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'Tis painful thinking that corrodes our clay. Then various shapes of curs'd illusion rise:
Whate'er the wretched fears, creating fear All day the vacant eye, without fatigue, Strays o'er the heaven and earth;. but, long intent Forms out of nothing; and with monsters teems On microscopic arts, its vigour fails.
Unknown in hell. The prostrate soul beneath Just so the mind, with various thought amus'd, A load of huge imagination heaves; Nor aches itself, nor gives the body pain.
And all the horrors that the murderer feels But anxious study, discontent, and care,
With anxious flutterings wake the guiltless breast. Love without hope, and hate without revenge, Such phantoms pride in solitary scenes, And fear, and jealousy, fatigue the soul,
Or fear, or delicate self-love creates, Engross the subtle ministers of life,
From other cares absolv'd, the busy mind And spoil the lab’ring functions of their share. Finds in yourself a theme to pore upon. Hence the lean gloom that melancholy wears; It finds you miserable, or makes you so. The lover's paleness, and the sallow hue
For while yourself you anxiously explore, Of envy, jealousy; the meagre stare
Timorous self-love, with sickning fancy's aid, Of sore revenge: the canker'd body hence
Presents the danger that you dread the most, Betrays each fretful motion of the mind.
And ever galls you in your tender part. The strong-built pedant; who, both night and day, Hence some for love, and some for jealousy, Feeds on the coarsest fare the schools bestow, For grim religion some, and some for pride, And crudely fattens at gross Burman's stall;
Have lost their reason: some for fear of want O'erwhelm'd with phlegm, lies in a dropsy drown'd,
Want all their lives; and others every day Or sinks in lethargy before his time.
For fear of dying suffer worse than death. With useful studies you, and arts that please,
Ah! from your bosom banish, if you can, Employ your mind; amuse, but not fatigue.
Those fatal guests: and first the demon fear, Peace to each drowsy metaphysic sage!
That trembles at impossible events; And ever may all heavy systems rest!
Lest aged Atlas should resign his load, Yet some there are even of elastic parts,
And heaven's eternal battlements rush down. Whom strong and obstinate ambition leads
Is there an evil worse than fear itself? Through all the rugged roads of barren lore, And what avails it, that indulgent Heaven And gives to relish what their generous taste
From mortal eyes has wrapt the woes to come, Would else refuse. But may not thirst of fame, If we, ingenious to torment ourselves, Nor love of knowledge, urge you to fatigue
Grow pale at hideous fictions of our own? With constant drudgery the liberal soul.
Enjoy the present; nor with needless cares, Toy with your books: and, as the various fits Of what may spring from blind misfortune's womb, Of humour seize you, from philosophy
Appal the surest hour that life bestows, To fable shift; from serious Antonine
Serene, and master of yourself, prepare To Rabelais' ravings, and from prose to song:
For what may come; and leave the rest to Heaven. While reading pleases, but no longer, read; Oft from the body, by long ails mistun'd, And read aloud resounding Homer's strain, These evils sprung, the most important health, And wield the thunder of Demosthenes.
That of the mind, destroy: and when the miod The chest so exercis'd, improves its strength; They first invade, the conscious body soon And quick vibrations through the bowels drive In sympathetic languishment declines. The restless blood, which in unactive days
These chronic passions, while from real woes Would loiter else through unelastic tubes.
They rise, and yet without the body's fault Deem it not triding while I recommend
Infest the soul, admit one only cure; What posture suits: to stand and sit by turns. Diversion, hurry, and a restless life. As nature prompts, is best. But o'er your leaves Vain are the consolations of the wise; To lean for ever, cramps the vital parts,
In vain your friends would reason down your pain. And robs the fine machinery of its play.
Oye, whose souls relentless love hias tam'd 'Tis the great art of life to manage well
To soft distress, or friends untimely fallin! The restless mind. For ever on pursuit
Court not the luxury of tender thought; Of knowledge bent, it starves the grosser powers:
Nor deem it impious to forget those pains Quite unemploy'd, against its own repose
That hurt the living, nought avail the dead. It turns its fatal edge, and sharper pangs
Go, soft enthusiast! quit the cypress groves, Than what the body knows embitter life.
