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What dost thou mean, ungrateful Wretch, thou vain,
Thou mortal thing, thus idly to complain,
And sigh and sob, that thou Malt be no more?
For if thy Life were pleasant heretofore ;
If all the bounteous Blessings I could give
Thou hast enjoy'd, if thou hast known to live,
And pleasure not leak'd thro’thee like a Sieve;
Why doft thou not give thanks as at a plenteous Feast,
Cram'd to the Throat with Life, and rise and take
But if my Blessings thou hast thrown away, (thy reff:
If indigested Joys pass’d thro’and would not itay,
Why dost thou wish for more to squander ftill:
If Life be grown a load, a real ill,
And I would all thy Cares and Labours end,
Lay down thy burden, Fool, and know thy Friend.
To please thee I have empty'd all my Store,
I can invent, and can supply no more;
But run the round again, the round I ran before.
Suppose thou art not broken yet with Years,
Yet ftill the self-fame Scene of things appears,
And would be eyer, couldft thou ever live;
For life is still but life, there's nothing new to give.
What can we plead against so just a Bill ?
We stand convicted, and our Cause goes ill.
But if a Wretch, a Man oppreft by Fate,
should beg of Nature to prolong his Date,
She speaks aloud to him with more disdain,
Be still thou Martyr Fool, thou covetous of Pain.
But if an old decrepit Sot lament ;
What thou (The crys) who haft out-liv'd Content !
Doft thou complain, who haft enjoy'd my Store:
But this is still th'effeở of wishing more!
Unsatisfy'd with all that Nature brings ;
Loathing the present, liking absent things ;
From hence it comes thy vain desires at itrife
Within themselves, have tantaliz'd thy Life.
And ghafly Death appear’d-before thy sight (light.
E'er thou hadít gorg'd thy Soul and Senses with de-
Now leave those Joys, unsuiting to thy Age,
To a fresh Comer, and resign the Stage.
Is Nature to be blam'd if thus the chide :
No sure ; for 'tis her Business to provide
Against this ever-changing Frame's decay,
New things to come, and old to pass away.
One Being worn, another Being makes;
Chang'd but not loft ; for Nature gives and takes:
New Matter must be found for things to come,
And there must waste like those, and follow Natures:
All things, like thee, have time to rise and rot; (doom.
And from each others ruin are begot;
For life is not confin'd to him or thee ;
'Tis giv'n to all for Use; to none for Property.
Conlider former Ages past and gone,
Whose Circles ended long e'er thine begun,
Then tell me Fool, what part in them thou haft?
Thus may'st chou judge the future by the past.
What horrour feeft thou in that quiet State,
What Bugbear Dreams to fright thee after Fate !
No Ghost, no Goblins, that ftill passage keep,
But all is there serene, in that eternal Sleep.
For all the dismal Tales that Poets tell,
Are verify'd on Earth, and not in Hell.
No Tantalus looks up with fearful Eye, [high :
Qr dreads th' impending Rock to crush him from on
But fear of Chance on Earth difturbs our easie hours :
Or vain imagin'd Wrath, of vain imagin'd Pow'rs.
No Tityus torn by Vultures lies in Hell;
Nor cou'd the Lobes of his rank Liver swell
To that prodigious Mass, for their eternal Meal.
Not tho' his monstrous Bulk had cover'd o'er
Nine spreading Acres, or nine thousand more ;
Not tho' the Globe of Earth had been the Gyants
Nor in eternal Torments could he lye ;
Nor could his Corps sufficient food supply.
But he's the Tityus, who by Love opprest,
Or Tyrant Passion preying on his Breaft,
And ever anxious thoughts, is robb’d of reft.
The Sisyphus is he, whom noise and strife
Seduce from all the soft retreats of Life,
To vex the Government, disturb the Laws,
Drunk with the Fumes of popular applause,
He courts the giddy Croud to make him great,
And sweats and toils in vain, to mount the sovereign
For ftill to aim at pow'r, and still to fail, (Seat.
Ever to strive, and never to prevail,
What is it, but in Reason's true account
To heave the Stone against the rising Mount ;
Which urg'd, and labour'd, and forc'd up with pain,
Recoils, and rouls impetuous down, and smoaks 2-
long the plain.
