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'Tis the great art of life to manage well The restless mind. For ever on pursuit

Of knowledge bent, it starves the grosser powers:
Quite unemploy'd, against its own repose

It turns its fatal edge, and sharper pangs
Than what the body knows embitter life.
Chiefly where Solitude, sad nurse of Care,
To sickly musing gives the pensive mind,
There Madness enters; and the dim-eyed fiend,
Sour Melancholy, night and day provokes
Her own eternal wound. The sun grows pale;
A mournful visionary light o'erspreads

The cheerful face of Nature: earth becomes
A dreary desert, and heaven frowns above.
Then various shapes of cursed illusion rise:
Whate'er the wretched fears, creating Fear
Forms out of nothing, and with monsters teems
Unknown in hell. The prostrate soul beneath
A load of huge imagination heaves;

And all the horrors that the murderer feels,
With anxious flutterings wake the guiltless breast.
Such phantoms Pride in solitary scenes,
Or Fear, or delicate Self-love creates.
From other cares absolved, the busy mind
Finds in yourself a theme to pore upon;
It finds you miserable, or makes you so.
For while yourself you anxiously explore,
Timorous Self-love, with sickening Fancy's aid,
Presents the danger that you dread the most,
And ever galls you in your tender part.
Hence some for love, and some for jealousy,
For grim religion some, and some for pride,
Have lost their reason: some, for fear of want,
Want all their lives; and others, every day,

For fear of dying, suffer worse than death.
Ah! from your bosoms banish, if you can,
Those fatal guests: and first the demon Fear,
That trembles at impossible events;
Lest aged Atlas should resign his load,
And heaven's eternal battlements rush down.
Is there an evil worse than Fear itself?
And what avails it, that indulgent Heaven
From mortal eyes has wrapt the woes to come,
If we, ingenious to torment ourselves,
Grow pale at hideous fictions of our own?
Enjoy the present; nor, with needless cares
Of what may spring from blind misfortune's womb,
Appal the surest hour that life bestows:
Serene, and master of yourself, prepare

For what may come; and leave the rest to Heaven.
Oft from the body, by long ails mistuned,
These evils sprung, the most important health,
That of the mind, destroy: and when the mind
They first invade, the conscious body soon
In sympathetic languishment declines.

These chronic Passions, while from real woes
They rise, and yet without the body's fault
Infest the soul, admit one only cure;
Diversion, hurry, and a restless life.

Vain are the consolations of the wise;

In vain your friends would reason down your pain.
O ye, whose souls relentless love has tamed
To soft distress, or friends untimely fallen!
Court not the luxury of tender thought;
Nor deem it impious to forget those pains
That hurt the living, naught avail the dead.
Go, soft enthusiast! quit the cypress groves,
Nor to the rivulet's lonely moanings tune

Your sad complaint. Go, seek the cheerful haunts
Of men, and mingle with the bustling crowd;
Lay schemes for wealth, or power, or fame, the wish
Of nobler minds, and push them night and day:
Or join the caravan, in quest of scenes

New to your eyes, and shifting every hour,
Beyond the Alps, beyond the Apennines.
Or, more adventurous, rush into the field
Where war grows hot; and, raging through the sky,
The lofty trumpet swells the maddeuing soul :
And, in the hardy camp and toilsome march,
Forget all softer and less manly cares.

But most, too passive when the blood runs low,
Too weakly indolent to strive with pain,
And bravely by resisting conquer Fate,

Try Circe's arts; and in the tempting bowl
Of poison'd nectar sweet oblivion swill.

Struck by the powerful charm, the gloom dissolves
In empty air; Elysium opens round;

A pleasing frenzy buoys the lighten'd soul,
And sanguine hopes dispel your fleeting care;
And what was difficult, and what was dire,
Yields to your prowess and superior stars:
The happiest you of all that e'er were mad,
Or are, or shall be, could this folly last.

But soon your heaven is gone; a heavier gloom
Shuts o'er your head: and, as the thundering stream,
Swoln o'er its banks with sudden mountain rain,
Sinks from its tumult to a silent brook;

So, when the frantic raptures in your breast
Subside, you languish into mortal man ;
You sleep, and waking, find yourself undone.
For prodigal of life, in one rash night

You lavish'd more than might support three days.

A heavy morning comes; your cares return
With tenfold rage. An anxious stomach well
May be endured; so may the throbbing head :
But such a dim delirium, such a dream,
Involves you; such a dastardly despair

Unmans your soul, as maddening Pentheus felt,
When, baited round Citharon's cruel sides,
He saw two suns, and double Thebes ascend.
You curse the sluggish port; you curse the wretch,
The felon, with unnatural mixture first
Who dared to violate the virgin wine.
Or on the fugitive Champagne you pour
A thousand curses; for to heaven it wrapt
Your soul, to plunge you deeper in despair.
Perhaps you rue ev'n that diviner gift,
The gay, serene, good-natured Burgundy,
Or the fresh fragrant vintage of the Rhine:
And wish that Heaven from mortals had with-
held

The grape, and all intoxicating bowls.

Besides, it wounds you sore to recollect
What follies in your loose unguarded hour
Escaped. For one irrevocable word,

Perhaps that meant no harm, you lose a friend.
Or, in the rage of wine, your hasty hand
Performs a deed to haunt you to the grave.
Add that your means, your health, your parts
decay;

Your friends avoid you; brutishly transform'd,

They hardly know you; or if one remains
To wish you well, he wishes you in Heaven.
Despised, unwept you fall; who might have left
A sacred-cherish'd, sadly-pleasing name;

A name still to be utter'd with a sigh.

Your last ungraceful scene has quite effaced
All sense and memory of your former worth.

How to live happiest; how avoid the pains,
The disappointments, and disgusts of those
Who would in pleasure all their hours employ;
The precepts here of a divine old man
I could recite. Though old, he still retain'd
His manly sense, and energy of mind.
Virtuous and wise he was, but not severe;
He still remember'd that he once was young;
His easy presence check'd no decent joy.
Him ev'n the dissolute admired; for he
A graceful looseness when he pleased put on,
And, laughing, could instruct. Much had he read,
Much more had seen: he studied from the life,
And in the original perused mankind.

Versed in the woes and vanities of life, He pitied man and much he pitied those Whom falsely-smiling Fate has cursed with means To dissipate their days in quest of joy.

"Our aim is happiness; 'tis yours, 'tis mine,
(He said) 'tis the pursuit of all that live;
Yet few attain it, if 'twas e'er attain'd.
But they the widest wander from the mark,
Who through the flowery paths of sauntering Joy
Seek this coy goddess; that from stage to stage
Invites us still, but shifts as we pursue.

For, not to name the pains that pleasure brings
To counterpoise itself, relentless Fate
Forbids that we through gay voluptuous wilds
Should ever roam and were the Fates more kind,
Our narrow luxuries would soon grow stale.
Were these exhaustless, Nature would grow sick,
And, cloy'd with pleasure, squeamishly complain

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