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Grecian and Roman bards, we own,
Thro' all Pieria's heights have flown;
Nothing's the subject, yet unsung
By Grecian or by Roman tongue.
Where'er, from high Olympian throne,
Bright Ceres on her fields looks down;
Where'er old Ocean shews his face,
And clasps the earth in close embrace ;
NOTHING beginning wants, and end;
NOTHING does bliss complete attend.
If hence, indisputably shine
The pow'r and energy divine,
Worthy the Ruler of the skies?
NOTHING's more pleasing to the fight
Than the clear day's fair beaming light;
NOTHING more beauteous verdure spreads,
Than water'd lawns, or flow’ry meads.
NOTHING more jocund is than Spring ;
And ev’n in tumult sacred lies.
NOTHING, in peace, is right and just.
Nor baleful fires, nor thieves, nor snares.
The first of wisdom’s favour'd fons,
Tho' all things else to fate he leaves,
NOTHING admires, and NOTHING craves,
An ancient Grecian philosopher, and founder of the sect of Stoics.
Among the old || Socratic crew,
'Twas wisdom, NOTHING, Sir, to know;
And, Sir, I speak it to our praise,
Nothing's the study now a days ;
Still ’tis our youth's supreme concern
NOTHING, at school, at home, to learn;
|| Socrates said, all his knowledge only served to teach him this, " that he knew NOTHING."
§ Pythagoras believed beans had fouls, and forbad his disciples to
* Beans were used in the ancient courts of judicature; the white bean was the fign of a suffrage in favour of the obnoxious person ; the black, of the contrary.
+ Many, with Mercury their guide, Earth's bowels pure have liquefy'd,
Willing their substance to consumo
In secret works, and fire, and fume;
Till, with long loss, and labour weak,
Not ev’n the man, whose copious brains
With measuring staff, or out-stretch'd line,
Can boundless Nothing's length define.
NOTHING, not Sol's bright influence shares.
you, my friend, whose foul profound
Whose wise, acute, sagacious mind
To depths unknown a clue can find;
+ This alludes to the search after the philosopher’s-stone, which at that time particularly exercised the lucubrations of the curious,
Ev'n you (with your good leave I'll say)
Yet Nothing's clear as Sol's bright beam,
Conspicuous as the lambent flame.
Touch NOTHING, Sir, and you'll confess
You touch a thing that ’s bodiless.
NOTHING, tho’ deaf, can hear, and speaks
Although it never filence breaks ;
Flies without wings; and ev’n can run
Without a leg to stand upon.
Nay, lacking motion, parts, and place,
NOTHING more useful, Sir, you'll find
Than art of healing, to mankind :
Let not the lover then rehearse
The mutt'ring wizard's magic verse,