Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

When thus ripe lies are to perfection sprung, Full grown, and fit to grace a mortal tongue, 480 Thro' thousand vents, impatient, forth they flow, And rush in millions on the world below.

Fame sits aloft, and points them out their course, Their date determines, and prescribes their force: Some to remain, and some to perish soon,

485 Or wane and wax alternate like the moon. Around a thousand winged wonders fly, Borne by the trumpet's blast, and scatter'd through

the sky. There, at one passage, oft you might survey A lie and truth contending for the way ;

490 And long 'twas doubtful, both so closely pent, Which first should issue through the narrow vent : At last agreed, together out they fly, Inseparable now the truth and lie; The strict companions are for ever join'd,

495 And this or that unmix'd, no mortal e'er shall find.

While thus I stood, intent to see and hear,
One came, methought, and whisper'd in my ear,
What could thus high thy rash ambition raise?
Art thcu, fond youth, a candidate for praise ? 500

'Tis true, said I, not void of hopes I came,
For who so fond as youthful bards of fame?
But few, alas ! the casual blessing boast,
So hard to gain, so easy to be lost,

[blocks in formation]

How vain that second life in others' breath, 505
Th' estate which wits inherit after death !
Ease, health, and life, for this they must resign,
(Unsure the tenure, but how vast the fine !)
The great man's curse, without the gains, endure,
Be envy'd, wretched, and be flatter'd, poor ; 510
All luckless wits their enemies profest,
And all successful, jealous friends at best.
Nor fame I slight, nor for her favours call;
She comes unlook'd for, if she comes at all.
But if the purchase costs so dear a price, 515
As soothing folly, or exalting vice;
Oh! if the Muse must flatter lawless sway,
And follow still where Fortune leads the way ;
Or if no basis bear my rising name,
But the fall’n ruins of another's fame;

520
Then teach me, Heav'n! to scorn the guilty bays,
Drive from my breast that wretched lust of praise ;
Unblemish'd let me live, or die unknown :
Oh! grant an honest fame, or grant me none !

END OF VOLUME I.

10

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »