« הקודםהמשך »
. And filent weep-that while the deathless Muse
Impartial, scatter damps and poisons on thy name.'
Solomon considers man through the several stages and conditions of life, and
concludes, in general, that we are all miserable.' He reflects more particu. larly, upon the trouble and uncertainty of greatness and power; gives some instances thereof from Adam down to himself; and still concludes that ALL IS VANITY. He reasons again upon life, death, and a future being; finds human wisdom too imperfect to resolve his doubts ; has recourse to religion ; is informed by an angel what shall happen to himself, his family, and his kingdom, till the redemption of Israel: and, upon the whole, sesolves to submit his inquiries and anxieties to the will of his Creator.
COME, then, my soul! I call thee by that name ;
• Thou busy thing, from whence I know I am: . For knowing that I am, I know thou art; Since that must needs exist, which can impart !
But how thou cam'ft to be, or whence thy springs For various of thee priests and poets fing.
· Hear'ít thou, submissive, but a lowly birth,
Some separate particles of finer earth; • A plain effect which Nature must beget,
As motion orders, and as atoms meet ;
Companion of the body's good or ill, « From force of instinct more than choice of will ;
Conscious of fear or valour, joy or pain, • As the wild courses of the blood ordain : « Who as degrees of heat and cold prevail, • In youth doft flourish, and with age thalt fail ;
Till mingled with thy partner's latest breath, • Thoy Ay'st dissolv'd in air and loft in death?
• Or if thy great existence would aspire To causes more sublime, of heav'nly fire? < Wer't thou a spark struck off, a sep’rate ray, • Ordain'd to mingle with terrestrial clay ; • With it condem'd for certain years to dwell, • To grieve it's frailties, and it's pains to feel ; « To teach it good and ill, disgrace or fame, • Pale it with rage, or redden it with shame ; • To guide it's actions with informing care, • In peace to judge, to conquer in the war ; * Render it agile, witty, valiant, fage, ! As fits the various course of human age ; · Till as the earthly part decays and falls,
The captive breaks her prison's mould’ring walls, • Hovers a while
the sad remains, • Which now the pile or fepulchre contains, ? And thence with liberty unbounded fies, Impatient to regain her native skies?
• Whate'er thou art, where'er ordain'd to go, • (Points which we rather may dispute than know) • Come on, thou little inmate of this breast; . Which, for thy fake, from passions į diveft:
· For these, thou say't, raise all the stormy strife
• Amass'd in man there justly is beheld
Say, from these glorious feeds what harvest flows; • Recount our blessings, and compare our woes?
In it's true light let clearest Reason see · The man dragg'd out to act, and forc'd to be ;
Helpless and naked, on a woman's knees • To be expos’d or rear'd as she may please,
Feel her neglect, and pine from her disease : · His tender eye by too direct a ray • Wounded, and Aying from unpractis’d day; • His heart assaulted by invading air, • And beating fervent to the vital war ; • To his young sense how various forms appear, « That strike his wonder and excite his fear : • By his distortions he reveals his pains ; • He by his tears and by his fighs complains ; « Till time and use assist the infant wretch, • By broken words and rudiments of speech,
His wants in plainer characters to show, • And paint more perfect figures of his woe : ! Condemn’d to sacrifice his childish years ! To babbling ign’rance and to empty fears ; • To pafs the riper period of his age,
A&ting his part upon a crouded stage ; * To lasting toils expos’d, and endless cares, ! To open dangers, and to secret snares;
• To malice which the vengeful foe intends,
Or, sadly cenfur'd in their cursa debate,
Thus, thro' what path foe'er of life we rove, 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? • Disturb'd and broken, like a fick man's sleep, · Our troubled thoughts to distant prospects leap, • Desirous still what flies us to o'ertake ; • 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 evil still the worst,
Heighten their number and augment their pow'r ;
• We find the vital springs relax'd and worn,
Compelld our common impotence to mourn. • Thus thro' the round of age to childhood we return ; • Reflecting find, that naked from the womb • We yesterday came forth; 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 pathless wood, * The giddy precipice, and the dang'rous flood; · The noisome pest'lence, that in open war
Terrible, marches thro' the mid-day air, " And scatters death; the arrow that, by night, • Cuts the dank mist, and fatal wings it's flight; • The billowing snow, and violence of the shower, • That from the hills disperse their dreadful store, • And o'er the vales collected ruin pour; • The worm that gnaws the ripening fruit, fad guest; • Canker or locust, hurtful to infest • The blade ; while hulks elude the tiller's care, • And eminence of want distinguishes the year.
• Pass we the flow disease, and subtle pain, • Which our weak frame is deftin'd to sustain ; • The cruel ftone, with congregated war
Tearing his bloody way; the cold catarrh, • With frequent impulse and continu'd strife, • Weak’ning the wasted seats of irksome 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 Ease, « Oft and in vain invok'd, or to appease • Or end the grief, with hafty wings recede • From the vex'd patient and the sickly bed.