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ALL are not born to soar-and ah! how few
In tracks, where Wisdom leads, their paths pursue!
Contagious when to wit or wealth allied,
Folly and Vice diffuse their venom wide.
On Folly every fool his talent tries;
It asks some toil to imitate the wise;
Tho' few like Fox can speak-like Pitt can think— Yet all like Fox can game-like Pitt can drink.
O, Curas hominum! O, quantum est in rebus inane !
THE fervid Sun had more than halv'd the day,
When gloomy on his couch Philedon lay;
His feeble frame consumptive as his purse,
His aching head did wine and women curse;
His fortune ruin'd and his wealth decay'd,
Clamorous his Duns, his gaming debts unpaid,
The youth indignant seiz'd his tailor's bill,
And on its back thus wrote with moral quill:
"Various as colors in the rainbow shown,
Or similar in emptiness alone,
How false, how vain are Man's pursuits below!
Wealth, Honor, Pleasure-what can ye bestow?
Yet see. how high and low, and young and old
Pursue the all delusive power of Gold.
Fond man! should all Peru thy empire own,
For thee tho' all Golconda's jewels shone,
What greater bliss could all this wealth supply?
What, but to eat and drink and sleep and die?
Go, tempt the stormy sea, the burning soil—
Go, waste the night in thought, the day in toil,
Dark frowns the rock, and fierce the tempests rave—
Thy ingots go the unconscious deep to pave !
Or thunder at thy door the midnight train,
Or death shall knock that never knocks in vain.
Next Honor's sons come bustling on amain;
I laugh with pity at the idle train.
Infirm of soul! who think'st to lift thy name
Upon the waxen wings of human fame,—
Who for a sound, articulated breath-
Gazest undaunted in the face of death!
What art thou but a Meteor's glaring light-
Blazing a moment and then sunk in night?
Caprice which rais'd thee high shall hurl thee low,
Or envy blast the laurels on thy brow.
To such poor joys could ancient Honor lead
When empty fame was toiling Merit's mead;
To Modern Honor other lays belong;
Profuse of joy and Lord of right and wrong,
Honor can game, drink, riot in the stew,
Cut a friend's throat ;-what cannot Honor do?
Ah me-the storm within can Honor still
For Julio's death, whom Honor made me kill?
Or will this lordly Honor tell the way
those debts, which Honor makes me pay? Or if with pistol and terrific threats
I make some traveller pay my Honor's debts,
A med'cine for this wound can Honor give?
Ah, no! my Honor dies to make my Honor live.
But see! young Pleasure, and her train advance,
And joy and laughter wake the inebriate dance;
Around my neck she throws her fair white arms,
I meet her loves, and madden at her charms.
For the gay grape can joys celestial move,
And what so sweet below as Woman's love?
With such high transport every moment flies,
I curse experience, that he makes me wise;
For at his frown the dear deliriums flew,
And the chang'd scene now wears a gloomy hue.
A hideous hag th' Enchantress Pleasure seems,
And all her joys appear but feverous dreams.
The vain Resolve still broken and still made,
Disease and loathing and remorse invade;
The charm is vanish'd and the bubble's broke,-
A slave to pleasure is a slave to smoke!"
Such lays repentant did the Muse supply;
When as the Sun was hastening down the sky,
In glittering state twice fifty guineas come,—
His Mother's plate antique had rais'd the sum.
Forth leap'd Philedon of new life possest:-
'Twas Brookes's all till two,-'twas Hackett's all
DEEP in the gulph of Vice and Woe
Leaps man at once with headlong throw?
Him inborn Truth and Virtue guide,
Whose guards are shame and conscious pride;
In some gay hour Vice steals into the breast;
Perchance she wears some softer Virtue's vest.
By unperceiv'd degrees she tempts to stray,
Till far from Virtue's path she leads the feet away.
Then swift the soul to disenthrall
Will Memory the past recall,
And fear before the Victim's eyes
Bid future ills and dangers rise.
But hark! the voice, the lyre, their charms com-
Gay sparkles in the cup the generous wine;
Th' inebriate dance-the fair frail nymph inspires,
And Virtue vanquish'd-scorn'd—with hasty flight
But soon to tempt the pleasures cease;
Yet shame forbids return to peace,
And stern necessity will force
Still to urge on the desperate course.
The drear black paths of Vice the wretch must try, Where Conscience flashes horror on each eye, Where Hate—where Murder scowl-where starts
Ah! close the scene,-ah! close-for dreadful is the sight.
WRITTEN AT THE KING'S ARMS, ROSS, FORMERLY
THE HOUSE OF THE MAN OF ROSS."
RICHER than Miser o'er his countless hoards,
Nobler than Kings, or king-polluted Lords,
Here dwelt the Man of Ross! O Traveller, hear!
Departed Merit claims a reverent tear.
Friend to the friendless, to the sick man health,
With generous joy he viewed his modest wealth;
He heard the widow's heaven-breathed prayer of
He marked the sheltered orphan's tearful gaze,
Or where the sorrow shrivelled captive lay,
Pour'd the bright blaze of Freedom's noon-tide ray.
Beneath this roof if thy cheered moments pass,
Fill to the good man's name one grateful glass :
To higher zest shall Memory wake thy soul,
And Virtue mingle in the ennobled bowl.
But if, like me, through life's distressful scene
Lonely and sad thy pilgrimage hath been;
And if thy breast with heart-sick anguish fraught,
Thou journeyest onward tempest-tossed in thought;
Here cheat thy cares! in generous visions melt,
And dream of Goodness, thou hast never felt!