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Safety consists not in escape
From dangers of a frightful shape :
An earthquake may be bid to spare
The man that's strangled by a hair.
Fate steals along with silent tread,
Found oft'nest in what least we dread;
Frowns in the storm with angry brow,
But in the sunshine strikes the blow.
How lov’d, how valu'd once, avails thee not,
To whom related, or by whom begot:
A heap of dust alone remains of thee;
'Tis all thou art, and all the proud shall be.
All fame is foreign, but of true desert ;
Plays round the head, but comes not to the heart.
One self-approving hour, whole years outweighs
Of stupid starers, and of loud húzzas ;
And more true joy Marcellus exil'd feels,
Than Cæsar with a senate at his heels.
Virtue the guardian of youth.
Down the smooth stream of life the stripling darts,
Gay as the morn; bright glows the vernal sky,
Hope swells his sails, and Passion steers his course.
Safe glides his little bark along the shore,
Where Virtue takes her stand: but if too far
He launches forth beyond discretion's mark,
Sudden the tempest scowls, the surges roar,
Blot his fair day, and plunge him in the deep.
But yonder comes the powerful king of day,
Rejoicing in the east. The less'ning cloud,
The kinding azure, and the mountain's brow,
Illumd with fluid gold, his near approach
Betoken glad. Lo, now, apparent all
Aslant the dew-bright earth, and colour'd air,
He looks in boundless majesty abroail;
And sheds the shining day, that burnish'd plays
On rocks, and hills, and tow'rs, and wand'ring streams,
High gleaming from afar.
May I govern my passions with absolute sway;
And grow wiser and better as life wears away.
On a mountain, stretch'd beneath a hoary willow,
Lay a shepherd swain, and view'd the rolling billow.
VERSES CONTAINING EXCLAMATIONS, INTERROGATIONS, AND
A COMPETENCE is all we can enjoy :
Oh! be content, where Heav'n can give no more!
Reflection essential to happiness.
Much joy not only speaks small happiness,
But happiness that shortly must expire.
Can joy unbottom'd in reflection, stand ?
And, in a tempest, can reflection live?
Can gold gain friendship? Impudence of hope !
As well mere man an angel might beget.
Love, and love only, is the loan for love.
Lorenzo! pride repress; nor hope to find
A friend, but what has found a friend in thee.
All like the purchase ; few the price will pay:
And this makes friends such miracles below.
Beware of desp'rate steps. The darkest day
(Live till to-morrow) will have pass'd away.
Bane of elated life, of affluent states,
What dreary change, what ruin is not thine!
How doth thy bowl intoxicate the mind!
To the soft entrance of thy rosy cave,
How dost thou lure the fortunate and great!
Seize, mortals! seize the transient hour;
Improve each moment as it flies:
Life's a short summer-man a flow'r;
He dies-Alas!-how soon he dies !
The source of happiness.
Reason's whole pleasure, all the joys of sense,
Lie in three worls, health, peace, and competence;
But health consists with temperance alone;
And peace, O virtue! peace is all thy own.
Who can forbear to smile with nature? Can
The stormy passions in the bosom roll,
While every gale is peace, and ev'ry grove
O sacred solitude; divine retreat!
Choice of the prudent! envy of the great!
By thy pure streum, or in thy waving shade,
We court fair wisdom, that celestial maid:
* By solitude here is meant, a temporary seclusion from the world.
The genuine offspring of her lov'd embrace,
(Strangers on earth,) are innocence and peace.
There from the ways of men laid safe ashore,
We smile to hear the distant tempest roar;
There, bless'd with health, with business unperplex'
This life we relish, and ensure the next.
Presume not on to-morrow.
In human hearts what bolder thoughts can rise,
Than man's presumption on to-morrow's dawn?
Where is to-morrow? In another world.
For numbers this is certain; the reverse
Is sure to none.
Dum vivimus vivamus.- Whilst we live, let us live. Live, while you live," the epicure would say, “ And seize the pleasures of the present day.” “Live, while you live,” the sacred preacher cries; 6 And give to‘God each moment as it flies." Lord! in my views let both united be; I live in pleasure, when I live to thee! DODDRIDAL
VERSES IN VARIOUS FORMS.
The security of Virtue.
Let coward guilt, with pallid fear,
To shelt'ring caverns fly,
And justly dread the vengeful fate,
That thunders through the sky.
