[Page 219]


1 HOW short is life's uncertain space!
2 Alas! how quickly done!
3 How swift the wild precarious chace!
4 And yet how difficult the race!
5 How very hard to run!
6 Youth stops at first its wilful ears
7 To Wisdom's prudent voice;
8 Till now arriv'd to riper years,
9 Experienc'd age worn out with cares
10 Repents its earlier choice.
[Page 220]
11 What though its prospects now appear
12 So pleasing and refin'd;
13 Yet groundless hope, and anxious fear,
14 By turns the busy moments share,
15 And prey upon the mind.
16 Since then false joys our fancy cheat
17 With hopes of real bliss;
18 Ye guardian pow'rs that rule my fate,
19 The only wish that I create,
20 Is all compris'd in this.
21 May I through life's uncertain tide,
22 Be still from pain exempt;
23 May all my wants be still supply'd,
24 My state too low t' admit of pride,
25 And yet above contempt.
26 But should your Providence divine
27 A greater bliss intend;
28 May all those blessings you design,
29 (If e'er those blessings shall be mine)
30 Be center'd in a friend.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): The WISH.
Author: James Merrick
Themes: philosophical enquiry; contentment; fate; fortune; providence
References: DMI 27721

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Source edition

Dodsley, Robert, 1703-1764. A Collection of Poems in Six Volumes. By Several Hands. Vol. V. London: printed by J. Hughs, for R. and J. Dodsley, 1763 [1st ed. 1758], pp. 219-220. 6v.: music; 8⁰. (ESTC T131163; OTA K104099.005) (Page images digitized by the Eighteenth-Century Poetry Archive from a copy in the archive's library.)

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