Nor to the rivulet's lonely moanings tune Chiefly where solitude, sad nurse of care,
Your sad complaint. Go, seek the cheerful haunts To sickly musing gives the pensive mind,
Of men, and mingle with the bustling crowd, There madness enters; and the dim-ey'd fiend, Lay schemes for wealth, or power, or fame, the wish
Of nobler minds, and push them night and day.
New to your eyes, and shifting every hour,
Beyond the Alps, beyond the Apenniney. The cheerful face of nature: earth becomes
Or more advent'rous, rush into the field A dreary desert, and heaven frowns above.
Where war grows hot; and, raging through the sky, Who would in pleasure all their hours employ;
I could recite. Though old, he still retaio'd Forget all softer and less manly cares.
His manly sense, and energy of mind.
He still remember'd that he once was young; And bravely by resisting conquer fate,
His easy presence check'd no decent joy. Try Circe's arts; and in the tempting bowl
Him even the dissolute admir’d, for he Of poison'd nectar sweet oblivion swill.
A graceful looseness when he pleas'd put on, Struck by the pow’rful charm, the gloom dissolves And laughing could instruct. Much had be read. In empty air; Elysium opens round,
Much more had seen; he studied from the life, A pleasing phrenzy buoys the lighten'd soul, And in th' original perus’d mankind. And sanguine hopes dispel your fleeting care;
Vers'd in the woes and vanities of life, And what was difficult, and what was dire,
He pitied man: and much he pitied those Yields to your prowess and superior stars:
Whom falsely-smiling fate has curs'd with means The happiest you of all that e'er were mad, To dissipate their days in quest of joy. Or are, or shall be, could this folly last.
Our aim is happiness; 'tis yours, 'tis mine, But soon your heaven is gone: a heavier gloom He said, 'tis the pursuit of all that live; Shuts o'er your head: and, as the thund'ring stream, Yet few attain it, if 'twas e'er attain'd. Swoln o'er its banks with sudden mountain rain, But they the widest wander from the mark, Sinks from its tumult to a silent brook;
Who through the flow'ry paths of saunt'ring jay So, when the frantic raptures in your breast Seek this coy goddess; that froin stage to stage Subside, you languish into mortal man;
Invites us still, but shifts as we pursue. You sleep, and waking find yourself undone. For, not to name the pains that pleasure brings For prodigal of life in one rash night
To counterpoise itself, relentless fate You lavish'd more than might support three days. Forbids that we through gay voluptuous wilds A heavy morning comes; your cares return
Should ever roam: and, were the fates more kind. With tenfold rage. An anxious stomach well Our narrow luxuries would soon grow stale. May be endur'd; so may the throbbing head: Were these exhaustless, nature would grow sick, But such a dim delirium, such a dream,
And, cloy'd with pleasure, squeamishly comida Involves you; such a dastardly despair
That all is vanity, and life a dream. Unmans your soul, as madd'ning Pentheus felt, Let nature rest: be busy for yourself, When, baited round Cithæron's cruel sides,
And for your friend; be busy even in vain, He saw two suns, and double Thebes ascend. Rather than teaze her sated appetites. You curse the sluggish port; you curse the wretch, Who never fasts, no banquet e'er enjoys; The felon, with unnatural mixture first
Who never toils or watches, never sleeps. Who dar'd to violate the virgin wine.
Let nature rest: and when the taste of joy Or on the fugitive champaign you pour
Grows keen, indulge; but shun satiety. A thousand curses; for to heav'n it rapt
'Tis not for mortals always to be blest. Your soul, to plunge you deeper in despair.
But him the least the dull or painful hours Perhaps you rue even that divinest gift,
Of life oppress, whom sober sense conducts, The gay, serene, good-natur’d Burgundy,
And virtue, through this labyrinth we tread. Or the fresh fragrant vintage of the Rhine:
Virtue and sense I mean not to disjoin ; And wish that heaven from mortals had withheld Virtue and sense are one: and, trust me, still The grape, and all intoxicating bowls.
A faithless heart betrays the head unsound. Besides, it wounds you sore to recollect
Virtue (for mere good-nature is a fool) What follies in your loose unguarded hour
Is sense and spirit, with humanity: Escap’d. For one irrevocable word,
'Tis sometimes angry, and its frown confounds: Perhaps that meant no harm, you lose a friend. 'Tis even vindictive, but in vengeance just. Or, in the rage of wine, your hasty hand
Knaves fain would laugh at it; some great ones dars; Perforins a deed to haunt you to the grave.
