Fortune her gifts may variously
And these be happy call’d, unhappy those;
But heaven’s just balance equal will appear,
While those are plac’d in hope, and these in fear;
Nor present good or ill, the joy or curse,
But future views of better, or of worse.
Oh sons of earth! attempt
ye still to rise,
By mountains pil’d on, mountains, to the skies?
Heaven still, with laughter, the vain toil surveys,
And buries madmen in the heaps they raise.
Know, all the good that individuals
Or God and nature meant to mere mankind,
Reason’s whole pleasure, all the joys of sense,
Lie in three words—Health, Peace, and Competence.
Now morn, her rosy steps in
th’ eastern clime
Advancing, sow’d the earth with orient pearl,
When Adam wak’d; so custom’d; for his sleep
Was airy light, from pure digestion bred,
And temperate vapours bland, which the only found
Of leaves and fuming rills, Aurora’s fan,
Lightly dispers’d, and the thrill matin song
Of birds on ev’ry bough. So much the more
His wonder was to find unwaken’d Eve
With tresses discomposed, and glowing cheek.
As through unquiet rest. He, on his side
Leaning half rais’d, with looks of cordial love,
Hung over her enamour’d; and beheld
Beauty, which, whether waking or asleep,
Shot forth peculiar graces. Then, with voice
Mild as when Zephyrus on Flora breathes,
Her hand soft touching, whispered thus; “Awake,
“My fairest, my espous’d, my latest found:
“Heaven’s last best gift, my ever new delight,
“Awake!—The morning shines, and the fresh field
“Calls us. We lose the prime; to mark how spring
“Our tended plants; how blows the citron grove:
“What drops the myrrh, and what the balmy reed;
“How nature paints her colours; how the bee
“Sits on the bloom, extracting liquid sweet.”
SOLILOQUY AND PRAYER OF EDWARD THE BLACK PRINCE, BEFORE THE BATTLE OF POICTIERS.
The hour advances, the decisive
That lifts me to the summit of renown,
Or leaves me on the earth a breathless corse,
The buzz and bustle of the field before me;
The twang of bow-strings, and the clash of spears:
With every circumstance of preparation;
Strike with an awful horror!—Shouts are echo’d,
To drown dismay, and blow up resolution
Even to its utmost swell.—From hearts so firm,
Whom dangers fortify, and toils inspire,
What has a leader not to hope! And, yet,
The weight of apprehension sinks me down—
“O, soul of Nature! great eternal cause,
“Who gave, and govern’s all that’s here below!