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O MORTAL man, who livest here by toil,
Do not complain of this thy hard estate;
That like an emmet thou must ever moil,
Is a sad sentence of an ancient date;
And, certes, there is for it reason great,
For tho' sometimes it makes thee weep and wail,
And curse thy stars, and early drudge and late;
Withouten that would come a heavier bale,
Loose life, unruly passions, and diseases pale.
Why are we weighed upon with heaviness,
And utterly consumed with sharp distress,
While all things else have rest from weariness,
All things have rest, why should we toil alone?
We only toil who are the first of things,
And make perpetual moan,
Still from one sorrow to another thrown:
Nor ever fold our wings,
And cease from wanderings,
Nor steep our brows in slumber's holy balm; Nor hearken what the inward spirit sings"There is no joy but calm!"
Why should we only toil, the roof and crown of things.
THE most magnificent and costly dome,
Is but an upper chamber to a tomb;
No spot on earth but has supplied a grave,
And human skulls the spacious ocean pave.-Young.
But still the heart will haunt the well
Wherein the golden bowl lies broken,
And treasure, in the narrow cell,
The past's most holy token!
Or wherefore grieve about the dead?
Why bid the rose-tree o'er them bloom?
Why fondly deck their dismal bed,
And sanctify the tomb.
TO-MORROW you will live, you always cry,
In what far country does this morrow lie,
That 't is so mighty long ere it arrive?
Beyond the Indies does this morrow live?
"Tis so far fetched, this morrow, that I fear
"T will be both very old and very dear.
To-morrow I will live, the fool doth say,
To-day itself's too late; the wise lived yesterday.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace, from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusky death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow! a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Think not to-morrow still shall be your care;
Alas! to-morrow like to-day will fare.
Reflect that yesterday's to-morrow's o'er,—
Thus one "to-morrow," one "to-morrow" more,
Have seen long years before them fade away,
And still appear no nearer than to-day.
I am not concerned to know
What to-morrow's fate will do;
'Tis enough that I can say,
I've possessed myself to-day;
Then if haply midnight death,
Seize my flesh and stop my breath,
Yet to-morrow I shall be
Heir to the best part of me.
Oh! how many deeds
Of deathless virtue, and immortal crime,
The world had wanted, had the actor said
I will do this to-morrow!
FLATTER and praise, commend, extol their graces;
Though ne'er so black, say they have angels' faces.
That man that has a tongue, I say, is no man,
If with his tongue he cannot win a woman.
There's heaven still in thy voice; but that's a sign
Virtue's departing, for thy better angel
Still makes the woman's tongue his rising ground,
Wags there awhile, and takes his flight for ever.
Dropped manna, and could make the worse appear
The better reason, to perplex and dash
But still his tongue ran on, the less
Of weight it had, with greater ease;
And, with its everlasting clack,
Set all men's ears upon the rack.
The bookful blockhead, ignorantly read,
With loads of learned lumber in his head,
With his own tongue still edifies his ears,
And always listening to himself appears.
Is there a man of an eternal vein,
Who lulls the town in winter with his strain,
At Bath in summer chants the reigning lass,
And sweetly whistles as the waters pass?
Is there a tongue like Delia's o'er her cup,
That runs for ages without winding up?
There is a tongue in every leaf-
A voice in every rill-
A voice that speaketh everywhere-
In flood and fire, through earth and air,
A tongue that's never still.
THE town divided, each runs several ways,
As passion, humour, int'rest, party sways,
Things of no moment, colour of the hair,
Shape of a leg, complexion brown or fair,
A dress well chosen, or a patch misplac'd,
Conciliate favour, or create distaste.
The Town! what is there in the Town, to lure
Our household dreams away from the fresh flowers?
Is not the Town a monster? ravenous?
Fierce? Hydra-headed? fed by peasants' strength?
Deck'd out with plunder of the fields? along
Whose limbs of stone and marble arteries
Innumerous emmets crawl, till they sink down
Dead, with excess of feasting?
Sometime let gorgeous Tragedy
In sceptr'd pall come sweeping by,
Presenting Thebes' or Pelops' line,
Or the tale of Troy divine,
Or what (though rare) of later age
Ennobled hath the buskin'd stage.
MAN'S life's a tragedy: his mother's womb
From which he enters is the tiring room;
This spacious earth the theatre; and the stage
That country which he lives in; passion, rage,
Folly, and vice are actors;-the first cry
The prologue to the ensuing tragedy:
The former act consisteth of dumb shows,
The second he to more perfection grows;
In the third he is a man, and doth begin
To nurture vice and act the deeds of sin;
In the fourth declines; in the fifth diseases clog
And trouble him; then death's his epilogue.
Sir Henry Wotton.
How calm, how beautiful comes on
The stilly hour, when storms are gone;
When warring winds have died away,
And clouds, beneath the glancing ray,
Melt off, and leave the land and sea
Sleeping in bright tranquility!
Amid the "living sapphires" which on high
Burn moveless, seeming radiantly to roll
In mystic circles round the steadfast pole,
Thou had thy throne, benign Tranquility!
Nor only there; from the rich evening sky,
Whose glowing glories make th' approach of night
More beauteous than the noon's full blaze of light,
Thou lookest forth in thy serenity.
Nature is full of thee; the breath of flowers,
The leafy shade of grove or bushy dell,
The break of morn, the solemn midnight hours,
Thine impress bear; but most thou lov'st to dwell
With chasten'd souls, to whom the boon is given
Of peace on earth, with hope of bliss in heaven.
-TRANSLATORS, are authors grown,
For ill translators make the book their own.
Others do strive with words and forced phrase
To add such lustre, and so many rays,
That but to make the vessel shining, they
Much of the precious metal rub away.
He is translation's thief that addeth more,
As much as he that taketh from the store
Of the first author. Here he maketh blots,
That mends; and added beauties are but spots.
A new and nobler way thou dost pursue,
To make translations and translators too.-Denham.