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69. The love of praise, howe'er conceal’d by art,
Reigns more or less, and glows, in ev'ry heart.
The proud to gain it, toils on toils endure;
The modest shun it, but to make it sure.
O’er globes and sceptres, now on thrones it swells ;
Now, trims the midnight lamps in college cells;
'Tis Tory, Whig; it plots, prays, preaches, pleads,
Harangues in senates, squeaks in masquerades:
It aids the dancer's heel, the writer's head,
And heaps the plain with mountains of the dead:
Nor ends with life, but nods in sable plumes,
Adorns our hearse, and flatters on our tombs.

70. Thus with the year
Seasons return; but not to me returns
Day, or the sweet approach of even or morn,
Or sight of vernal bloom, or summer's rose,
Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine;
But cloud instead, and ever-during dark
Surround me; from the cheerful ways of men
Cut off, and for the book of knowledge fair,
Presented with an universal blank
Of Nature's works, to me expung'd and raz'd;
And wisdom, at one entrance, quite shut out.

71. Now storming fury rose,
And clamour, such as heard in heaven till now
Was never. Arms on armour clashing bray'd
Horrible discord, and the madding wheels
Of brazen chariots rag'd. Dire was the noise
Of conflict: overhead the dismal hiss
Of fiery darts in flaming volleys flew,
And flying, vaulted either host with fire.
So under fiery cope together rush'd
Both battle's main, with ruinous assault
And unextinguishable rage : all heaven
Resounded; and, had earth been then, all earth
Had to her centre shook.


72. Then let's say, you are sad, Because you are not merry; and 'twere as easy For to laugh, and leap, and say, you're merry, Because you are not sad. Now, by two-headed Janus, Nature hath fram'd strange fellows in her time: Some that will evermore peep through their eyes, And laugh, like parrots, at a bagpiper; And others of such vinegar aspect, That they'll not show their teeth in way of smile, Though Nestor swear the jest be laughable.

73. What would you have, you curs, That like not peace nor war? The one affrights you, The other makes you proud. He that trusts you, Where he should find you lions, finds you hares ; Where foxes, geese: you are no surer, no, Than is the coal of fire upon the ice, Or hailstone in the sun. Your virtue is, To make him worthy, whose offence subdues him, And curse that justice did it. Who deserves greatness, Deserves your hate ; and


affections are A sick man's appetite, who desires most that Which would increase his evil. He that depends Upon your favours, swims with fins of lead, And hews down oaks with rushes. Hang ye! Trust ye? With every


you do change a mind; And call him noble, that was now your hate ; Him vile, that was your garland.

74. 'Tis now the very witching time of night, When churchyards yawn, and hell itself breathes out Contagion to this world: Now could I drink hot blood, And do such business as the better day Would quake to look on. Soft: now to my mother.O heart ! lose not thy nature ; let not ever The soul of Nero enter this firm bosom : Let me be cruel, not unnatural : I will speak daggers to her, but use none.

75. 'Would he were fatter :-but I fear him not :
Yet, if my name were liable to fear,
I do not know the man I should avoid
So soon as that spare Cassius. He reads much ;
He is a great observer, and he looks
Quite through the deeds of men: he loves no plays,
As thou dost, Antony; he hears no music:
Seldom he smiles; and smiles in such a sort,
As if he mock'd himself, and scorn’d his spirit
That could be mov'd to smile at any thing.
Such men as he be never at heart's ease,
While they behold a greater than themselves ;
And therefore are they very dangerous.
I rather tell thee what is to be fear'd,
Than what I fear; for always I am Cæsar.

76. There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows, and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat;
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.

77. I had rather be a kitten, and cry-mew,
Than one of these same metre ballad-mongers :
I'd rather hear a brazen candlestick turn'd,
Or a dry wheel grate on an axle-tree ;
And that would set my teeth nothing on edge,
Nothing so much as mincing poetry ;
'Tis like the forc'd gait of a shuffling nag.

78. 'Tis Slander, Whose edge is sharper than the sword; whose tongue Outvenoms all the worms of Nile; whose breath Rides on the posting winds, and doth belie All corners of the world : kings, queens, and states, Maids, matrons, nay, the secrets of the grave This viperous Slander enters.

79. Oh, who can hold a fire in his hand,
By thinking on the frosty Caucasus ?
Or cloy the hungry edge of appetite,
By bare imagination of a feast?
Or wallow naked in December snow,
By thinking on fantastic summer's heat ?
Oh, no! the apprehension of the good,
Gives but the greater feeling to the worse :
Fell Sorrow's tooth doth never rankle more,
Than when it bites, but lanceth not the sore.

80. True ease, in writing, comes from art, not chance;
As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance.
'Tis not enough no harshness gives offence:
The sound must seem an echo to the sense.
Soft is the strain, when Zephyr gently blows,
And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows:
But when loud surges lash the sounding shore,
The hoarse rough verse should like the torrent roar.
When Ajax strives some rock's vast weight to throw,
The line, too, labours, and the words move slow :
Not so when swift Camilla scours the plain,
Flies o'er th’ unbending corn, and skims along the main.

81. All dark, and comfortless !
Where are those various objects that, but now,
Employ'd my busy eyes ? Where those eyes?
Dead are their piercing rays, that lately shot
O'er flow'ry vales to distant sunny hills,
And drew with joy the vast horizon in.
These groping hands are now my only guides,
And feeling all my sight.
O misery!

What words can sound my grief?
Shut from the living whilst among the living ;
Dark as the grave amidst the bustling world.
At once from business and from pleasure barr'd :
No more to view the beauty of the spring,
Or see the face of kindred or of friend.

82, O blest retirement! friend to life's decline ! Retreat from care—that never must be mine! How bless'd is he, who crowns, in shades like these, A youth of labour with an age of ease; Who quits a world where strong temptations try, And, since 'tis hard to combat, learns to fly. For him no wretches born to work and weep, Explore the mine, or tempt the dangerous deep; No surly porter stands, in guilty state, To spurn imploring famine from his gate: But on he moves to meet his latter end, Angels around befriending virtue's friend; Sinks to the grave, with unperceiv'd decay, While resignation gently slopes the way; And, all his prospects brightening to the last, His heaven commences ere the world be past

83. As when the moon, refulgent lamp of night! O'er heaven's clear azure spreads her sacred light, When not a breath disturbs the deep serene, And not a cloud o'ercasts the solemn scene; Around her throne the vivid planets roll, And stars unnumber'd gild the glowing pole, O'er the dark trees a yellow verdure shed, And tip with silver every mountain's head; Then shine the vales, the rocks in prospect rise, A flood of glory bursts from all the skies : The conscious swains, rejoicing in the sight, Eye the blue vault, and bless the useful light.

84. Night, sable goddess ! from her ebon throne In rayless majesty, now stretches forth Her leaden sceptre o'er a slumb’ring world. Silence, how dead ! and darkness how profound ! Nor eye nor list'ning ear an object finds : Creation sleeps. 'Tis as if the gen’ral pulse Of life stood still, and nature made a pause, An awful pause, prophetic of her end.

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