The Fables of Florian (tr. Phelps)/Closing Lines
'Tis done: the lyre is mute;
My labors here must have an end;
Though still the Muse might wrongs impute,
That should perchance our manners mend,
(If she but had an abler friend).
But no; her work would prove in vain;
For the world's folly, int'rest, pride,
Will e'er bring trouble in their train,
However much they be decried.
'Tis vain that philosophic sects
May censure man for his defects;
They waste their wisdom and their rhymes.
Let the world wag! Go with the times!
Or live retir'd, content and free,
In some deep-hid obscurity.
There, what could fail us that might bless
Our lives with perfect happiness?
Save gentle peace, a tranquil lot;
Our only wish to be forgot;
Our sole endeavor how to shun
The ills by which we're prey'd upon;
With wealth enough with friends to share,
But not to waken envy there.