ape: Here Av'rice gripes with harpy's claws; There Malice grins with tiger's jaws; While sons of Mischief, Art, and Guile, Are alligators of the Nile.

E'en Pleasure acts a treach'rous part; She charms the sense, but stings the heart: And when she gulls us of our wealth, Or that superior pearl, our health,

Restores us nought but pains and woe,
And drowns us in the lake below.

There a commission'd angel stands,
With desolation in his hands!
He sends the all-devouring flame,
And cities hardly boast a name :
Or wings the pestilential blast,

And, lo! ten thousands breathe their last.
He speaks-obedient tempests roar,
And guilty nations are no more:
He speaks the fury Discord raves,
And sweeps whole armies to their graves;
Or Famine lifts her mildew'd hand,
And Hunger howls through all the land.
"Oh! what a wretch is inan!" I cried;
Expos'd to death on ev'ry side!
"And sure as born to be undone
"By evils which he cannot shun!
"Besides a thousand baits to sin,
"A thousand traitors lodg'd within!
For soon as Vice assaults the heart,
"The rebels take the dæmon's part."

I sigh, my aching bosom bleeds;
When straight the milder plan succeeds.
The lake of tears, the dreary shore,
The same as in the piece before;
But gleams of light are here display'd,
To cheer the eye, and gild the shade;
Affliction speaks a softer style,
And Disappointment wears a sinile :
A group of virtues blossom near;
Their roots improve by ev'ry tear.

Here Patience, gentle maid! is nigh,
To calm the storm, and wipe the eye;
Hope acts the kind physician's part,
And warms the solitary heart:
Religion nobler comfort brings,
Disarms our griefs, or blunts their stings;
Points out the balance on the whole,
And Heaven rewards the struggling soul.
But while these raptures I pursue,
The Genius suddenly withdrew.

§ 76. Vision the last. Death.
Tis thought my Visions are too grave* ;
A proof I'm no designing knave.
Perhaps, if int'rest held the scales,
I had devis'd quite diff'rent tales;
Had join'd the laughing, low buffoon,
And scribbled satire and lampoon;
Or stirr'd each source of soft desire,
And fann'd the coals of wanton fire:
Then had my paltry Visions sold;
Yes, all my dreams had turn'd to gold;
Had prov'd the darling of the town,
And I-a Poet of renown!

Let not my awful theme surprise;
Let no unmanly fears arise.

I wear no melancholy hue;
No wreaths of cypress, or of yew.

The shrowd, the coffin, pall, or hearse,
Shall ne'er deform my softer verse.

Let me consign the fun'ral plume,
The herald's paint, the sculptur'd tomb,
And all the solemn farce of graves,

To undertakers and their slaves.

You know that moral writers say, The world's a stage, and life a play; That in this drama to succeed, Requires much thought and toil indeed!' There still remains one labor more, Perhaps a greater than before. Indulge the search, and you shall find The harder task is still behind: That harder task, to quit the stage In early youth or riper age; To leave the company and place With firmness, dignity, and grace.

Come, then, the closing scenes survey; "Tis the last act which crowns the play. Do well this grand decisive part, And gain the plaudit of your heart. Few greatly live in Wisdom's eyeBut, oh! how few who greatly die! Who, when their days approach an end, Can meet the foe as friend meets friend. Instructive heroes! tell us whence Your noble scorn of flesh and sense! You part from all we prize so dear; Nor drop one soft reluctant tear; Part from those tender joys of life, The friend, the parent, child, and wife. Death's black and stormy gulph you brave, And ride exulting on the wave; Deem thrones but trifles all!-no moreNor send one wishful look to shore.

For foreign ports, and lands unknown, Thus the firm sailor leaves his own; Obedient to the rising gale, Unmoors his bark, and spreads his sail; Defies the ocean and the wind, Nor mourns the joys he left behind.

