Nalar Islah & Tajdid

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Hijau itu Bijak

(There were times when silence does explain everything, and speechless tongue signifies heart full of feelings---the unspoken will---shiny eyes glittered with hopes deferred and dreams delayed...fantasies burnt to ashes.

Until the Divine showered the bless, revealing the truth...

It just so happen that constant challenges posed and faced by the critical mind, the dynamic intellect, the passionate heart, the hungry soul, the lustful self, ultimately drive the persona transcends to a completely unthought heaven.

By then, nothing more could be said than BRILLIANT!)


Brilliant 3x..cara Kau Memahamiku
Brilliant 3x..perlakuanmu Padaku
Sisakan Waktumu Untuk Aku Miliki

Brilliant 3x..percepat Laju Jantungku
Brilliant 3x..peras Keringat Dinginku
Brilliant 2x..Brilliant 2x..
Sisakan Waktumu Untuk Aku Miliki

Kapankah Aku Mengimbangimu
Kapankah Aku Menaklukkan Hidupmu
Bisakah Aku Mengimbangimu
Bisakah Aku Menaklukan Hidupmu
Sudahilah Tinggimu
Sisakan Hidupmu Denganku Ku Ku..

Brilliant 3x..angkuh Ratakan Egoku
Brilliant 3x..tinggi Dan Tak Terkendali
Brilliant 2x..Brilliant 2x..
Sisakan Waktumu Untuk Aku Miliki

Ku Benturkan Diriku Di Telapak Kakimu
Aku Adalah Hampa Yang Bersinar Bia Kau Sentuh
Tiap Gerak Kecilmu Meledakkan Hatiku
Seakan Tak Percaya Sentuhanmu Adalah Nyata

Coba Rebahkan Naluri Itu
Pasti Dia 'kan Menuntunmu Padaku
Pejamkanlah Matamu Dan Percayakan Pada Hatimu.. Mu Mu Mu..

Coba Bebaskan Pendengaranmu
Pasti Dia 'kan Membisikkan Namaku..
Pejamkanlah Matamu Dan Percayakan Pada Hatimu..mu Mu Mu..

Brilliant Kau Taklukkan Aku..
Brilliant Kau Taklukkan Aku..

Brilliant Kau Taklukkan...
Brilliant Kau Taklukkan...
Brilliant Kau Taklukkan Aku.....

Diberontak Kedangkalan

Abaikan tata bahasa tajuk di atas..kerna tiada pakar yang akan membetulkannya di blog ini.siapa lagi yang layak melainkan profesor bahasa dan tuan-puan di DBP.malah sesama pakar lagikan banyak khilafnya.sesuatu yang lumrah jikalau seseorang yang bukan pakar bahasa ingin cuba-cuba buat pembetulan lalu disanggahi ramai.walau yang dikata itu benar lagi tepat lagi jitu.

hanya kerna dia bukan 'ahli'.'ahli' seperti mana yang dipandang majoriti, punya latar belakang, pendidikan, purata mata-mata terkumpul dari peperiksaan yang agung.agung kerna menentukan tahap kefahaman terhadap sesuatu kepada menentukan manusia itu sudah mahir dalam sesuatu kepada menyatakan dialah ahli yang suatu itu.

Dangkal.Singkat.Cetek.Di permukaan.Basa-basi.begitu kalau dapat dirumuskan keseluruhan keadaan yang telah, sedang dan akan berlaku dalam cara manusia sekarang menghadapi dunia, memahami dunia, lebih-lebih lagi apabila ingin menduniakan perkara-perkara meta-dunia.

