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HOPE" whose weak being ruin’d is,
Hope! thou bold taster of delight, Who, whilst thou shouldst but taste, devour'st it quite! Thou bring'st us an estate, yet leav'st us poor, By clogging it with legacies before The joys which we entire should wed, Come deflower'd virgins to our bed; Good fortunes without gain imported be, Such mighty custom's paid to thee. For joy, like wine, kept close does better taste; If it take air before, its spirits waste.
Hope! Fortune's cheating lottery ! Where for one prize an hundred blanks there be; Fond archer, Hope who tak'st thy aim so far, That still or short or wide thine arrows are
Thin, empty cloud, which th' eye deceives
With shapes that our own fancy gives! A cloud, which gilt and painted now appears,
But must drop presently in tears! When thy false beams o'er Reason's light prevail, By Ignes Fatui for North-stars we sail.
Brother of Fear, more gayly clad |
Leading them still insensibly on
By the strange witchcraft of “Anon"
Her endless labyrinths, pursue;
HOPE! of all ills that men endure, The only cheap and universal curel Thou captive's freedom, and thou sick man's health ! Thou loser's victory, and thou beggar's wealth !
Thou manna, which from heaven we eat,
. To every taste a several meat
Thou strong retreat! thou sure-entail'd estate,
Which nought has power to alienate |
Thou pleasant, honest flatterer! for none
Hope! thou first-fruits of happiness! Thou gentle dawning of a bright success! Thou good preparative, without which our joy Does work too strong, and, whilst it cures, destroy! Who out of Fortune's reach dost stand, And art a blessing still in hand Whilst thee, her earnest-money, we retain, We certain are to gain, Whether she her bargain break, or else fulfil; Thou only good, not worse for ending ill !
Brother of Faith ! 'twixt whom and thee
Hope! thou sad lovers' only friend 1
Than thou canst be, when thou dost miss; Men leave thee by obtaining, and straight flee
Some other way again to thee;
I LITTLE thought, thou fond ingrateful sin!
So false or strong to make it all thine own.
At mine own breast with care I fed thee still,
I fed thee then, and thou dost starve me now.
There was a time when thou wast cold and chill,
But now it stings that breast which made it warm.
What cursed weed's this Love but one grain sow,
'T will kill, I fear, my very laurel too.
But now all's gone—I now, alas! complain,
That 't were rebellion now to claim mine own,
I KNOW’t is sordid and ’t is low
In vain, exceedingly in vain,