Forever seeking, never found,
In this wide varied scene;
Sole object of unceasing search,
While in this low terrene.
Yet vain the search, if in the heart
Some lurking passion dwell;
For this will hang with cypress wreath
Retirement's secret cell.
In vain the outward scene is calm,
In vain the world we fly;
If thou, in pure religion's garb,
Thy friendly aid deny.
"Address to Happiness", from Poems, on Various Occasions (1806)
Why, alas! is life decreed
Full of pain and full of sorrow?
All uncertain as it is,
Can we rest upon to-morrow?
Why should blessings yet in store,
Hold us still in expectation?
Leading thro' succeeding sorrows,
By some fond anticipation:
'Tis to give a tender interest
To the scenes in which we're moving:
While those hopes so often blasted,
Sensual pleasures are reproving.
"An Effusion", from Poems, on Various Occasions (1806)