Kerancuan dalam memahami fitrah kompleks dunia dan selepas dunia.pasti dapat dimaafkan kiranya salah faham adalah dalam perkara cebis dan setelah melalui proses istinbhat dan pemikiran yang sahih (sahih dalam ertikata metodologi, bukan klaim kebenaran akan keputusan yang terhasil).namun, apabila apabila kerancuan yang timbul adalah perkara dasar(yg sudah tentu bukan hanya ucapan kalimah tauhid) maka pengkajian semula secara dalam lagi tuntas kepada nalar sumber dan punca-punca kerancuan bukan lagi pilihan, malah kewajipan.

aku rakamkan penghargaan buat Mustafa A'zami, yang mempersembahkan kubu yang maha kental dari serangan-serangan dungu ke atas teks dan sumber agama suci ini.buat rakan-rakan di Indonesia, yang tak pernah berhenti menyalakan hati dan akal umat.dan pastinya, kewujudan rakan-rakan yang tidak cukup utk dikenangkan jasa dan impak mereka pada kembara pemikiranku.

post ini istimewa buat uncle fred dan suhaib.dua manusia yang bebas dari sebarang unsur kedangkalan(sekurang-kurangnya dalam wadah yang kami wahanakan).apa saja yang baik atau buruk dari mereka pastinya tidak terhasil dari kekasaran dan kecetekan.malah kedalaman yang halus dan segar.

Cuma pencerahanku sinar mentari, bukan neon atau kalimantang.Namun, masih ia hanyalah kepercayaan dan keyakinan yang keperibadian, belum lagi jadi kemajmukan. Jadilah manusia, bukan binatang terlatih!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

kau fikir kau layak?

memberi reaksi yang emosional adalah bukti bahwa kita masih lagi manusia.cuma setiap emosi perlu ada kawalan. begitu juga setiap rasionalisasi.perlu ada kawalan.malahan dalam hal spiritual juga perlu ada kawalan.tiada 'ibadah sewenang-wenang niat ingin ta'abbud.

jadinya begini,keperluan bagi masing-masing kembali ke prinsip asal dalam ta'allum wa ta'lim.iaitu, amanah dengan ilmu, 'adil dalam keputusan.maksudnya amanah pada tiap kali kita mencari kebenaran, mendapat kebenaran dan menyampaikan kebenaran.amanah pada niat dan cara.dan adil pula dlm menetapkan pendirian dan menyatakan pandangan.faith, laws and ethics, adalah seiringan yang saling perlu.tiada satu yang sempurna tanpa satu yang lainnya.

sesiapa yang bodoh sombong kita biarkan saja mati dengan kesombongannya atas klaim kebenaran yang dangkal.malah begitu juga, sesiapa yang mempersoalkan sebarang pancakan kepercayaan dan fahaman, perlu hadir dengan argumentasi kukuh dan setara.kalau tidak, shoe off saja.

sesiapa yang ingin membentak, persoal, mengamuk, kita persilakan saja.tapi harus hujahnya bernas lagi setara dan layak diperdebat.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Petaka 27 Rajab

malam muhammad diangkat tinggi ke langit mulia
aku humban-campakkan diri ke jurang neraka
tanpa dasar
tanpa gusar


smokeless beacon, 22.08.2006. 9.49 pagi.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Sore Isnin Nikahnya Biduanita



Bukan Di Sini

pandang matamu itu
gerak tubuhmu itu
adalah kuntuman-kuntuman rindu
debunga harapan dan cinta


sengaja kubiarkan ia layu
tertanam dalam kubur paling dalam
sebelum sempat jadi mekar dan kembang


kerna hati ini tak mungkin membajai
kerna hati ini kau diracun sepi.



Konflik

aku mau tidur
cuma lampu masih menyilau
malas bangkit
tilam ini sangat empuk


dapatkah tidur sedang lampu masih menyilau?


