Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Memento Mori - An 1803 Poem


That life is but short, and nature but frail
We oft see exposed in story;-
For, when troubles, or sorrows, or sickness assail
In our thoughts then pop--"Memento Mori."

The deep-skilled physician, with powder and drops
Assures that to health he'll restore ye-
Tho' whilst he's prescribing his jallaps and slops,.
His prefence says--"Memento Mori."

The cunning fraught lawyer, with parchment and quill
In flattering speech will come o'er ye;
And, his purse to replenish, engrosses your will,
Whilst he tells you to--"Memento Mori."

When to convict condemn'd, the judge tells his fate,
He compassionate seems to deplore ye;
Tho' knowing that he, thro' your failings, is great,
Yet he bids you to--"Memento Mori."

The statesman, on power' high pinnacle plac'd,
Regardles of fed. dem. or tory,
Thinks he is so much esteem'd he can ne'er be debas'd,
Till forc'd to it, by--"Memento Mori."

And I ween there ia many a pious divine,
That hard texts in the Scripture they'll explore ye;-
Tho at home, they'll regale on their ale, or their wine,
Sans thinking of--"Memento. Mori."

L'en old Gripe, avaricious, and greedy of gold,
In age and deceitfulness hoary;
Will ne'er let a thought, altho' he's so old,
Perplex him with--"Memento Mori"

Possest of estate, the profligate heir
To spend it, for help will implore ye;
'Till so far in debt that he dares not appear,-
His sorrows say--"Memento Mori."

The rake as he revels, and ruins his health,
Will his wench, os his glass, place before ye;
And will swear by his gods that such pleasures true
Till disease bids him--"Memento Mori."

The gay-fashion'd Miss, as she flaunts it away,
In the height of her pride and her glory,
Looks on naughht but the present her carrs to allay,
Nor once thinks on--"Memento Mori."

And the Atheist, who dares to deny there's a God,
A curst hell, and a heaven of glory, ·
Will feel proud at the paths of each vice he has trod,
Till he's brought down, to--"Memento Mori."

Thus, 'tis plain to be seen, in every state,
Which here I've laid open before ye-
That they're all with the joys of this world so elate,
They ne'er oace look at--"Memento Mori."

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