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To the Honorable CHARLES MONTAGUE, Esq

I.
1 Howe'er 'tis well, that while Mankind
2 Thro' Fate's perverse Mæander errs,
3 He can imagin'd Pleasures find,
4 To combat against real Cares.
II.
5 Fancies and Notions He pursues,
6 Which ne'er had Being but in Thought:
7 Each, like the Græcian Artist, woo's
8 The Image He himself has wrought.
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III.
9 Against Experience He believes:
10 He argues against Demonstration,
11 Pleas'd, when his Reason He deceives;
12 And sets his Judgment by his Passion.
IV.
13 The hoary Fool, who many Days
14 Has struggl'd with continu'd Sorrow,
15 Renews his Hope, and blindly lays
16 The desp'rate Bett upon To-morrow.
V.
17 To-morrow comes: 'tis Noon: 'tis Night:
18 This Day like all the former flies:
19 Yet on He runs to seek Delight
20 To-morrow, 'till To-night He dies.
VI.
21 Our Hopes, like tow'ring Falcons, aim
22 At Objects in an airy height:
23 The little Pleasure of the Game
24 Is from afar to view the Flight.
VII.
25 Our anxious Pains We, all the Day,
26 In search of what We like, employ:
27 Scorning at Night the worthless Prey,
28 We find the Labour gave the Joy.
VIII.
29 At Distance thro' an artful Glass
30 To the Mind's Eye Things well appear:
31 They lose their Forms, and make a Mass
32 Confus'd and black, if brought too near.
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IX.
33 If We see right, We see our Woes:
34 Then what avails it to have Eyes?
35 From Ignorance our Comfort flows:
36 The only Wretched are the Wise.
X.
37 We wearied should lie down in Death:
38 This Cheat of Life would take no more;
39 If You thought Fame but empty Breath;
40 I, Phyllis but a perjur'd Whore.

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Title (in Source Edition): To the Honorable CHARLES MONTAGUE, Esq
Author: Matthew Prior
Themes:
Genres: address

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Source edition

Poems on Several Occasions [English poems only]. London: Printed for JACOB TONSON at Shakespear's-Head over against Katharine-Street in the Strand, and JOHN BARBER upon Lambeth-Hill. MDCCXVIII., 1718, pp. 24-26. [42],506,[6]p.: ill.; 2°. (ESTC T075639)

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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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