Percaturan

jika kau merasakan
aku bukan di tempat sepatutnya
buanglah, campaklah, gantilah
tukar sampai lepas hajat hatimu.



bilik berselerak, gombak, 21.08.2006.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Jangan Sampai 'Atid Yang Sibuk


harusnya manusia syukur dan insaf
haruslah manusia syukur dan insaf
pada ni'mah tak pernah terharap
pada hikmah tak lelah digarap
pada rahmah tak cemar ditatap


kerna di padang itu nanti
hanya di padang itu nanti
lupa bukan lagi jawab


buta yang lalu pada bukti
tuli yang lepas pada janji
dungu tiada peduli pada wahy
hingga 'Atid abadi mencatat
tinggal Raqib diam berehat


keliru dunia hayat terkenangkan
sesak dihambat masa
lemas ditambat cinta
lesu dijerat kerja


rimas-keluh-kesah pada kerugian
yang ditafsir nafsu tak kesudahan
yang dipandu hawa tak bertepian
meraup dedosa tak bersempadan


tiba waktu resah
berhimpun menunggu dipanggil mengadap
saat sirnanya megah
bertaruh untung nasib di pintu azab


aib disiar, amal tersingkap
tergantung (terserah) TUHAN adil menghisab.


alma mater, 19.08.2006. 10.25 malam.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Rerumput Gajah & Lalang-lalangan

(Makalah disadur dari http://belalangtua.blogs.friendster.com/berita_kepada_kawan/
--- pembaca adalah disaran untuk berkongsi buah fikiran antara kedua laman ini.)

Lalang seperti yang difahami ramai adalah sejenis tumbuhan yang tumbuh melata di atas tanah di mana kebiasaannya tanah tersebut tidak terdapat padanya tumbuhan lain yang lebih dominan ataupun tiada langsung. Rumput gajah adalah sinonim bagi lalang (bahasa indonesia).

Mengapa lalang? kenapa rumput gajah?

setiap tumbuhan mempunyai kebaikan yang tersendiri. Namun bagi manusia, khususnya peladang atau petani lalang adalah tumbuhan yang lebih membawa binasa dan bencana berbanding faedah dan rezeki.sering saja lalang itu dicantas, diracun, dibakar atau dicabut akarnya.namun tetap lalang masih lagi tumbuh meliar dan membiak.tanpa jemu-jemu menyakitkan mata memandang, menjadi simbol utuh lagi abadi bagi kesia-siaan.

sekali lagi mengapa lalang? rumput gajah?

kerana perkembangan pemikiran lazim atur hidupnya jua bagaikan lalang dan tumbuhan2 lainnya.secara kasar, jika ditinjau fungsi lalang, antaranya mengganggu pertumbuhan fauna lainnya, malah hingga mematikan tumbuhan yang lain.begitu juga pemikiran.akan ada, dan memang sentiasa ada dalam sejarah pemikiran manusia pemikiran yang yang lagaknya kelalang-lalangan.pemikiran yang timbul dari kekacauan pemahaman, yang akhirnya tumbuh melata, popular sehingga menyakitkan mata yang memandang (mata sang petani yang tulus berbakti kepada bumi-dalam konteks ini,mata sang pemikir tulen yang terpelihara luar-dalam kerangka rasionalnya).namun tidak lah sakit bagi mata-mata petani yang tidak faham tujuan pertanian dan cara-cara bertani yang sahih.

kita fokuskan pada pemikiran Islam.

kebelakangan ini, tumbuh pelbagai pemikiran yang zahirnya elok pada sesetengah manusia yang kurang memahami apa asas-asas Islam dan pemikiran Islam serta metodologinya.menjenguk dgn ringkas sejarah Islam, ketumbuhan pelbagai mazhab 'aqidah, falsafah, dan spiritualiti sudah cukup membayangkan ada kecelaruan yang disengaja atau tidak disengajakan di situ.

kenapa celaru? kerana tak mungkin ada dua kebenaran.tidak pernah dikenali akan konsep 'banyak jalan menuju kebenaran yang sama' oleh salafus soleh dan ulama' terkebelakang yang bermanhaj sama.

saya tidak menyentuh bab fikih dan perundangan di sini.itu adalah parsial yang difahami berubahnya hukum dgn berubahnya zaman.hanya yg tidak berubah adalah hukum2 qath'i seperti termaktub pada pemahaman Qur'an dan Sunnah.