But at his heart the most undaunted son Add that your means, your health, your parts decay; Of fortune dreads its name and awful charms. Your friends avoid you ; brutishly transform’d, To noblest uses this determines wealth; They hardly know you; or if one remains
This is the solid pomp of prosperous days; To wish you well, he wishes you in heaven. The peace and shelter of adversity: Despis'd, unwept you fall, who might have left
And if you pant for glory, build your fame A sacred, cherish’d, sadly-pleasing name;
On this foundation, which the secret shock
Defies of envy and all-sapping time.
How to live happiest; how avoid the pains, The praise that's worth ambition, is attain'd
By sense alone, and dignity of mind.
Virtue, the strength and beauty of the soul, It found a liking there, a sportful fire, s the best gift of heaven: a happiness
And that fomented into serious love; Chat even above the smiles and frowns of fate Which musing daily strengthens and improves, Exalts great nature's favourites: a wealth
Through all the heights of fondness and romance: That ne'er encumbers, nor can be transferr’d. And you're undone, the fatal shaft has sped, Riches are oft by guilt and baseness earn’d;
If once you doubt whether you love or no. Dr dealt by chance, to shield a lucky knave, The body wastes away; th' infected mind, Or throw a cruel sunshine on a fool.
Dissolv'd in female tenderness, forgets But for one end, one much-neglected use,
Each manly virtue, and grows dead to fame. Are riches worth your care: (for nature's wants Sweet heaven from such intoxicating charms Are few, and without opulence supply'd.)
Defend all worthy breasts! Not that I deem This noble end is, to produce the soul;
Love always dangerous, always to be shunnid. To show the virtues in their fairest light;
Love well repaid, and not too weakly sunk To make humanity the minister
In wanton and unmanly tenderness, Of bounteous Providence; and teach the breast Adds bloom to health ; o'er ev'ry virtue sheds That generous luxury the gods enjoy.
A gay, humane, a sweet and generous grace, Thus, in his graver vein, the friendly sage And brightens all the ornaments of man. Sometimes declaim'd. Of right and wrong he taught But fruitless, hopeless, disappointed, rack'd Truths as refin'd as ever Athens heard ;
With jealousy, fatigu'd with hope and fear, And (strange to tell!) he practis'd what he preach'd. Too serious, or too languishingly fond, Skill'd in the passions, how to check their sway Unnerves the body and unmans the soul : He knew, as far as reason can controul
And some have died for love; and some run mad; The lawless powers. But other cares are mine:
And some with desperate hands themselves have Form'd in the school of Pæon, I relate
Some to extinguish, others to prevent, (slain. What passions hurt the body, what improve: A mad devotion to one dangerous fair, Avoid them, or invite them, as you may.
Court all they meet; in hopes to dissipate Know then, whatever cheerful and serene The cares of love amongst an hundred brides. Supports the mind, supports the body too.
Th' event is doubtful: for there are who find Hence, the most vital movement mortals feel
A cure in this; there are who find it not. Is hope ; the balm and life-blood of the soul.
'Tis no relief, alas! it rather galls It pleases, and it lasts. Indulgent Heaven
The wound, to those who are sincerely sick. Sent down the kind delusion, through the paths For while from feverish and tumultuous joys Of rugged life, to lead us patient on;
The nerves grow languid and the soul subsides, And make our happiest state no tedious thing. The tender fancy smarts with every sting, Our greatest good, and what we least can spare, And what was love before is madness now. Is hope: the last of all our evils, fear.
Is health your care, or luxury your aim?
But when the prurient habit of delight,
To deeds above your strength, impute it not (If love's omnipotence such hearts can mould) To nature: nature all compulsion hates. May safely mellow into love; and grow
Ah! let not luxury nor vain renown Refin'd, humane, and generous, if they can.
