Ah, fading joy! how quickly art thou past!
Yet we thy ruin haste.
As if the cares of human life were few,
We seek out new:
And follow Fate, which would too fast pursue.
See how on every bough the birds express,
In their sweet notes, their happiness.
They all enjoy, and nothing spare;
But on their mother Nature lay their care:
Why then should man, the lord of all below,
Such troubles choose to know,
As none of all his subjects undergo?
Hark, hark, the waters fall, fall, fall,
And with a murmuring sound
Dash, dash upon the ground,
To gentle slumbers call.
I look'd, and saw within the book of fate,
When many days did lour,
When lo! one happy hour
Leap'd up, and smiled to save the sinking state;
A day shall come when in thy power
Thy cruel foes shall be;
Then shall thy land be free:
And then in peace shall reign;
But take, O take that opportunity,
Which, once refused, will never come again.