kesimpulan.kini ada pemikiran-pemikiran yang jasadnya Islamiy,namun ruhnya kufur.luarnya rasional, namun dalamnya kegilaan.inilah yang saya ertikan dgn lalang i.e. rumput gajah.malah ia telah tumbuh pesat membiak melahirkan pula tunas-tunas yang lebih mematikan iman dan akal umat dari membajanya.

cara mengatasi? adalah diseru kepada para petani-petani moden yang tulen(pemikir-pemikir Islamiy yang terpelihara iman dan akal, serta faham akan manhaj yang sahih) agar menanam lebih banyak pokok-pokok serta rumput-rumput yang berguna dan bermanfaat buat manusia.tanam dgn cara yg betul.

kerana lalang itu akan mati sendiri.jika diharamkan, pemikiran kan tetap ujud.jika diserang peribadi petani-petani celaru, pemikirannya masih akan tersebar.tidak akan mati pemikiran seseorang dgn pengharaman, penangkapan, pembunuhan, pengutukan, dan lain2 lagi.

tanamlah tumbuhan yang baru.biar manusia menilai dan memilih tumbuhan yang mana lebih bernilai.

kerna sekarang, manusia hanya melihat lalang.

kerna sekarang, lalanglah yang penuh melata di muka bumi.hanya sedikit pokok-pokok yang menunggu masa untuk gugur daunnya dan mati akarnya.

(makalah diilhami oleh cetusan rasa sahabat penulis, saudara Mustofa Munawar, pada 1 Ogos 2006, selepas makan tengahari. berbanyak terima kasih.)

Monday, July 31, 2006

The Vanity of Human Wishes

Let Observation with extensive View,
Survey Mankind, from China to Peru;
Remark each anxious Toil, each eager Strife,
And watch the busy Scenes of crouded Life;
Then say how Hope and Fear, Desire and Hate,
O'er spread with Snares the clouded Maze of Fate,
Where wav'ring Man, betray'd by vent'rous Pride,
To tread the dreary Paths without a Guide;
As treach'rous Phantoms in the Mist delude,
Shuns fancied Ills, or chases airy Good.

How rarely Reason guides the stubborn Choice,
Rules the bold Hand, or prompts the suppliant Voice,
How Nations sink, by darling Schemes oppres'd,
When Vengeance listens to the Fool's Request.
Fate wings with ev'ry Wish th' afflictive Dart,
Each Gift of Nature, and each Grace of Art,
With fatal Heat impetuous Courage glows,
With fatal Sweetness Elocution flows,
Impeachment stops the Speaker's pow'rful Breath,
And restless Fire precipitates on Death.

But scarce observ'd the Knowing and the Bold,
Fall in the gen'ral Massacre of Gold;
Wide-wasting Pest! that rages unconfin'd,
And crouds with Crimes the Records of Mankind,
For Gold his Sword the Hireling Ruffian draws,
For Gold the hireling Judge distorts the Laws;
Wealth heap'd on Wealth, nor Truth nor Safety buys,
The Dangers gather as the Treasures rise.
Let Hist'ry tell where rival Kings command,
And dubious Title shakes the madded Land,
When Statutes glean the Refuse of the Sword,
How much more safe the Vassal than the Lord,

Low sculks the Hind beneath the Rage of Pow'r,
And leaves the bonny Traytor in the Tow'r,
Untouch'd his Cottage, and his Slumbers sound,
Tho' Confiscation's Vulturs clang around.
The needy Traveller, serene and gay,
Walks the wild Heath, and sings his Toil away.
Does Envy seize thee? crush th' upbraiding Joy,
Encrease his Riches and his Peace destroy,
New Fears in dire Vicissitude invade,
The rustling Brake alarms, and quiv'ring Shade,
Nor Light nor Darkness bring his Pain Relief,
One shews the Plunder, and one hides the Thief.

