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C H A P. x 1. Elegy to a young Nobleman leaving the
LRE yet, ingenuous Youth, thy steps retire Fron Cam's smooth margin, and the peaceful
vale, Where Science calld tkee to her studious quire,
And met thee musing in her cloisters pale :
Breathe from his artless reed one parting lay! A lay like this thy early Virtues claim,
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 boist'rous 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 blast th’unfolding blossomsere they blow; If mimic hues, by Art, or Fashion spread,
Their genuine, simple colouring should supply; 0! with them may these laureate honours fade;
And with them (if it can) my friendship die.
And vainly vent'rous, soars on waxen wing.
The poet's bosom pours the fervent strain, 'Till sad reflection blames the hasty choice,
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 Art;
On Vice's front let fearful Caution lour, And teach the diffident, discreeter part
Of knaves that plot, and fools that fawn for porver. 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 Sabine strain: The Muse forbids the virtuous Man to die. »
A little think the gay licentious proud, Whom pleasure, power, and affluence surround, They, who their thoughtless hours in giddy mirth, And wanton, often cruel, riot waste; Ah little think they, while they dance along, How many feel, this very moment, death And all the sad variety of pain: How piany sink in the devouring flood, Or more devouring flame: how niany bleed, By shameful yariance betwixt Man and Man: How many pine in want, and dungeon glooms Shut from the common air, and common use Of their own limbs : how many drink the cup Of balesul 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, tumbling headlong from the height of life,
C 11 A P. X XI I. Reflections on a future State. at į I is done!-dread Winter spreads his latest
glooms, And reigns tremendous o'er the conquer'd year. How dead the vegetable kingdoin lies! How dumb the tuneful! Harror wide extends His desolate domain. Behold, fond man! See here thy pictur'd life ; pass some few years : Thy flow'ring Spring, 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,
THOMSOM. | C H A P. x x III.
De 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 thinks himself immortale, All men think all men niortal, but themselves; Themselves, when some alarming shock of fate Strikes thro'their 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 their grave.