From the Hymn of Empedocles
IS it so small a thing To have enjoy'd the sun, To have lived light in the spring, To have loved, to have thought, to have done; To have advanced true friends, and beat down baffling foes; That we must feign a bliss Of doubtful future date, And while we dream on this Lose all our present state, And relegate to worlds yet distant our repose? Not much, I know, you prize What pleasures may be had, Who look on life with eyes Estranged, like mine, and sad: And yet the village churl feels the truth more than you; Who 's loth to leave this life Which to him little yields: His hard-task'd sunburnt wife, His often-labour'd fields; The boors with whom he talk'd, the country spots he knew. But thou, because thou hear'st Men scoff at Heaven and Fate; Because the gods thou fear'st Fail to make blest thy state, Tremblest, and wilt not dare to trust the joys there are. I say, Fear not! life still Leaves human effort scope. But, since life teems with ill, Nurse no extravagant hope. Because thou must not dream, thou need'st not then despair.
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