Yet still the gen'ral Cry the Skies assails
And Gain and Grandeur load the tainted Gales;
Few know the toiling Statesman's Fear or Care,
Th' insidious Rival and the gaping Heir.
Once more, Democritus, arise on Earth,
With chearful Wisdom and instructive Mirth,
See motley Life in modern Trappings dress'd,
And feed with varied Fools th' eternal Jest:
Thou who couldst laugh where Want enchain'd Caprice,
Toil crush'd Conceit, and Man was of a Piece;
Where Wealth unlov'd without a Mourner dy'd;
And scarce a Sycophant was fed by Pride;

Where ne'er was known the Form of mock Debate,
Or seen a new-made Mayor's unwieldy State;
Where change of Fav'rites made no Change of Laws,
And Senates heard before they judg'd a Cause;
How wouldst thou shake at Britain's modish Tribe,
Dart the quick Taunt, and edge the piercing Gibe?
Attentive Truth and Nature to descry,
And pierce each Scene with Philosophic Eye.
To thee were solemn Toys or empty Shew,
The Robes of Pleasure and the Veils of Woe:
All aid the Farce, and all thy Mirth maintain,
Whose Joys are causeless, or whose Griefs are vain.

Such was the Scorn that fill'd the Sage's Mind,
Renew'd at ev'ry Glance on Humankind;
How just that Scorn ere yet thy Voice declare,
Search every State, and canvass ev'ry Pray'r.
Unnumber'd Suppliants croud Preferment's Gate,
Athirst for Wealth, and burning to be great;
Delusive Fortune hears th' incessant Call,
They mount, they shine, evaporate, and fall.
On ev'ry Stage the Foes of Peace attend,
Hate dogs their Flight, and Insult mocks their End.
Love ends with Hope, the sinking Statesman's Door
Pours in the Morning Worshiper no more;
For growing Names the weekly Scribbler lies,
To growing Wealth the Dedicator flies,

From every Room descends the painted Face,
That hung the bright Palladium of the Place,
And smoak'd in Kitchens, or in Auctions sold,
To better Features yields the Frame of Gold;
For now no more we trace in ev'ry Line
Heroic Worth, Benevolence Divine:
The Form distorted justifies the Fall,
And Detestation rids th' indignant Wall.

But will not Britain hear the last Appeal,
Sign her Foes Doom, or guard her Fav'rites Zeal;
Through Freedom's Sons no more Remonstrance rings,
Degrading Nobles and controuling Kings;
Our supple Tribes repress their Patriot Throats,
And ask no Questions but the Price of Votes;
With Weekly Libels and Septennial Ale,
Their Wish is full to riot and to rail.
In full-blown Dignity, see Wolsey stand,
Law in his Voice, and Fortune in his Hand:

To him the Church, the Realm, their Pow'rs consign,
Thro' him the Rays of regal Bounty shine,
Turn'd by his Nod the Stream of Honour flows,
His Smile alone Security bestows:
Still to new Heights his restless Wishes tow'r,
Claim leads to Claim, and Pow'r advances Pow'r;
Till Conquest unresisted ceas'd to please,
And Rights submitted, left him none to seize.

At length his Sov'reign frowns -- the Train of StateMark the keen Glance,
and watch the Sign to hate.
Where-e'er he turns he meets a Stranger's Eye,
His Suppliants scorn him, and his Followers fly;
Now drops at once the Pride of aweful State,
The golden Canopy, the glitt'ring Plate,
The regal Palace, the luxurious Board,
The liv'ried Army, and the menial Lord.
With Age, with Cares, with Maladies oppress'd,
He seeks the Refuge of Monastic Rest.
Grief aids Disease, remember'd Folly stings,
And his last Sighs reproach the Faith of Kings.

