« VorigeDoorgaan »
ODE TO A FRIEND. 1758.
HY so tim'rous, gentle friend?
Pri’thee, banish care and dread; Of harmless pleasure, know no end,
Till thou’rt number'd with the dead.
What can keep thee from the
grave, If it please th’ Almighty pow'r ? What destroy thee if he'll save,
Or rob thee of the passing hour?
What should move the pow'r divine,
Thee, good mortal, to destroy ? Then, with me, right-pleasing join,
To gild the wing'd time with joy.
But not in pleasure's Syren-charms,
I mean to lose the heart :
Where wisdom has no part.
But let passion's easy gale,
Thy bark with rapture sweep,
And guide her o'er the deep.
Then chearful flow thy transient breath,
With courage arm thy heart;
And smiles at his grim dart.
To A FRI E N D.
IKE as Lybia's burning sand,
Or the parch'd Arabian plain, Which gentle Eurus never fann’d,
Wou'd drink th' unfathomable main So is the wretch who endless craves,
And restless pines in ev'ry stateO place him with the worst of Naves,
Whether in high or low estate. Heap him around with massy wealth,
High-throne him on the seat of pow'r; Each gen’rous joy he'll use by stealth,
While want shall prey on ev'ry hour. Let glitt'ring pomp allure his soul,
Or nobler fame his mind dilate ; Thro' complicated plagues he'll roll
, And dire vexations still create. The first-born mortal upon earth,
When round him smiling Nature play'd,
He who contented spends his days
Calm as the clear unruffled stream,
Mild as the maiden's silver dream.
Listen, dear Strephon to my song
O herd not with ambitious slaves, Nor join thou with the vulgar throng
Their joys unstable as the waves. Strephon, thrice blest with fruitful plains,
The lover of a fapient theme; Strephon, whose sweetly-foothing strains
Flow gently as thy native stream
O leave the ruthless scenes of war,
Unfit art thou for rude alarms, Beside thy gentle * Delaware,
Come, Strephon, seek more pleasing charms. Here, while o’er the fertile vallies
Thou shalt tuneful stray along, I will make repeated sallies,
To catch the transport of thy song; Then mutual joy shall swell our soul,
Attendant to bright wisdom's strain, While we shall quaff the friendly bowl
Far from the noisy and the vain.