Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Let Nobler Views Engage Thy Mind

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), "To a Friend":
No more thus brooding o'er yon heap,
With Av'rice painful vigils keep.
Still unenjoy'd the present store,
Still endless sighs are breathed for more.
Oh! quit the shadow, catch the prize,      5
Which not all India's treasure buys!

To purchase heav'n, has gold the pow'r?
Can gold remove the mortal hour?
In life, can Love be bought with gold?
Are Friendship's pleasures to be sold?      10
No—all that's worth a wish, a thought,
Fair Virtue gives unbrib'd, unbought.
Cease, then, on trash thy hopes to bind,
Let nobler views engage thy mind.

With Science tread the wondrous way,      15
Or learn the Muse's moral lay;
In social hours indulge thy soul,
Where Mirth and Temp'rance mix the bowl;
To virtuous love resign thy breast,
And be, by blessing Beauty, blest.      20

Thus taste the feast by Nature spread,
Ere Youth and all its joys are fled;
Come, taste with me the balm of life,
Secure from pomp, and wealth, and strife.
I boast whate'er for man was meant,      25
In health, and Stella, and content;
And scorn, oh! let that scorn be thine!
Mere things of clay, that dig the mine.

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