Speak thou, whose Thoughts at humble Peace repine,
Shall Wolsey's Wealth, with Wolsey's End be thine?
Or liv'st thou now, with safer Pride content,
The richest Landlord on the Banks of Trent?
For why did Wolsey by the Steps of Fate,
On weak Foundations raise th' enormous Weight
Why but to sink beneath Misfortune's Blow,
With louder Ruin to the Gulphs below?
What gave great Villiers to th' Assassin's Knife,
And fixed Disease on Harley's closing life?
What murder'd Wentworth, and what exil'd Hyde,
By Kings protected and to Kings ally'd?
What but their Wish indulg'd in Courts to shine,
And Pow'r too great to keep or to resign?
When first the College Rolls receive his Name,
The young Enthusiast quits his Ease for Fame;

Resistless burns the fever of Renown,
Caught from the strong Contagion of the Gown;
O'er Bodley's Dome his future Labours spread,
And Bacon's Mansion trembles o'er his Head;
Are these thy Views? proceed, illustrious Youth,
And Virtue guard thee to the Throne of Truth,
Yet should thy Soul indulge the gen'rous Heat,
Till captive Science yields her last Retreat;
Should Reason guide thee with her brightest Ray,
And pour on misty Doubt resistless Day;
Should no false Kindness lure to loose Delight,
Nor Praise relax, nor Difficulty fright;
Should tempting Novelty thy Cell refrain,
And Sloth's bland Opiates shed their Fumes in vain;
Should Beauty blunt on Fops her fatal Dart,
Nor claim the triumph of a letter'd Heart;
Should no Disease thy torpid Veins invade,
Nor Melancholy's Phantoms haunt thy Shade;

Yet hope not Life from Grief or Danger free,
Nor think the Doom of Man revers'd for thee:
Deign on the passing World to turn thine Eyes,
And pause awhile from Learning to be wise;
There mark what Ills the Scholar's Life assail,
Toil, Envy, Want, the Garret, and the Jail.
See Nations slowly wise, and meanly just,
To buried Merit raise the tardy Bust.
If Dreams yet flatter, once again attend,
Hear Lydiat's Life, and Galileo's End.
Nor deem, when Learning her lost Prize bestows
The glitt'ring Eminence exempt from Foes;

See when the Vulgar 'scap'd despis'd or aw'd,
Rebellion's vengeful Talons seize on Laud.
From meaner Minds, tho' smaller Fines content
The plunder'd Palace or sequester'd Rent;
Mark'd out by dangerous Parts he meets the Shock,
And fatal Learning leads him to the Block:
Around his Tomb let Art and Genius weep,
But hear his Death, ye Blockheads, hear and sleep.
The festal Blazes, the triumphal Show,
The ravish'd Standard, and the captive Foe,
The Senate's Thanks, the Gazette's pompous Tale,
With Force resistless o'er the Brave prevail.
Such Bribes the rapid Greek o'er Asia whirl'd,
For such the steady Romans shook the World;
For such in distant Lands the Britons shine,
And stain with Blood the Danube or the Rhine;
This Pow'r has Praise, that Virtue scarce can warm,
Till Fame supplies the universal Charm.
Yet Reason frowns on War's unequal Game,
Where wasted Nations raise a single Name,
And mortgag'd States their Grandsires Wreaths regret
From Age to Age in everlasting Debt;

Wreaths which at last the dear-bought Right convey
To rust on Medals, or on Stones decay.
On what Foundation stands the Warrior's Pride?
How just his Hopes let Swedish Charles decide;
A Frame of Adamant, a Soul of Fire,
No Dangers fright him, and no Labours tire;
O'er Love, o'er Force, extends his wide Domain,
Unconquer'd Lord of Pleasure and of Pain;
No Joys to him pacific Scepters yield,
War sounds the Trump, he rushes to the Field;
Behold surrounding Kings their Pow'r combine,
And One capitulate, and One resign;

Peace courts his Hand, but spread her Charms in vain;
"Think Nothing gain'd, he cries, till nought remain,"
On Moscow's Walls till Gothic Standards fly,
"And all is Mine beneath the Polar Sky."
The March begins in Military State,
And Nations on his Eye suspended wait;
Stern Famine guards the solitary Coast,
And Winter barricades the Realms of Frost;
He comes, nor Want nor Cold his Course delay;
---Hide, blushing Glory, hide Pultowa's Day:

