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Could find as well the cause of this unrest,
And all this burden lodg'd within the breast;
Sure they would change their course, nor live as now,
Uncertain what to wish, or what to vow.
Uneasy both in country and in town,
They search a place to lay their burden down.
One, restless in his palace, walks abroad,
And vainly thinks to leave behind the load :
But straight returns; for he's as restless there;
And finds there's no relief in open air.
Another to his villa would retire,
And spurs as hard as if it were on fire ;
No sooner enter'd at his country door,
But he begins to stretch, and yawn, and snore;
Or seeks the city which he left before.
Thus every man o'erworks his weary will,
To fhun himself, and to shake off his ill :
The Making fit returns, and hangs upon him ftill.
No prospect of repose, nor hope of ease;
The wretch is ignorant of his disease ;
Which known would all his fruitless trouble spare ;
For he would know the world not worth his care :
Then would he search more deeply for the cause;
And study Nature well, and Nature's laws:
For in this moment lies not the debate,
But on our future, fix’d, eternal state ;
That never-changing state, which all must keep,
Whom death has doom'd to everlasting sleep.
Why are we then so fond of mortal life,
Beset with dangers, and maintain'd with ftrife?
A life, which all our care can never save ;
One fate attend us, and one common grave.
Besides we tread but à perpetual round;
We ne'er strike out, but beat the former ground,
And the same maukish joys in the same track are found.
For ftill we think an absent blessing best,
Which cloys, and is no blessing when possest;
A new arising with expels it from the breast.
The fev'rish thirst of life increases still;
We call for more and more, and never have our fill;
Yet know not what to-morrow we shall try,
What dregs of life in the last draught may lie:
Nor, by the longest life we can attain,
One moment from the length of death we gain;
For all behind belongs to his eternal reign.
When once the fates have cut the mortal thread,
The man as much to all intents is dead,
Who dies to-day, and will as long be so,
As he who dy'd a thousand years ago.
The latter Part of the FOURTH Book of
Concerning the Nature of Love.
Beginning at this line,
Sic igitur veneris qui telis accipit ictum, &c.
HUS, therefore, he, who feels the fiery dart
defire transfix his amorous heart,
Whether some beauteous boy's alluring face,
Or lovelier maid, with unrefifting grace,
From her each part the winged arrow sends,
From whence he first was ftruck he thither tends;
Restless he roams, impatient to be freed,
And eager to inject the sprightly seed.
For fierce desire does all his mind employ,
And ardent love affures approaching joy.
Such is the nature of that pleasing smart,
Whose burning drops distil upon the heart,
The fever of the soul shot from the fair,
And the cold ague of succeeding care,
If absent her idea still appears,
And her sweet name is chiming in your ears.
But strive those pleasing fantoms to remove,
And shun th' aerial images of love,
That feed the flame: when one molests thy mind,
Discharge thy loins on all the leaky kind;
For that's a wiser way, than to restrain
Within thy swelling nerves that hoard of pain.
For ev'ry hour some deadlier symptom shews,
And by delay the gathering venom grows,
When kindly applications are not us'd;
The scorpion, love, must on the wound be bruis’d:
On that one object 'tis not safe to stay,
But force the tide of thought some other way:
The squander'd spirits prodigally throw,
And in the common glebe of nature sow.
Nor wants he all the bliss, that lovers feign,
Who takes the pleasure, and avoids the pain;
For purer joys in purer health abound,
And less affect the sickly than the sound.
When love its utmost vigour docs employ,
Ev’n then 'tis but a restle's wand'ring joy:
Nor knows the lover in that wild excess,
With hands or eyes, what first he would poffess;
But strains at all, and, fast’ning where he ftrains,
Too closely presses with his frantic pains;
With biting kisses hurts the twining fair,
Which shews his joys imperfect, unsincere:
For, fung with inward rage, he flings around,
And strives t'avenge the smart on that which gave
But love those eager bitings does restrain,
And mingling pleasure mollifies the pain.
For ardent hope ftill flatters anxious grief,
And sends him to his foe to feek relief:
Which yet the nature of the thing denies;
For love, and love alone of all our joys,
By full poffeffion does but fan the fire ;
The more we still enjoy, the more we still defire.
Nature for meat and drink provides a space,
And, when receiv'd, they fill their certain place:
Hence thirst and hunger may be satisfy'd;
But this repletion is to love deny’d:
Form, feature, colour, whatsoe'er delight
Provokes the lover's endless appetite,
These fill no space, nor can we thence remove
With lips, or hands, or all our inftruments of love:
In our deluded grasp we nothing find,
But thin aerial shapes, that feet before the mind.
As he, who in a dream with drought is curft,
And finds no real drink to quench his thirst;
Runs to imagin'd lakes his heat to steep,
And vainly (wills and labours in his fleep:
So love with fantoms cheats our longing eyes,
Which hourly seeing never satisfies :
Our hands pull nothing from the parts they strain,
But wander o'er the lovely limbs in vain:
Nor when the youthful pair more closely join,
When hands in hands they lock, and thighs in thighs
Just in the raging foam of full desire,
When both press on, both murmur, both expire,
They gripe, they squeeze, their humid tongues they dart,
As each would force their way to t'other's heart:
In vain; they only cruize about the coast;
For bodies cannot pierce, nor be in bodies loft ;
As sure they strive to be, when both engage
In that tumultuous momentary rage;
So tangled in the nets of love they lie,
Till man dissolves in that excess of joy.
Then, when the gather'd bag has burft its way,
And ebbing tides the flacken'd nerves betray,
A pause ensues; and nature nods a-while,
Till with recruited rage new spirits boil ;
And then the same vain violence returns;
With flames renew'd th' erected furnace burns.
Again they in each other would be loft,
But still by adamantine bars are croft.
All ways they try, successless all they prove,
To cure the secret fore of ling’ring love.
They waste their strength in the venereal strife,
And to a woman's will enslave their lise;
Th’eftate runs out, and mortgages are made;
All offices of friend hip are decay'd;
Their fortune ruin'd, and their fame betray'd.
Affyrian ointment from their temples flows,
And diamond buckles sparkle in their shoes.
The chearful emerald twinkle on their hands,
With all the luxury of foreign lands:
And the blue coat, that with imbroid'ry shines,
Is drunk with sweat of their o'er-labour'd loins.
Their frugal father's gains they misemploy,
And turn to point, and pearl, and ev'ry female toy,
French fashions, costly treats are their delight;
The park by day, and plays and balls by night.
In vain :
For in the fountain, where their sweets are fought,
Some bitter bubbles up, and poisons all the draught,
First guilty conscience does the mirror bring,
Then sharp remoríe thoots out her angry iting;
And anxious thoughts, within themselves at strife,
Upbraid the long, mif-spent, luxurious liso.