October 1736

If Age and Sickness, poverty, and Pain,
Should each assault me with Alternate Plagu(es)
I know Mankind is destin'd to complain
And I submit to Torment, and Fatigues,
But here I murmur against Heaven's decree
That Miracles must rise to ruin me.

The Pious Farmer that ne'er misses pray'rs
With Patience suffers unexpected Rain,
He blesses Heaven for what its Bounty spares
And sees, resign'd, a crop of blighted Grain
But ('spite of Sermons) Farmers would blaspheme
If a Star fell to set their Thatch on Flame. [Hervey]

In Sicily alone an Ã?tna burns,
But what Sicilian Ã?tna's Fury mourns?
He knows the Warmth which from the Mountain glows,
His plenteous Olives and his Vines bestows:
Ã?gypt alone is never blest with Rains
And the same Nile that spares the Plowman's Pains,
By Miracles to Ã?gypt only known,
Gives these rich Harvests to her Sons alone.
Thus neither Country weeps the Fire or Flood
But bare the Bad, contented with the Good. [LM]

Suppose it true (which I can scarce suppose)
That with uncommon Fire this Bosom glows
Yet what avails this Gift from partial Heaven
Not for my Pleasure but my Torment given,
This sensibillity which oft you praise
Serves but to plague me in unusual ways.
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