The vanquish'd Hero leaves his broken Bands,
And shews his Miseries in distant Lands;
Condemn'd a needy Supplicant to wait,
While Ladies interpose, and Slaves debate.
But did not Chance at length her Error mend?
Did no subverted Empire mark his End?
Did rival Monarchs give the fatal Wound?
Or hostile Millions press him to the Ground?
His Fall was destin'd to a barren Strand,
A petty Fortress, and a dubious Hand;
He left the Name, at which the World grew pale,
To point a Moral, or adorn a Tale.

All Times their Scenes of pompous Woes afford,
From Persia's Tyrant to Bavaria's Lord.
In gay Hostility, and barb'rous Pride,
With half Mankind embattled at his Side,
Great Xerxes comes to seize the certain Prey,
And starves exhausted Regions in his Way;
Attendant Flatt'ry counts his Myriads o'er,
Till counted Myriads sooth his Pride no more;
Fresh Praise is try'd till Madness fires his Mind,
The Waves he lashes, and enchains the Wind;
New Pow'rs are claim'd, new Pow'rs are still bestowed,
Till rude Resistance lops the spreading God;

The daring Greeks deride the Martial Shew,
And heap their Vallies with the gaudy Foe;
Th' insulted Sea with humbler Thoughts he gains,
A single Skiff to speed his Flight remains;
Th' incumber'd Oar scarce leaves the dreaded Coast
Through purple Billows and a floating Host.
The bold Bavarian, in a luckless Hour,
Tries the dread Summits of Cesarean Pow'r,
With unexpected Legions bursts away,
And sees defenceless Realms receive his Sway;
Short Sway! fair Austria spreads her mournful Charms,
The Queen, the Beauty, sets the World in Arms;

From Hill to Hill the Beacons rousing Blaze
Spreads wide the Hope of Plunder and of Praise;
The fierce Croatian, and the wild Hussar,
And all the Sons of Ravage croud the War;
The baffled Prince in Honour's flatt'ring Bloom
Of hasty Greatness finds the fatal Doom,
His foes Derision, and his Subjects Blame,
And steals to Death from Anguish and from Shame.

Enlarge my Life with Multitude of Days,
In Health, in Sickness, thus the Suppliant prays;
Hides from himself his State, and shuns to know,
That Life protracted is protracted Woe.
Time hovers o'er, impatient to destroy,
And shuts up all the Passages of Joy:
In vain their Gifts the bounteous Seasons pour,
The Fruit autumnal, and the Vernal Flow'r,
With listless Eyes the Dotard views the Store,
He views, and wonders that they please no more;

Now pall the tastless Meats, and joyless Wines,
And Luxury with Sighs her Slave resigns.
Approach, ye Minstrels, try the soothing Strain,
And yield the tuneful Lenitives of Pain:
No Sounds alas would touch th' impervious Ear,
Though dancing Mountains witness'd Orpheus near;
Nor Lute nor Lyre his feeble Pow'rs attend,
Nor sweeter Musick of a virtuous Friend,
But everlasting Dictates croud his Tongue,
Perversely grave, or positively wrong.

The still returning Tale, and ling'ring Jest,
Perplex the fawning Niece and pamper'd Guest,
While growing Hopes scarce awe the gath'ring Sneer,
And scarce a Legacy can bribe to hear;
The watchful Guests still hint the last Offence,
The Daughter's Petulance, the Son's Expence,
Improve his heady Rage with treach'rous Skill,
And mould his Passions till they make his Will.
Unnumber'd Maladies each Joint invade,
Lay Siege to Life and press the dire Blockade;
But unextinguish'd Av'rice still remains,
And dreaded Losses aggravate his Pains;
He turns, with anxious Heart and cripled Hands,
His Bonds of Debt, and Mortgages of Lands;
Or views his Coffers with suspicious Eyes,
Unlocks his Gold, and counts it till he dies.

