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Before thy shining taper disappear.
Tutor of human life! auspicious guide!
Whose faithful clue unravels ev'ry maze :
Whose skill can disengage the tangled thorn,
And smooth the rock to down! whose magic powers
Control each storm, and bid the roar be still.
CHARLES PRATT, ESQ.
[Now Earl Camden.]
WRITTEN IN M DCC XLIII.
By the Same.
FROM friendship's cradle up the verdant paths
Of Youth, life's jolly spring; and now sublim'd
To its full manhood and meridian strength,
Her latest stage, (for friendship ever hale
Knows not old age, diseases, and decay,
But burning keeps her sacred fire, 'till death's
Cold hand extinguish)-At this spot, this point,
Here, Pratt, we social meet, and gaze about,
And look back to the scenes our pastime trod
In nature's morning, when the gamesome hours
Had sliding feet, and laugh'd themselves away.
Luxurious season! vital prime! where Thames
Flows by Etona's walls, and cheerful sees
Her sons wide swarming; and where sedgy Cam
Bathes with slow pace his academic grove,
Pierian walks!-O never hope again,
(Impossible! untenable!) to grasp
Those joys again; to feel alike the pulse
Dancing, and fiery spirits boiling high :
Or see the pleasure that with careless wing
Swept on, and flow'ry garlands toss'd around
Disporting! Try to call her back-as well
Bid yesterday return, arrest the flight
Of Time; or, musing by a river's brink,
Say to the wave that huddles swiftly by
" from thy fountain roll anew.
The merriment, the tale, and heartfelt laugh
That echo'd round the table, idle guests,
Must rise, and serious inmates take their place;
Reflection's daughters sad, and world-born thoughts
Dislodging Fancy's empire-Yet who knows
Exact the balance of our loss and gain?
Who knows how far a rattle may outweigh
The mace or sceptre ? But as boys resign
The play-thing, bauble of their infancy,
So fares it with maturer years: they, sage,
Imagination's airy regions quit,
And under Reason's banner take the field;
With Resolution face the cloud or storm,
While all their former rainbows die away.
Some to the palace with regardful step, And courtly blandishment resort, and there Advance obsequious; in the sunshine bask
Of princely grace, catch the creating eye,
Parent of honors:-in the senate some
Harangue the full-bench'd auditory, and wield
Their list'ning passions (such the power,
Of Reason's eloquence !)—or at the bar,
Where Cowper, Talbot, Somers, Yorke, before
Pleaded their way to glory's chair supreme,
And worthy fill'd it. Let not these great names
Damp, but incite: nor Murray's praise obscure
The younger merit. Know these lights, ere yet
To noon-day lustre kindled, had their dawn.
Proceed familiar to the gate of Fame,
Nor think the task severe, the prize too high
Of toil and honor, for thy Father's son.
MONSIEUR DE VOLTAIRE.
M DCC LVII.
CROYEZ que si j'etois, Voltaire,
Me contentant du necessaire,
Je verrois envoler la Fortune legere,
Et m'en mocquerois comme lui.
Je connois l'ennui des grandeurs,
Le fardeau des devoirs, le jargon des flateurs,
Et tout l'amas des petitesses,
Et leurs genres et leurs especes,
Dont il faut s'occuper dans le sein des honneurs.
Je meprise la vaine glorie,
Quoique Poete et Souverain,
Quand du ciseau fatal retranchant mon destin Atropos m' aura vu plonge dans la nuit noire, Que m'importe l' honneur incertain