« PreviousContinue »
Come, ye dependents on those brittle things ! 'The smiles of ministers, and breath of kings; Learn hence how vain your hope! how frail your truft! That kings are men, and moulder into duft: That sublunary greatness, earthly power, Is the reflected sun-beam of an hour : A glow-worm, that awhile deceives the sight, And then expires in rottenness and night. And that the man alone is truly wise, Who on the sov'reign Lord of all relies; With whom this truth is ever understood, That honor's virtue, and that great is good.
E P I GRAM M
ON SEEING WORKMEN EMPLOYED ON THE SABBATH DAY IN MAKING PREPARATIONS FOR
THE FIREWORKS TO CELEBRATE THE
PEACE IN 1749.
REED from the toil of war and long distress,
(Her bliss increasing, tho' her merit less) Ingrateful BRITAIN ! scarce the tempeft o’er, But of the hand that stills it thinks no more, From her once fav’rite isle RELIGION's Aed, And we again in heathen footsteps tread: Like the poor PERSIANS, we no more aspire, Sunk from our GoD to serve the god of Fire!
AN AN ESSAY ON TIME.
HO' time in haste for ever glides along,
Nor heeds my subject, nor attends my song; Incessant still beneath my searches floats, Waftes in my hands, and fades upon my thoughts ; Yet would I, muse, the wond'rous theme effay, And to the fleeting phantom lend my lay. Thro' all the revolutions, pains, and strife, That or befal, or busy human life, Whether we chase our joys, or tempt our woes, Pursue our toil, or deviate to repose, To manhood rise, or verge beyond our primog One tide transports us, and that tido 13 TIME. Discünül our uaits, i wils commence, 'Tis what admits us here, what bears us hence; Involves us in an unrelaxing course; And what's exempt from time's imperial force ? Wide as th' extent of nature's fair array, Th’unweary'd trav’ller spreads his airy way; By nought controlld, onerigid motion keeps, And matter moulders where his pinion sweeps. For him fierce lightnings cleave the sultry air, For him the total band of meteors war; For him fucceflive seasons, as they ftray, Or scatter genial life, or reap decay. And as in forests we promiscuous see The shooting scyon, and the shiver'd tree;
Or midst a filent shower, as rise and break The bubbles various on the level lake; So births and deaths, an intermingled train, For ever swell the records of his reign. Amongst the stars, or underneath the fun, Whate'er is suffer'd, or whate'er is done; Events or actions, all the vast amount But stretch his scroll, and add to his account. Yet while his stern viciffitudes advance O'er ev'ry orb, thro' all the vast expanse, While scenes fucceed to scenes, and forms to forms, And other thunders roll, and other storms, Sedate he triumphs o'er the general frame, And, changing all things, is himself the fame. Frin would the learn'd th' ideal power define, And on thu mighty measurer cast their line. With emulous ardo. on the the best wait, Contrive their circles, and their æra's state; From these compute, by those the tale devise, And vaunt to match our annals with the skies : Yet ever devious, miss the promis'd end, Tho' METO plan, and tho' CALIPPUS mend; Tho' ancient periods be reform'd by new, -And GREG’RY polish, what HIPPARCHUS drew. Schemes rais'd on schemes, see endless error start, And reg’lar nature mocks the boast of art; In what regard the works of mortals stand To this great fabric of the Almighty's hand, Is his to view; and sure to him alone His world, and all its relatives, are known;
And acts and things distant before him lie,
See in their fires each future nation stray,