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234 SAMUEL JOHNSON

Enlarge my life with multitude of days ! In health, in sickness, thus the suppliant prays: Hides from himself his state, and shuns to

know

That life protracted is protracted wo. Time hovers o'er, impatient to destroy, And shuts up all the passages of joy: In vain their gifts the bounteous seasons pour, The fruit autumnal, and the vernal flower ; With listless eyes the dotard views the store, He views, and wonders that they please no

more:

Now pall the tasteless meats and joyless wines, And luxury with sighs her slave resigns. Approach, ye minstrels, try the soothing strain, Diffuse the tuneful lenitives of pain : No sounds, alas ! would touch th' impervious

ear, Though dancing mountains witness'd Orpheus

near;

Nor lute nor lyre his feeble powers attend, Nor sweeter music of a virtuous friend; But everlasting dictates crowd his tongue, Perversely grave, or positively wrong. The still returning tale, and lingering jest, Perplex the fawning niece and pamper'd guest, While growing hopes scarce awe the gather- ing sneer, And scarce a legacy can bribe to hear ;

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