« הקודםהמשך »
Nought shall it profit that the charming fair, Angelick, softest work of Heav'n, draws near • To the cold shaking, paralytick hand, • Senseless of Beauty's touch, or Love's command; • Nor longer apt or able to fulfil The dictates of it's 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 rising of the flow'ry hill, · The vale enamell’d, and the chrystal rill, • The ocean rolling, and the shelly shore, • Beautiful objects ! shall delight no more; • When the lax'd finews of the weaken'd eye, ' 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 shall ne'er return
Grateful viciffitude: he still must mourn · The sun, and moon, and ev'ry starry light, Eclips'd to him, and loft 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 sleep his remnant sense he gives, * And only by his pains, awaking, finds he lives.
Loos'd by devouring Time, the filver cord Diflever'd lies ; unhonour'd from the board, • The chrystal urn, when broken, is thrown by, ' And apter utensils their place supply. ' These things and thou must share one equal lot; · Die, and be loft; 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 fuppress'd,
And view we man with health and vigour bless’d.
Haply at night he does with horror fhun
Publick calamities or houshold ills:
And doubtful issue of mis-constru'd laws ;
• Esteem we these, my friends, event and chance,
Or higher yet their effence may we draw
Again, my Mufe, the cruel doubt repeat: :
Yet such we find they are, as can controul
O fatal search! in which the lab'ring mind, * Still press’d with weight of woe, ftill hopes to find < A shadow of delight, a dream of peace, « From
years of pain one moment of release: Hoping, at least, she may herself deceive;
Against experience willing to believe; • Desirous to rejoice, condemn'd to grieve.
• Happy the mortal man, who now at last, « Has thro' this doleful vale of misry pass'd;
Who to his deftin'd stage 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, privileg'd by Fate, < To shorter labour and a lighter weight, • Receiv'd but yesterday the gift of breath, « Order'd to-morrow to return to death. • But, O! beyond description, happiest he • Who ne'er must roll on life's tumultuous sea; • Who, with bless’d freedom, from the gen’ral doom
Exempt, must never force the teeming womb, • Nor see the fun, nor sink into the tomb. « Who breathes must suffer, and who thinks muft mourn ; . And he alone is bless'd who ne'er was born.'
• Yet, in thy turn, thou frowning Preacher, hear; · Are not these general maxims too severe ?
Say, cannot Pow'r secure it's owner's bliss ? . And is not Wealth the potent fire of Peace ? • Are victors bless’d with fame, or kings with ease?'
- I tell thee, life is but one common care, • And man was born to suffer and to fear.'
• But is no rank, no station, -no degree, . From this contagious taint of sorrow free?'
None, mortal! none ! yet in a bolder Arain, Let me this melancholy truth maintain.
• But hence, ye worldly, and prophane, retire ;
• Reduce the song; our hopes, our joys are vain ;
• What pause from woe, what hopes of comfort bring • The name of wise or great, of judge or king! • What is a king?--a man condemn’d to bear • The publick burden of the nation's care : * Now crown'd, some angry faction to appease;. • Now falls a victim to the people's ease. • From the first blooming of his ill-taught youth, • Nourish'd in flatt'ry, and estrang'd from truth ; • At home surrounded by a servile crowd,
Prompt to abuse, and in detraction loud; • Abroad begirt with men, and swords, and spears ; • His very state acknowledging his fears ; • Marching amidst a thousand guards, he Mhows • His secret terror of a thousand foes ; • In war, however prudent, great, or brave, • To blind events and fickle chance a lave ;
Seeking to settle what for ever flies, • Sure of the toil, uncertain of the prize.
• But he returns with conquest on his brow; Brings up the triumph, and abfolves the vow : • The captive generals to his car aré ty’d;
The joyful citizens' tumultuous tide,
Echoing his glory, gratify his pride. * What is this triumph! madness, fhouts, and noise; • One great collection of the people's voice. • The wretches he brings back, in chains relate • What may to-morrow be the victor's fate: • The spoils and trophies, borne before him, shew • National loss, and epidemick woe; * Various distress, which he and his may know. • Does he not mourn the valiant thousands Main; • The heroes, once the glory of the plain, • Left in the conflict of the fatal day, • Or the wolf's portion, or the vulture's prey ? • Does he not weep the laurel which he wears, • Wet with the foldiers blood and widows tears?
See, where he comes, the darling of the war! See millions crouding round the gilded car! • In the vast joys of this extatick hour, • And full fruition of successful pow'r, • One moment and one thought might let him scan • The various turns of life, and fickle state of man. • Are the dire images of sad distruit,
And popular change, obscur'd amid the dust • That rises from the victor's rapid wheel? • Can the loud clarion or shrill fife repel • The inward cries of Care? can Nature's voice, • Plaintive, be drown'd, or lessen'd in the noise; • Tho’shouts, as thunder loud, afflict the air, • Stun the birds, now releas'd, and shake the iv'ry chair ?
• Yon crowd, (he might reflect) yon joyful crowd, . Pleas'd with my honours, in my praises loud,