Duty and Pleasure.

Duty and Pleasure, long at strife,1
Met in the common walks of life.2
Pray don’t disturb me—get you gone !”3
Cries Duty in a serious tone.4
Then, with a smile, “ Keep off, my dear,5
Nor force me to be thus severe.”6
Dear sir,” cries Pleasure, “ you’re so grave ;7
You make yourself a perfect slave.8
I can’t think why we disagree ;9
You may turn Methodist for me.10
But, if you’ll neither laugh nor play,11
At least don’t stop me in my way.12
Yet sure one moment you might steal,13
To see the lovely Miss O’Neill.14
One hour to relaxation give :15
Oh, lend one hour from life to live !16
And here’s a bird, and there’s a flower17
Dear Duty, walk a little slower !”18
My morning’s task is not half done,”19
Cries Duty, with an inward groan ;20
False colours on each object spread ;21
I know not where or how I’m led :22
Your bragg’d enjoyments mount the wind,23
And leave their venom’d stings behind.24
Where are you flown ?” — Voices around25
Cry, “ Pleasure long hath left the ground.26
Old age advances ; haste away,27
Nor lose the light of parting day !28
See ! sickness follows, sorrow threats ;29
Waste no more time in vain regrets.30
Oh, Duty ! one more effort given31
May reach, perhaps, the gates of Heaven,32
Where only, each with each delighted,33
Pleasure and Duty live united.”34