Archive for January 6th, 2023

Friday, 6 January 2023

To Mr J.B. at Watboo, in Carolina by Charles Woodmason

The price of rice, or talk on Change,
What ships arriv’d, what tidings strange,
Be ne’er concern’d to know:
Small store will nature’s wants supply—
Health, peace, contentment, till we dye,
Is all we need below.

Our life, at best, is but a dream;
However pleasant it may seem,
Its minutes swiftly fly:
Old age o’ertakes us by degrees;
And when our flowing spirits freeze,
Farewell to ev’ry joy.

Your shrubs and eglantines, so fair,
And flourets sweet, beyond compare;
How transient is their date!
Just so is ours,—then who’d perplex
His mind with fears, pine, fret, or vex
At Life’s uncertain state?

Beneath the laurel’s spreading shade,
With many a swain, and many a maid,
Let’s pass our fleeting time:
Replenish oft the circling bowl;
Quaff, quaff the cordial of the soul;
Enjoy, not waste, our prime.

Haste then, ye loit’ring Negroes,—haste,—
Reach me the glass,—no time I’ll waste,
Since short our period here.
Let Delia grace the jocund ring,
Let Phillis dance, and Chloe sing,
‘Timm mirth shall banish care.

From: C.W., “To Mr J.B. at Watboo, in Carolina” in The Gentleman’s Magazine, and Historical Chronicle. Volume 23, 1753, p. 242.

Date: 1753

By: Charles Woodmason (c1720-1789)