Urge you to feats you well might sleep without; Love in such bosoms never to a fault
To make what should be rapture a fatigue, Or pains or pleases. But, ye finer souls,
A tedious task; nor in the wanton arms Form'd to soft luxury, and prompt to thrill
Of twining Lais melt your manhood down. With all the tumults, all the joys and pains,
For from the colliquation of soft joys That beauty gives; with caution and reserve How chang'd you rise! the ghost of what you was! Indulge the sweet destroyer of repose,
nid, and melancholy, and gaunt, and wan; Nor court too much the queen of charming cares. Your veins exhausted, and your nerves unstrung. For, while the cherish'd poison in your breast Spoil'd of its balm and sprightly zest, the blood Ferments and maddens; sick with jealousy, Grows vapid phlegm; along the tender nerves Absence, distrust, or even with anxious joy, (To each slight impulse tremblingly awake) The wholesome appetites and powers of life
A subtle fiend that mimics all the plagues, Dissolve in languor. The coy stomach lothes Rapid and restless springs from part to part. The genial board: Your cheerful days are gone; The blooming honours of your youth are fallen; The generous bloom that flush'd your cheeks is filed. Your vigour pines ; your vital powers decay; To sighs devoted and to tender pains,
Diseases haunt you; and untimely age* Pensive you sit, or solitary stray,
Creeps on ; unsocial, impotent, and lewd. And waste your youth in musing. Musing first Infatuate, impious, epicure! to waste Toy'd into care your unsuspecting heart:
The stores of pleasure, cheersulness, and health!
Infatuate all who make delight their trade, Of all that ever taught in prose or song,
To tame the fiend that sleeps a gentle lamb, Who pines with love, or in lascivious flames And wakes a lion. Unprovok'd and calm, Consumes, is with his own consent undone:
You reason well; see as you ought to see, He chooses to be wretched, to be mad;
And wonder at the madness of mankind: And warn’d proceeds and wilful to his fate. Seiz'd with the common rage, you soon forget But there's a passion, whose tempestuous sway The speculations of your wiser hours. Tears up each virtue planted in the breast,
Beset with furies of all deadly shapes, And shakes to ruins proud philosophy.
Fierce and insidious, violent and slow:, For pale and trembling anger rushes in,
With all that urge or lure us on to fate: With fault'ring speech, and eyes that wildly stare; What refuge shall we seek? what arms prepare! Fierce as the tiger, madder than the seas,
Where reason proves too weak, or void of wiles Desperate, and arm’d with more than human To cope with subtle or impetuous powers, strength.
I would invoke new passions to your aid: How soon the calm, humane, and polish'd man With indignation would extinguish fear, Forgets compunction, and starts up a fiend!
With fear or generous pity vanquish rage, Who pines in love, or wastes with silent cares, And love with pride; and force to force oppos. Envy, or ignominy, or tender grief,
There is a charm, a power, that sways the breast; Slowly descends, and ling’ring to the shades. Bids every passion revel or be still; But he whom anger stings, drops, if he dies, Inspires with rage, or all your cares dissolves; At once, and rushes apoplectic down;
Can soothe distraction, and almost despair. Or a fierce fever hurries him to hell.
That power is music: far beyond the stretch For, as the body through unnumber'd strings Of those unmeaning warblers on our stage; Reverberates each vibration of the soul;
Those clumsy heroes, those fat-headed gods, As is the passion, such is still the pain
Who move no passion justly but contempt: The body feels: or chronic, or acute.
Who, like our dancers (light indeed and strong!) And oft a sudden storm at once o'erpowers
Do wondrous feats, but never heard of grace. The life, or gives your reason to the winds.
The fault is ours; we bear those monstrous arts; Such fates attend the rash alarm of fear,
Good Heaven! we praise them: we, with loudest And sudden grief, and rage, and sudden joy.
peals, There are, mean time, to whom the boist'rous fit Applaud the fool that highest lifts his heels; Is health, and only fills the sails of life.
And, with insipid show of rapture, die For where the mind a torpid winter leads,
Of idiot notes impertinently long. Wrapt in a body corpulent and cold,
But he the Muse's laurel justly shares, And each clogg'd function lazily moves on;
A poet he, and touch'd with Heaven's own fire; A generous sally spurns th’incumbent load, Who, with bold rage or solemn pomp of sounds, Unlocks the breast, and gives a cordial glow. Inflames, exalts, and ravishes the soul; But if your wrathful blood is apt to boil,
Now tender, plaintive, sweet almost to pain, Or are your nerves too irritably strung,
In love dissolves you; now in sprightly strains Waive all dispute; be cautious, if you joke; Breathes a gay rapture through your thrilling breast; Keep lent for ever; and forswear the bow]:
Or melts the heart with airs divinely sad, For one rash moment sends you to the shades, Or wakes to horror the tremendous strings. Or shatters ev'ry hopeful scheme of life,
Such was the bard, whose heavenly strains of old And gives to horror all your days to come.
