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An Imitation of the Tenth Ode of the Second Book of HORACE.

Rectius vives, LICINI, neque altum
Semper urgendo, &c.

To the Right Hon. the Lord Viscount PALMERSTON.

1 IF we, my Lord, with easy Strife,
2 Would pass this fickle Tide of Life;
3 We must not always rashly sail
4 With ev'ry light, inconstant Gale;
5 Nor yet, at ev'ry Surge that roars,
6 Too tim'rous, seek the craggy Shores.
7 The Man who keeps the Golden Mean,
8 Where raging Storms are seldom seen,
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9 Avoids the dang'rous Rocks and Pools,
10 That fright the Wise, and swallow Fools:
11 He's ne'er despis'd among the Crowd,
12 Nor envy'd in the Court;
13 But steers between the Base and Proud,
14 To gain the peaceful Port.
15 While lofty Spires and Cedars fall,
16 Storm-beaten, to the Plain,
17 The lowly Shrub, and humble Wall,
18 Are Proof to Wind and Rain;
19 And Lightnings guiltless o'er the Cottage fly;
20 But smite th'ambitious Hills, that, tow'ring, threat the Sky.
21 THE steady Mind, that's truly great,
22 Surveys, unmov'd, the Turns of Fate:
23 If Wealth and Fame his Pride increase,
24 His Fears their Force controul;
25 If adverse Fortune would depress,
26 Hope elevates his Soul:
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27 Because he knows, the Pow'r who brings
28 The Winter with its dreary Wings,
29 Can make the vernal Beauties grow,
30 And turn our Woe to Bliss, or Bliss to Woe.
31 If now on anxious Cares you feed,
32 A Feast of Joy may soon succeed,
33 To chear your pensive Mind.
34 With Times, our Tempers vary round,
35 Nothing immutable is found,
36 But all to Change inclin'd.
37 Tho' POPE with Illness oft complains,
38 POPE is not always rack'd with Pains;
39 But, warm'd with PHOEBUS' Fire,
40 Sometimes he wakes the sleeping String,
41 Or bids the silent Muses sing,
42 And charms us with his Lyre.
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43 OUR Life's, at best, a chequer'd Scene
44 Of Health and Sickness, Mirth and Spleen:
45 Yet, since we all must stem this Sea,
46 Where Calm and Tempest dwell;
47 Grieve not to steer the destin'd Way,
48 But strive to pass it well:
49 If adverse Storms begin to rave,
50 Serenely view the foamy Wave,
51 Collected in yourself, and resolutely brave.
52 Or, if you find indulgent Gales
53 Impel the Bark too fast,
54 Wisely contract the swelling Sails,
55 And check their rapid Haste;
56 Lest, in your swift Career, the Ship
57 Split on a Rock, and sink beneath the Deep.

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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): An Imitation of the Tenth Ode of the Second Book of HORACE. To the Right Hon. the Lord Viscount PALMERSTON.
Author: Stephen Duck
Themes: contentment
Genres: ode

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Source edition

Poems on several occasions: By Stephen Duck. London: printed for the author, 1736, pp. 295-298. xl,334,[2]p. ; 4⁰. (ESTC T90234; OTA K073280.000)

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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.

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