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For rescue from the blesing we possess ?
Time, the supreme !+ Time is Eternity;
Pregnant with all eternity can give ;
Pregnant with all, that makes archangels smile.
Who murders time, he crushes in the birth
A pow'r ethereal, only not ador'd.
Ah! how unjust to nature, and himself,
Is thoughtless, thankless, inconsistent man!
Like children babbling nonsense in their sports,
We censure nature for a span too fort;
That span too short, we tax as tedious too;
Torture invention, all expedients tire,
Tolash the ling'ring moments into speed,
And whirl us (happy riddance !) from ourselves.
Art, brainless Art ! our furious charioteer
(For Nature's voice unftifled would recall)
Drives headlong tow'rds the precipice of death;
Death, most our dread; death thus more dreadful made:
O what a riddle of absurdity !
Leisure is pain ; takes off our chariot-wheels ;
How heavily we drag the load of life!
Bleft leisure is our curse ; like that of Cain,
It makes us wander ; wander earth around
To fly that tyrant, thought, As Atlas groan'd
! The world beneath, we groan beneath an hour.
We cry for mercy to the next amusement;
The next amusement mortgages our fields ;
Slight inconvenience! prisons hardly frown,
From hateful Time if prisons set us free.
Yet when Death kindly tenders us relief,
We call him cruel ; years to moments shrink,
Ages to years. The telescope is turn'd.
To man's false optics (from his folly false)
Time, in advance, behind him hides his wings,
And seems to creep, decrepit with his age ;
Behold him, when past by ; what then is seen,
But his broad pinions swifter than the winds ?
And all mankind, in contradiction strong,
Rueful, aghaft! cry out on his career.
Leave to thy foes these errors, and these ills ;
To nature juft, their Cause and Cure explore.
Not short heav'n's bounty, boundless our expence ;
No niggard, nature ; men are prodigals.
We wafte, not use our time; we breathe, not live.
Time wasted is existence, usd is life.
And bare existence, man, to live ordain'd,
Wrings, and oppresses with enormous weight.
And why? fince Time was giv’n for use, not waste,
Injoin'd to Ay; with tempeft, tide, and stars,
To keep his speed, nor ever wait for man ;
Time's use was doom'd a pleasure : Wafte, a pain;
That man might feel his error, if unfeen:
And, feeling, fly to labour for his cure ;
Not, blund'ring, split on idleness for ease.
Life's cares are comforts ; such by heav'n design'd;
He that has none, must make them, or be wretched.
Cares are employments; and without employ
The soul is on a rack ; the rack of reli,
To souls most adverse; action all their joy.
Here then, the riddle, mark'd above, unfolds;
Then time turns torment, when man turns a fool.
We rave, we wrestle, with Great Nature's Plan;
We thwart the Deity; and 'tis decreed,
Who thwart his will, shall contradict their own,
Hence our unnatural quarrels with ourselves ;
Oar thoughts at enmity; our bosom-broil;
We push time from us, and we wish him backs
Lavish of lustrums, and yet fond of life;
Life we think long, and short ; Death seek, and shun;
Body and soul, like peevish man and wife,
United jar, and yet are loth to part.
Oh the dark days of vanity! while here,
How tasteless! and how terrible, when gone!
Gone ? they ne'er go; when past, they haunt us still;
The spirit walks of ev'ry day deceas'd;
And smiles an angel, or a fury frowns.
Nor death, nor life delight us. If time past,
And time pofleft, both pair us, what can please ?
That which the Deity to please ordain'd,
Time us'd. The man who consecrates his hours
By vig'rous effort, and an honest aim,
At once he draws the sting of life and death;
He walks with Nature ; and her paths are peace.
Our error's cause and cure are seen: See next
Time's Nature, Origin, Importance, Speed;
And thy great Gain from urging his career.--
All-sensual man, because untouch'd, unseen,
He looks on Time as nothing. Nothing else
Is truly man's; 'tis fortune's. -Time's a god,
Halt thou he’er heard of Time's omnipotence ?
For, or against, what wonders he can do!
And will: To stand blank neuter he disdains.
Not on those terms was Time (heav'n's stranger ! ) fent
On his important embaffy to man.
LORENZO' no : On the long.defin'd hour,
From everlasting ages growing ripe,
That memorable hour of wondrous birth,
When the DreaD Sire, on emanation bent,
And big with nature, rising in his might,
Calld forth creation (for then Time was born),
By Godhead streaming thro' a thousand worlds ;
Not on those terms, from the great days of heaven,
From old eternity's mysterious orb,
Was Time cut off, and cast beneath the skies ;
The skies, which watch him in his new abode,
Measuring his motions by revolving spheres;
That horologe machinery divine.
Hours, days, and months, and years, his children, play,
Like num'rous wings around him, as he flies:
Or, rather, as unequal plumes they shape
His ample pinions, swift as darted flame,
To gain his goal, to reach his ancient rest,
And join anew Eternity his fire ;
In his immutability to nest,
When worlds, that count his circles now, unhing'd,
(Fate the loud signal founding) headlong rush
To timeless night and chaos, whence they rose.
Why spur the speedy? Why with levities
New-wing thy short, short day's too rapid fight?
Know'st thou, or what thou dost, or what is done?
Man flies from Time, and Time from man; too soon
In fad divorce this double flight must end :
And then, where are we? where, LORENZO ! then,
Thy sports ? thy pomps ?-1 grant thee, in a state
Not unambitious; in the ruffled throud,
Thy Parian tomb's triumphant arcb beneath.
Has Death his fopperies? Then weil may Life
Put on her plume, and in her rainbow shine.
Ye well-array'd! Ye lilies of our land!
Ye lilies male! who neither toil, nor spin,
(As fifter lilies might) if not so wise
As Solomon, more fumptuous to the fight!
Ye delicate! who nothing can support,
Yourselves most insupportable! for whom
The winter rose must blow, the sun put on
A brighter beam in Leo; filky-soft
Favonius breathe ftill softer, or be chid ;
And other worlds fend odours, fawce, and song,
And robes, and notions, fram'd in foreign looms !
Oye Lorenzos of our age! who deem
One moment unam
amus'd, a misery
Not made for feeble man! who call aloud
For ev'ry bawble drivel'd o'er by sense ;
For rattles, and conceits of ev'ry cast,
For change of follies, and relays of joy,
To drag your patient through the tedious length
Of a short winter's day fay, sages ! say,
Wit's oracles ! say, dreamers of gay
dreams! How will you weather an eternal night, Where such expedients fail ?