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POETRY

TO LAURA.

Awake, my Laura, break the silken chain ;
Awake, my friend, to hours unsoil'd by pain :
Awake to peaceful joys and thoughts refined,
Youth's cheerful morn, and Virtue's vigorous mind :
Wake to all joys fair friendship can bestow;
All that from health and prosperous fortune flow.

Still dost thou sleep? awake, imprudent fair :
Few hours has life, and few of those can spare.*

Forsake thy drowsy couch, and sprightly rise, While yet fresh morning streaks the ruddy skies ; While yet the birds their early matins sing, And all around us blooming as the spring : Ere sultry Phæbus, with his scorching ray, Has drank the dew-drops from their mansion gay,

• For is there aught in sleep can charm the wise?

To lie in dull oblivion, losing half
The feeting moments of too short a life?

Thomson

Scorch'd every flower, embrown'd each drooping

green, Pall’d the pure air, and chased the pleasing scene.

Still dost thou sleep? O rise, imprudent fair : Few hours has life, nor of those few can spare.

But this, perhaps, was but a summer song, And winter nights are dark, and cold, and long. Weak reason that, for sleeping past the morn; Yet urged by sloth, and by indulgence born. 0, rather haste to rise, my slumbering friend, While feeble suns their scanty influence lend; While cheerful day-light yet adorns the skies, Awake, my friend ! my Laura, haste to rise. For soon the uncertain short-lived day shall fail, And soon shall night extend her sooty veil. Blank nature fades, black shades and phantoms

drear
Haunt the sick eye, and fill the court of Fear.

Otherefore sleep no more, imprudent fair :
Few hours has day, few days the circling year :
Few hours has life, and few of these can spare.

Think of the task those hours have yet in view ; Reason to arm, and passion to subdue; While life's fair calm and flattering moments last, To fence your inind against the stormy blast; Early to hoard blest Wisdom's peace-fraught store, Ere yet your bark forsakes the friendly shore, And the winds whistle, and the billows roar. Imperfect beings! weakly arm'd to bear Pleasure's soft wilęs, or Sorrow's open war;

Alternate shocks from different sides to feel,
Now to subdue the heart, and now to steel;
Yet framed with high aspirings, strong desires :
How mad the attempt to quench celestial fires !
Still to perfection tends the restless mind,
And happiness its bright reward assign'd.
And shall dull sloth obscure the heaven-beam'd ray
That guides our passage to the realms of day,
Cheers the faint heart, and points the dubious way?
Not weakly arm’d, if ever on our guard;
Nor to the worst unequal, if prepared :
Not unsurmountable the task, if loved ;
Nor short the time, if every hour improved.
O rouse thee then, nor shun the glorious strife;
Extend, improve, enjoy thy hours of life :
Assert thy reason, animate thy heart,
And act through life's short scene the useful part :
Then sleep in peace, by gentlest Memory crown'd,
Till Time's vast year has fill'd its perfect round.

ON READING THE LOVE ELEGIES, 1742.

Hither your wreaths, ye drooping Muses, bring;

The 'short-lived rose, that blooms but to decay; Love's fragrant myrtles, that in Paphos spring;

And deathless Poetry's immortal bay,

Aud 0, thou gentlest shade, accept the verse,

Mean though it be, and artlessly sincere, That pensive thus attends thy silent hearse,

And steals, in secret shades, the pious tear.

What heart, by Heaven with generous softness

bless'd, But in thy lines its pative language reads; Where helpless Love, in classic plainness dress'd,

Gracefully mourns, and elegantly bleeds ?

Io vain, alas, thy fancy, fondly gay,

Traced the fair scenes of dear domestic life! The sportive Loves forsook their wanton play,

To paint for thee the mistress, friend, and wife.

One caught from Delia's lips the winning smile ;

One froin her eyes his little soul inspired ; Then seized thy pen, and smoothed thy flowing

style; Then wept, and trembled, and with sobs admired. O luckless lover! form’d for better days,

For golden years, and ages long ago; For thee Persephone impatient stays,

For thee the willow and the cypress grow.

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