Aristippus To His Lamp
by Thomas Moore
I'll tell thee, as I trim thy fire,
Swift, swift the tide of being runs,
And Time who bids thy flame expire,
Will also quench yon heaven of suns!
Oh then, if earth's united power
Can never chain one feathery hour;
If every print we leave to-day
To-morrow's wave shall steal away;
Who pauses to inquire of Heaven
Why were the fleeting treasures given,
The sunny days, the shady nights,
And all their brief but dear delights,
Which Heaven has made for man to use,
And man should think it guilt to lose?
Who that has cull'd a weeping rose
Will ask it why it breathes and glows,
Unmindful of the blushing ray
In which it shines its soul away:
Unmindful of the scented sigh,
On which it dies, and loves to die?
Pleasure! thou only good on earth!
One little hour resign'd to thee --
Oh! by my Lais lip, 'tis worth
The sage's immortality!
Source:The Poetical Works of Thomas Moore.
Copyright undated, very old
The Walter Scott Publishing Co. Ltd.