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The man that hails you, Tom or Jack,
And proves, by thumps upon your back
How he esteems your merit,
Is such a friend, that one bad need
Be very much his friend indeed,
To pardon or to bear it.
As similarity of mind,
Or something not tia be defin'd,
First fixes our attention ;
So, manners decent and polite,
The same we practis'd at first sight,
Must save it from declension.
Some act upon this prudent plan,
Say little, and hear all you can ;"
Safe policy, but hateful -
So barren sands imbibe the show'r,
But render neither fruit nor flow'r,
Unpleasant and ungrateful.
The man I trust, if shy to me,
Shall find me as reserv'd as he,
No subterfuge or pleading
Shall win my confidence again ;
I will by no means entertain
A spy on my proceeding.
These samples-for alas : at last
These are but samples and a taste
Of evils yet unmention'd
May prove the task a task indeed,
In which 'tis much if we succeed,
However well intention'd.
Pursue the search,
will find, Good sense and knowledge of mankind
To be at least expedient;
And after summing all the rest,
Religion ruling in the breast,
A principal ingredient.
The noblest friendship ever shown,
The Saviour's history makes known,
Though some have turn’d and turn'd it;
And whether being craz'd or blind,
Or seeking with a bias'd mind,
Have not, it seems, discern'd it.
Oh Friendship! if my soul forego
Thy dear delights while here below;
To mortify and grieve me,
May I myself at last appear
Unworthy, base, and insincere,
Or may my friend deceive me !
Improvement of tir recommended.
He mourns the dead, who lives as they desire.
Where is that thrift, that avarice of Time,
(Blest av'rice!) which the thought of death inspires ?
O time ! than gold more sacred ; more a load
Than lead, to fools ; and fools reputed wise.
What moment granted man without account?
What years are squander'd, wisdom's debt unpaid !
Haste, haste, he lies in wait, he's at the door,
Insidious Death ; should his strong hand arrest,
No composition sets the prisoner free.
Eternity's inexorable chain
Fast binds ; and vengeance claims the full arrear.
How late I shudder'd on the brink ! how late
Life call’d for her last refuge in despair!
For what calls thy disease ? for moral aid,
Thou think'st it folly to be wise too soon.
Youth is not rich in time ; it may be, poor :
Part with it as with money, sparing ; pay
No moment, but in purchase of its worth :
And what its worth, ask death-beds; they can tell.
Part with it as with life, reluctant; big
With holy hope of nobler time to come.
Is this our duty, wisdom, glory, gain?
And sport we, like the natives of the bough,
When vernal suns inspire ? Amusement reigns,
Man's great demand : to trifle is to live :
And is it then a trifle, too, to die?
Who wants amusement in the flame of battle
Is it not treason to the soul immortal,
Her foes in arms, eternity the prize ?
Will toys amuse, when med'cines cannot cure ?
When spirits ebb, when life's enchanting scenes
Their lustre lose, and lessen in our sight ;
(As lands, and cities with their glitt'ring spires
To the poor shatter'd bark, by sudden storm
Thrown off to sea, and soon to perish there ;)
Will toys amuse ?-No: thrones will then be toys,
And earth and skies seem dust upon the scale.
Redeem we time ? - its loss we dearly buy.
What pleads Lorenzo for his high-priz'à sports ?
He pleads time's num'rous blanks ; he loudly pleads
The straw-like trifles on life's common stream.
From whom those blanks and trifles, but from thee?
No blank, no trifle, nature made or meant.
Virtue, or purpos'd virtue, still be thine :
This cancels thy complaint at once ; this leaves
In act no trifle, and no blank in time.
This greatens, fills, immortalizes all :
This, the blest art of turning all to gold;
This, the good heart's prerogative to raise
A royal tribute, from the poorest hours.
Immense revenue ! every moment pays.
If nothing more than purpose in thy pow'r,
Thy purpose firm, is equal to the deed:
Who does the best his circumstance allows,
Does well, acts nobly; angels could no more.
Our outward act, indeed, admits restraint;
'Tis not in things o'er thought to domineer ;
Guard well thy thoughts ; our thoughts are heard in heaven
On all-important time, thro' ev'ry age,
Tho' much, and warm, the wise have urg'd ; the map
Is yet unborn, who duly weighs an hour.
“I've lost a day"—the prince who nobly cried,
Had been an emperor without his crown.
He spoke, as if deputed by mankind.
So should all speak: so reason speaks in all.
From the soft whispers of that God in man,
Why fly to folly, why to phrenzy fly,
For rescue from the blessing we possess ?
Time, the supreme !-Time is eternity;
Pregnant with all eternity can give,
Pregnant with all that makes arch-angels smile :
Who murders time, he crushes in the birth
A pow'r ethereal, only not ador'd.
Lo! where the rosy-bosom'd Hours,
Fair Venus' train, appear ;
Disclose the long-expected flow'rs,
And wake the purple year!
The Attic warbler pours her throat,
Responsive to the cuckoo's note,
The untaught harmony of Spring ;
While whisp'ring pleasure as they fly,
Cool zephyrs thro' the clear blue sky
Their gather'd fragrance fling. Foere or the oak’s thick branches stretch
A broader, browner shade;
Where'er the rude and moss-grown beech
O’er-canopies the glade ;
Beside some water's rushy brink,
With me the Muse shall sit and think
(At ease reclin’d in rustic state): How vain the ardour of the crowd, How low, how little are the proud,
How indigent the great!
Still is the toiling hand of care ;
The panting herds repose ;
Yet hark, how thro' the peopled air
The busy murmur glows !
The insect youth are on the wing,
Eager to taste the honey'd spring,
And float amid the liquid noon :
Some lightly o'er the current skim,
Some show their gaily-gilded trim
Quick-glancing to the sun.
To contemplation's sober eye
Such is the race of man ;
And they that creep, and they that fly,
Shall end where they began.
Alike the busy and the gay
But flutter thro’ life's little day,
In fortune's varying colours drest ;
Brush'd by the hand of rough mischance,
Or chill'd by age, their airy dance
They leave in dust to rest.
Description of winter at Copenhagen.
From frozen climes, and endless tracts of snow,
From streams that northern winds forbid to flow,
What present shall the Muse to Dorset bring,
Or how, so near the Pole, attempt to sing ?
The hoary winter here conceals from sight
All pleasing objects that to verse invite.
The hills and dales, and the delightful woods,
The flow'ry plains, and silver-streaming floods,
By snow disguis'd, in bright confusion lie,
And with one dazzling waste fatigue the eye.
No gentle breathing breeze prepares the spring; No birds within the desert region sing.
The ships, unmov'd, the boist'rous winds defy,
While rattling chariots o'er the ocean fly,
The vast leviathan wants room to play,
And spout his waters in the face of day.
The starving wolves along the main sea prowl,
And to the Moon in icy valleys howl.
For many a shining league the level main,
Here spreads itself into a glassy plain :
There solid billows, of enormous size,
Alps of green ice, in wild disorder rise.
And yet but lately have I seen, e’en here,
The winter in a lovely dress appear.
Ere yet the clouds let fall the treasur'd snow,
Or winds began through hazy skies to blow,
At ev'ning a keen eastern breeze arose;
And the descending rain unsullied froze
Soon as the silent shades of night withdrew,
The ruddy morn disclos'd at once to view
The face of nature in a rich disguise,
And brighten'd ev'ry object to my eyes :