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From fix till ten! Unless I seep,
One cannot spend the hours fo cheap.
The comedy's no sooner done,
But some assembly is begun.
Loit’ring, from room to room I stray,
Converse, but nothing hear or say ;
Quite tir'd, from fair to fair I roam,
So soon! I dread the thoughts of home.
From thence to quicken flow-pac'd night,
Again my tavern friends invite;
Here too our early mornings pafs,
"Till drowsy sleep retards the glass.
Thus they their wretched life bemoan, And make each other's case their own.
Confider, friends, no hour rolls on, But something of our grief is gone. Were you to schemes of bus'ness bred, Did you the paths of learning tread, Your hours, your days would fly too fast; You'd then regret the minute past. Time's fugitive and light as wind; 'Tis indolence that clogs your inind : That load from off your spirits shake, You'll own, and grieve for your mistake. A while your thoughtless spleen suspend, Then read; and, if you can, attend.
As Plutus, to divert his care, Walk'd forth one morn to take the air, Cupid o’ertook his strutting pace : Each star'd upon the stranger's face, 'Till recollection set 'em right; For each knew t’other but by sight. ' After some complimental talk, Time met them, bow'd, and join'd their walk. Their chat on various subjects ran, But most, what each had done for man. Plutus assumes a haughty air, Just like our purse-proud fellows bere.
Let kings, says he, let coblers tell,
Whose gifts among mankind excel.
Consider courts : What draws their train ?
Think you, 'tis loyalty or gain ?
That statesman hath the strongest hold,
Whofe tool of politics is Gold :
By that, in former reigns, 'tis faid,
The knave in power hath senatès led :
By that alone he sway'd debates,
Enrich'd himself, and beggar'd states.
Forego your boast. You must conclude,
That's most esteem'd that's most pursu'd.
Think too, in what a woeful plight
That wretch must live whose pocket's light :
Are not his hours by want deprest?
Penurious care corrodes his breast :
Without respect, or love, or friends,
His folitary day descends.
You might, says Cupid, doubt my parts,
My knowledge too in human hearts,
· Should I the power of Gold dispute,
Which great examples might confute.
I know, when nothing elle prevails,
Persuasive money seldom fails;
That beauty too (like other wares)
Its price, as well as conscience, bears,
Then marriage, as of late profeft,
Is but a money job at best :
Consent, compliance may be fold;
But Love's beyond the price of Gold.
Smugglers there are, who, by retail,
Expote what they call Love to sale:
Such bargains are an arrant cheat; .
You purchase flatt'ry and deceit.
Those who true Love have ever try'd,
(Those common cares of life supply'd)
No wants endure, no wishes make,
But every real joy partake;
All comfort on themselves depends,
They want nor .pow'r, nor wealth, nor friends: .
Love then hath ev'ry bliss in store;
'Tis friendship, and 'tis something more:
Each other ev'ry wish they give,
Not to know Love, is not to live.
Or Love, or Money, Time reply'd,
Were men the question to decide, a
Would bear the prize; on both intent,
My boons neglected or misfpent.
'Tis I who measure vital space,
And deal out years to human race:
Though little priz'd and feldom sought,
Without Me, Love and Gold are nought.
How does the miser Time employ?
Did I e'er see him life enjoy;
By me forsook, the hoards he won
Are scatter'd by his lavish son,
By me all useful arts he gain'd,
Wealth, learning, wisdom are attain'd.
Who then would think, fince such my pow'r,
That e'er I knew an idle hour?
So fubtile and so swift I fly,
Love's not more fugitive than I.
Who hath not heard coquettes complain
Of days, months, years misspent in vain ?
For Time misus’d they pine and waste,
And Love's sweet pleasures never taste.
Those who direct their l'ime aright,
If Love or Wealth their hopes excite,
In each pursuit fit hours employ'd,
And both by Time have been enjoy’d.
How heedlets then are mortals grown!
How little is their int’rest known?
In ev'ry view they ought to mind me, .
For when once lost they never find me.
He spoke. The Gods no more contest,
And his superior gift confeft:
That Time (when truly understood)
Is the most precious earthly good.
LXIV. The Owl, the Swan, the Cock, the SPIDER,
the Ass, and the FARMER.
To a MOTHER.
ONVERSING with your sprightly boys,
Your eyes have spoke the Mother's joys ;
With what delight I've heard you quote
Their sayings in imperfect note!
I grant in body and in mind,
Nature appears profusely kind :
Trust not to that. Act you your part;
Imprint just morals on their heart;
Impartially their talents scan:
Just education forms the man.
Perhaps (their genius yet unknown)
Each lot of life's already thrown;
That this shall plead, the next shall fight,
The last affert the church's right.
I censure not the fond intent;
But how precarious is th’ event !
By talents misapply'd and crost,
Consider all your fons are lost.
One day, (the tale’s by Martial penn'd).
A father thus address’d his friend.
To train my boy and call forth sense,
You know I've stuck at no expence ;
I've try'd him in the sev'ral arts,
(The lad no doubt hath latent parts)
Yet trying all he nothing knows,
But crab-like rather backwards goes.
Teach me what yet remains undone;
'Tis your advice shall fix my son.
Sir, says the friend, I've weigh'd the matter ;
Excuse me, for I scorn to flatter:
Make him (nor think his genius check'd).
A herald or an architect.
Perhaps (as commonly 'tis known) :
He heard the advice and took his own.
The boy wants wit; he's sent to school,
Where learning but improves the fool:
The college next must give him parts,
And cram him with the lib'ral arts.
Whether he blunders at the bar,
Or owes his infamy to war;
Or if by licence or degree,
The fexton ihare the doctor's fee;
Or from the pulpit by the hour,
He weekly floods of nonsense pour;
We find (th' intent of nature foil'd)-
A taylor or a butcher spoil'd.
Thus ministers have royal boons
Conferr'd on blockheads and buffoons :
In spite of nature, merit, wit,
Their friends for ev'ry post were fit.
But now let ev'ry Mule confess,
That merit finds its due success:
Th’ examples of our days regard,
Where's virtue seen without reward ? .
Distinguish'd and in place you find
Desert and worth of ev'ry kind.
Survey the rev'rend bench, and fee
Religion, learning, piery:
The patron, 'ere he recommends, .
Sees his own image in his friend's.
Is honesty disgrac'd and poor?
What is’t to us what was before ?
We all of times corrupt have heard,
When pultry minions were preferr'd;
When all great oifices by dozens,
Were fill'd by brothers fons, and cousins,
What matter ignorance and pride?
The man was happily ally'd.