Appeasd the fiend of melancholy Saul. Fate, arm’d with thunder, fire, and ev'ry plague Such was, if old and heathen fame say true, That ruins, tortures, or distracts mankind,
The man who bade the Theban domes ascend, And makes the happy wretched in an hour,
And tam'd the savage nations with his song; O'erwhelms you not with woes so horrible
And such the Thracian, whose melodious lyrë, As your own wrath, nor gives more sudden blows. Tun'd to soft woe, made all the mountains weep; While choler works, good friend, you may be Sootlı'd even th' inexorable powers of hell, wrong;
And half redeem'd his lost Eurydice. Distrust yourself, and sleep before you fight. Music exalts each joy, allays each grief, 'Tis not too late to-morrow to be brave;
Expels diseases, softens every pain, If honour bids, to-morrow kill or die.
Subdues the rage of poison, and the plague; But calm advice against a raging fit
And hence the wise of ancient days ador'd Avails too little; and it braves the power
One power of physic, melody, and song.
CHATTERTON-A. D. 1752-70.
OR, THE DETIE OF SYR CHARLES BAWDIN.
The featherd songster chaunticleer
Han wounde hys bugle horne,
The commynge of the morne:
Of lyghte eclypse the greie;
Proclayme the fated daie. “ Thou'rt ryght,” quod he, “ for, by the Godde
That syttes enthron'd on hyghe! Charles Bawdin, and hys fellowes twaine,
To daie shall surelie die."
Thenne wythe a jugge of nappy ale
Hys knyghtes dydd onne hymm waite; “ Goe tell the traytour, thatt to-daie
Hee leaves thys mortall state.” Syr Canterlone thenne bendedd lowe,
Wythe harte brymm-fulle of woe;
And to Syr Charles dydd goe.
And eke hys lovynge wyfe,
For goode Syr Charleses lyfe.
** Badde tydyngs I doe brynge.” Speke boldlie, manne,” sayd brave Syr Charles,
“ Whatte says the traytour kynge?” “ I greeve to telle: before
yonne sonne Does fromme the welkinn flye, Hee hath uppon hys honour sworne,
Thatt thou shalt surelie die.”
Thenne Maister Canynge saughte the kynge,
And felle down onne hys knee; “ I'm come, quod hee, “ unto your grace
To move your clemencye.” “ Thenne," quod the kynge, “ Youre tale speke out,
You have been much oure friende; Whatever youre request may bee,
Wee wylle to ytte attende."
Ys for a noblie knyghte,
He thoughte ytte stylle was ryghte: “ He has a spouse and children twaine;
Alle rewyn'd are for aie, Yff that you are resolv'd to lett
Charles Bawdin die to-dai." “ Speke not of such a traytour vile,”
The kynge ynn furie sayde; “ Before the evening starre doth sheene,
Bawdin shall loose hys hedde:
And hee shalle have hys meede:
Att present doe you neede ?"
“ Leave justice to our Godde, And laye the yronne rule asyde;
Be thyne the olyve rodde. “ Was Godde to serche our hertes and reines,
The best were synners grete; Christ's vicarr only knowes ne synne,
Ynne alle thys mortall state. 6 Lett mercie rule thyne infante reigne,
'Twylle faste thye crowne fulle sure; From race to race thye familie
Alle sov'reigns shall endure:
Beginne thy infante reigne,
Wylle never long remayne."
Has scorn'd my power and mee; Howe canst thou then for such a manne
Entreate my clemencye?" “ My nobile leige! the trulie brave
Wylle val’rous actions prize, Respect a brave and nobile mynde,
Although ynne enemies."
u We all must die," quod brave Syr Charles;
« Of thatte I'm not affearde; Whatte bootes to lyve a little space?
Thanke Jesu, l’m prepar’d: * Butt telle thye kynge, for myne bee's not,
I'de sooner die to-daie,
Though I shoulde lyve for aie.”
To telle the maior straite
For goode Syr Charleses fate.