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On my

Death, Friendship, and Philander's final scene.
So could I touch these themes, as might obtain
Thine ear, nor leave thy heart quite disengag'd,
The good deed would delight me; half impress

dark cloud an Iris; and from grief
Call glory-Dost thou mourn Philander's fate?
I know thou say'st it: Says thy life the fame?
He mourns the dead, who lives as they desire.
Where is that thirst, that avarice of Time,

25 (O glorious avarice!) thought of death inspires, As rumour'd robberies endear our gold? O Time! than gold more sacred; more a load Than lead, to fools; and fools reputed wise. What moment granted man without account?

30 What years are squander'd, wisdom's debt unpaid ! Our wealth in days, all due to that discharge. Hafte, haste, he lies in wait, he's at the door, Insidious Death! should his strong hand arrest, No composition sets the prisoner free.

35 Eternity's inexorable chain Fast binds; and vengeance claims the full arrear.

How late I shudder'd on the brink! how late
Life call’d for her last refuge in despair !
That Time is mine, O Mead! to thee I owe;
Fain would I pay thee with Eternity.
But ill my genius answers my defire;
My fickly song is mortal, past thy cure.
Accept the will ;--that dies not with

my

strain. For what calls thy disease, Lorenzo ? not 45 For Ejculajian, but for moral aid.

Thou

40

50

Thou think'st it folly to be wise too soon.
Youth is not rich in Time, it

may

be

poor;
Part with it as with money, sparing; pay
No moment, but in purchase of its worth;
And what its worth, ask death-beds; they can tell.
Part with it as with life, reluctant; big
With holy hope of nobler time to come;
Time higher aim'd, still nearer the great mark
Of men and angels; virtue more divine.

55 Is this our duty, wisdom, glory, gain? (These heaven benign in vital union binds) And sport we like the natives of the bough, When vernal suns inspire ? Amusement reigns Man's great demand: To trifle, is to live: 60 And is it then a trifle, too, to die?

Thou say'lt I preach, Lorenzo, 'tis confeft. What if, for once, I preach thee quite awake? Who wants amusement in the flame of battle? Is it not treason, to the soul immortal, Her foes in arms, eternity the prize? Will toys amuse, when medicines cannot cure? When fpirits ebb, when life's enchanting scenes Their lustre lose, and lessen in our sight, As lands, and cities with their glittering spires, 70 To the poor shatter'd bark, by sudden storm Thrown off to sea, and soon to perish there? Will toys amuse? No: Thrones will then be toys, And earth and skies seem dust upon the scale.

Redeem we time? --Its loss we dearly buy. 75 What pleads Lorenzo for his high-priz'd sports ?

65

80

85

He pleads Time's numerous blanks; he loudly pleads
The straw-like trifles on life's common stream.
From whom those blanks and trifles, but from thee?
No blank, no trifle, nature made, or meant.
Virtue, or propos’d virtue, still be thine;
This cancels thy complaint at once. This leaves
In ałt no trifle, and no blank in time.
This greatens, fills, immortalizes all;
This, the blest art of turning all to gold;
This the good heart's prerogative to raise
A royal tribute from the poorest hours;
Immense revenue ! every moment pays,
If nothing more than purpose in thy power;
Thy purpose firm, is equal to the deed:

go Who does the best his circumstance allows, Does well, acts nobly; angels could no more. Our outward act indeed admits restraint; Tis not in things o'er thought to domineer; Guard well thy thought; our thoughts are heard in heaven.

95 On all important Time, through every age, Though much, and warm, the wise have urg'd; the man Is yet unborn, who duly weighs an hour. " I've lost a day”-the prince who nobly cry'd Had been an emperor without his crown;

100 Of Rome, say, rather, lord of human race: He spoke, as if deputed by mankind, So should all speak: So reason speaks in all: From the soft whispers of that God in man, Why fly to folly, why to phrenzy fly,

105 For

For rescue from the blessing we possess ?
Time the supreme !—Time is Eternity ;
Pregnant with all eternity can give ;
Pregnant with all, that makes archangels smile.
Who murders time, he crushes in the birth IIO
A power ethereal, only not ador’d.

Ah! how unjust to nature and himself,
Is thoughtless, thankless, inconsistent man!
Like children babbling nonsense in their sports
We censure nature for a span too short;

115
That span too short, we tax as tedious too ;
Torture invention, all expedients tire,
To lah the lingering moments into speed,
And whirl us (happy riddance !) from ourselves.
Art, brainless Ari! our furious charioteer

120 (For Nature's voice unftifled would recall) Drives headlong towards the precipice of death; Death, most our dread; death thus more dreadful made; O what a riddle of absurdity! Leisure is pain; takes off our chariot wheels;

125
How heavily we drag the load of life !
Blest leisure is our curse ; like that of Cain,
It makes us wander ; wander earth around
To fly that tyrant, thought. As Atlas groan'd
The world beneath, we groan beneath an hour. 13a
We

cry for mercy to the next amusement;
The next amusement mortgages our fields;
Slight inconvenience! prisons hardly frown,
From hateful Time if prisons set us free.
Yet when Death kindly tenders us relief,

135
We

CA

We call him cruel ; years to moments shrink,
Ages to years. The telescope is turn’d.
To man's false optics (from his folly false)
Time, in advance, behind him hides his wings,
And seems to creep, decrepit with his age ; 140
Behold him, when past by; what then is seen,
But his broad pinions (wifter than the winds ?
And all mankind, in contradiction strong,
Rueful, aghaft ! cry out on his career.
Leave to thy foes these errors, and these ills ;

145
To nature jutt, their Cause and Cure explore.
Not short heaven's bounty, boundless our expence;
No niggard, nature ; men are prodigals.
We waste, not use our time; we breathe, not live.
Time wasted is existence, us'd is life,

150 And bare existence, man, to live ordain'd, Wrings, and oppresles with enormous weight. And why? since Time was given for use, not waste, Injoin’d to fly; with tempeft, tide, and stars, To keep his speed, nor ever wait for man; 155 Time's use was doom'd a pleasure : wafte, a pain ; That man might feel his error, if unseen : And, feeling, fly to labour for his cure ; Not, blundering, split on idleness for ease. Life's cares are comforts; such by heaven design'd; 160 He that has none, must make them, or be wretched. Cares are employments, and without employ The soul is on a rack; the rack of rest, To souls most adverse ; action all their joy.

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