Is Death a pow'rful monarch? True: Perhaps you dread the tyrant too! Fear, like a fog, precludes the light, Or swells the object to the sight. Attend my visionary page, And I'll disarm the tyrant's rage. Come, let this ghastly form appear; He's not so terrible when near. Distance deludes th' unwary eye; So clouds seem monsters in the sky: Hold frequent converse with him now, He'll daily wear a milder brow. Why is my theme with terror fraught? Because you shun the frequent thought. Say, when the captive pard is nigh, Whence thy pale cheek and frighted eye? Say, why dismay'd thy manly breast, When the grim lion shakes his crest? Because these savage sights are new ; No keeper shudders at the view: Keepers accustom'd to the scene, Approach the dens with looks serene;

* See the Monthly Review of New Books, for February 1751.

Fearless their grisly charge explore,
And smile to hear the tyrants roar.
"Ay-but to die! to bid adieu!
"An everlasting farewell too!
"Farewell to ev'ry joy around!
"Oh, the heart sickens at the sound!"
Stay, stripling-thou art poorly taught:
Joy, didst thou say? discard the thought.
Joys are a rich celestial fruit,

And scorn a sublunary root:
What wears the face of joy below,
Is often found but splendid woe.
Joys here, like unsubstantial fame,
Are nothing but a pompous name;
Or else, like comets in the sphere,
Shine with destruction in their rear.
Passions, like clouds, obscure the sight,
Hence mortals seldom judge aright.
The world's a harsh unfruitful soil,
Yet still we hope, and still we toil;
Deceive ourselves with wondrous art,
And disappointment wrings the heart.

Thus, when a mist collects around,
And hovers o'er a barren ground,
The poor deluded trav'ller spies
Imagin'd trees and structures rise;
But, when the shrouded sun is clear,
The desert and the rocks appear.

But, while the purple surges glow,
The currents thicken as they flow:
The blood in ev'ry distant part
Stagnates and disappoints the heart;
Defrauded of its crimson store,
The vital engine plays no more.

Honorio dead, the fun'ral bell
Call'd ev'ry friend to bid farewell.
I join'd the melancholy bier,
And dropp'd the unavailing tear.

The clock struck twelve-when nature sought
Repose from all the pangs of thought;
And, while my limbs were sunk to rest,
A Vision sooth'd my troubled breast.

I dream'd the spectre Death appear'd!
I dream'd his hollow voice I heard!
Methought th' imperial tyrant wore
A state no prince assum'd before;
All nature fetch'd a general groan,
And lay expiring round his throne.

I gaz'd-when straight arose to sight
The most detested fiend of night.
He shuffled with unequal pace,
And conscious shame deform'd his face.
With jealous leer he squinted round,
Or fix'd his eyes upon the ground.
From hell this frightful monster came;
Sin was his sire, and Guilt his name.

"Ah-but when youthful blood runs high, This fury, with officious care,

"Sure 'tis a dreadful thing to die!

"To die! and what exalts the gloom,
"I'm told that man survives the tomb!
"O! can the learned prelate find
"What future scenes await the mind!
"Where wings the soul, dislodg'd from clay?
"Some courteous angel point the way!
"That unknown somewhere in the skies,
"Say, where that unknown somewhere lies?
"And kindly prove, when life is o'er,
"That pains and sorrows are no more;
"For, doubtless, dying is a curse,
"If present ills be chang'd for worse."
Hush, my young friend, forego the theme,
And listen to your poet's dream.

Erewhile I took an ev'ning walk,
Honorio join'd in social talk.
Along the lawns the zyphyrs sweep;
Each ruder wind was full'd asleep:
The sky, all beauteous to behold,

Was streak'd with azure, green, and gold:
But though serenely soft and fair,
Fever hung brooding in the air;
Then settled on Honorio's breast,
Which shudder'd at the fatal guest.
No drugs the kindly wish fulfil;
Disease eludes the doctor's skill:
The poison, spread through all the frame,
Ferments, and kindles into flame.
From side to side Honorio turns,
And now with thirst insatiate burns.
His eyes resign their wonted grace,
Those friendly lamps expire apace
The brain's an useless organ grown;
And Reason tumbled from his throne.

