A Bard's Epitaph
written in 1786
Is there a whim-inspired fool, Owre fast for thought, owre hot for rule, Owre blate to seek, owre proud to snool , Let him draw near; And owre this grassy heap sing dool , And drap a tear. Is there a bard of rustic song, Who, noteless, steals the crowds among, That weekly this area throng, O, pass not by ! But , with a frater-feeling strong, Here, heave a sigh. Is there a man, whose judgment clear Can others teach the course to steer , Yet runs, himself, life's mad career, Wild as the wave, Here pause -- and, thro' the starting tear, Survey this grave. The poor inhabitant below Was quick to learn the wise to know, And keenly felt the friendly glow, And softer flame; But thoughtless follies laid him low , And stain'd his name! Reader, attend! whether thy soul Soars fancy's flights beyond the pole, Or darkling grubs this earthly hole, In low pursuit: Know, prudent, cautious, self-control Is wisdom's root.