On Care of the Future

A H ! what avails it, proud majestic tree,
That I had made this ornament of thee,
Where never herd, nor shepherd's foot impress'd
The soil that nurs'd thee, and thy youth caress'd,

If, at the impulse of the raging storm,
Thy shatter'd arms the litter'd earth deform; —
And, reft of all its grace, derision's prey,
Thy naked bark lives only in decay?

Alas! in thee I calculated wealth,
Fruit of thy vigour, and luxuriant health!
Mortality is here in all her scope: —
Ambition, Youth, Credulity , and Hope .
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