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Speak thou whose thoughts at humble peace repine, Shall Wolsey's wealth with Wolsey's end be thine ? Or liv'st thou now, with safer pride content, The wisest justice on the banks of Trent ? For, why did Wolsey, near the steeps of fate, On weak foundations raise th' enormous weight? Why but to sink beneath misfortune's blow, With louder ruin to the gulphs below.
What gave great Villiers to th' assassin's knife, And fix'd disease on Harley's closing life? What murder'd Wentworth, and what exil'd Hyde, By kings protected, and to kings ally'd ? What but their wish indulg'd in courts to shine, And pow'r too great to keep, or to resign.
When first the college rolls receive his name, The young enthusiast quits his ease for fame; Resistless burns the fever of renown, Caught from the strong contagion of the gown: O’er Bodley's dome his future labours spread, And Bacon's mansion * trembles o'er his head. Are these thy views ? Proceed, illustrious youth, And Virtue guard thee to the throne of Truth! Yet should thy soul indulge the gen'rous heat Till captive Science yields her last retreat ; Should reason guide thee with her brightest ray, And pour on misty doubt resistless day;
* There is a tradition, that the study of Friar Bacon, built on an arch over the bridge, will fall when a man greater than Bacon shall pass under it. To prevent so shocking an accident, it was pulled down many years since.
Should no false kindness lure to loose delight,
Nor deem, when Learning her last prize bestows,
The festal blazes, the triumphal show,
Such bribes the rapid Greek o'er Asia whirld,
in everlasting debt; Wreaths which at last the dear-bought right convey To rust on medals, or on stones decay.
On what foundation stands the warrior's pride, How just his hopes, let Swedish Charles decide; A frame of adamant, a soul of fire, No dangers fright him, and no labours tire; O'er love, o'er fear, extends his wide domain, Unconquer'd lord of pleasure and of pain ; No joys to him pacific sceptres yield, War sounds the trump, he rushes to the field; Behold surrounding kings their pow’rs combine, And one capitulate, and one resign; Peace courts his hand, but spreads her charms in
vain; “ Think nothing gain'd,” he cries, “till nought
He comes, nor want nor cold his course delay;
All times their scenes of pompous woes afford,
The bold Bavarian, in a luckless hour, Tries the dread summits of Cæsarean pow'r, With unexpected legions bursts away, And sees defenceless realms receive his sway: Short sway! fair Austria spreads her mournful
charms, The queen, the beauty, sets the world in arms; From hill to hill the beacon's rousing blaze Spreads wide the hope of plunder and of praise ; The fierce Croatian, and the wild Hussar, With all the sons of ravage crowd the war ; The baffled prince, in honour's flatt'ring bloom Of hasty greatness, finds the fatal doom ; His foes' derision, and his subjects' blame, And steals to death from anguish and from shame.
“ Enlarge my life with multitude of days !” In health, in sickness, thus the suppliant prays : Hides from himself its state, and shuns to know, That life protracted is protracted woe. Time hovers o'er, impatient to destroy, And shuts up all the passages of joy: In vain their gifts the bounteous seasons pour, The fruit autumnal, and the vernal flow'r; With listless eyes the dotard views the store, He views, and wonders that they please no more ; Now pall the tasteless meats, and joyless wines, And Luxury with sighs her slave resigns. Approach, ye minstrels, try the soothing strain, Diffuse the tuneful lenitives of pain : No sounds, alas ! would touch th' impervious ear, Though dancing mountains witness'd Orpheus near; Nor lute nor lyre his feeble pow’rs attend, Nor sweeter music of a virtuous friend;