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Thus laden, dreain that they are rich and great, In sighs he worships his supremely fair,
Wins in return an answer of disdain.
Rough elm, or smooth-grain'd ash, or glossy becch, A few forsake the throng; with lifted eyes In spiral rings ascends the trunk, and lays Ask wealth of Heav'n, and gain a real prize, Her golden tassels on the leafy sprays, Truth, wisdom, grace, and peace, like that above, But does a mischief while she lends a grace, Seal'd with his signet, whom they serve and love ; Strait'ning it's growth by such a strict embrace; Scorn'd by the rest, with patient hope they wait So love, that clings around the noblest minds, A kind release from their imperfect state,
Forbids thi' advancement of the soul he binds; And, unregretted, are soon snatch'd away
The suitor's air, indeed, he soon improves, From scenes of sorrow into glorious day.
And forms it to the taste of her he loves, Nor these alone prefer a life recluse,
Teaches his eyes a language, and no less Who seek retirement for it's proper use ;
Refines his speech, and fashions his address; The love of change, that lives in ev'ry breast,
But farewell promises of happier fruits, Genius and temper, and desire of rest,
Manly designs, and learning's grave pursuits ; Discordant motives in one centre meet,
Girt with a chain he cannot wish to break. And each inclines it's vot'ry to retreat.
His only bliss is sorrow for her sake;
Who will may pant for glory and excel,
Thyrsis, Alexis, or whatever name
May least offend against so pure a flame, The fruits that hang on pleasure's How'ry stem, Though sage advice of friends the most sincere Whate'er enchants them, are no snares to them.
Sounds harshly in so delicate an ear, To them the deep recess of dusky groves,
And lovers, of all creatures, tame or wild, Or forest, where the deer securely roves,
Can least brook management, however inild, The fall of waters, and the song of birds,
Yet let a poet (poetry disarms And hills that echo to the distant herds,
The fiercest animals with magic charms) Are luxuries excelling all the glare
Risk an intrusion on thy pensive mood, The world can boast, and her chief fav’rites share, And woo and win thee to thy proper good. With eager step, and carelessly array'd,
Pastoral images and still retreats, For such a cause the poet seeks the shade,
Umbrageous walks and solitary seats, From all he sees he catches new delight,
Sweet birds in concert with harmonious streams, Pleas'd Fancy claps her pinions at the sight, Soft airs, nocturnal vigils, and day dreams, The rising or the setting orb of day,
Are all enchantments in a case like thine, The clouds that Ait, or slowly float away,
Conspire against thy peace with one design, Nature in all the various shapes she wears,
Soothe thee to make thee but a surer prey, Frowning in storms, or breathing gentle airs,
And feed the fire, that wastes thy pow'rs away. The snowy robe her wintry state assumes,
Up - God has form’d thee with a wiser view, Her summer heats, her fruits, and her perfumes, Not to be led in chains, but to subdue ; All, all alike transport the glowing bard,
Calls thee to cope with enemies, and first Success in rhyme his glory and reward.
Points out a conflict with thyself, the worst.
Woman indeed, a gift he would bestow
Deserves to be belov'd, but not ador'd.
Post away swiftly to more active scenes,
Mix with the world, but with its wiser part,
No longer give an image all thine heart; And, poring on thy page, whose ev'ry line It's empire is not hers, nor is it thine, Bears proof of an intelligence divine,
'T is God's just claim, prerogative divine. May feel a heart enrich'd by what it pays,
Virtuous and faithful Heberden, whose skill That builds it's glory on it's Maker's praise. Attempts no task it cannot well fulfil, Woe to the man, whose wit disclaims it's use, Gives melancholy up to Nature's care, Glitt'ring in vain, or only to seduce,
And sends the patient into purer air. Who studies nature with a wanton eye,
Look where he comes - in this embower'd alcove Admires the work, but slips the lesson by;
Stand close conceal'd, and see a statue move: His hours of leisure and recess employs
Lips busy, and eyes fix'd, foot falling slow, In drawing pictures of forbidden joys,
Arms hanging idly down, hands clasp'd below, Retires to blazon his own worthless name,
Interpret to the marking eye distress, Or shoot the careless with a surer aim.
Such as it's symptoms can alone express. The lover, too, shuns business and alarıns, That tongue is silent now; that silent tongue Tender idolater of absent charms.