Protected by that hand, whose law,
The threatning storms obey,
Intrepid virtue smiles secure,
As in the blaze of day.
And Oh! by errour's force subdu'd, . .
Since oft my stubborn will
Prepost’rous shuns the latent good,
And grasps the specious ill,
Not to my wish, but to my want,
Do thou thy gifts apply ;
Unask'd, what good thou knowest grant;
What ill, though ask'd, deny.
I have found out a gift for my fair;
I have found where the wood-pigeons breed:
But let me that plunder forbear!
She will say 'tis a barbarous deed. For he ne'er can be true, she averr'd,
Who can rob a poor bird of its young: And I lov'd her the more, when I heard
Such tenderness fall from her tongue.
Here rests his head upon the lap of earth,
A youth to fortune and to fame unknown;
Fair science frown'd not on his humble birth,
And melancholy mark'd him for her own. Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere;
Heay'n did a recompense as largely send : He gave to misery all he had-a tear;
He gain'd from Heav'n ('twas all he wish'd) a friend. No further seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode, (There they alike in trembling hope repose,) The bosom of his father and his God.
Joy and sorrow connected.
Still, where rosy pleasure leads,
See a kindred grief pursue;
Behind the steps that mis’ry treads,
Approaching comforts view.
The hues of bliss more brightly glow,
Chastis'd by sable tints of wo;
And blended form, with artful strife,
The strength and harmony of life.
The golden mean.
He that holds fast the golden mean,
And lives contentedly between
The little and the great,
Feels not the wants that pinch the poor,
Nor plagues that haunt the rich man's door,
Imbitt’ring all his state.
The tallest pines feel most the pow'r
Of wint’ry blast; the loftiest tow'r
Comes heaviest to the ground.
The bolts that spare the mountain's side,
His cloud-capt eminence divide;
And spread the ruin round.
Moderate views and aims recommended.
With passions unruffled, untainted with pride,
By reason my life let me square ;
The wants of my nature are cheaply supplied;
And the rest are but folly and care.
How vainly, through infinite trouble and strife,
The many their labours employ!
Since all that is truly delightful in life,
Is what all, if they please, may enjoy.
Attachment to life. The tree of deepest root is found, Least willing still to quit the ground: 'Twas therefore said, by ancient sages, "That love of life increas'd with years,
So much, that in our later stages,
When pains grow sharp, and sickness rages,
The greatest love of life appears.
Virtue's address to pleasure.*
Vast happiness enjoy thy gay allies !
- A youth of follies, an old age of cares;
Young yet enervate, old yet never wise,
Vice wastes their vigour, and their mind impairs,
Vain, idle, delicate, in thoughtless ease,
Reserving woes for age, their prime they spend; All wretched, hopeless, in the evil days,
With sorrow to the verge of life they tend. Griev'd with the present, of the pasi asham’d, They live and are despis’d; they die, no more are nam'd.
VERSES IN WHICH SOUND CORRESPONDS TO SIGNIFICATION.
Smooth and rough verse.
Soft is the strain when zephyr gently blows,
And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows.
But when loud surges lash the sounding shore,
The hoarse rough verse should like the torrent roar.
Slow motion imitated.
When Aiàx strives some rock's vast weight to throw,
The line too labours, and the words move slow.
Swift and easy motion.
Not so when swift Camilla scours the plain,
Flies o’er th' unbending corn, and skims along the main.
Felling trees in a wood.
Loud sounds the axe, redoubling strokes on strokes ;
On all sides round the forest hurls her oaks
Headlong. Deep echoing groan the thickets brown;
Then rustling, crackling, crashing, thunder down.
Sound of a bow-string.
- The string let fly .
Twang'd short and sharp, like the shrill swallow's cry.
See! from the brake the whirring pheasant springs,
And mounts exulting on triumphant wings.
Scylla and Charybdis.
Dire Scylla there a scene of horrour forms,
And here Charybdis fills the deep with storms.
When the tide rushes from her rumbling caves,
The rough rock roars; tumultuous boil the waves.
Boisterous and gentle sounds.
Two craggy rocks projecting to the main,
The roaring winds tempestuous rage restrain :
Within, the waves in softer murmurs glide;
And ships secure without their halsers ride.
* Sensual pleasure.