« PreviousContinue »
Why then doth flesh, a bubble-glass of breath,
Hunt after honour and advancement vain,
And rear a trophy for devouring death,
With so great labour and long-lasting pain, As if his days for ever should remain? Sith all that in this world is great or gay, Doth as a vapour vanish and decay. Spenser. When first the sun too powerful beams displays, It draws up vapour which obscures its rays; But even those clouds at last before its way, Reflect new glories, and augment the day.
AGE cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety.
Shakspere. The wholesom’st meats that are will breed satiety, We should admit of some variety.
Sir John Harrington. A man
so various that he seem'd to be Not one, but all mankind's epitome. Stiff in opinion, always in the wrong, Was everything by starts, and nothing long! But in the course of one revolving moon, Was chymist, fiddler, statesman, and buffoon. Then all for women, painting, rhyming, drinking, Besides ten thousand freaks that died in thinking; Bless'd madman, who could every hour employ In something new to wish, or to enjoy! In squandering wealth, was his peculiar art, Nothing went unrewarded but desert. Dryden.
Variety's the source of joy below,
From which still fresh revolving pleasures flow;
In books and love, the mind one end pursues,
And only change the expiring flame renews.
Not that the champion Whom famous poets verse so much, doth vaunt, And hath for twelve huge labours high extolled So many furies, and sharp hits did haunt.-Spenser. So spake the apostate angel, though in pain, Vaunting aloud, but rack'd with deep despair.
THE souls of all that I had murdered,
Came to my tent, and every one did threat
To-morrow's vengeance on the head of Richard.
Nurtur'd in blood betimes, his heart delights
In vengeance gloating on another's pain. Byron.
In my school-days, when I had lost my shaft,
I shot his fellow of the self-same flight
The self-same way, with more advised watch,
To find the other forth; by venturing both,
I oft found both.
Believe me, Sir, had I such ventures forth,
The better part of my affections would
Be with my hopes abroad. I should be still
Plucking the grass, to know where sits the wind;
Peering in maps, for ports, and piers, and roads;
And every object, that might make me fear
Misfortune to my ventures, out of doubt,
Would make me sad.
Shak spore. "Nothing ventured, nothing won,”
Is a saying trite and true;
Yet the ice when it is new,
Only fools will venture on;
Be ye bold, yet rashness shun,
Wisely venture, when you do.
I'LL versify in spite, and do my best,
To make as much waste paper as the rest.
Thou, whose sweet youth and early hopes enhance
Thy rate and price, and mark thee for a treasure,
Hearken unto à Verser; who may chance
Rhyme thee to good, and make a bait of pleasure.
A verse may find him who a sermon flies,
And turn delight into a sacrifice.
Curst be the verse, how well soe'er it flow,
That tends to make one worthy man my foe,
Give virtue scandal, innocence a fear,
Or from the soft-eyed virgin steal a tear!
How happy had I been, if, for a curse,
The fates had never sentenc'd me to verse.
But ever since this peremptory vein,
With restless frenzy first possess'd my brain,
And that the devil tempted me, in spite
Of my own happiness to judge and write;
Shut up against my will, I waste my age
In mending this, and blotting out that page,
And grow so weary of the slavish trade
I envy their condition that write bad. Butler.
On man, on nature, and on human life,
Musing in solitude, I oft perceive
Fair trains of imagery before me rise,
Accompanied by feelings of delight,
Pure, or with no unfeeling sadness mixed.
And I am conscious of affecting thoughts
And dear remembrances, whose presence soothes
Or elevates the mind, content to weigh
The good and evil of our mortal state.
-To these emotions, whensoe'er they come,
Whether from breath of outward circumstance,
Or from the soul, an impulse to herself,
I would give utterance in numerous verse.
How beautiful upon the wave
The vessel sails that comes to save;
See how before the wind she goes,
Scattering the waves like melting snows!
Her course with glory fills
The sea for many a league. Descending,
She stoopeth now into the vale,
Now, as more freshly blows the gale,
She mounts in triumph o'er the watery hills.
Oh! whither is she tending Professor Wilson.
Lo! yonder barks that from the calm bay glide,
Buoyant they ride over the deep abyss,
The swift winds follow their white sails to kiss; Prancing like steeds, they spurn the purple tide. But whither do they go, or when return.
Unlimited to me their course appears,
Too wide the space to be devoid of fears, Though for their guide in heaven a star should burn. As one by one majestic they advance, In vain the waves their bounding strength oppose,
On, on, her country's pride, the vessel goes;
Light as the breezes that around her dance;
So like a thing of hope she leaves the bay,
A spirit passing from our world away.
Morn on the waters! and purple and bright,
Bursts on the billows the flashing of light;
O'er the glad waves, like a child in the sun,
See the tall vessel goes gallantly on;
Full on the breeze she unbosoms her sail,
And her pennon streams onward like hope in the gale.
'Tis thus with our life as it passes along,
Like a vessel at sea amid sunshine and song!
Gaily we glide the gaze of the world,
With streamers afloat, and with canvass unfurled;
All gladness and glory to wandering eyes,
Yet freighted with sorrow, and chartered with sighs.
T. K. Hervey.
THERE is no vice so simple, but assumes
Some marks of virtue on its outward parts.
Vice never doth her just hate so provoke
As when she rageth under virtue's cloak.-Chapman.
Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
As, to be hated, needs but to be seen;
But, seen too oft, familiar to the face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.
Ah me! from real happiness we stray,
By vice bewilder'd; vice, which always leads,
However fair at first, to wilds of wo. Thomson.
Should vice expect to 'scape rebuke
Because its owner is a duke?
Is there a place save one the poet sees,
A land of life, of liberty, and ease;
Where labour wearies not, nor cares oppress
Th’ eternal flow of rustic happiness;
Where no proud mansion frowns in awful state,
To keep the sunshine from the cottage gate;
Where young and old intent on pleasure throng,
And half man's life is holiday and song?
Vain search for scenes like these! no view appears
By sighs unruffled, or unstain’d by tears;
Since vice the world subdued, and waters drowned,
Auburn and Eden can no more be found. Crabbe.
For transient vice bequeaths a lingering pain,
Which transient virtue seeks to cure in vain.
Crabbe. Ah, Vice! how soft are thy voluptuous ways!
While boyish blood is mantling, who can ’scape The fascination of thy magic gaze?
A cherub-hydra round us dost thou gape, And mould to every taste thy dear, delusive shape!