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Bef. Ch. 594.



MIMNERMUS was born at Colophon; a town of Ionia. He was eminent both as a musician and a poet. His mistress Nanno followed, also, the profession of a minstrel. Horace and Propertius speak of him, as the master of amorous elegy. There is poetical vigour in the fragments remaining of his poetry; but, contrary to the joyous character given of him, they exhibit a melancholy cast of morbid sentiment: and we discern the

miserable philosophy of a youth of dissolute pleasure, and an old age of senseless, and sensual, repining.



WE, like the leaves of many-blossom'd spring,
When the sun's rays their sudden radiance fling,
In growing strength, on earth, a little while,
Delighted, see youth's blooming flow'rets smile.
Not with that wisdom of the Gods endued,
To judge aright of evil and of good.
Two Fates, dark-scowling, at our side attend;
Of youth, of life, each points the destin'd end,
Old age, and death: the fruit of youth remains
Brief, as the sunshine scatter'd o'er the plains:
And, when these fleeting hours have fled away,
To die were better than to breathe the day.
A load of grief the burthen'd spirit wears;
Domestic troubles rise; penurious cares;
One with an earnest love of children sighs;
The grave is open'd, and he childless dies:

Another drags in pain his lingering days, While slow disease upon his vitals preys. Nor lives there one, whom Jupiter on high Exempts from years of mix'd calamity.


WHAT joy in life, were golden Venus fled?
Then may I sleep among the silent dead,
When this can charm no more; when tasteless prove
Soft bribes, the yielding couch, clandestine love.
What joy in life, if, with such transient bloom,
Youth's dropping flow'rets waste their rich perfume,
And both the sexes droop? then age is nigh;
At whose afflictive touch the Graces fly.
The fair-proportion'd limbs of smooth delight
Deform'd, dishonour'd, loveless to the sight.
Perpetual miseries make the soul their prey;
The aged man looks up, and loathes the day:
Of boys the mock; of women the disdain;
The Gods have dealt to age the dole of pain.

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