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In the remote wood and lonely grott
Certain to meet the worst of evils, thought;
Dif'rent Ideas to his mem'ry brought:
Some intricate, as are the pathless woods ;
Impetuous fome, as the deseending floods :
With anxious doubts, with raging paffrons torn,
No sweet companion near with whom to mourn ;
He hears the echoing rock return his fighs ;
And from himself the frighted hermit flies.
Thus, thro' what path soe'er of life we roveg
Rage companies our hate, and grief our love :
Vex'd with the present moment's heavy gloom,
Why seek we brightness from the years to come ?
Disturl'd and broken like a fick man's sleep,
Our troubled thoughts to distant prospects leap:
DeGrous fill what flits us to o'er take :
For hope is but the dream of those that wake :
But, looking back, we see the dreadful train
Of woes, a-new which were we to sustain,
We should refuse to tread the path again.
Still adding grief, still counting from the first;
Judging the latest evils fill the worst;
And sadly finding each progreslave hour
Heighten their number, and augment their pow's :
'Till by one countless sum of wocs opprest,
Hoory with eares, and ignorant of reft,
We find the vital springs relax'd and worn :
Compelld our common impotence to mourn,
Thus, through the round of age to childhood we
return: Reflecting find, that naked from the womb We yesterday came fortb ; that in the tomb
Naked again we must to-morrow lie,
Born to lament, to labour, and to die.
Pass we the ills, which each man feels or dreads,
The weight or fall'n, or hanging o'er our heads;
The bear, the lion, terrors of the plain,
The sheepfold scatter'd, and the shepherd lain;
The frequent errors of the pathlefs wood,
The giddy precipice, and she dang'rous flood ;
The noilom peft'lence, that in open war
Terrible, marches through the mid-day air,
And scatters death ; the arrow that by night
Cuts the dank mift, and fatal wings the flight;
The billowing snow, and violence of the show'r,
That from the hills disperse their dreadful store,
And o'er the vales collected ruin pour ;
The worm that gnaws the ripening fruit, sad guest, ,
Canker or locuft hurtful to infest
The blade; while husks elude the tiller's care,
And eminence of want distinguishes the year.
Pafs we the flow disease, and subtle pain,
Which our weak frame is destin'd to fultain ;
The cruel stone with congregated war
Tearing his bloody way; the cold catarrh,
With frequent impulse, and continu'd strife,
Weak’ning the wasted seats of irksom life;
The gout's fierce rack, the burning fever's rage,
The sad experience of decay; and age,
Herself the forest ill; while death, and case,
Oft and in vain invok'd, or to appeale,
Or end the grief, with hasty wings recede
From the vex'd patient, and the fickly bed.
Nought shall it profit, that the charming fair;
Angelic, foftest work of heav'n, draws near
To the cold shaking paralytic hand,
Senseless of beauty's touch, or love's command,
Nor longer apt, or able to fulfill
The dictates of its feeble master's will.
Nought shall the psaltry, and the harp avail,
The pleasing song, or well-repeated tale ;
When the quick spirits their warm march forbear;
And numbing coldness has unbrac'd the ear.
The verdant riling of the flow'ry hill,
The vale enameli'd, and the crystal rill,
The occan rolling, and the sheily fhore,
Beautiful objects, shall delight no more ;
When the lax'd sinews of the weaken'd
In wat'ry damps, or dim fuffufion lie.
Day follows night; the clouds return again
After the falling of the latter rain;
But to the aged blind Ihall ne'er return
Grateful viciffitude: he still must mourn
The fun, and moon, and ev'ry starry light
Eclips'd to him, and lost in everlasting night.
Behold where age's wretched victim lies:
See his head trembling, and his half-clos'd eyes :
Frequent for breath his panting bosom heaves :
To broken fleep his remnant sense he gives ;
And only by his pains, awaking finds he lives.
Loos'd by devouring time the filver cord
Diffever'd lies : unhonour'd from the board
The crystal urn, when broken, is thrown by;
And apter utensils their place supply:
These things and thou must fhare an equal lot ;
Die, and be lost, corrupt and be forgot ;
While still another, and another race:
Shall now supply, and now give up the place.
From earth all came, to earth must all return;
Frail as the cord and brittle as the urn.
But be the terror of these,ills suppress’d:
And view we man with health and vigour bless'do
Home he returns with the declining fun,
His destin'd task of labour hardly done ;
Goes forth again with the ascending ray,
Again his travel for his bread to pay,
And find the ill sufficient to the day.
Hap'ly at night he does with horror shun
A widow'd daughter, or a dying son :
His neighbour's offspring he to-morrow fees :
And doubly feels his want in their increase :
The next day, and the next he must attend
His foe triumphant, or his buried friend.
In ev'ry act and turn of life he feels
Public calamities, or houthold ills :
The due reward to just desert resus'd:
The trust betray'd, the nuptial bed abus'd :
The judge corrupt, the long depending cause,
And doubtful iffue of misconftru'd laws.
The crafty turns of a dishonest state,
And violent will of the wrong doing great :
The venom'd tongue injurious to his fame,
Which nor can wisdom fhun, nor fair advance reclaim.
Efteem we these, my friends, event and chance, Produc'd as atoms form their flutt'ring dance ?
Or higher yet their essence may we draw
From destin'd order, and eternal law?
Again, my mufe, the cruel doubt repeat :
Spring they, I fay, from accident, or fate?
Yet fuch, we find, they are, as can controul
The servile actions of our wav'ring foul;
Can fright, can alter, or can chain the will;
Their ills all built on life, that fundamental ill.
O fatal search! in which the lab'ring mind,
Still press'd with weight of woe, Atill hopes to find
A shadow of delight, a dream of peace,
From years of pain, one moment of release ;
Hoping at least the may herself deceive,
Against experience willing to believe,
Defirous to rejoice, condemn'd to grieve.
Happy the mortal man, who now at laft
Has through this doleful vale of mis'ry paft ;
Who to his deftin'd age has carry'd on
The tedious load, and laid his burden down;
Whom the cut brass, or wounded marble shows
Victor o'er life, and all her train of woes..
He happier yet, who priviledg’d by fate
To shorter labour, and a lighter weight,
Receiv'd but yesterday the gift of breathg.
Order'd co-morrow to return to death.
But O! beyond descriprion happieft hc,
Who ne'er must roll on life's tumultuous sea;
Who with blest freedom from the gen'ral doom
Exempt, must never force the teeming womb,
Nor see the fun, nor link into the comb.
Who breathes, muft fuffer; and who thinks must And he alone was blest, wbo ne'er was born. [mours;