Page images
PDF
EPUB

For gold he lives—for gold he sighs,

Yet, if disease assail him;
The wretch for want of comfort dies*,

Fearful his gold should fail him.

In life no friend, in death no tear,
Save that which flows from pleasure,

Is shed upon the miser's bier,
By those who share his treasure.

L'envoy Of The Poet.

Gold is by Avarice misunderstood,

In circulation all it's value's found; When kept 'tis dross, productive of no good, And, for man's peace, far better underground.

THE POET'S CHORUS TO FOOI.S.

Come, trim the boat, row on each Rara Avis, Crowds flock to man my Stultifera Navis.

* Abbraccia tal volta la fortuna coloro, che vuol poi affcgare.

SECTION XVII.

OF THE VICE OF SLOTH IN FOOLS.

Go to the Ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways and be wise. Solomon.

I ne'er was loth,

To lash vile sloth,
Of industry the bane *;

In filthy pride,

To dirt ally'd,
And all its loathsome train.

To stew in bed,
With matted head,

* That being who suffers his mind to remain inert, willingly unbars the portal for the admission of every degrading vice, which imperceptibly usurps emporium over the reason, and thus subjects man to the most degrading state of vassalage: like a lulling opiate it steals over the senses, and while it seems to sooth, carries with it the seeds of destruction. Therefore was it most emphatically said by the satirist:

Vitanda est improba Syren—Desidia.

Of morning breeze afraid;

With linen vile,

Still more defile.
The skin in filth array'd.

I dare maintain,

That equal pain,
From water such endure;

As when disease,

Canine doth seize,
The hound—which knows no cure-
Each eve Sloth cries,

Next morn I'll rise,
My business to pursue:

Yet still in sleep,

The mornings creep,
Its business left to do *.

Such is the fate,
Each morn too late,
For sloth must still betray;

* Lcvati per tempo e vedrai, travaglia et haverai.

And months pass o'er,
As months before,
Which slid in sloth away *.

These ills combin'd,

Defile the mind,
That yields its proud controul;

And filthy vice,

Doth oft entice,
To sins that damn the soul.

* Ross the player, was a striking instance of the powerful fascinations of sloth; for although the most flattering offers were made him by different managers, at various periods, he was so far the slave of idleness, as rather to remain in obscurity at some low public house, while a shilling was left, than embrace the proffered good which presented itself; and it is recorded of him, that he would frequently order a chaise in the morning, which he would suffer to remain in expectation of his coming, until the lapse of time made him postpone his departure until after dinner, and so on to tea, then to supper, when the carriage would be reordered for the ensuing day ; which only proved the rehearsal of the former. Sloth may very justly be termed the enemy of virtue, and the foe to science, and it is an old saying, that he who does nothing, is most likely hatching mischief; on which account we will conclude with Seneca's words:

Vitia otii negotio discutienda sunt.

L'envoy OF THE POET.

If seeds of sloth in youthful breast e'er lurk, Pluck forth the noxious weed; this adage tell;

The quick at meat, are ever quick at work, With such thro' life health, ease and riches dwell.

THE POET'S CHORUS TO FOOLS.

Come, trim the boat, row on each Rara Avis, Crowds flock to man my Stultifera Navis.

« PreviousContinue »