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A world is up in arms, and thou, a spot Not quickly found, if negligently sought, Thy soul as ample as thy bounds are small, Endur'st the brunt, and dar'st defy them all: And wilt thou join to this bold enterprise A bolder still, a contest with the skies? Remember, if He guard thee and secure, Whoe’er assails thee, thy success is sure; But if He leave thee, though the skill and pow'r Of nations, sworn to spoil thee and devour, Were all collected in thy single arm, And thou couldst laugh away the fear of harm, That strength would fail, oppos'd against the push And feeble onset of a pigmy rush.
Say not (and if the thought of such defence Should spring within thy bosom, drive it thence) What nation amongst all my fues is free . From crimes as base as any charg'd on me? Their measure fill’d, they too shall pay the debt, Which God, though long forborn, will not forget. But know that Wrath divine, when most severe, Makes justice still the guide of his career, And will not punish, in one mingled crowd, Them without light, and thee without a cloud.
Muse, hang this harp upon yon aged beech, Still murm’ring with the solemn truths I teach; And while at intervals a cold blast sings
Through the dry leaves, and pants upon the strings,
doceas iter, et sacra ostia pandas.
Virg. En. 6.
Ask what is human life-the sage replies, With disappointment low'ring in his eyes, A painful passage o'er a restless flood, A vain pursuit of fugitive false good, A scene of fancied bliss and heart-felt care, Closing at last in darkness and despair. The poor, inur'd to drudg’ry and distress, Act without aim, think little, and feel less, And no where, but in feign'd Arcadian scenes, Taste happiness, or know what pleasure means. Riches are pass'd away from hand to hand, As fortune, vice, or folly may command;
As in a dance the pair that take the lead
Dangling his cane about, and taking snuff,
For lift thy palsied liead, shake off the gloom, That overhangs the borders of thy tomb, See Nature gay, as when she first began With smiles alluring her admirer man; She spreads the morning over eastern hills, Earth glitters with the drops the night distils; The Sun obedient at her call appears, To fling his glories o'er the robe she wears; Banks cloth'd with flow’rs, groves fillid with
sprightly sounds, Thy yellow tilth, green meads, rocks, rising
grounds, Streams edg’d with osiers, fattning ev'ry field, Where'er they flow, now seen and now conceald; From the bluerim, where skies and mountains meet, Down to the very turf beneath thy feet, Ten thousand charms, that only fools despise, Or Pride can look at with indiff'rent eyes, All speak one language, all with one sweet voice Cry to her universal realm, Rejoice! Man feels the spur of passions and desires, And she gives largely more than he requires; Not that his hours devoted all to Care, Hollow-ey'd Abstinence, and lean Despair,