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Edward Young - Love of Fame - extracts

Identifier

012534

Type of spiritual experience

Background

A description of the experience

Man's rich with little, were his judgment true;
Nature is frugal, and her wants are few;
Those few wants answer'd, bring sincere delights;
But fools create themselves new appetites:

Fancy and pride seek things at vast expense,
Which relish not to reason, nor to sense.
When surfeit, or unthankfulness, destroys,
In nature's narrow sphere, our solid joys,
In fancy's airy land of noise and show,
Where nought but dreams, no real pleasures grow;
Like cats in air-pumps, to subsist we strive
On joys too thin to keep the soul alive.

Lemira's sick; make haste; the doctor call:
He comes; but where's his patient? At the ball.
The doctor stares; her woman curt'sies low,
And cries, "My lady, sir, is always so:
Diversions put her maladies to flight;
True, she can't stand, but she can dance all night:

I've known my lady (for she loves a tune)
For fevers take an opera in June:

And, though perhaps you'll think the practice bold,
A midnight park is sovereign for a cold:

With colics, breakfasts of green fruit agree;
With indigestions, supper just at three."

A strange alternative, replied Sir Hans,
Must women have a doctor, or a dance?
Though sick to death, abroad they safely roam,
But droop and die, in perfect health, at home:
For want--but not of health, are ladies ill;
And tickets cure beyond the doctor's bill.

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For what are men who grasp at praise sublime
But bubbles on the rapid stream of time
That rise and fall, that swell, and are no more
Born and forgot, ten thousand in an hour?

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Some future strain, in which the muse shall tell

How science dwindles and how volumes swell

How commentators each dark passage shun

And hold their farthing candle to the sun

The source of the experience

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