Ah! well I know what pangs await
Where feeling prompts the frequent sigh,
Nor to be envied is the state
Of boasted Sensibility.
Philosophy will ne'er despise5
The smile which calm Indifference wears,
Tho' coarse and homely to our eyes
Her unattractive form appears.
That homely coarseness plainly shews
The soundness of her healthful state,10
It speaks an undisturbed repose
That slumbers mid the storms of fate.
Those storms which can at once deprive
Of every hope, & peace destroy
In souls to pleasure more alive15
Who hourly taste each transient joy.
But Wisdom sure may something yield
To meliorate their tender woes,
Her aid afford a timely shield,
To guard their trembling weak repose.20
Let her assist the softer heart
Which fortune's frowns too deeply feels,
Its hopes to hang with prudent art
But loosely on her giddy wheels.
Oh! let them, warned, to drink forbear25
Too deeply from joy's flowing horn,
Refuse her proffered gifts to share,
Her sudden flight they so may scorn.
The prince who graciously received
A beauteous toy of fragile frame,30
By which the artist vain believed
To gain a proud immortal name,
To pieces dashed the glittering toy
A weak regret in time to spare,
Lest chance should unforseen destroy35
The darling object of his care.
Prudence the caution would approve
And bids us learn to imitate,
And what too ardently we love
Timely forego, preventing fate.40


[1] EDITOR'S NOTE: "Sensibility" does not appear in Psyche, with Other Poems or Mary (or Collected Poems and Journals) and is not dated in Verses. BACK