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And rarely for the better ; or the best,
Bliss! sublunary bliss !--proud words, and vain!
heart ! Death! great proprietor of all ! 'tis thine
205 To tread out empire, and to quench the stars. The sun himself by thy permission shines; And, one day, thou shalt pluck him from his sphere. Amid such mighty plunder, why exhaust Thy partial quiver on a mark so mean? Why thy peculiar rancour wreak'd on me? Insatiate archer ! could not one suffice ? Thy shaft flew thrice ; and thrice my peace was sain ; And thrice, ere thrice yon moon had fill'd her horn. o Cynthia ! why so pale ? Dost thou lament
215 Thy wretched neighbour ? Grieve to see thy wheel Of ceaseless change outwhirl'd in human life? How wanes my borrow'd bliss ! from fortunes smile, Precarious courtesy! not virtue's sure, Self-given, solar ray of found delight.
In every vary'd posture, place, and hour,
230 I rue the riches of my former fate ; Sweet comfort's blasted clusters I lament; I tremble at the blessings once so dear; And every pleasure pains me to the heart.
Yet why complain? or why complain for one ? 235 Hangs out the sun his lustre but for me, The single man ? Are angels all beside ? I mourn for millions : 'Tis the common lot ; In this shape, or in that, has fate entail'd The mother's throes on all of woman born,
240 Not more the children, than sure heirs, of pain.
War, Famine, Peft, Volcano, Storm, and Fire
In battle lopt away, with half their limbs,
260) To shock us more, solicit it in vain ! Ye filken fons of pleasure ! since in pains You rue more modish visits, visit here; And breathe from your debauch: give, and reduce Surfeit's dominion o’er you: but so great 265 Your impudence, you blush at what is right.
Happy! did sorrow seize on such alone. . Not prudence can defend, or virtue fave; Disease invades the chastest temperance ; . And punishment the guiltless; and alarm, 270 Through thickest shades, pursues the fond of peace. . Man's caution often into danger turns ; And his guard, falling, crushes him to death. . Not happiness itself makes good her name ; Qur very wishes gives us not our wish.
275 How distant oft the thing we doat on moft, From that for which we doat, felicity! The smootheft course of nature has its pains ; And truest friends, through error, wound our rest. Without misfortune, what calamities !
And what hostilities, without a foe!
A part how small of the terraqueous globe 285
.290 So bounded are its haughty lord's delights To woe's wide empire ; where deep troubles tofs, Loud forrow's howl, invenom'd passions bite, Ravenous calamities our vitals seize, And threatening fate wide opens, to devour.
295 What then am I, who sorrow for myself. ! In age, in infancy, from other's aid Is all our hope; to teach us to be kind. That, nature's first, laft lesson to mankind; The selfish heart :deserves the pain it feels. 300 More generous forrow, while it sinks, exalts; And conscious virtue mitigates the pang. Nor virtue, more than prudence, bids me give Swoln thought a second channel ; who divide, They weaken too, the torrent of their grief. 305 Take then, O World! thy much indebted tear : How fad a fight is human happiness, To those whose thought can pierce beyond an hour! O thou ! whate'er thou art, whose heart exults ! WouldAt thou I should congratulate thy fate? 310
I know thou wouldft; thy pride demands it from me.
320 To fting thee more, and double thy distress.
Lorenzo, fortune makes her court to thee, Thy fond heart dances, while the Syren sings. Dear is thy welfare ; think me not unkind; I would not damp, but to secure thy joys. 325 Think not that fear is sacred to the storm : Stand on thy guard against the smiles of fate. Is heaven tremendous in its frowns ? Most sure ; And in its favours formidable too.: Its favours here are trials, not rewards ;
330 A call to duty, not discharge from care ; And should alarm us, full as much as woes ; Awake us to their cause and consequence ; And make us tremble, weigh’d with our desert; Awe nature's tumult, and chastise her joys, 335 Lest, while we clafp, we kill them ; nay, invert To worse than fimple mifery, their charms. Revolted joys, like foes in civil war, Like bosom friendships to resentment four'd, With rage envenom'd rise against our peace. 340