Could argue once, could jest or join the song, Saints offer nothing in their warmest pray’rs, Could give advice, could censure or commend, That he devotes not with a zeal like theirs;
Or charm the sorrows of a drooping friend. "T is consecration of his heart, soul, time,
Renounc'd alike it's office and it's sport, And ev'ry thought that wanders is a crime. It's brisker and it's graver strains fall short;
Both fail beneath a fever's secret sway,
Ye groves, (the statesman at his desh escluins, And like a summer-brook are past away.
Sick of a thousand disappointed aims) This is a sight for Pity to peruse,
My patrimonial treasure and my pride, Till she resemble faintly what she views,
Beneath your shades your gray possessor hide, Till Sympathy contract a kindred pain,
Receive me languishing for that repose, Pierc'd with the woes that she laments in vain. The servant of the public never knows. This, of all maladies that man infest,
Ye saw me once (ah those regretted days, Claims most compassion and receives the least : When boyish innocence was all my praise!) Job felt it, when he groan'd beneath the rod Hour after hour delightfully allot And the barb'd arrows of a frowning God; To studies then familiar, since forgot, And such emollients as his friends could spare, And cultivate a taste for ancient song, Friends such as his for modern Jobs prepare. Catching it's ardour as I mus'd along; Blest, rather curst, with hearts that never feel, Nor seldom, as propitious Heav'n might end, Kept snug in caskets of close-hammer'd steel, What once I valu'd and could boast, a friend, With mouths made only to grin wide and eat, Were witnesses how cordially I pressid And minds, that deem derided pain a treat, His undissembling virtue to my breast; With limbs of British oak, and nerves of wire, Receive me now, not uncorrupt as then, And wit that puppet-prompters might inspire, Nor guiltless of corrupting other men, Their sov’reign nostrum is a clumsy joke,
But vers'd in arts, that, while they seem to stay Or pangs enforc'd with God's severest stroke. A falling empire, hasten it's decay. But with a soul, that ever felt the sting
To the fair haven of my native home, Of sorrow, sorrow is a sacred thing:
The wreck of what I was, fatigued I come; Not to molest, or irritate, or raise
For once I can approve the patriot's voice, A laugh at his expense, is slender praise;
And make the course he recommends my choice: He, that has not usurp'd the name of man, We meet at last in one sincere desire, Does all, and deems too little all, he can,
His wish and mine both prompt me to retire T'assuage the throbbings of a fester'd part, 'T is done — he steps into the welcome chaise, And stanch the bleedings of a broken heart. Lolls at his ease behind four handsome bays 'Tis not, as heads that never ache suppose, That whirl away from business and debate Forg'ry of fancy, and a dream of woes ;
The disencumber'd Atlas of the state. Man is a harp, whose chords elude the sight, Ask not the boy, who, when the breeze of morn Each yielding harmony dispos'd aright ;
First shakes the glitt'ring drops from ev'ry thorth,
Sits linking cherry stones, or platting rush
To draw th' incautious minnow from the brook, Nor soft declivities with tufted hills,
Are life's prime pleasures in his simple view, Nor view of waters turning busy mills,
His flock the chief concern he ever knew; Parks in which Art preceptress Nature weds, She shines but little in his heedless eyes, Nor gardens interspers'd with flow'ry beds, The good we never miss we rarely prize : Nor gales, that catch the scent of blooming groves, But ask the noble drudge in state affairs, And waft it to the mourner as he roves,
Escap'd from office and it's constant cares, Can call up life into his faded eye,
What charms he sees in Freedom's smile expressid, That passes all he sees unheeded by ;
In Freedom lost so long, now repossess'd; No wounds like those a wounded spirit feels, The tongue, whose strains were cogent as com No cure for such, till God who makes them heals.
mands, And thou, sad suffører under nameless ill,
Rever'd at home, and felt in foreign lands, That yields not to the touch of human skill, Shall own itself a stamm'rer in that cause, Improve the kind occasion, understand
Or plead it's silence as it's best applause. A Father's frown, and kiss his chast'ning hand. He knows indeed that whether dress'd or rude, To thee the dayspring, and the blaze of noon, Wild without art, or artfully subdued, The purple ev'ning, and resplendent Moon, Nature in ev'ry form inspires delight, The stars, that, sprinkled o'er the vault of night, But never mark'd her with so just a sight. Seem drops descending in a show'r of light, Her hedge-row shrubs, a variegated store, Shine not, or undesir'd and hated shine,
With woodbine and wild roses mantled o'er, Seen through the medium of a cloud like thine : Green balks and furrow'd lands, the stream that Yet seek him, in his favour life is found,
spreads All bliss beside a shadow or a sound :
It's cooling vapour o'er the dewy meads, Then Heav'n, eclips'd so long, and this dull Earth, Downs, that almost escape th' inquiring eye, Shall seem to start into a second birth;
That melt and fade into the distant sky, Nature, assuming a more lovely face,
Beauties he lately slighted as he pass'd, Borr’wing a beauty from the works of grace,
Seem all created since he travellid last. Shall be despis'd and overlook'd no more,
Master of all th' enjoyments he design'd, Shall fill thee with delights unfelt before,
No rough annoyance rankling in his mind, Impart to things inanimate a voice,
What early philosophic hours
he keeps, And bid her mountains and her hills rejoice; How regular his meals, how sound he sleeps! The sound shall run along the winding vales, Not sounder be, that on the mainmast-head, And thou enjoy an Eden ere it fails.
