In the vain parade of state
Liv'd an unpeaceful life,
And made some bustle to be great,
Amidst the din of strife.

I meant to try if I could find
An independent state,
And with my friends not fall behind,
Though they were twice as great.

Freedom with prudence I did mean;
Yet whiles stept o'er the line,
Which Heav'n mark'd out to be my guide;
For which I now repine.

From pinching wants I still kept free,
Made gratitude and love
Go hand in hand, through most my life,
Though now I poorly live.

Yet though on small fare I must live,
I have much less to fear,
Than those who have great fortunes got,
Ev'n thousand pounds a year.

We see those men who wealthy are,
They at gold's altar bow;
That fickle goddess bears the sway,
And cheats me of my due.

I now my wishes higher raise,
Give me a friend that's true,
With whom I freely may converse,
And who keeps his vow.

Exper'ence' school learns me to read,
And helps me to remark:
To judge the living by the dead,
And solid from the spark.

What from my lab'ring mind has slipt
Are things I'll rightly pass;
And all my sorrows I will wipe,
And drink a cheerful glass.

Some fix their happiness and grace,
On titles, pomp, and show,
And mock at all the human race,
Whom Fortune keeps so low;

Such to felicity are blind;
His happiness is sold,
Who raises monuments of brass,
And heaps up tow'rs of gold.

Beneath this monumental frame,
Read, trav'llers, as you pass,
Lie folly, infamy and shame,
Below this gilded brass.

I'll tell yon fickle, proud-like fair,
Likewise the flatt'ring youth,
They'll daily wither, through despair,
Who wander from the truth.

He says her face shines like the sun,
Her eyes are set like doves;
And by such metaphors he swears,
'Tis her alone he loves.

So soon's the honey-month is o'er,
This speech is laid aside:
Those sweet expressions are no more,
Which past to make her bride.

He who a prudent wife obtains,
Who wont contend and strive,
She'll be a treasure of great gain,
And make him dow and thrive:

But now old age says, "Stop your pen,
" Your feelings sure are gane;
" You are too old, no doubt infirm,
" Your thoughts are dead as stane:

" Let not the Ev'ning of your days
" Be anguish, pain and care;
" Your friends who're true will you assist,
" And keep you from despair.

" Rather let Death, with's venom'd dart,
" Fix you, and cut your breath;
" Then freely quit your rural life,
" And try what's after death."


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