Imatges de pÓgina

ST E L L A's Birth-Day.

March 13, 1726-7.


HIS Day, whate'er the Fates decree,

Shall still be kept with Joy by me:
This Day then, let us not be told,
That you are fick, and I grown old,
Nor think on our approaching Ills,
And talk of Spectacles and Pills.
To-morrow will be time enough
To hear such mortifying Stuff:
Yet, fince from Reason may be brought
A better and more pleasing Thought,
Which can, in spight of all Decays,
Support a few remaining Days:
From not the gravest of Divines,
Accept, for once, some serious Lines.

ALTHOUGH we now can form no more
Long Schemes of Life, as herecofore ;
Yet you, while Time is running fast,
Can look with Joy on what is paft.

Were future Happiness and Pain,
A mere Contrivance of the Brain,
As Atheists argue, to entice,
And fit their Profelytes for Vice;



[ocr errors]

(The only Comfort they propose,
To have Companions in their Woes.)
Grant this the Case; yet sure 'tis hard,
That Virtue, ftil'd its own Rewa
And by all Sages understood
To be the chief of human Good,
Should, acting die, nor leave behind
Some lasting Pleasure in the Mind ;
Which by Remembrance will afswage
Grief, Sickness, Poverty, and Age ;
And strongly shoot a radiant Dart,
To thine through Life's declining Part.

SAY, Stella, feel you no Content,
Reflecting on a Life well spent?
Your skilful Hand employ'd to fave
Despairing Wretches from the Grave;
And then supporting with your Store,
Those whom you dragg'd from Death before:
(So Providence on Mortals waits,
Preserving what it first creates)
Your generous Boldness to defend
An innocent and absent Friend :
That Courage which can make you juft,
To Merit humbled in the Duft:
The Detestation yoų express ;
For Vice in all its glitt'ring Dress :
That Patience under tott'ring Pain,
Where stubborn Stoicks would complain.

Shall these, like empty Shadows, pass,
Or Forms reflected from a Glass?


[ocr errors]

Or mere Chimæra's in the Mind,
That Ay and leave no Marks behind ?
Does not the Body thrive and grow
By Food of twenty Years ago?
And, had it not been still fupply'd,
It must a thousand times have dy’d.
Then, who with Reason can maintain,
That no Effects of Food remain?
And is not Virtue in Mankind
The Nutriment that feeds, the Mind ?
Upheld by each good Action past,
And still continu'd by the last :
Then, who with Reason can pretende
That all Effects of Virtue end ?

Believe me, Stella, when you show
That true Contempt for Things below,
Nor prize your Life for other Ends,
Than merely to oblige your Friends ;,
Your former Actions claim their Part,
And join to fortify your Heart,
For Virtue, in her daily Race,
Like Janus, bears a double Face;
Looks back with Joy where she has gone,
And therefore goes with Courage on.
She at your fickly Couch will wait,
And guide you to a better State."

OTHEN, whatever Heav'n intends,
Take Pity on your picying Friends ;
Nor let your Ills affect your Mind,
To fancy they can be unkind.


Me, surely Me, you ought to spare,
Who gladly would your Suff'rings share ;
Or give my Scrap of Life to you,
And think it far beneath your Due:
You, to whose Care so oft I owe,
That I'm alive to tell you fo.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

PALLAS, observing Stella's Wir

Shine more than for her Sex was fit;
And that her Beauty, foon or late,
Might breed Confusion in the State
In high Concern for human Kind,
Fixt Honour in her Infant Mind.

[ocr errors]

But, (not in Wranglings to engage
With such a stupid vicious Age,)
If Honour I would here define,
It answers Faitb in Things divine ;
As nat'ral Life the Body warms,
And Scholars teach, the Soul informs
So Honour animates the whole,
And is the Spirit of the Soul.


Those num'rous Virtues which the Tribe
Of tedious Moralists describe,
And by such various Titles call ;
True Honour comprehends them all,
Let Melancholy rule supreme,
Choler preside, or Blood, or Phlegm;
It makes no Diff'rence in the Cafe,
Nor is Complexion Honour's Place.

[ocr errors]

But, left we should, for Honour take
The drunken Quarrels of a Rake;
Or, think it feated in a Scar;
Or on a proud triumphal Car ;
Or in the Payment of a Debt.
We lose with Sharpers at Piquet ;
Or, when a Whore, in her Vocation,
Keeps punctual to an Asignation ;
Or, that on which his Lordship swears,
When yulgar Knaves would lose their Ears :
Let Stella's fair Example preach,
A Leflon she alone can teach.

[ocr errors]

In Points of Honour to be try'd,
All Passions must be laid aside;
Ask no Advice, but think alone :
Suppose the Question not your own:
How shall I act? is not the Case;
But how would Brutus in my Place ?
In such a Cause would Cato bleed?
And how would Socrates proceed?. »

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
« AnteriorContinua »