While morning kindles with a windy red,
Begins a long look out for distant land,
And ignorance of better things makes man,
Is occupied as well, employs his hours
Th' unpitied victim of ill-judg'd expense, But wisely seeks a more convenient friend, From all his wearisome engagements freed, With whom, dismissing forms, he may unbend; Shakes hands with business, and retires indeed. A man, whom marks of condescending grace Your prudent grand-mammas, ye modern belles, Teach, while they flatter him, his proper place;
Content with Bristol, Bath, and Tunbridge Wells, Who comes when call'd, and at a word withdraws, When health required it would consent to roam, Speaks with reserve, and listens with applause; Else more attach'd to pleasures found at home. Some plain mechanic, who, without pretence But now alike, gay widow, virgin, wife, To birth or wit, nor gives nor takes offence; Ingenious to diversify dull life, On whom he rests well-pleas’d his weary pow'rs, In coaches, chaises, caravans, and hoys, And talks and laughs away his vacant hours. Fly to the coast for daily, nightly joys, The tide of life, swift always in its course,
And all, impatient of dry land, agree May run in cities with a brisker force,
With one consent to rush into the sea, But no where with a current so serene,
Ocean exhibits, fathomless and broad, Or half so clear, as in the rural scene.
Much of the pow'r and majesty of God. Yet how fallacious is all earthly bliss,
He swathes about the swelling of the deep, What obvious truths the wisest heads may miss; That shines and rests, as infants smile and sleep; Some pleasures live a month, and some a year,
Vast as it is, it answers as it flows But short the date of all we gather here;
The breathings of the lightest air that blows; No happiness is felt except the true,
Curling and whit’ning over all the waste,
Abrupt and horrid as the tempest roars,
Till he, that rides the whirlwind, checks the rein,
Nereids or Dryads, as the fashion leads, Seems at the best but dreaming life away;
Now in the floods, now panting in the meads, The prospect, such as might enchant despair, Vot'ries of Pleasure still, where'er she dwells, He views it not, or sees no beauty there ;
Near barren rocks, in palaces, or cells, With aching heart, and discontented looks, O grant a poet leave to recommend Returns at noon to billiards or to books,
(A poet fond of Nature, and your friend) But feels, while grasping at his faded joys, Her slighted works to your admiring view ; A secret thirst of his renounc'd employs.
Her works must needs excel, who fashion'd you. He chides the tardiness of ev'ry post,
Would ye, when rambling in your morning ride, Pants to be told of battles won or lost,
With some unmeaning coxcomb at your side, Blames his own indolence, observes, though late, Condemn the prattler for his idle pains, -T is criminal to leave a sinking state,
To waste unheard the music of his strains, Flies to the levee, and receiv'd with grace,
And, deaf to all th' impertinence of tongue, Kneels, kisses hands, and shines again in place. That, while it courts, affronts and does you wrong, Suburban villas, highway-side retreats,
Mark well the finish'd plan without a fault, That dread the encroachment of our growing streets, The seas globose and huge, th' o'er-arching vault, Tight boxes, neatly sash'd, and in a blaze
Earth's millions daily fed, a world employ'd With all a July sun's collected rays,
In gath'ring plenty yet to be enjoy'd, Delight the citizen, who, gasping there,
Till gratitude grew vocal in the praise Breathes clouds of dust, and calls it country air.
