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INSCRIBED TO THE MEMORY OF THE HONOUR-
DRowNED IN THE RIVER PIAvA, IN THE couxTRY
of FRIUL1, MDCCIII. IN IMITATION OF
HORACE, ODE 28, LIB. I.
Te maris et terrae numeroque carentis arenae
SAY, dearest Villiers, poor departed friend, (Since fleeting life thus suddenly must end) | Say, what did all thy busy hopes avail, That anxious thou from pole to pole didst sail; Ere on thy chin the springing beard began To spread a doubtful down, and promise man : What profited thy thoughts, and toils, and cares, In vigour more confirm’d, and riper years? To wake ere morning dawn to loud alarms, And march till close of night in heavy arms; To scorn the summer's suns and winter's snows, And search through every clime thy country's foes!
1 Colonel George Williers was in the marine service. When this accident happened to him he was accompanied by William Courtenay, Esq., son of Sir William Courtenay, a captain in his regiment, and both shared the same fate. They had been out on an excursion to see the country.
That thou mightst Fortune to thy side engage;
1 John Churchill, Marquis of Blandford, only son of John, Duke of Marlborough by Sarah his duchess. He died 10th March, 1702, aged 16, and was buried at King's College chapel, Cambridge.
The ancient sage, who did so long maintain That bodies die, but souls return again, With all the births and deaths he had in store, Went out Pythagoras, and came no more. And modern Asgyll," whose capricious thought Is yet with stores of wilder notions fraught, Too soon convinc'd, shall yield that fleeting breath, Which play’d so idly with the darts of death.
Some from the stranded vessel force their way; Fearful of Fate, they meet it in the sea: Some who escape the fury of the wave, Sicken on earth, and sink into a grave : In journeys or at home, in war or peace, By hardships many, many fall by ease. Each changing season does its poison bring, Rheums chill the winter, agues blast the spring :
1 John Asgyll, Esq., a lawyer of some eminence, but more remarkable for the very extraordinary publication here alluded to. He was a member of the English parliament for Bramber in Sussex. In the year 1700 he published a treatise, entitled, “An argument proving that according to the covenant of eternal life revealed in the scriptures, man may be translated hence into that eternal life without passing through death, although the human nature of Christ himself could not be thus translated till he had passed through death.” Being involved in many perplexing lawsuits, and much reduced in his circumstances, the House of Commons made this pamphlet a pretence for expelling him in September, 1707. His affairs afterwards continued to grow worse, and he passed the remainder of his life in the rules of the King's Bench, or Fleet. He died within the former on the 10th of November, 1738, when he was considerably above fourscore years of age.
Wet, dry, cold, hot, at the appointed hour,
To find the object which this verse deplores;
PROLOGUE, SPOKEN AT COURT BEFORE THE QUEEN, ON HER
MAJESTY's BIRTII DAY, MDCCIV.
SHINE forth, ye planets, with distinguish’d light,