Then still to treat thy ever craving Mind
With ev'ry Bleffing, and of ev'ry kind,
Yet never fill thy sav'ning appetite,
Though Years and Seasons vary thy delight,
Yet nothing to be seen of all the store,
But still the Wolf within thee barks for more;
This is the Fable's Moral, which they tell
Of fifty foolish Virgins damn'd in Hell
To leaky Vessels, which the Liquor spill;
To Vessels of their Sex, which mone could ever fille
As for the Dog, the Furies, and their Snakes,
The gloomy Caverns, and the burning Lakes,
And all the vain infernal trumpery,
They neither are, nor were, nor e'er can be.
But here on Earth the guilty have in view
The mighty Pains to mighty Mischiefs due :
Racks, Prisons, Poisons, the Tarpeian Rock,
Stripes, Hangmen, Pitch, and suffocating Smoak,
And last, and most, if these were cast behind,
Th’avenging horrour of a Conscious Mind,
Whose deadly fear anticipates the blow,
And sees no end of Punishment and Woc:
But looks for more, at the last gasp of Breath :
This makes an Hell on Earth, and Life a Death.
Mean time, when thoughts of death disturb thy Head;
Consider, Ancus great and good is dead;
Ancus thy better far, was born to die,
And thou, dost thou bewail mortality ?
So many Monarchs with their mighty State,
Who rul'd the World, were over-rul'd by Fate.
That haughty King, who lorded o'er the Main,
And whose stupendous Bridge did the wild Waves re-
(In vain they foam'd, in vain thy threatned wreck,
While his proud Legions march'd upon their back :)
Him, Death, a greater Monarch, overcame; (Name.
Nor spard his Guards the more, for their immortal
The Roman Chief, the Carthaginian Dread,
Scipio, the Thunder-Bolt of War, is dead,
And like a common Slave, by fate in triumph led.
The Founders of invented Arts are lost;
And Wits who made Eternity their boaft :
Where now is Homer who posseft the Throne ?
Th’immortal Work remains, the mortal Author's
Democritus perceiving Age invade,
[gone, His Body weaken’d, and his Mind decay'd, Obey'd the Summons with a chearful Face; [Race.. Made hafte to welcome Death, and met him halfthe That stroke, ev’n Epicurus could not bar, Though he in Wit surpass’d Mankind, as far As does the midday Sun, the midnight Star. And thou, dost thou disdaiu to yield thy Breath, Whose very life is little more than death? More than one half by lazy Neep poffeft;: And when awake, thy Soul but nods at beft, (Breaft. Day-dreams and sickly thoughts revolving in thy Eternal Troubles haunt thy anxious Mind, . Whose cause and cure thou never hop'st to find 3 But still uncertain, with thy self at strife, Thou wander'ft in the Labyrinth of Life.
0, if the foolish Race of Man, who find
A weight of cares ftill pressing on their mind,
Could find as well the cause of this unrest,
And all this burden lodg'd within the Breast !
Sure they would change their Course; nor live as now,
Uncertain what to wish or what to vow.
Uneasie both in Country and in Town,
They search a Place to lay their Burden down,
One restless in his Palace, walks abroad,
And vainly thinks to leave behind the load.
But straight returns ; for he's as restless there;
And finds there's no relief in open Air.
Another to his Villa would retire,
And spurs as hard as if it were on fire ;
No sooner enter'd at his Country docs,
But he begins to ftretch, and yawn, and snore ;
Or seeks the City which he left before.
Thus every Man o'er-works his weary will,
To fhun himself, and to shake off his Ill;
The shaking Fit returns, and hangs upon him ftill,
No prospect of Repose, nor hope of Ease;
The Wretch is ignorant of his Disease ;
Which known would all his fruitless trouble spare ;
For he would know the World not worth his care:
Then would he search more deeply for the cause;
And study Nature well, and Nature's Laws:
For in this moment lyes not the debate;
But on our future, fix'd, eternal State;
That never-changing State which all must keep
Whom Death has doom'd to everlasting ficep.
Why are we then so fond of mortal Life,
Beset with dangers and maintain’d with strife.
A Life which all our care cån never save;
One Fate attends us ; and one common Grave.
Besides, we tread but a perpetual rounds
We ne'cr strike out; but beat the former ground,
And the same Maukish Joys in the same track are