The Vanity of Human Wishes (1749) and Two Rambler papers (1750)

Author: Samuel Johnson
Published: 1750
Language: English
Wordcount: 9,787 / 39 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 68.5
LoC Category: PN
Downloads: 596
Added to site: 2004.11.13
mnybks.net#: 9039
Genres: Poetry, Essays
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Excerpt

Vulturs clang around.

The needy Traveller, serene and gay,
Walks the wild Heath, and sings his Toil away.
Does Envy seize thee? crush th' upbraiding Joy,
Encrease his Riches and his Peace destroy,
New Fears in dire Vicissitude invade,
The rustling Brake alarms, and quiv'ring Shade,
Nor Light nor Darkness bring his Pain Relief,
One shews the Plunder, and one hides the Thief.

Yet[c] still the gen'ral Cry the Skies assails
And Gain and Grandeur load the tainted Gales;
Few know the toiling States man's Fear or Care,
Th' insidious Rival and the gaping Heir.
[Footnote c: Ver. 23-27.]

Once[d] more, Democritus, arise on Earth,
With chearful Wisdom and instructive Mirth,
See motley Life in modern Trappings dress'd,
And feed with varied Fools th' eternal Jest:
Thou who couldst laugh where Want enchain'd Caprice,
Toil crush'd Conceit, and Man was of a Piece;
Where Wealth unlov'd without a Mourner dy'd;
And scarce a Sycophant

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