Imagens das páginas

Here then, the riddle, mark'd above, unfolds ; 165 Then time turns torment, when man turns a fool. We rave, we wrestle, with Great Nature's Plan; We thwart the Deity; and 'tis decreed, Who thwart his will, shall contradict their own. Hence our unnatural quarrels with ourselves; 170 Our thoughts at enmity; our bosom-broil; We push Time from us, and we wish him back : Lavish of luftrums, and yet fond of life ; Life we think long, and short ; Death seek, and fun: Body and soul, like peevith man and wife, 173 United jar, and yet are loth to part.

Oh the dark days of vanity! while here, How tasteless! and how terrible, when gone! Gone! they ne'er go; when past, they haunt us fill; The spirit walks of every day deceas'd;

180 And smiles an angel, or a fury frowns. Nor death, nor life delight us.

If time past, And time poteft, both pain us, what can please ? That which the Deity to please ordain'd, Time us’d. The man who consecrates his hours 185 By vigorous effort, and an honeft aim, At once he draws the sting of life and death ; He walks with Nature ; and her paths are peace.

Our error's cause and cure are seen : See next Time's Nature, Origin, Importance, Speed; 190 And thy great Gain from urging his career.All senfual man, becaufe untouch'd, unseen, He looks on Time as nothing. Nothing else Is truly man's ; 'tis fortune's-Time's a god.



Hast thou ne'er heard of Time's omnipotence ; 195
For, or against, what wonders he can do!
And will : To stand blank neuter he disdains.
Not on those terms was Time (heaven's stranger!) fent
On his important embassy to man.
Lorenzo ! no: On the long-destin'd hour,
From everlasting ages growing ripe,
That memorable hour of wondrous birth,
When the Dread Sire, on emanation bent,
And big with nature, rifing in his might,
Callid forth creation (for then Time was born), 205
By Godhead streaming through a thousand worlds;
Not on those terms, from the great days of heaven,
From old eternity's myfterious orb,
Was Time cut off, and cast beneath the skies ;
The skies, which watch him in his new abode,
Measuring his motions by revolving spheres ;
That horologe machinery divine.
Hours, days, and months, and years, his children, play,
Like numerous wings around him, as he flies :
Or, rather, as unequal plumes, they shape

His ample pinions, swift as darted flame,
To gain his goal, to reach his ancient rest,
And join anew Eternity his fire ;
In his immutability to neft,
When worlds, that count his circles now, unhing'd 220
(Fate the loud signal founding) headlong rush
To timeless night and chaos, whence they rose.

Why spur the speedy? Why with levities
New wing thy short, short day's too rapid flight?



Know'st thou, or what thou dost, or what is done? 225
Man flies from Time, and Time from man ; too soon
In fad divorce this double flight mutt end;
And then, where are we? where, Lorenzo ! then
Thy sports ? thy pomps ?-I grant thee, in a state
Not unambitious ; in the rufled shroud,

230 Thy Parian tomb's triumphant arch beneath. Has Death his fopperies? Then well

may Life Put on her plume, and in her rainbow shine. Ye well-array'd! ye lilies of our land! Ye lilies male! who neither toil, nor spin, 235 (As fifter lilies might) if not so wise As Solomon, more sumptuous to the fight! Ye delicate! who nothing can support, Yourselves most insupportable ! for whom The winter rose must blow, the sun put on 240 A brighter beam in Leo; filky-soft Favonius breathe ftill softer, or be chid ; And other worlds fend odours, sauce, and song, And robes, and notions, fram'd in foreign looms ! Oye Lorenzos of our age! who deem

245 One moment unamus’d, a misery Not made for feeble man! who call aloud every

bawble drivel'd o'er by sense ; For rattles, and conceits of every caft, For change of follies, and relays of joy,

250 To drag your patient through the tedious length Of a short winter's day-say, fages ! say, Wit's oracles ! fay, dreamers of gay dreams !




How will you weather an eternal night,
Where such expedients fail ?

treacherous Conscience! while she seems to sleep
On rose and myrtle, lull'd with fyren song;
While she seems, nodding o'er her charge, to drop
On headlong Appetite the flacken'd rein,
And give us up to licence, unrecallid,

260 Unmark'd ;-fee, from behind her secret stand, The fly informer minutes every fault, And her dread diary with horror fills. Not the gross Act alone employs her pen ; She reconnoitres Fancy's airy band,

265 A watchful foe! the formidable spy, Listening, o'erhears the whispers of our camp : Our dawning purposes of heart explores, And steals our embryos of iniquity. As all rapacious usurers conceal

270 Their doomsday-book from all-consuming heirs ; Thus, with indulgence most severe, she treats Us spendthrifts of inestimable Time ; Unnoted, notes each moment misapply'd ; In leaves more durable than leaves of brass

Writes our whole history; which Death shall read
In every pale delinquent's private ear;
And Judgment publish ; publish to more worlds
Than this ; and endless


refound. Lorenzo, such that Sleeper in thy breaft!

280 Such is her Number; and her vengeance such For flighted counsel ; such thy future peace! And think'At thou still thou canst be wise too soon?


But why yn Time fo lavish is my song ? On this great theme kind Nature keeps a school, 285 To teach her sons herself. Each night we die, Each morn are born anew : Each day, a life! And shall we kill each day? If Trifling kills ; Sure Vice must butcher. O what heaps of slain Cry out for vengeance on us ! Time destroy'd

290 Is Suicide, where more than Blood is spilt. Time flies, death urges, knells call, heaven invites, Hell threatens : All exerts ; in effort, all ; More than creation labours !-labours more? And is there in creation what, amidst

295 This tumult universal, wing'd dispatch, And ardent energy, supinely yawns ? Man sleeps; and Man alone; and Man, whose fate, Fate irreversible, intire, extreme, Endless, hair-hung, breeze-Maken, o'er the gulph 300 A moment trembles ; drops! and Man, for whom All else is in alarm! Man, the sole cause Of this surrounding storm! and yet he sleeps, As the storm rock'd to rest.-Throw Years away? Throw Empires, and be blameless. Moments seize; 305 Heaven's on their wing: A moment we may wish, When worlds want wealth to buy. Bid Day stand still, Bid lim drive back his car, and reimport The period paft, re-give the given hour. Lorenzo, more than miracles we want ;

310 Lorenzo--O for yesterdays to come!

Such is the language of the man awake ; His ardour such, for what oppresjes thee.


« AnteriorContinuar »