« ElőzőTovább »
Be wise to-day; 'tis madness to defer :
Next day the fatal precedent will plead;
Thus on, till wisdom is push'd out of life.
Procrastination is the thief of time.
Year after year it steals, till all are fled;
And, to the mercies of a moment leaves
The vast concerns of an eternal scene.
Of man's miraculous mistakes, this bears
The palm, “ That all men are about to live;"
For ever on the brink of being born.
All pay themselves the compliment to think,
They, one day, shall not drivel; and their pride
On this reverfion takes up ready praise;
At least, their own; their future selves applauds;
How excellent that life they ne'er will lead !
Time lodg'd in their own hands is Folly's vails; .
That lodg’d in Fate's, to Wisdom they confign;
The thing they can't but purpose, they postpone.
'Tis not in Folly, not to fcorn a fool;
And scarce in human Wisdom to do more.
All promise is poor dilatory man;
And that thro' ev'ry stage. When young, indeed,
In full content, we sometimes nobly reít,
Unansious for ourselves; and only wish,
As duteous fons, our fathers were more wise.
At thirty, man suspects himself a fool;
Knows it at forty, and reforms his plan;
At fifty, chides his infamous delay;
Pushes his prudent purpose to resolve;
In all the magnanimity of thought,
Resolves, and re-resolves, then dies the same.
And why? Because he thinks himself immortal.
All men think all men mortal, but themselves;
Themselves, when some alarming shock of fate
Strikes thro’ their wounded hearts the sudden dread:
But their hearts wounded, like the wounded air,
Soon close; where, past the shaft, no trace is found.
As from the wing no scar the sky retains ;
The parted wave no furrow from the keel;
So dies in human hearts the thought of death.
Ev'n with the tender tear which Nature sheds
O'er those we love, we drop it in their grave.
That Philofophy, which stops at secondary Causes, reproved.
Happy the man who sees a God employ'd
In all the good and ill that checker life!
Resolving all events, with their effects
And manifold results, into the will
And arbitration wise of the Supreme.
Did not his eye rule all things, and intend
The least of our concerns; (since from the least
The greatest oft originate ;) could chance
Find place in his dominion, or dispose
One lawless particle to thwart his plan;
Then God might be surpris’d, and unforeseen
Contingence might alarm him, and disturb
The smooth and equal course of his affairs.
This truth, Philosophy, though eagle-eyed
In Nature's tendencies, oft overlooks;
And having found his instrument, forgets
Or disregards, or, more presumptuous still,
Denies the pow'r that weilds it. God proclaims
His hot displeasure against foolish men
That live an atheist life; involves the heav'n
In tempefis; quits his grasp upon the winds,
And gives them all their fury; bids a plague
Kindle a fiery boil upon the thing ·
And putrify the breath of blooming Health.
He calis for Famine, and the meagre fiend
Blow's mildew from between his shrivel'd lips,
And taints the golden ear; he springs his mines,
And defolates a nation at a blait :
Forth steps the spruce philofopher, and tells
Of homogencal and discordant springs
And principles; of causes, how they work
By necessary laws their sure effects,
Of action and re-action. He has found
The fource of the disease that Nature feels;
And bids the world take heart and banish fear.
Thou fool! will thy discov'ry of the cause
Suspend th’ effect or heal it? Has not God
Still wrought by means since first he made the world?
And did he not of old employ his means
To drown it? What is his creation less
Than a capacious reservoir of means,
Form'd for his use, and ready at his will:
Go, dress thine eyes with eye-falve; ask of him,
Or ask of whomsoever he has taught;
And learn, though late, the genuine cause of all.
Indignant Sentiments on National Prejudices and Hatred; and
Oh for a lodge in some vast wilderness,
Some boundless contiguity of shade,
Where rumour of oppression and deceit,
Of unsuccessful or successful war,
Might never reach me more. My ear is pain’d,
My soul is sick with ev'ry day's report
Of wrong and outrage with which earth is fill’d.
There is no fich in man's obdurate heart;
It does not feel for man. The nat’ral bond
Of brotherhood is sever'd, as the flax
That falls atunder at the touch of fire.
He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not colour'd like his own; and having pow'r
T'inforce the wrong; for such a worthy cause
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.
Lands intersected by a narrow frith
Abhor each other. Mountains interpo'sd,
Make enemies of nations, who had else,
Like kindred drops, been mingled into one.
Thus man devotes his brother, and destroys;
And worse than all, and most to be deplorid,
As Human Nature's broadest, fouleft blot,
Chains him, and tasks him, and exacts his sweat
With stripes, that Mercy, with a bleeding heart,
Weeps when she sees inflicted on a beast.
Then what is man? And what man seeing this,
And having human feelings, does not blush
And hang his head, to think himself a man?
I would not have a Nave to till my ground,
To carry me, to fan me while I neep,
And tremble when I wake, for all the wealth
That finews bought and sold have ever earn'd.
No: dear as freedom is, and in my heart's
Just estimation priz'd above all price;
I had much rather be myself the Nave,
And wear the bonds, than fasten them on him.
We have no flaves at home—then why abroad?
And they themselves once ferried o'er the wave
That parts us, are emancipate and loos’d.
Slaves cannot breathe in England; if their lungs
Receive our air, that moment they are free;
They touch our country, and their fackles fall.
That's noble, and bespeaks a nation proud
And jealous of the blessing. Spread it then,
And let it circulate through ev'ry vein
Of all your empire. That where Britain's power
Is felt, mankind may feel her mercy too.