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The lofty trumpet swells the madd’ning soul :
And in the hardy camp and toilsome march
Forget all softer and less manly cares.
But most too passive, when the blood runs low,
Too weakly indolent to strive with pain,
And bravely by resisting conquer Fate,
Try Circe's arts; and in the tempting bowl
Of poison'd nectar sweet oblivion swill.
Struck by the pow'rful charm, the gloom dissolves
In empty air; Elysium opens round.
A pleasing phrenzy buoys the lighten'd soul,
And sanguine hopes dispel your fleeting care ;
Ard what was difficult, and what was dire,
Yields to your prowess and superior stars :
The happiest you of all that e'er were mad,
Or are, or shall be, could this folly last.
But soon your heaven is gone; a heavier gloom
Shuts o'er your head: and as the thund’ring stream,
Swoln o'er its banks with sudden mountain rain,
Sinks from its tumult to a silent brook;
So, when the frantic raptures in your breast
Subside, you languish into mortal man;
You sleep, and waking find yourself undone.
For, prodigal of life, in one rash night
You lavish'd more than might support three days.
A heavy morning comes; your cares return
With tenfold rage. An anxious stomach well
May be endur'd; so may the throbbing head:
But such a dim delirium, such a dream,
Involves you ; such a dastardly despair
Unmans your soul, as maddning Pentheus felt,
When baited round Cithæron's cruel sides;
He saw two suns, and double Thebes ascend.
You curse the sluggish Port; you curse the wretch,
The felon, with unnatural mixture first
Who dar'd to violate the virgin Wine.
Or on the fugitive Champaign you pour
A thousand curses; for to heav'n it rapt
Your soul, to plunge you deeper in despair.
Perhaps you rue even that divinest gift,
The gay, serene, good-natur'd Burgundy,
Or the fresh fragrant vintage of the Rhine:
And wish that heaven from mortals had with-hold
The grape, and all intoxicating bowls.
Besides it wounds you sore to recollect
What follies in your loose unguarded hour
Escap'd. For one irrevocable word,
Perhaps that meant no harm, you lose a friend.
Or, in the rage of wine, your hasty hand
t'erforms a deed to haunt you to your grave.
Add that your means, your health, your parts decay;
Your friends avoid you; or if one remains
To wish you well, he wishes you in heaven.
Despis’d, unwept you fall; who might have left
A sacred, cherish’d, sadly-pleasing name ;
A name still to be utter'd with a sigh.
Your last ungrateful scene has quite effac'd
All sense and memory of your former worth.
How to live happiest; how avoid the pains,
The disappointments, and disgusts of those
Who would in pleasure all their hours employ ;
The precepis here of a divine old man
I could recite. Though old, he still retain'd
His manly sense, and energy of mind.
Virtuous and wise he was, but not severe ;
He still remember'd that he once was young;
His easy presence check'd no decent joy.
Him even the dissolute admir'd; for he
A graceful looseness when he pleas'd put on,
And laughing could instruct. Much had he read,
Much more had seen; he studied from the life,
And in th' original perus’d mankind.
Vers'd in the woes and vanities of life,
He pitied Man: and much he pitied those
Whom falsely-smiling Fate has curs'd with means
To dissipate their days in quest of joy.
Our aim is happiness : ’tis yours, 'tis mine,
He said' 'tis the pursuit «f all that live ;
Yet few attain it, if 'twas e'er attain'd.
But they the widest wander from the mark,
Who through the flow 'ry paths of saunt'ring Joy
Seek this coy Goddess; that from stage to stage
Invites us still, but shifts as we pursue.
For, not to name the pains that pleasure brings
To counterpoise itself, relentless Fate
Forbids that we through gay vcluptuous wilds
Should ever roam; and were the fates more kind,
Our narrow luxuries would soon grow stale.
Were these exhaustless, Nature would grow sick,
And, cloy'd with pleasure, squeamishly complain
That all was vanity, and life a dream.
Let nature rest; be busy for yourself,
And for your friend; be busy even in vain
Rather than teize her sated appetites.
Who never fasts, no banquet e'er enjoys:
Who never toils or watches, never sleeps.
Let nature rest: and when the taste of joy
Grows keen, indulge ; but shun satiety.
'Tis not for mortals always to be blest.
But him the least the dull or painful hours
Of life oppress, whom sober Sense conducts,
And Virtue, through this labyrinth we tread.
Virtue and Sense I mean not to disjoin;
Virtue and Sense are one: and, trust me, still
A faithless Heart betrays the Head unsound.
Virtue (for mere Good-nature is a fool)
Is sense and spirit, with humanity :
'Tis sometimes angry, and its frown confounds;
'Tis even vindi&tive, but in vengeance just.
