Once more desirous for the world to live,
And taste of all the joys which it can give;
He quits his bed, prepares to bathe, and dine,
And quaff the juice of the Surrentin vine.
“ How wan, how sallow!" the physician cries;
“ Ah, but 'tis nothing now," the sick replies :
“ Nothing, my friend; the dire prognosis shows,
“ Disease productive of a thousand woes.
“ Nay, pr’ythee, peace—I do not ask thine aid;
“ My guardian in his grave long since was laid.”
The doctor goes—the sick man's body swells,
And water gathers in a thousand cells :
His breath, sulphureous, taints the vernal gale,
And airs mephitic from his lungs exhale;
At length unlook'd for death the wretch appals,
And from his hand the lifted goblet falls.
The trumpets sound, funereal torches glow,
Announcing far the mockery of woe.
On the state bed, the stiffen'd corse is laid,
And all the honours due to death are paid;
O'er the sad relics new made Romans mourn,
And place the ashes in the silent urn.
Thy well told tale does not to me apply, “ No fever rages, and no pulse beats high. “ Lay thine hand here; my heart no throbbing knows, “ And health for me uninterrupted flows.” Methinks thou mayst a few exceptions make. Did loss of gold ne'er cause thine heart to ake? Does not a fever rage whene'er, by chance, A fond maid's soul is pictured in her glance ?