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TIME, DEATH, FRIEND.S HI PO
WHEN the Cock crew, he wept”-Smote by that Eyes.
Which looks on me, on-All: That Pow?n who bida; This Midnight Centinel; with Clarion frill, Emblem of that which shall awake the Dead, Rouse Souls from Slumber;, into Thoughts of Heavená. Shall I too weep? Where then is Fortitude ?: And Fortitude abandon'd, where is Man? I know the Terms ons which he sees the Light;; He that is born, is listed ; Life is War ; Eternal War with Wae. Who bears it best, Deserves it leaft. On other Themes. I'll dwell.. Lorenzo ! let me turn my Thoughts on Thee, And Thine, on Themes may profit; profit there, Where most thy Need. Themes, too, the genuine Growth, Of dear PHILANDER's Duft. He, thies, tho' dead, May still befriend-What Themes? Time's wondrous Price, Death, Friendship, and PHILANDER's final scene.
So could I touch these Themes, as might obtain
Thine Ear, nor leave thy Heart quite disengag'd,
The good Deed would delight me; half-impress
dark Cloud an Iris; and from Grief
Call Glory-Doft thou mourn PHILANDER's Fate?
I know thou say'st it: Says thy Life the same ?
He mourns the Dead, who lives as they desire.
Where is that Thrift, that Avarice of TIME,
(O glorious Avarice!) Thought of Death inspires,
As rumour'd Robberies endear our Gold ?
O Time! than Gold more sacred ; more a Load
Than Lead, to Fools ; and Fools reputed Wise.
What Moment granted Man without Account?
What Years are squander'd, Wisdom's Debt unpaid !
Our Wealth in Days all due to that Discharge.
Haste, hafte, He lies in wait, He's at the Door,
sinfidious Death! should his ftrong Hand arreft,
No Composition sets the Pris'ner free.
Eternity's inexorable Chain
Fast binds; and Vengeance claims the full Arrear.
How late I shudder'd on the Brink! how late
Life call'd for her last Refuge in Despair!
"That Time is mine, O MEAD, to Thee I owe;
Fain would I pay thee with Eternity.
Genius answers my Desire;
My fickly Song is mortal, past thy Cure.
Accept the Will ;–That dies not with my Strain.
For what calls thy Disease, LORENZO ? Not
Eor Esculapian, but for Moral Aid.
'Thou think?st.it Folly to be wise too soon.
Youth is not rich in Time ; 'it may be, poor ;
Part with it as with Money, sparing ; pay
No Moment, but in Purchase of its Worth;
And what its Worth, afk Death-beds; they can tell.
Part with it as with Life ; reluctant; big
With holy Hope of nobler Time to come ;
Time higher-aim'd, still nearer the great Mark
Of Men and Angels ; Virtue more divine.
Is this our Duty, Wisdom, Glory, Gain?
(Thefe Heav'n benign in vital Union binds)
And sport we like the Natives of the Bough,
When vernal Suns inspire ? Amusement reigns
Demand: To trifle is to live : And is it then a Trifle, too, to die?
Thou say'st I preach, LORENZO ! 'Tis confeft. What if, for once, I preach thee quite awake? Who wants Amusement in the Flame of Battle ? Is it not Treason to the Soul immortal, Her Foes in Arms, Eternity the Prize? Will Toys amuse, when Med'cines cannot cure ? When Spirits ebb, when Life's enchanting Scenes Their Luftre lose, and lessen in our Sight, As Lands and Cities with their glitt'ring Spires, To the poor shatter'd Bark, by sudden Storm Thrown off to Sea, and soon to perish there ; Will Toys amuse? No: Thrones will then be Toys, And Earth and Skies feem Duft upon the Scale..
Redeem we Time ? - Its Loss we dearly buy. What pleads LORENZO for his high-priz'd Sports ? He pleads Time’s num'rous Blanks; he loudly pleads The straw-like Trifles on Life's common Stream. 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 bleft 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 beft his Circumstance allows,
Does well, acts nobly; Angels could no more.
Our outward Act, indeed, admits Restraint:
'Tis not in Things o'er Thought to domineer;
Guard well thy Thought; our Thoughts are heard in
On all important Time, thro' ev'ry Age, (Heaven.
Tho'much, and warm, the Wife 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 Reafon speaks in All;
From the soft Whispers of that God in Man,
Why fly to Folly, why to Phrensy ily,
For Rescue from the Blesings we poffess?'
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 Riddance !), from ourselves.
Art, brainless Art ! our furious Charioteer,
(For Nature's Voice unftified 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!
Bleft Leisure is our Curse; like that of Cain,,
It makes us wander; wander Earth around
To fly that Tyrant, Thought. As Atlas groan'd
The World beneath, we groan beneath an Hour.
cry 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 fwifter than the Winds?
And all Mankind, in Contradition strong,
Rueful, aghaft! cry out on his Career.
Leave to thy Foes thefe Errors, and these Ills;
To Nature just, their Cause and Cure explore.
Not short Heav'n's Rounty, 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 Tempeft, 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 ;