………….[In Christ’s Hospital Book]
O! mihi praeteritos referat si Jupiter annos!
Oh! might my ill-past hours return again!
No more, as then, should Sloth around me throw
…Her soul-enslaving, leaden chain!
No more the precious time would I employ
In giddy revels, or in thoughtless joy,
A present joy producing future woe.
But o’er the midnight Lamp I’d love to pore,
I’d seek with care fair Learning’s depths to sound,
…And gather scientific Lore:
Or to mature the embryo thoughts inclin’d,
That half-conceiv’d lay struggling in my mind,
The cloisters’ solitary gloom I’d round.
‘Tis vain to wish, for Time has ta’en his flight –
For follies past be ceas’d the fruitless tears:
…Let follies past to future care incite.
Averse maturer judgments to obey
Youth owns, with pleasure owns the Passions’ sway,
But sage Experience only comes with years.
The title means, “what pains us, trains us” or “harm teaches”.