!

Waited around the sov'reign's chair;
In robes of terror dress'd the king,
And arm'd him with a baneful sting;
Gave fierceness to the tyrant's eye,
And hung the sword upon his thigh.
Diseases next, a hideous crowd!
Proclaim'd their master's empire loud,
And all, obedient to his will,
Flew in commission'd troops to kill.

A rising whirlwind shakes the poles,
And lightning glares, and thunder rolls.
The monarch and his train prepare
To range the foul tempestuous air.
Straight to his shoulders he applies
Two pinions of enormous size!
Methought I saw the ghastly form

Stretch his black wings and mount the storm;
When Fancy's airy horse I strode,
And join'd the army on the road.
As the grim conqu'ror urg'd his way,
He scatter'd terror and dismay.
Thousands a pensive aspect wore,
Thousands who sneer'd at death before.
Life's records rise on ev'ry side,
And conscience spreads those volumes wide;
Which faithful registers were brought
By pale-eyed Fear and busy Thought.
Those faults which artful men conceal,
Stand here engrav'd with pen of steel
By Conscience, that impartial scribe!
Whose honest palm disdains a bribe:
Their actions all like critics view,
And all like faithful critics too.

As Guilt had stain'd life's various stage,
What tears of blood bedew'd the page!

G

All shudder'd at the black account,
And scarce believ'd the vast amount!
All vow'd a sudden change of heart,
Would death relent, and sheath his dart :
But, when the awful foe withdrew,
All to their follies fled anew.

So when a wolf, who scours at large,
Springs on the shepherd's fleecy charge,
The flock in wild disorder fly,
And cast behind a frequent eye;
But when the victim's borne away,
They rush to pasture and to play.

Indulge my dream, and let my pen
Paint those unmeaning creatures, men.
Carus, with pain and sickness worn,
Chides the slow night, and sighs for morn:
Soon as he views the eastern ray,
He mourns the quick return of day;
Hourly laments protracted breath,
And courts the healing hand of death.

Verres, oppress'd with guilt and shame, Shipwreck'd in fortune, health, and fame, Pines for his dark, sepulchral bed, To mingle with th' unheeded dead.

With fourscore years grey Natho bends, A burden to himself and friends! And with impatience seems to wait The friendly hand of ling'ring Fate. So hirelings wish their labor done, And often eye the western sun.

The monarch hears their various grief; Descends, and brings the wish'd relief. On Death with wild surprise they stared; All seem'd averse! all unprepared!

As torrents sweep with rapid force,
The grave's pale chief pursued his course.
No human pow'r can or withstand,
Or shun, the conquests of his hand.
Oh! could the prince of upright mind,
And as a guardian angel kind,
With ev'ry heart-felt worth beside,
Turn the keen shaft of death aside,
When would the brave Augustus join
The ashes of his sacred line!

But Death maintains no partial war;
He mocks a sultan or a czar :
He lays his iron hand on all
Yes, kings, and sons of kings, must fall!
A truth Britannia lately felt,
And trembled to her centre-

!

Could ablest statesmen ward the blow, Would Grenville own this common foe? For greater talents ne'er were known To grace the fav'rite of a throne.

Could genius save-wit, learning, fireTell me would Chesterfield expire? Say, would his glorious sun decline, And set like your pale star or mine? Could ev'ry virtue of the skyWould Herringt, Butler, t, Secker §, die?

all?

Why this address to peerage
Untitled Allen's virtues call!
If Allen's worth demands a place,
Lords, with your leave, 'tis no disgrace.
Though high your ranks in heralds' rolls,
Know, Virtue too ennobles souls.
By her that private man's renown'd
Who pours a thousand blessings round.
While Allen takes Affliction's part,
And draws out all his gen'rous heart,
Anxious to seize the fleeting day,
Lest unimprov'd it steal away;
While thus he walks with jealous strife,
Through goodness, as he walks through life;
Shall not I mark his radiant path ?—
Rise, Muse, and sing the Man of Bath!
Publish abroad, could goodness save,
Allen would disappoint the grave;
Translated to the heavenly shore,
Like Enoch, when his walk was o'er.

