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These shall the fury Passions tear,
And Shame that sculks behind;
Ambition this shall tempt to rise,
And grinning Infamy.
The stings of Falsehood those shall try
Amid severest woe.
Lo, in the vale of years beneath
More hideous than their queen :
This racks the joints, this fires the veins,
That every labouring sinew strains,
Those in the deeper vitals rage:
Lo! Poverty, to fill the band,
That numbs the soul with icy hand,
To each his sufferings: all are men,
The tender for another's pain,
Th' unfeeling for his own.
Yet, ah! why should they know their fate,
O happy shades! to me unblest!
And heart that cannot rest, agree!
This glassy stream, that spreading pine,
Foregoes not what she feels within,
And slights the season and the scene.
Daughter of Jove, relentless power,
Whose iron scourge and torturing hour
Bound in thy adamantine chain
With pangs unfelt before, unpitied and alone,
When first thy Sire to send on earth
And bade to form her infant mind.
What sorrow was, thou bad'st her know,
And from her own she learn'd to melt at others' woe.
By vain Prosperity received,
To her they vow their truth, and are again believed.
Wisdom in sable garb array'd
Immersed in rapturous thought profound,
And Melancholy, silent maid,
With leaden eye, that loves the ground,
Still on thy solemn steps attend:
Warm Charity, the general friend,
With Justice, to herself severe,
And Pity dropping soft the sadly-pleasing tear.
Oh! gently on thy suppliant's head
Dread goddess, lay thy chastening hand!
Not in thy Gorgon terrors clad,
Nor circled with the vengeful band
(As by the impious thou art seen)
With thundering voice, and threatening mien,
Despair, and fell Disease, and ghastly Poverty;
Thy form benign, oh goddess, wear,
Thy philosophic train be there
To soften, not to wound my heart.
The generous spark extinct revive,
What others are to feel, and know myself a Man.
Society, Friendship, and Love
Ye winds that have made me your sport,
My friends, do they now and then send
Mary! I want a lyre with other strings,
Such aid from Heaven as some have feign'd they drew,
That ere through age or woe I shed my wings
I may record thy worth with honour due,
In verse as musical as thou art true,
But thou hast little need. There is a Book
By seraphs writ with beams of heavenly light,
A chronicle of actions just and bright
There all thy deeds, my faithful Mary, shine;
And since thou own'st that praise, I spare thee mine.
TO THE SAME
The twentieth year is well-nigh past