« ПредишнаНапред »
HIS day, whate’er the Fates decree,
Shall still be kept with joy by me :
This day then let us not be told,
you are fick, and I
Nor think on our approaching ills,
And talk of spectacles and pills :
To-morrow will be time enough
To hear such mortifying stuff,
Yet, since from reason may be brought
A better and more pleasing thought,
Which can, in spite of all decays,
Support a few remaining days ;
From not the gravest of Divines
Accept for once some serious lines.
Although we now can form no more
Long schemes of life,
heretofore; Yet you, while time is running fast, Can look with joy on what is past. VOL. II.
Were future happiness and pain
A mere contrivance of the brain ;
As atheists argue, to entice
And fit their profelytes for vice
(The only comfort they propose,
To have companions in their woes):
Grant this the case ; yet sure 'tis hard
That virtue, styl'd-its own reward,
And by all sages understood
To be the chief of human good,
Should acting die; nor leave behind
Some lasting pleasure in the mind,
Which by remembrance will allwage
Grief, sickness, poverty, and age,
And strongly shoot a radiant dart
To shine through life's declining part.
Say, Stella ; feel you no content,
Reflecting on a life well-spent ?
Your skilful hand employ'd to save
Iespairing wretches froin the grave;
And then supporting with your
Those whom you dragg'd from death before ?
So Providence on mortals waits,
Preserving what it first creatcs.
Your generous boldness to defend
An innocent and absent friend;
That courage which can make you just
To incrit Irumbled in the dust;
The deteftation you express
For vice in all its glittering dress;
That patience under tottering pain,
Where stubborn Stoicks would complain;
Muft these like empty shadows pass,
Or forms reflected from a glass?
Or mere chimeras in the mind,
That ily, and leave no marks behind
Does not the body thrive and grow
By food of twenty years ago?
And, had it not been still supply'd,
It must a thousand times have died.
Then who with reason can maintain
That no effects of food remain ?
And is not virtue in mankind
The nutriment that feeds the mind;
Upheld by each good action past,
And still continued by the last ?
Then, who with reason can pretend
That all effects of virtue end ?
Believe me, Stella, when you show :?
That true contempt for things below,
Nor prize your life for other ends
Than merely to oblige your friends ;
Your former actions claiin their part,
And join to fortify your heart.
For Virtue in her daily race,
Like Janus, bears a double face ;
Looks back with joy where the has gone
And therefore goes with courage on:
She at your fickly couch will wait,
And guide you to a better state.
O then, whatever Heaven intends,
Take pity on your pitying friends !
To fancy they can be unkind.
Me, surely me, you ought to spare,
Who gladly would your suffering share,liwa?
Or give my scrap of life to you,
And think it far beneath your due ;
You, to whose care so oft I owe
That I'm alive to tell you so.
Paraphrased, and inscribed to IRELAND. 17926.
Poor floating isle, tost on ill-fortune's waves,
Ordain'd by fate to be the land of slaves;
Shall moving Delos now deep-rooted stand :
Thou, fix'd of old, be now the moving land?.
Although the metaphor be worn and ftale,
Betwixt a state, and vessel under fail;
Let me suppose thee for a ship a-while,
And thus address thee in the sailor's style :
UNHAPPY thip, thou art return'd in vain :
New waves shall drive thee to the deep again.
Look to thyself, and be no more the sport
Of giddy winds, but make some friendly port.