By Philemon

by William Cowper

William Cowper

Oft we embrace our ills by discontent,
And give them bulk beyond what nature meant.
A parent, brother, friend deceased, to cry--
"He's dead indeed, but he was born to die"--
Such temperate grief is suited to the size
And burden of the loss; is just and wise.
But to exclaim, "Ah! wherefore was I born,
Thus to be left forever thus forlorn?"
Who thus laments his loss invites distress,
And magnifies a woe that might be less,
Through dull despondence to his lot resign'd,
And leaving reason's remedy behind.

Last updated January 14, 2019