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Its favours here are trials, not rewards ;
Mine died with thee, Philander; thy last sigh
350 The great magician's dead! Thou poor, pale piece Of outcast earth, in darkness : what a change From yesterday! Thy darling hope so near, (Long-labour'd prize !) O how ambition Aush'd Thy glowing cheek! ambition truly great, 355 Of virtuous praise. Death's subtle seed within, (Sly, treacherous miner!) working in the dark, Smiled at thy well concerted scheme, and beckon'd The worm to riot on that rose so red, Unfaded ere it fell, one moment's prey !
360 Man's foresight is conditionally wise ; Lorenzo ! wisdom into folly turns Oft, the first instant; its idea fair. To labouring thought is born. How dim our eye! The present moment terminates our sight; 365 Clouds, thick as those on Doomsday, drown the next; We penetrate, we prophesy in vain,
Time is dealt out by particles, and each
370 Deep silence,—where Eternity begins.
By Nature's law, what may be may be now; There's no prerogative in human hours. In human hearts what bolder thought can rise Than man's presumption on to-morrow's dawn? 375 Where is to-morrow? In another world. För numbers this is certain; the reverse Is sure to none ; and yet on this perhups, This peradventure, infamous for lies, As on a rock of adamant, we build
360 Our mountain hopes, spin out eternal schemes, As we the Fatal Sisters could outspin, And, big with life's futurities, expire.
Not e'en Philander had bespoke his shroud ; Nor had he cause ; a warning was denied. 385 How many fall as sudden, not as safe ! As sudden, though for years admonish'd home; Of human ills the last extreme beware; Beware, Lorenzo! a slow, sudden death : How dreadful that deliberate surprise !
390 Be wise to-day ; 'tis madness to defer : Next day the fatal precedent will plead ; Thus on, till wisdom is push'd out of life. Procrastination is the thief of time; Year after year it stcals, till all are ded,
305 And to the mercies of a nioment leaves The vast concerns of an eternal scene. If not so frequent, would vot this be strange ? That 'tis so frequent, this is stranger stil.
Of man's miraculous mistakes this bears 400 The palm, “That all men are about to live, For ever on the brink of being born: All pay themselves the compliment to think They one day shall not drivel, and their prido On this reversion takes up ready praise ;
At least their own; their future selves applauds.
And why? because he thinks himself immortal.
Is deaf to mine, enamour'd of thy lay.
ON TIME, DEATH, AND FRIENDSHIP.
RIGHT HON. THE EARL OF WILMINGTON. When the cock crew, he wept,'--smote by that eye Which looks on me, on all; that Power who bids This midnight sentinel, with clarion shrill, Emblem of that which shall awake the dead, Rouse souls from slumber, into thoughts of Heaven. 5 Shall I too weep? where then is fortitude ? And fortiti de abandon'd, where is man? I know the terms on which he sees the light: He that is born is listed: life is war; Eternal war with woe: who bears it best
10 Deserves it least.-On other the:nos lill dwell. Lorenzo ! let me turn my thoughts on tiiee; And thine on themes may profit ; profit there Where most thy need. Themes, too, the genuino
growth Of dear Philander's dust. He thus, though dead, 15 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 disengaged, The good deed would delight ine; half impress 20 On my dark cloud an Iris, and from grief Call glory.-Dost trou mourn Philander's fate? I know thou say'st it : says thy life the same ? ( He mourns the dead who lives as they desire. |