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THE VANITY OF HUMAN WISHES.
The Vanity of Human Wishes.
ON what foundation stands the warrior's pride,
No dangers fright him, and no labours tire:
Peace courts his hand and spreads her charms in vain;
The march begins in military state,
His fall was destin'd to a barren strand,
A petty fortress, and a dubious hand:
He left the name at which the world grew pale,
On his Blindness.
WHEN I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
My true account, lest He returning chide,-
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, "God doth not need
Either man's work, or His own gifts: who best Bear His mild yoke, they serve Him best. His state Is kingly thousands at His bidding speed,
And post o'er land and ocean, without rest: They also serve who only stand and wait.
HARD by the gates of hell her dwelling is, There whereas all plagues and harmes abound,
Which punish wicked men that walk amiss:
It is a darksome delve farre under ground,
And all within the riven walles were hung With ragged monuments of times fore-past,
Of which the sad effects of discord sung: There were rent robes and broken sceptres plac't, Altars defil'd, and holy things defac’t,
Dishevered spears, and shields ytorne in twaine, Great cittys ransack't, and strong castles ras't, Nations captived, and huge armies slain;
Of all which ruines there some reliques did remain.
There was the signe of antique Babylon, Of fatal Thebes, of Rome that raigned long, Of sacred Salem, and sad Ilion;
For memory of which on high there hong
The golden apple (cause of all their wrong),
For which the three faire goddesses did strive: There also was the name of Nimrod strong;
Of Alexander, and his princes five,
Which shar'd to them the spoils which he had got alive.
And there the reliques of the drunken fray The which among the Lapithees befell;
And of the bloody feast, which sent away
So many centaurs drunken souls to hell,
And of the dreadful discord which did drive
That each of life sought other to deprive,
All mindless of the golden fleece which made them strive.
And eke of private persons many moe
That 'twere too long a work to count them all :
Some of deare lovers, foes perpetual ;
Witness their broken bands there to be seen, Their girlonds rent, their bowres dispoiled all; The monuments whereof there byding been,
As plaine as at the first, when they were fresh and green.
Such was the house within: but all without,
The which must often end in blood-shed and in
A paraphrase on 1 Cor. xiii.
CHARITY! decent, modest, easy, kind,
Not soon provok'd, she easily forgives,
And much she suffers, as she much believes.
Each other gift which God on man bestows,
In happy triumph shall for ever live,
And endless good diffuse, and endless praise receive. As through the artist's intervening glass
Our eye observes the distant planets pass,
A little we discover, but allow
That more remains unseen than art can shew;