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Scene, The Desert.-Time, Mid-Day,
IN silent horror o'er the boundless waste
The driver Hassan with his camels past.
One cruse of water on his back he bore,
And his light scrip contain'd a scanty store;
A fan of painted feathers in his hand,
To guard his shaded face from scorching sand.
The sultry sun had gain'd the middle sky,
And not a tree, and not an herb was nigh;
The beasts, with pain, their dusty way pursue,
Shrill roar'd the winds, and dreary was the view!
With desp'rate sorrow wild, th' affrighted man
Thrice sigh'd, thrice struck his breast, and thus
“ Sad was the hour, and luckless was the day,
“ When first from Schiraz' walls I bent my way!"
Ah! little thought I of the blasting wind, The thirst or pinching hunger that I find:
Bethink thee, Hassan, where shall thirst assuage,
When fails this cruse, his unrelenting rage?
Soon shall this scrip its precious load resign;
Then what but tears and hunger shall be thine?
Ye mute companions of my toils, that bear In all my griefs a more than equal share! Here, where no springs in murmurs break away, Or moss-crown'd fountains mitigate the day, In vain ye hope the green delights to know, Which plains more blest, or verdant vales bestow: Here rocks alone, and tasteless sands are found, And faint and sickly winds for ever howl around. “ Sad was the hour, and luckless was the day, " When first from Schiraz' walls I bent my way!"
Curst be the gold and silver which persuade Weak men to follow far-fatiguing trade! The lily peace outshines the silver store, And life is dearer than the golden ore: Yet money tempts us o'er the desert brown, To ev'ry distant mart and wealthy town. Full oft we tempt the land, and oft the sea ; And are we only yet repaid by thee? Ah! why was ruin so attractive made, Or why fond man so easily betray'd?
Why heed we not, whilst mad we haste along,
The gentle voice of peace or pleasure's song?
Or wherefore think the flow'ry mountains side,
The fountain's murmurs, and the valley's pride,
Why think we these less pleasing to behold,
Than dreary deserts, if they lead to gold?
“ Sad was the hour, and luckless was the day,
“ When first from Schiraz' walls I bent my way!”
O cease my fears!-All frantic as I go, When thought creates unnumber'd scenes of woe; What if the lion in his rage I meet! Ost in the dust I view his printed feet: And fearful! ost, when day's declining light Yields her pale empire to the mourner night, By hunger rous'd, he scours the groaning plain, Gaunt wolves and sullen tigers in his train: Before them Death with shrieks direct their way, Fills the wild yell, and leads them to their prey. “ Sad was the hour, and luckless was the day, “ When first from Schiraz' walls I bent my way!"
At that dead hour, the silent asp shall creep, If aught of rest I find, upon my sleep; Or some swoln serpent twist his scales around, And wake to anguish with a burning wound,
Thrice happy they, the wise contented poor, From lust of wealth, and dread of death secure! They tempt no deserts, and no griefs they find; Peace rules the day where reason rules the mind.
He said, and callid on heaven to bless the day, And back to Schiraz' walls he bent his way.
VIRTUE ALONE AFFORDS TRUE
WHAT nothing earthly gives, or can destroy,
The soul's calm sun-shine, and the heart-felt joy,
Is Virtue's prize! A better would you fix?
Then give Humility a coach and six;
Justice a conq'ror's sword, or Truth a gown,
Or Public Spirit its great cure-a crown.
Weak, foolish man! will Heav'n reward us there
With the same trash mad mortals wish for here?
The boy and man an individual makes,
Yet sigh'st thou now for apples and for cakes?
Go, like the Indian, in another life
Expect thy dog, thy bottle, and thy wife:
As well as dream such trifles are assign'd,
As toys and empires, for a godlike mind.
Rewards, that either would to virtue bring
No joy, or be destructive of the thing:
How oft by these at sixty are undone
The virtues of a saint at twenty-one!
To whom can riches give repute, or trust,
Content, or pleasure, but the good or just?
Judges and senates have been bought with gold,
Esteem and love were never to be sold.
o fool! to think God hates the worthy mind,
The lover and the love of human-kind,
W'hose life is healthful, and whose conscienceclear,
Because he wants a thousand pounds a year.
Honour and shame from no condition rise;
Act well your part, there all the honour lies.
Fortune in men has some small difrence made,
One flaunts in rags, one flutters in brocade;
The cobler apron'd, and the parson gown'd,
The friar hooded, and the monarch crown'd.
“What differ more (you cry) than crown and cowl?"
I'll tell you, friend; a wise man and a fool.
You'll find, if once the monarch acts the monk,
Or, cobler-like, the parson will be drunk,
Worth makes the man, and want of it the fellow,
The rest is all but leather or prunella.
Stuck o'er with titles, and hung round with
strings, That thou may'st be by kings, or whores of kings;