But grant, the Virtues of a temp'rate Prime
Bless with an Age exempt from Scorn or Crime;
An Age that melts in unperceiv'd Decay,
And glides in modest Innocence away;
Whose peaceful Day Benevolence endears,
Whose Night congratulating Conscience cheers;
The gen'ral Fav'rite as the gen'ral Friend:
Such Age there is, and who could wish its end?

Yet ev'n on this her Load Misfortune flings,
To press the weary Minutes flagging Wings:
New Sorrow rises as the Day returns,
A Sister sickens, or a Daughter mourns.
Now Kindred Merit fills the sable Bier,
Now lacerated Friendship claims a Tear.
Year chases Year, Decay pursues Decay,
Still drops some Joy from with'ring Life away;
New Forms arise, and diff'rent Views engage,
Superfluous lags the Vet'ran on the Stage,
Till pitying Nature signs the last Release,
And bids afflicted Worth retire to Peace.
But few there are whom Hours like these await,
Who set unclouded in the Gulphs of fate.

From Lydia's monarch should the Search descend,
By Solon caution'd to regard his End,
In Life's last Scene what Prodigies surprise,
Fears of the Brave, and Follies of the Wise?
From Marlb'rough's Eyes the Streams of Dotage flow,
And Swift expires a Driv'ler and a Show.
The teeming Mother, anxious for her Race,
Begs for each Birth the Fortune of a Face:
Yet Vane could tell what Ills from Beauty spring;
And Sedley curs'd the Form that pleas'd a King.

Ye Nymphs of rosy Lips and radiant Eyes,
Whom Pleasure keeps too busy to be wise,
Whom Joys with soft Varieties invite
By Day the Frolick, and the Dance by Night,
Who frown with Vanity, who smile with Art,
And ask the latest Fashion of the Heart,
What Care, what Rules your heedless Charms shall save,
Each Nymph your Rival, and each Youth your Slave?
An envious Breast with certain Mischief glows,
And Slaves, the Maxim tells, are always Foes.
Against your Fame with Fondness Hate combines,
The Rival batters, and the Lover mines.
With distant Voice neglected Virtue calls,
Less heard, and less the faint Remonstrance falls;
Tir'd with Contempt, she quits the slipp'ry Reign,
And Pride and Prudence take her Seat in vain.
In croud at once, where none the Pass defend,
The harmless Freedom, and the private Friend.
The Guardians yield, by Force superior ply'd;
By Int'rest, Prudence; and by Flatt'ry, Pride.

Here Beauty falls betray'd, despis'd, distress'd,
And hissing Infamy proclaims the rest.
Where then shall Hope and Fear their Objects find?
Must dull Suspence corrupt the stagnant Mind?
Must helpless Man, in Ignorance sedate,
Swim darkling down the Current of his Fate?
Must no Dislike alarm, no Wishes rise,
No Cries attempt the Mercies of the Skies?
Enquirer, cease, Petitions yet remain,
Which Heav'n may hear, nor deem Religion vain.
Still raise for Good the supplicating Voice,
But leave to Heav'n the Measure and the Choice.
Safe in his Pow'r, whose Eyes discern afar
The secret Ambush of a specious Pray'r.
Implore his Aid, in his Decisions rest,
Secure whate'er he gives, he gives the best.
Yet with the Sense of sacred Presence prest,
When strong Devotion fills thy glowing Breast,
Pour forth thy Fervours for a healthful Mind,
Obedient Passions, and a Will resign'd;

For Love, which scarce collective Man can fill;
For Patience sov'reign o'er transmuted Ill;
For Faith, that panting for a happier Seat,
Thinks Death kind Nature's Signal of Retreat:

These Goods for Man the Laws of Heav'n ordain,
These Goods he grants, who grants the Pow'r to gain;
With these celestial Wisdom calms the Mind,
And makes the Happiness she does not find.
Samuel Johnson 1709-1784