TO JANUS, ON NEW-YEAR’S DAY.
Two-faced Janus, god of Time !
Be my Phoebus while I rhyme ;
To oblige your crony Swift,
Bring our dame a new-year’s gift;
She has got but half a face ;
Janus, since thou hast a brace,
To my lady once be kind;
Give her half thy face behind.
God of Time, if you be wise,
Look not with your future eyes ;
What imports thy forward sight ?
Well, if you could lose it quite.
Can you take delight in viewing
This poor Isle’sf approaching ruin,
When thy retrospection vast
Sees the glorious ages past ?
Happy nation, were we blind,
Or had only eyes behind !
Drown your morals, madam cries,
I’ll have none but forward eyes ;
Prudes decay’d about may tack,
Strain their necks with looking back.
Give me time when coming on ;
Who regards him when he’s gone ?
By the Dean though gravely told,
New-years help to make me old;
Yet I find a new-year’s lace
Burnishes an old-year’s face.
Give me velvet and quadrille,
l have youth and beauty still.