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SAMUEL JOHNSON

1709-1784

460                                            One-and-Twenty

LONG-EXPECTED one-and-twenty,
   Lingring year, at length is flown:
Pride and pleasure, pomp and plenty,
   Great * * * * * * *, are now your own.
Loosend from the minors tether,
   Free to mortgage or to sell,
Wild as wind, and light as feather,
   Bid the sons of thrift farewell.
Call the Betsies, Kates, and Jennies,
   All the names that banish care;
Lavish of your grandsires guineas,
   Show the spirit of an heir.
All that prey on vice and folly
   Joy to see their quarry fly:
There the gamester, light and jolly,
   There the lender, grave and sly.
Wealth, my lad, was made to wander,
   Let it wander as it will;
Call the jockey, call the pander,
   Bid them come and take their fill.
When the bonny blade carouses,
   Pockets full, and spirits high
What are acres? What are houses?
   Only dirt, or wet or dry.
Should the guardian friend or mother
   Tell the woes of wilful waste,
Scorn their counsel, scorn their pother;
   You can hang or drown at last!

461                                On the Death of Mr. Robert Levet,
                                                  a Practiser in Physic

CONDEMND to Hopes delusive mine,
   As on we toil from day to day,
By sudden blasts or slow decline
   Our social comforts drop away.
Well tried through many a varying year,
   See Levet to the grave descend,
Officious, innocent, sincere,
   Of every friendless name the friend.
Yet still he fills affections eye,
   Obscurely wise and coarsely kind;
Nor, letterd Arrogance, deny
   Thy praise to merit unrefined.
When fainting nature calld for aid,
   And hovring death prepared the blow,
His vigrous remedy displayd
   The power of art without the show.
In Miserys darkest cavern known,
   His useful care was ever nigh,
Where hopeless Anguish pourd his groan,
   And lonely Want retired to die.
No summons mockd by chill delay,
   No petty gain disdaind by pride;
The modest wants of every day
   The toil of every day supplied.
His virtues walkd their narrow round,
   Nor made a pause, nor left a void;
And sure th Eternal Master found
   The single talent well employd.
The busy day, the peaceful night,
   Unfelt, uncounted, glided by;
His frame was firmhis powers were bright,
   Though now his eightieth year was nigh.

Then with no fiery throbbing pain,
   No cold gradations of decay,
Death broke at once the vital chain,
   And freed his soul the nearest way.

 

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