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LXXXVII.; HENRY DELAUNE.
ON THE FRAIL THINGS OF THIS WORLD
Ere God on Sodom stretched his flaming hand,
He had a care to send just Lot away ;
So mostly still, when He will scourge a land,
Whom He best loves He puts out of the way. Early set forth to your eternal race,
The ascent is steep and craggy you must climb: God, at all times, has promised sinners grace
If they repent; but He ne'er promised time. Cheat not yourselves, as most, who then prepare
For death, when life is almost turned to fume; One thief was saved that no man might despair;
And but one thief, that no man might presume. Wealth, honour, friends, wife, children, kindred, all We
e so much doat on, and wherein we trust, Are withering gourds, blossoms that fade and fall;
Landscapes in water, and deeds drawn in dust. How many
has the morn beheld to rise In their youth's prime, as glorious as the sun, Who, like a flower cropt, have had their eyes
Closed up by death before the day was done. Poison, a knife, a pistol, thousands more
Sad instruments, set periods to our fates. Nature lets into life but at one door;
But to go forth death opens many gates.
All dark and comfortless !
Where are those various objects that but now
Einployed my busy eyes? where are those eves ?
Dead are their piercing rays, that lately shot
O'er flow'ry vales to distant sunny hills,
And drew with joy the vast horizon in.
These groping hands are now my only guides,
And feeling all my sight.
Shut from the living while among the living !
Dark as the grave amidst the bustling world !
At once from bus'ness and from pleasure barred!
No more to view the beauty of the spring!
Nor see the face of kindred or of friend!
LXXXIX. JOHN OLDHAM.
Wisdom's an evenness of soul,
A steady temper which no cares control,
No passions ruffle, no desires inflame;
Still constant to itself, and still the same.
Get that great gift and talent, Impudence,
Accomplished mankind's highest excellence :
'Tis that alone prefers, alone makes great.
Confers alone wealth, titles, and estate;
Gains place at court, can make a fool a peer,
An ass a bish'p: can vilest blockheads rear
To wear red hats and sit in porph’ry chair :
'Tis learning, parts, and skill, and wit, and sengo
Worth, merit, honour, virtue, innocence.
3. THE BOWL.
Make me a bowl, a mighty bowl!
Large as my capacious soul !
Vast as my thrift is! let it have
Depth enough to be my grave!
I mean the grave of all my care,
For I intend to bury't there.
Let it oi silver fashion'd be,
Worthy of wine, worthy of me:
Yet draw no shapes of armour there,
No casque, nor shield, nor sword, nor sperr;
Nor wars of Thebes, nor wars of Troy,
Nor any other martial toy :
For shat do I vain armour prize,
Who mind not such rough exercise ?
But gentler sieges, softer wars,
Fights that cause no wounds nor scary,
I'll have no battle on my plate,
Lest sights of them should broils crente:
Lest that provoke to quarrels too,
Which wine itself enough can do.
Draw me no constellations there,
No Ram, nor Bull, nor Dog, nor Bear ;
of the monstrous fry
Of animals that flock the sky:
For what are stars to my design ?
Stars, which I, when drunk, vutshine.
I lack no pole-star on the brink,
To guide in the wide sea of drink;
But would for ever there be toss'd,
And, with no haven, seek no coast.
Yet, gentle artist, if thou'lt try
Thy skill, then draw me, let me see)
Draw me first a spreading vine,
Make its arms the bowl entwine :
Let its boughs o'erspread above
Scenes of drinking, scenes of love.
Draw next the patron of that tree,
Draw Bacchus, and soft Cupid by:
Draw them both in toping shapes,
Their temples crown'd with cluster'd grap
Make them lean against the cup,
As 'twere to keep their figures up:
And when their reeling forms 1 view,
I'll think them drunk, and be so too.
XC. APHRA BEHN.
Honour, the error and the cheat
Of the ill-natur’d busy great !
Fond idol of the slavish crowd !
Nonsense invented by the proud!
Oh carsed honour! thou who first didst daaid
A woman to the sin of shame!
Honour, who first taught lovely eyes the art
To wound and not to cure the heart, With love t’invite, but to forbid with awe,
And to themselves prescribe a cruel law.
His chiefest attributes are pride and spite;
His pow'r is robbing lovers of delight!
Honour, that puts our words, that should be free,
Into a set formality !
Thou base debaucher of the gen'rous heart,
That teachest all our looks' and actions' art!
What love design'd a sacred gist,
What nature made to be possessed,
Mistaken honour made a theft :
Thou foe to pleasure ! nature's worst disease!
Thou tyrant over mighty kings!
Be gone to princes' palaces;
But let the humble swain go on
In the blest paths of the first race of man;
That nearest were to gods ally'd,
And, form’d for love, disdain'd all other pride.
1. THE TEMPLE OF DEATH. In those cold climates, where the sun appears Unwillingly, and hides his face in tears; A dreadful vale lies in a desert isle, On which indulgent heav'n did never smile. There a thick grove of aged cypress-trees, Which none without an awful horrour sees, Into its wither'd arms, depriv'd of leaves, Whole flocks of ill-presaging birds receives : Poisons are all the plants the soil will bear, And winter is the only season there. Millions of graves cover the spacious field, And springs of blood a thousand rivers yield; Whose streams, oppressed with carcases and bones, Instead of gentle murmurs, pour
Round is its figure and four iron gates
Divide mankind. By order of the fates,
There come in crowds, doom'd to one common grave,
The young, the old, the monarch, and the slave:
Old age and pains, which mankind most deplores,
Are faithỉul keepers of those sacred doors;
All clad in mournful blacks, which also load
The sacred walls of this obscure abode;
And tapers, of a pitchy substance made,
With clouds of smoke encrease the dismal shade.
A monster, void of reason, and of sight,
The goddess is, who sways this realm of night.
Her power extends o'er all things that have breath,
A cruel tyrant, and her name is Death.
Here brigbt eloquence does always smile
In such a choice yet unaffected stile,
As doth both knowledge and delight impart,
The force of reason with the flow'rs of art:
Clear as a beautiful transparent skin,
Which never hides the blood, yet holds it in.
Like a delicious stream it ever ran,
As smooth as woman, but as strong as man.
3. WIT. "Tis not a flash of fancy, which sometimes Dazzling our minds, sets off the slightest rhymes, Bright as a blaze, but in a moment done; True wit is everlasting like the sun.
XCII. SIR ROBERT HOWARD.
1. MANKIND. Mankind upon each other's ruin rise: Cowards maintain the brave, and fools the wise.
2. THE SAME. Mankind each other's stories still repeat, And man to man is a succeeding cheat.