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ON THE PLEASURE ARISING FROM
[Left unfinished by Mr. Gray. With Additions, in Italics, by the late
Rev. Mr. Mason.)
Now the golden Morn aloft
Waves her dew-bespangled wing,
She wooes the tardy Spring:
New-born flocks, in rustic dance,
Frisking ply their feeble feet; Forgetful of their wintry trance
The birds his presence greet:
But chief, the Sky-Lark warbles high
Rise, my Soul! on wings of fire,
Rise the rapt'rous Choir among ;
And leads the general song:
Yesterday the sullen year
Saw the snowy whirlwind fly;
The herd stood drooping by:
Smiles on past Misfortune's brow
Soft Reflection's hand can trace; And o'er the cheek of Sorrow throw
A melancholy grace ; While Hope prolongs our happier hour, Or deepest shades, that dimly lower And blacken round our weary way, Gilds with a gleam of distant day.
Still, where rosy Pleasure leads,
See a kindred Grief pursue; Behind the steps that Misery treads
Approaching Comfort view: The hues of bliss more brightly glow, Chastis’d by sabler tints of woe; And blended form, with artful strife, The strength and harmony of life.
See the Wretch, that long has tost
On the thorny bed of pain, At length repair his vigour lost,
And breathe, and walk again
The meanest flow'ret of the vale,
Humble Quiet builds her cell
Near the source whence Pleasure flows ; She eyes the clear crystalline * well,
And tastes it as it goes.
Mark where Indolence, and Pride,
Sooth’d by Flattery's tinkling sound,
Their dull, but daily round:
* So Milton accents the word:
Par. Lost, Book vi. v. 772.
Say, can they taste the flavour high
Mark Ambition's march sublime
Up to Power's meridian height; While pale-ey'd Enoy sees him climb,
And sickens at the sight. Phantoms of Danger, Death, and Dread, Float hourly round Ambition's head ; While Spleen, within his rival's breast, Sits bronding on her scorpion nest.
Happier he, the Peasant, far,
From the pangs of Passion free,
Of rugged Penury.