WHEN tempests turn the day, to night,
And clouds obscure pale Luna's light,
The sailor, 'mid Aegean seas,
No star to guide him, prays for ease.
For ease, the warring Thracian prays,
And Media's quiver-bearing race--
Ease, that no gems, nor gold can buy,
Nor robes, my friend, of Tyrian dye.
For, not the hoarded wealth of kings,
Nor state, that titled office brings,
Can drive those carking cares aloof;
Those vultures of the mind,
That riot unconfined,
And flit unscared, untamed, around the vaulted roof.
How happy he, though small his hoard,
Whose plate ancestral decks his board,
Whose tranquil sleep, no fears molest,
Nor lawless love, deprives of rest!
Rash, short-lived beings, .that we are,
Why cast we still our schemes afar?
Why haste, from clime to clime, to range?
Himself, did exile, ever change?
No; care will climb the brazen poop
Care still pursues the mounted troop;
Care; that is swifter than young hind,
Or clouds, that scud before the wind.
Blest then to-day, seek not, to borrow,
One anxious moment, from the morrow;
But soothe each grief; with gentle mirth;
Unmingled bliss dwells not, on earth.
Each has his lot. Achilles died,
'Mid all his fame, in manhood's pride,
While old Tithonus pined away,
Year after year, in dull decay;
And I, though poor, perhaps may see
Long years, denied to wealth and thee:
Thee, purple-robed, whose heifers low,
Whose well-trained steeds delighted neigh,
Whose countless flocks securely stray,
Where'er Sicilian waters flow;
While, for my share, (so fate ordains,)
This little farm alone remains.
Enough! since with it, I inherit
Some sparklings of the Grecian spirit;
A mind not always slighted by the muse--
A soul that spurns the mob, and virtue's path pursues.