Yesterday the sullen year
Saw the snowy whirlwind fly;
Mute was the music of the air,
The herd stood drooping by:
Their raptures now that wildly flow
No yesterday nor morrow know;
’Tis man alone that joy descries
With forward and reverted eyes.
Smiles on past Misfortune’s brow
Soft Reflection’s hand can trace,
And o’er the cheek of Sorrow throw
A melancholy grace;
While Hope prolongs our happier hour,
Or deepest shades, that dimly lower
And blacken round our weary way,
Gilds with a gleam of distant day.
Still where rosy Pleasure leads
See a kindred Grief pursue;
Behind the steps that Misery treads,
Approaching Comfort view:
The hues of bliss more brightly glow
Chastised by sabler tints of woe,
And, blended, form with artful strife
The strength and harmony of life.
See the wretch that long has tossed
On the thorny bed of pain
At length repair his vigour lost
And breathe and walk again:
The meanest flowret of the vale,
The simplest note that swells the gale.
The common sun, the air, the skies,
To him are opening Paradise.
Humble Quiet builds her cell
Near the source whence Pleasure flows;
She eyes the clear crystalline well,
And tastes it as it goes.
[The rest is lacking.]
From THE VANITY OF HUMAN WISHES
IN IMITATION OF THE TENTH SATIRE OF JUVENAL
In full-blown dignity see Wolsey stand,
Law in his voice, and fortune in his hand:
To him the church, the realm, their powers consign;
Through him the rays of regal bounty shine;
Turned by his nod the stream of honour flows;
His smile alone security bestows.
Still to new heights his restless wishes tower;
Claim leads to claim, and power advances power;
Till conquest unresisted ceased to please,
And rights submitted left him none to seize.
At length his sovereign frowns—the train of state
Mark the keen glance, and watch the sign to hate:
Where’er he turns he meets a stranger’s eye;
His suppliants scorn him, and his followers fly;
Now drops at once the pride of awful state—
The golden canopy, the glittering plate,
The regal palace, the luxurious board,
The liveried army, and the menial lord.
With age, with cares, with maladies oppressed,
He seeks the refuge of monastic rest.
Grief aids disease, remembered folly stings,
And his last sighs reproach the faith of kings.
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