Knaves fain would laugh at it; some great ones dare ;
But at his heart the most undaunted son
Of fortune dreads its name and awful charms.
To noblest uses this determines wealth;
This is the solid
and shelter of adversity,
And if you pant for glory, build your fame
On this foundation, which the secret shock
Defies of Envy and all-sapping Time.
The gawdy gloss of Fortune only strikes
The vulgar eye: the suffrage of the wise,
The praise that's worth ambition, is attain'd
By sense alone, and dignity of mind.
Virtue, the strength and beauty of the soul,
Is the best gift of heaven: a happiness
That even above the smiles and frowns of fate
Exalts great Nature's favourites: a wealth
That ne'er encumbers, nor to baser hands
Can be transferr'd: it is the only good
Man justly boasts of, or can call his own.
Riches are oft by guilt and baseness earn’d;
Or dealt by chance, to shield a lucky knave,
Qr throw a cruel sun-shine on a fool.
But for one end, one much neglected use,
Are riches worth your care: (for Nature's wants
Are few, and without opulence supply'd.)
This noble end is to produce the Soul;
To shew the virtues in their fairest light;
To make Humanity the Minister
Of bounteous Providence ; and teach the breast
The generous luxury the Gods enjoy.
Thus, in his graver vein, the friendly Sage
Sometimes declaim'd. Of right and wrong he taught
Truths as refin'd as ever Athens heard ;
And (strange to tell :) he practis'd what he preach'd.
Skill'd in the Passions, how to check their sway
He knew, as far as reason can countroul
The lawless pow'rs. But other cares are mine :
Form'd in the school of Pæon, I relate
What Passions hurt the body, what improve :
Avoid them, or invite them, as you may.
Know then, whatever cheerful and serene
Supports the mind, supports the body too.
Hence the most vital movement mortals feel
Is hope ; the balm and life.blood of the soul.
It pleases, and it lasts. Indulgent heaven
Sent down the kind delusion, through the paths
Of rugged life to lead us patient on;
And make our happiest state no tedious thing.
Our greatest good, and what we least can spare,
Is hope ; the last of all oui evils, fear.
But there are Passions grateful to the breast,
And yet no friends to Life: perhaps they please
Or to excess, and dissipate the soul ;
Or while they please, torment. The stubborn Clown,
The ill-tam'd Ruffian, and pale Usurer,
(If Love's omnipotence such hearts can mould)
May safely mellow into love ; and grow
Refin’d, humane, and generous, if they can.
Love in such bosoms never to a fault
Or pains or pleases. But, ye finer souls,
Form'd to soft luxury, and prompt to thrill
With all the tumults, all the joys and pains,
That beauty gives; with caution and reserve
Indulge the sweet destroyer of repose,
Nor court too much the Queen of charming cares.
Por, while the cherish'd poison in your breast
Ferments and maddens, sick with jealousy,
Absence, distrust, or even with anxious joy,
The wholesome appetites and powers of life
Dissolve in languor. The coy stomach loaths
The genial board: your cheerful days are gone :
The generous bloom that flush'd your cheeks is fled.
To sighs devoted and to tender pains,
Pensive you sit, or solitary stray,
And waste your youth in niusing. Musing first
Toy'd into care your unsuspecting heart:
It found a liking there, a sportful fire,
And that fomented into serious love;
Which musing daily strengthens and improves
Through all the heights of fondness and romance;
And you're undone, the fatal shaft has sped,
If once you doubt whether you love or no.
The body wastes away; th' infected mind,
Dissolv'd in female tenderness, forgets
Each manly virtue, and grows dead to fame.
Sweet heaven, from such intoxicaring charms
Defend all worthy breasts! Not that I deem
Love always dangerous, always to be shunn'd.
Love well repaid, and not too weakly sunk
In wanton and unmanly tenderness,
Adds bloom to health; o'er ev'ry virtue sheds
A gay, humane, and amiable grace,
And brightens all the ornanients of man.
But fruitless, hopeless, disappointed, rack'd
With jealousy, farigu'd with hope and fear,
Too serious, or too languishingly fond,
Unnerves the body and unmans the soul.
And some have died for love; and some run mad;
And some with desperate hand themselves have, slain.
Some to extinguish, others to prevent,
A mad devotion to one dangerous fair,
Court all they meet; in hopes to dissipate
The cares of Love amongst an hundred Brides.
Th' event is doubtful : for there are who find
A cure in this; there are who find it not.
'Tis no relief; alas! it rather galls
The wound, to those who are sincerely sick.
For while from feverish and tumultuous joys
The nerves grow languid and the soul subsides,
The tender fancy smarts with every sting,