Elegy XXVII. Book II.

O, fools, with foolish hopes elate,1
Who seek to trace the paths of Fate,2
And stare into Phœnician skies,3
To see if happy stars arise !4
For whether ye with Parthia war,5
Or cross the main, to Britain, far,6
By desert sand, or hostile bark,7
Your deaths are blind, your fate is dark.8
Go bravely, nor inquire your doom,9
Nor when nor whence the blow may come ;10
Endure whate’er the pow’rs require,11
Be it or poison, steel, or fire.12
Alone, the boding lover sees13
The end—all of his destinies ;14
And meets, with no repining sigh,15
The chosen death that he shall die.16
All other perils he defies17
Of deadly foes or hostile skies ;18
His lov’d one only moves his mind ;19
Not stormy war nor stormy wind.20
E’en should he tread those ghastly shores,21
And hear that Phantom’s coming oars,22
His voice could snatch him from the wave,23
Pow’rful or to destroy or save.24
Embalm’d in this my living line,25
Cynthia, a lasting name is thine,26
And all thy charms shall flourish long,27
Reflected in as soft a song.28
Nor tow’rs, nor pyramids sublime,29
Can ’scape the crumbling touch of time,30
Nor fanes that emulate the sky31
Nay, e’en our very tombs must die.32