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My eyes are dazzled, and my ravished heart
Leaps at the glorious sight. How bright's the luster,
Ay, such a treasure would expel forever
Possessed of these,
Plenty, content, and power, might take their turn,
At our approach, and once more bend before us.
For sure it was a happiness to think,
Though but a moment, such a treasure mine.
Nay, it was more than thought. I saw and touched The bright temptation, and I see it yet.
"T is here- 't is mine- I have it in possession'
To rob myself, and court so vast a loss?
Retain it, then. But how? There is a way.
Why sinks my heart? Why does my blood run cold?
Enter Old Wilmot.
Old Wilmot. The mind contented, with how little pains The wandering senses yield to soft repose,
And die to gain new life!
He's fallen asleep Already happy man! What dost thou think, My Agnes, of our unexpected guest?
He seems to me a youth of great humanity : Just ere he closed his eyes, that swam in tears, He wrung my hand, and pressed it to his lips; And with a look that pierced me to the soul,
Begged me to comfort thee: and. Dost thou hear me? What art thou gazing on? Fie, 't is not well!
This casket was delivered to you closed:
Why have you opened it?
How mean must we appear!
Should this be known,
Agnes. And who shall know it?
O. Wil. There is a kind of pride, a decent dignity, Due to ourselves, which, spite of our misfortunes, May be maintained and cherished to the last. To live without reproach, and without leave To quit the world, shows sovereign contempt And noble scorn of its relentless malice.
Agnes. Shows sovereign madness, and a scorn of sense! Pursue no further this detested theme:
I will not die! I will not leave the world,
For all that you can urge, until compelled.
O. Wil.. To chase a shadow when the setting sun Is darting his last rays, were just as wise
As your anxiety for fleeting life,
Now the last means for its support are failing:
Were famine not as mortal as the sword,
This warmth might be excused. But take thy choice.
Die how you will, you shall not die alone.
Agnes. Nor live, I hope.
O. Wil. There is no fear of that.
Agnes. Then we 'll live both.
O. Wil. Strange folly! Where's the means?
Perhaps thou dost but try me; yet take heed.
And desperation drove, have been committed
O. Wil. The inhospitable murder of our guest!
And yet so cruel, and so full of horror?
Agnes. 'Tis less impiety, less against nature, To take another's life, than end our own.
O. Wil. It is no matter whether this or that
Be in itself the less or greater crime :
Howe'er we may deceive ourselves or others,
Or none could act amiss. And that all err,
O, what is man, his excellence and strength,
reason may justly plead
O. Wil. Rest contented:
Agnes. Then naught remains
But the swift execution of a deed
O. Wil. True, his strength,
Single, is more, much more, than ours united;
Ours in duration, should he 'scape this snare.
Generous, unhappy man! O, what could move thee
Of wretches mad with anguish !
Agnes. By what means,
By stabbing, suffocation, or by strangling,-
O. Wil. Why, what a fiend!
How cruel, how remorseless, how impatient,
Agnes. Barbarous man!
Whose wasteful riots ruined our estate,
And drove our son, ere the first down had spread
To seek his bread 'mongst strangers, and to perish
The loveliest youth, in person and in mind,
Thou cruel husband! thou unnatural father!
I ought not to reproach thee. I confess
That thou hast suffered much so have we both.
Ere he reclined him on the fatal couch,
From which he's ne'er to rise, took off the sash
Agnes. The sash.
If you make use of that, I can assist.
O. Wil. No.
'Tis a dreadful office, and I'll spare
Thy trembling hands the guilt. Steal to the door,
Are withering in their bloom. But though extinguished,
Of every joy, and even hope itself,
As I have done. Why do I mourn him, then?
The Vanity of the World.-FRANCIS QUARLES.* 1. FALSE world, thou ly'st thou canst not lend The least delight;
*The author of "Emblems." He flourished from 1592 tb 1844.
Thy favors cannot gain a friend,
They are so slight;
Thy morning pleasures make an end
To please at night:
Poor are the wants that thou supply'st,
And yet thou vaunt'st, and yet thou vy'st
With heaven; fond earth, thou boasts; false world, thou ly'st
2. Thy babbling tongue tells golden tales
Of endless treasure ;
Thy bounty offers easy sales
Of lasting pleasure;
Thou ask'st the conscience what she ails,
And swear'st to ease her:
There's none can want where thou supply'st:
There's none can give where thou deny'st.
Alas! fond world, thou boasts; false world, thou ly'st. 3. What well-advised ear regards
What earth can say?
Thy words are gold, but thy rewards
Thy cunning cau but pack the cards,
Thou canst not play:
Thy game at weakest, still thou vy'st;
If seen, and then revy'd, deny'st;
Thou art not what thou seem'st; false world, thou ly'st.
4. Thy tinsel bosom seems a mint
Of new-coined treasure;
A paradise, that has no stint,
No change, no measure;
A painted cask, but nothing in't,
Nor wealth, nor pleasure:
Vain earth that falsely thus comply'st
With man; vain man! that thou rely'st
On earth; vain man, thou dot'st; vain earth, thou ly'st
5. What mean dull souls, in this high measure,
In earth's base wares, whose greatest treasure
Is dross and trash?
The height of whose enchanting pleasure
Is but a flash?
Are these the goods that thou supply'st
Us mortals with? Are these the high'st?
Can these bring cordial peace? false world, thou ly'st.