Of God, beneficent in all his ways; I sweet retirement, who would balk the thought, Grac'd with such wisdom, how would beauty shine! That could afford retirement, or could not? Ye want but that to seem indeed divine. T is such an easy walk, so smooth and straight, Anticipated rents, and bills unpaid, The second milestone fronts the garden gate; Force many a shining youth into the shade, A step if fair, and, if a show'r approach,
Not to redeem his time, but his estate, You find safe shelter in the next stage-coach. And play the fool, but at a cheaper rate. There, prison'd in a parlour snug and small, There, hid in loath'd obscurity, remov'd Like bottled wasps upon a southern wall,
From pleasures left, but never more belov'd, The man of business and his friends compress'd He just endures, and with a sickly spleen Forget their labours, and yet find no rest; Sighs o'er the beauties of the charming scene. But still 't is rural - trees are to be seen
Nature indeed looks prettily in rhyme; From ev'ry window, and the fields are green ; Streams tinkle sweetly in poetic chime: Ducks paddle in the pond before the door, The warblings of the blackbird, clear and strong, And what could a remoter scene show more? Are musical enough in Thomson's song ; A sense of elegance we rarely find
And Cobham's groves, and Windsor's green retreats, The portion of a mean or vulgar mind,
When Pope describes them, have a thousand sweets ;
He likes, the country, but in truth ust own, Nor yet the swarms, that occupy the brain,
Where dreams of dress, intrigue, and pleasure Poor Jack - no matter who — for when I blame,
reign; I pity, and must therefore sink the name,
Nor such as useless conversation breeds, Liv'd in his saddle, lov'd the chase, the course, Or lust engenders, and indulgence feeds And always, ere he mounted, kiss'd his horse. Whence, and what are we? to what end ordain'd? The estate, his sires had own'd in ancient years, What means the drama by the world sustain'a ? Was quickly distanc'd, match'd against a peer's. Business or vain amusement, care or mirth, Jack vanish'd, was regretted and forgot;
Divide the frail inhabitants of Earth. 'T is wild good-nature's never-failing lot.
Is duty a mere sport, or an employ ?
Is there, as reason, conscience, Scripture, say, My lord, alighting at his usual place,
Cause to provide for a great future day, The Crown, took notice of an ostler's face,
When, Earth's assign'd duration at an end, Jack knew his friend, but hop'd in that disguise Man shall be summon'd and the dead attend? He might escape the most observing eyes,
The trumpet - will it sound ? the curtain rise ? And whistling, as if unconcern’d and gay, And show th' august tribunal of the skies, Curried his nag, and look'd another way.
Where no prevarication shall avail, Convinc'd at last, upon a nearer view,
Where eloquence and artifice shall fail, 'Twas he, the same, the very Jack he knew, The pride of arrogant distinctions fall, O'erwhelm’d at once with wonder, grief, and joy, And conscience and our conduct judge us all ? lle press'd him much to quit his base employ; Pardon me, ye that give the midnight oil His countenance, his purse, his heart, his hand, To learned cares or philosophic toil, Influence and pow'r, were all at his command : Though I revere your honourable names, Peers are not always gen'rous as well bred,
Your useful labours and important aims,
Yet let me stand excus’d, if I esteem
Thus some retire to nourish hopeless woe; And, after poising her advent'rous wings
Settling at last upon eternal things, Some to comply with humour, and a mind
Far more intelligent and better taught To social scenes by nature disinclin'd;
The strenuous use of profitable thought, Some sway'd by fashion, some by deep disgust; Than ye, when happiest and enlighten’d most, Some self-impov'rish'd, and because they must; And highest in renown, can justly boast. But few, that court Retirement; are aware
A nind unnerv’d, or indispos'd to bear Of half the toils they must encounter there. The weight of subjects worthiest of her care, Lucrative offices are seldom lost
Whatever hopes a change of scene inspires, For want of pow’rs proportion'd to the post : Must change her nature, or in vain retires. Give ev'n a dunce th' employment he desires, An idler is a watch, that wants both hands; And he soon finds the talents it requires;
As useless if it goes, as when it stands A business with an income at it's heels
Books therefore, not the scandal of the shelves, Furnishes always oil for it's own wheels
In which lewd sensualists print out themselves; But in his arduous enterprise to close
Nor those, in which the stage gives vice a blow, His active years with indolent repose,
With what success let modern manners show; He finds the labours of that state exceed
Nor his, who, for the bane of thousands born, His utmost faculties, severe indeed.