Nor Beauty's pow'rful pleas restrain:
Her pleas are trifling, weak, and vain ;
For women pierce with shricks the air,
Smite the bare breasts, and rend their hair;
All have a doleful tale to tell,

How friends, sons, daughters, husbands fell!
Alas! is life our fav'rite theme-
"Tis all a vain or painful dream;
A dream which fools or cowards prize,
But slighted by the brave or wise.
Who lives, for others' ills must groan,
Or bleed for sorrows of his own;'
Must journey on with weeping eye,
Then pant, sink, agonize, and die.

"And shall a man arraign the skies, "Because man lives, and mourns, and dies? Impatient Reptile!" Reason cried;

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"Arraign thy passion and thy pride;
"Retire, and commune with thy heart;

"Ask whence thou cam'st, and what thou art; "Explore thy body and thy mind,

Thy station too, why here assign'd. "The search shall teach thee life to prize, "And make thee grateful, good, and wise. "Why do you roam to foreign climes, "To study nations, modes, and times; "A science often dearly bought, "And often what avails you nought? "Go, man, and act a wiser part, "Study the science of your heart: "This home philosophy, you know, "Was priz'd some thousand years ago ||. "Then why abroad a frequent guest? "Why such a stranger to your breast?

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Why turn so many volumes o'er, "Till Dodsley can supply no more? "Not all the volumes on thy shelf "Are worth that single volume, Self: "For who this sacred book declines, "Howe'er in other arts he shines,

Referring to the death of his late Royal Highness Frederic Prince of Wales.

+ Archbishop of Canterbury.

Late Bishop of Durham. § Bishop of Oxford. "Know thyself;" a celebrated saying of Chilo, one of the Seven Wise Men of Greece.

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"O prize this intellectual flame!

"This nobler self with rapture scan;

"Tis mind alone which makes the man. "Trust me, there's not a joy on earth, "But from the soul derives its birth; "Ask the young rake, (he'll answer right,) "Who treats by day and drinks by night, "What makes his entertainment shine? "What gives the relish to his wine? "He'll tell thee (if he scorns the beast) "That social pleasures form the feast. "The charms of beauty too shall cloy, "Unless the soul exalts the joy. "The mind must animate the face, "Or cold and tasteless ev'ry grace. "What! must the soul her pow'rs dispense, "To raise and swell the joys of sense? "Know, too, the joys of sense control "And clog the motions of the soul; "Forbid her pinions to aspire, "Damp and impair her native fire; "And sure as Sense, that tyrant! reigns, "She holds the empress Soul in chains : "Inglorious bondage to the mind, "Heaven born, sublime, and unconfin'd! "She's independent, fair, and great, "And justly claims a large estate; "She asks no borrow'd aids to shine; "She boasts within a golden mine; "But, like the treasures of Peru, "Her wealth lies deep, and far from view. "Say, shall the man who knows her worth, "Debase her dignity and birth? "Or e'er repine at Heaven's decree, "Who kindly gave her leave to be; "Call'd her from nothing into day, "And built her tenement of clay? "Hear and accept me for your guide "(Reason shall ne'er desert your side); "Who listens to my wiser voice, "Can't but applaud his Maker's choice; "Pleas'd with that first and sov'reign Cause, "Pleas'd with unerring Wisdom's laws: "Secure, since sov'reign goodness reigns; "Secure, since sov'reign pow'r obtains.

"With curious eyes review thy frame; "This science shall direct thy claim. "Dost thou indulge a double view, "A long, long life, and happy too? "Perhaps a farther boon you crave"To lie down easy in the grave. "Know, then, my dictates must prevail, "Or surely each fond wish shall fail.

"Come, then, is happiness thy aim? "Let mental joys be all thy game.

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