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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 ! ev'ry moment pays.
If nothing more than purpose in thy power ;
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 things o'er thought to domineer;
Guard well thy thought; our thoughts are heard in
On all important Time, thro' ev'ry age,
Tho' much, and warm, the wise have urg'd; the man
Is yet unborn, who duly weighs an hour.
“ I've lost a day”—the prince who nobly cry'd
Had been an emperor without his crown;
Of Rome? say, rather, lord of human race:
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 archangels smile.
Who murders time, he crushes in the birth
A pow'r ethereal, only not ador’d.
Ah ! how unjust to nature, and himself,
Is thoughtless, thankless, inconsistent man!
Like children babbling nonsense in their sports,
We censure nature for a span too short;
That span too short, we tax as tedious too;
Torture invention, all expedients tire,
To lash the ling’ring moments into speed,
And whirl us (happy radiance !) from ourselves.
Art, brainless Art ! our furious charioteer
(For Nature's voice unstified would recall)
Drives headlong tow'rds the precipice of death;
Death, most our dread; death thus more dreadful made:
O what a riddle of absurdity!
Leisure is pain; takes off our chariot-wheels;
How heavily we drag the load of life!
Blest leisure is our curse ; like that of Cain,
It makes us wander; wander earth around
To fly that tyrant, thought. As Allas groan'd
The world beneath, we groan beneath an hour.
for mercy to the next amusement;
The next amusement mortgages our fields;
Slight inconvenience! prisons hardly frown,
From hateful Time if prisons set us free.
Yet when Death kindly tenders us relief,
We call him cruel; years to moments shrink,
Ages to years. The telescope is turn'd.
To man's false optics (from his folly false)
Time, in advance, behind him hides his wings,
And seems to creep, decrepit with his age;
Behold him, when past by; what then is seen,
But his broad pinions swifter than the winds ?
And all mankind, in contradiction strong,
Rueful, aghast! cry out on his career.
Leave to thy foes these errors, and these ills;
To nature just, their Cause and Cure explore.
Not short heav'n's bounty, boundless our expence;
No niggard, nature; men are prodigals.
We waste, not use our time; we breathe, not live.
Time wasted is existence, us'd is life.
And bare existence, man, to live ordain'd,
Wrings, and oppresses with enormous weight.
And why? since Time was giv'n for use, not waste,
Injoin'd to fly; with tempest, tide, and stars,
To keep his speed, nor ever wait for man;
Time's use was doom'd a pleasure: Waste, a pain ;
That man might feel his error, if unseen:
And, feeling, fly to labour for his cute;
Not, blund'ring, split on idleness for ease.
Life's cares are comforts; such by heav'n design'd;
He that has none, must make them, or be wretched.
Cares are employments; and without employ
The soul is on a rack; the rack of rest,
To souls most adverse; action all their joy.
Here then, the riddle, mark'd above, unfolds; Then time turns torment, when man turns a fool. We rave, we wrestle, with Great Nature's Plan;
Whose yesterdayı look backward with a limite ; a lor, like the Maithian wound him as they/'y;
London: Published Aug 169797 by Vernor& Hood & the other Proprietors.