Built God a church, and laugh'd his word to scorul, 'T is easy to resign a toilsome place,
Skilful alike to seemn devout and just, But not to manage leisure with a grace;
And stab religion with a sly side-thrust; Absence of occupation is not rest,
Nor those of learn'd philologists, who chase
A panting syllable through time and space,
To Gaul, to Greece, and into Noah's ark;
But such as learning without false pretence, Exempt from future service all his days,
The friend of truth, th' associate of sound sense, There feels a pleasure perfect in it's kind,
And such as in the zeal of good design, Ranges at liberty, and snuffs the wind :
Strong judgment lab’ring in the Scripture mine,
Worthy to live, and of eternal use :
Amusement and true knowledge hand in hand.
And, while she polishes, perverts the taste; But reveries (for human minds will act)
Habits of close attention, thinking heads, Specious in show, impossible in fact,
Become more rare as dissipation spreads, Those flimsy webs, that break as soon as wrought, Till authors hear at length one gen'ral cry, Attain not io the dignity of thought :
Tichle and entertain us, or we die.
The loud demand, from year to year the same, His soul exults, hope animates his lays,
And wilds, familiar with a lion's roar,
Ring with ecstatic sounds unheard before: And novels (witness every month's review) "T is love like his, that can alone defeat Belie their name, and offer nothing new.
The foes of man, or make a desert sweet. The mind, relaxing into needful sport,
Religion does not censure or exclude
Unnumber'd pleasures harmlessly pursued;
The grain, or herb, or plant, that each demands;
And share the joys your bounty may create ; Flow'rs by that name promiscuously we call, To mark the matchless workings of the pow'r, But one, the rose, the regent of them all,) - That shuts within it's seed the future flow'r, Friends, not adopted with a schoolboy's haste, Bids these in elegance of form excel, But chosen with a nice discerning taste,
In colour these, and those delight the smell, Well-born, well-disciplin'd, who, plac'd apart Sends Nature forth the daughter of the skies, From vulgar minds, have honour much at heart, To dance on Earth, and charm all human eyes ; And, though the world may think th' ingredients odd, To teach the canvass innocent deceit, The love of virtue, and the fear of God!
Or lay the landscape on the snowy sheet Such friends prevent what else would soon succeed, These, these are arts pursu'd without a crime, A temper rustic as the life we lead,
That leave no stain upon the wing of Time. And keep the polish of the manners clean,
Me poetry (or rather notes that aim As theirs who bustle in the busiest scene;
Feebly and vainly at poetic fame) For solitude, however some may rave,
Employs, shut out from more inportant views, Seeming a sanctuary, proves a grave,
Fast by the banks of the slow-winding Ouse ; A sepulchre, in which the living lie,
Content if thus sequester'd I may raise
The history of the following production is briefly Or sought with energy, must fill the void.
this : A lady, fond of blank verse, demanded a O sacred art, to which alone life owes
poem of that kind from the author, and gave him It's happiest seasons, and a peaceful close,
the Sofa for a subject. He obeyed; and, having Scorn'd in a world, indebted to that scorn
much leisure, connected another subject with it: For evils daily felt and hardly borne,
and, pursuing the train of thought to which his Not knowing thee, we reap with bleeding hands situation and turn of mind led him, brought Flow'rs of rank odour upon thorny lands,
forth at length, instead of the trifle which he at And, while experience cautions us in vain,
first intended, a serious affair -- a volume. Grasp seeming happiness, and find it pain.
In the poem on the subject of Education, he would Despondence, self-deserted in her grief,
be very sorry to stand suspected of having aimed Lost by abandoning her own relief,
his censure at any particular school. His obMurmuring and ungrateful Discontent,
jections are such as naturally apply themselves That scorns afflictions mercifully meant,
to schools in general. If there were not, as for Those humours tart as wines upon the fret,
the most part there is, wilful neglect in those Which idleness and weariness beget ;
who manage them, and an omission even of These, and a thousand plagues, that haunt the breast, such discipline as they are susceptible of, the Fond of the phantom of an earthly rest,
objects are yet too numerous for minute atDivine communion chases, as the day
tention; and the aching hearts of ten thousand Drives to their dens th' obedient beasts of prey. parents, mourning under the bitterest of all disSee Judah's promis'd king bereft of all,
appointments, attest the truth of the allegation. Driv'n out an exile from the face of Saul,
His quarrel, therefore, is with the mischief at To distant caves the lonely wand'rer flies,
large, and not with any particular instance of it. To seek that peace a tyrant's frown denies, Hear the sweet accents of his tuneful voice,
Argument. Suff'ring with gladness for a Saviour's sake; Historical deduction of seats, from the stool to the
Sofa. A school-boy's ramble. A walk in the * Bruyere.
country. The scene described. Rural sounds