Ease is the pray’r of him who, in a whaleboat
Crossing Lake Champlain, by a storm’s o’ertaken:
Not struck his blanket, not a friendly island
Near to receive him.
Ease is the wish too of the sly Canadian;
Ease the delight of bloody Caghnawagas;
Ease, Richard, ease, not to be bought with wampum,
Nor paper money.
Nor colonel’s pay, nor yet a dapper sergeant,
Orderly waiting with recovered halberd,
Can chase the crowd of troubles still surrounding
That sub lives best who, with a sash in tatters
Worn by his grandsire at the fight of Blenheim,
To fear a stranger, and to wild ambition,
Snores on a bearskin.
Why like fine-fellows are we ever scheming,
We short-lived mortals? Why so fond of climates
Warmed by new suns? O who, that runs from home, can
Run from himself too?
Care climbs radeaux with four-and-twenty pounders,
Not quits our light troops, or our Indian warriors,
Swifter than moose-deer, or the fleeter east wind,
Pushing the clouds on.
He, whose good humor can enjoy the present,
Scorns to look forward; with a smile of patience
Temp’ring the bitter. Bliss uninterrupted
None can inherit.
Death instantaneous hurried off Achilles;
Age far-extended wore away Tithonus.
Who will live longer, thou or I, Montgom’ry?
Dicky or Tommy?
Thee twenty messmates, full of noise and laughter,
Cheer with their sallies; thee the merry damsels
Please with their titt’ring; whilst thou sitt’st adorned with
Boots, sash and gorget.
Me to Fort Hendrick, midst a savage nation,
Dull Connajohry, cruel fate has driven.
O think on Morris, in a lonely chamber,
Dabbling in Sapphic.