An Imitation of the Eleventh Ode of the First Book of HORACE.
1 FORBEAR, my dear Stephen, with a fruitless desire
2 Into truths which are better conceal'd to enquire;
3 Perhaps many years are allow'd us by Fate,
4 Or next winter perhaps is the last of their date:
5 Let the credulous fools whom astrologers cheat,
6 Exult or despond, as they vary deceit;
7 Who anticipate care, their own pleasure destroy,
8 And invite disappointment who build upon joy;
9 All ills unforeseen we the easiest endure,
10 What avails to foresee, unless foresight could cure?
11 And from ills by their art how can wretches be freed,
12 When that art must be false, or those ills be decreed?
13 From reflection and hope little comfort we find,
14 To possession alone let thy thoughts be confin'd;
15 To-day's all the treasure poor mortals can boast,
16 For to-morrow's not gained, and yesterday's lost;
17 Even now whilst I write, time steals on our youth,
18 And a moment's cut off from my friendship and truth:
19 Then seize the swift blessing, enjoy the dear now,
20 And take, not expect, what hereafter 'll bestow.
About this text
Title (in Source Edition): An Imitation of the Eleventh Ode of the First Book of HORACE.
Author: John Hervey, Baron of Ickworth
Themes: advice; moral precepts
Genres: imitation; translation; paraphrase
References: DMI 29226
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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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