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Sit down, and think, and die in peace. 13
Oblige thy favourite undertakers
To throw me in but twenty acres;
This number sure they may allow;
For pasture ten, and ten for plough:
'Tis all that I would wish, or hope,
For me and John, and Nell, and Crop.
Then, as thou wilt, dispose the rest, 20
And let not fortune spoil the jest,
To those, who at the market-rate
Can barter honour for estate.
Now if thou grant'st me my request,
To make thy votary truly blessed,
Let cursed revenge, and saucy pride
To some bleak rock far off be tied;
Nor e'er approach my rural seat,
To tempt me to be base and great.
And, Goddess, this kind office done, 30
Charge Venus to command her son
(Where-ever else she lets him rove),
To shun my house, my field, my grove:
Peace cannot dwell with hate or love.
Hear, gracious Rhea, what I say:
And thy petitioner shall pray.
WRITTEN IN THE BEGINNING OF MEZERAY'S HISTORY OF FERANCE.
1 WHATE'ER thy countrymen have done
By law and wit, by sword and gun,
In thee is faithfully recited:
And all the living world, that view
Thy work, give thee the praises due,
At once instructed and delighted.
2 Yet for the fame of all these deeds,
What beggar in the Invalides,
With lameness broke, with blindness smitten,
Wished ever decently to die,
To have been either Mezeray,
Or any monarch he has written?
3. It’s strange, dear author, yet it true is,
That, down from Pharamond to Louis, A.
All covet life, yet call it pain; or " -
All feel the ill, yet shun the cure: o\
Can sense this paradox endure?
Resolve me, Cambray, or Fontaine.
4 The man in graver tragic known
(Though his best part long since was done)
Still on the stage desires to tarry;
And he who played the Harlequin,
After the jest still loads the scene
Unwilling to retire, though weary.
WRITTEN IN THE NOU WEAUX INTERETS
DES PRINCES DE L'EUROPE.
BLEST be the princes, who have fought
For pompous names, or wide dominion;
Since by their error we are taught,
That happiness is but opinion.
ADRIANI MORIENTIS AD ANIMAM SUAM.
ANIMULA, vagula, blandula,
Hospes, comesque corporis,
Quae nunc abibis in loca,
Pallidula, rigida, nudula?
Nec, ut soles, dabis joca.
BY MONSIEUR FONTENELLE. MA petite àme, ma mignonne, Tu t'en vas donc, ma fille, et Dieu scache oil tu was: Tu pars seulette, nué, et tremblotahte, helas! Que deviendra ton humeur folichonnel Que deviendront tant de jolis ébats!
1 Poor little, pretty, fluttering thing,
Must we no longer live together?
And dost thou prune thy trembling wing;
To take thy flight thou know'st not whither?
2 Thy humorous vein, thy pleasing folly
Lies all neglected, all forgot;
And pensive, wavering, melancholy,
Thou dread'st and hop'st thou know'st not what!
A PASSAGE IN THE MORIAE ENCOMIUM
OF ERASMUS IMITATED.
IN awful pomp, and melancholy state,
See settled Reason on the judgment seat;
Around her crowd Distrust, and Doubt, and Fear,
And thoughtful Foresight, and tormenting Care;
Far from the throne, the trembling Pleasures stand,
Chained up, or exiled by her stern command.
Wretched her subjects, gloomy sits the queen;
Till happy Chance reverts the cruel scene;
And apish Folly with her wild resort
Of wit and jest disturbs the solemn court. 10
See the fantastic minstrelsy advance,
To breathe the song, and animate the dance.
Blest the usurper! happy the surprise!
Her mimic postures catch our eager eyes;
Her jingling bells affect our captive ear; 15 And in the sights we see, and sounds we hear, Against our judgment she our sense employs; The laws of troubled Reason she destroys; ... And in her place rejoices to indite *Wild schemes of mirth, and plans of loose delight. 20
ON HIS PRACTICAL DISCOURSE CONCERNING DEATH.
Forgive the Muse, who, in unhallowed strains,
The saint one moment from his God detains;
For sure, whate'er you do, where'er you are,
"Tis all but one good work, one constant prayer.
Forgive her; and intreat that God, to whom
Thy favoured vows with kind acceptance come,
To raise her notes to that sublime degree,
Which suits a song of piety and thee.
Wondrous good man whose labours may repel
The force of sin, may stop the rage of hell; 10
Thou, like the Baptist, from thy God was sent,
The crying voice, to bid the world repent.
Thee Youth shall study, and no more engage
Their flattering wishes for uncertain age;
No more with fruitless care, and cheated strife,
Chase fleeting Pleasure through this maze of life:
Finding the wretched all they here can have,
But present food, and but a future grave:
Fach, great as Philip's victor son, shall view
This abject world, and weeping, ask a new. 20
Decrepit Age shall read thee, and confess,
Thy labours can assuage, where medicines cease;
Shall bless thy words, their wounded soul's relief, 23
The drops that sweeten their last dregs of life;
Shall look to Heaven, and laugh at all beneath;
Own riches gathered, trouble, fame a breath,
And life an ill, whose only cure is death.
Thy even-thoughts with so much plainness flow,
Their sense untutored infancy may know:
Yet to such height is all that plainness wrought, 30
Wit may admire, and lettered Pride be taught;
Easy in words, thy style in sense sublime,
On its blest steps each age and sex may rise;
'Tis like the ladder in the Patriarch's dream,
Its foot on earth, its height above the skies.
Diffused its virtue, boundless is its power,
'Tis public health, and universal cure;
Of heavenly manna 'tis a second feast;
A nation's food, and all to every taste.
To its last height mad Britain's guilt was reared; 40
And various death for various crimes she feared.
With your kind work her drooping hopes revive;
You bid her read, repent, adore, and live.
You wrest the bolt from Heaven's avenging hand,
Stop ready death, and save a sinking land.
O! save us still; still bless us with thy stay;
O! want thy Heaven, till we have learned the way;
Refuse to leave thy destined charge too soon:
And for the church's good, defer thy own.
O! live: and let thy works urge our belief; 50
Live to explain thy doctrine by thy life;
Till future infancy, baptized by thee,
Grow ripe in years, and old in piety;
Till Christians, yet unborn, be taught to die.
Then in full age, and hoary holiness,
Retire, great teacher! to thy promised bliss;