THRO’ all the mazes of delusive ART,
Let restless mortals serpentize their way,
Check each emotion of the feeling heart,
Where NATURE claims an undivided sway.
Pant for the phantoms of AMBITION’s aim,
Grasp at the countless wealth that AVARICE craves,
Or lured by sensual PLEASURE’s fev’rish dream,
’Midst their wild visions are they real slaves.
Slaves to some power, (despotic as the FATE
That hangs o’er all its strong compulsive chain)
Who bids the TYRANT in his pomp elate,
Bend abject to a lordlier tyrant’s reign.
Blest was the hour that overwhelm’d my soul
With dark ADVERSITY’s tremendous gloom;
Burst the strong fetters of the world’s controul,
While TRUTH, all radiant, shone on FORTUNE’s tomb.
On FORTUNE’s TOMB these sacred lines I read:
‘CONTENTMENT with my smile was never given,
Estranged from HER, even life itself is dead:
AFFLICTION opes the gate that leads to Heaven.’