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THIS LIFE IS ALL CHEQUER'D WITH PLEASURES
Air.-The Bunch of Green Rushes that grew at the Brim.
This life is all chequer'd with pleasures and woes,
That chase one another, like waves of the deep,Each billow, as brightly or darkly it flows,
Reflecting our eyes as they sparkle or weep. So closely our whims on our miseries tread,
That the laugh is awaked ere the tear can be dried ; And, as fast as the rain-drop of Pity is shed,
The goose-feathers of Folly can turn it aside. But pledge me the cup—if existence would cloy,
With hearts ever happy, and heads ever wise, Be ours the light Grief that is sister to Joy,
And the short, brilliant Folly that flashes and dies !
When Hylas was sent with his urn to the fount, Through fields full of sun-shine, with heart full of
Light rambled the boy over meadow and mount,
And neglected his task for the flowers on the way. * Thus some who, like me, should have drawn and have
tasted The fountain that runs by Philosophy's shrine, Their time with the flowers on the margin have wasted,
And left their light urns all as empty as mine! But pledge me the goblet—while Idleness weaves
Her flowerets together, if Wisdom can see One bright drop or two, that has fallen on the leaves
From her fountain divine, 'tis sufficient for me!
* Proposito florem prætulit officio.- Propert. lib. 1, eleg. 20.