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Poem by William Broome
An Ode Adieu vain Mirth, and noisy Joys! Ye gay Desires, deluding Toys! Thou thoughtful Melancholy deign To hide me in thy pensive Train! If by the Fall of murmuring Floods, Where awful Shades embrown the Woods, Or if where Winds in Caverns groan, Thou wand'rest silent and alone; Come, blissful Mourner, wisely sad, In Sorrow's Garb, in Sable clad, Henceforth, thou Care, my Hours employ! Sorrow, be thou henceforth my Joy! By Tombs where sullen Spirits stalk, Familiar with the Dead I walk; While to my Sighs and Groans by turns, From Graves the midnight Echo mourns. Open thy marble Jaws, O Tomb, Thou Earth conceal me in thy Womb! And you, ye Worms, this Frame confound, Ye Brother Reptiles of the Ground. O Life, frail Offspring of a Day! 'Tis puff'd with one short Gasp away! Swift as the short-liv'd Flow'r it flies, It springs, it blooms, it fades, it dies. With Cries we usher in our Birth, With Groans resign our transient Breath: While round, stern Ministers of Fate, Pain, and Disease, and Sorrow wait. While Childhood reigns, the sportive Boy Learns only prettily to toy; And while he roves from Play to Play, The Wanton trifles Life away. When to the Noon of Life we rise, The Man grows elegant in Vice; To glorious Guilt in Courts he climbs, Vilely judicious in his Crimes. When Youth and Strength in Age are lost, Man seems already half a Ghost; Wither'd, and wan, to Earth he bows, A walking Hospital of Woes. O! Happiness, thou empty Name! Say, art thou bought by Gold or Fame? What art thou Gold, but shining Earth? Thou common Fame, but common Breath? If Virtue contradict the Voice Of publick Fame, Applause is Noise; Ev'n Victors are by Conquest curst, The bravest Warrior is the worst. Come then, O Friend of virtuous Woe, With solemn Pace, demure, and slow: Lo! sad and serious, I pursue Thy Steps Ч adieu, vain World, adieu!
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