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When, to confirm his lofty plea,
In nuptial sort, with bridal gold,
The grave Venetian weds the sea :
Each laughing Mufe derides the vow;
Ev'n Adria fcorns the mock embrace,
To some lone hermit on the mountain's brow,
Allotted, from his natal hour,
With all her myrtle shores in dow'r.
His breast to admiration prone
Enjoys the smile upon her face,
Enjoys triumphant every grace,
And finds her more his own.
Fatigu'd with form's oppressive laws,
When Somerset avoids the Great;
When cloy'd with merited applause,
She seeks the rural calm retreat ;
Does the not praise each mofly cell,
And feel the truth my numbers tell ?
When deafen'd by the loud acclaim,
Which genius grac'd with rank obtains,
Could she not more delighted hear
Yon throftle chaunt the rising year ?
Could she not spurn the wreaths of fame,
To crop the primrose of the plains ?
Does she not sweets in each fair valley find,
Lost to the sons of pow'r, unknown to half mankind ?
Ah can she covet there to see
The splendid slaves, the reptile race,
That oil the tongue, and bow the knees
That slight hér merit, but adore her place?
Far happier, if aright I deem,
When from gay throngs, and gilded spires,
To where the lonely halcyons play,
Her philosophick step retires :
While studious of the moral theme,
She, to some smooth fequefter'd stream
Likens the fwain's inglorious day ;
Pleas'd from the flowery margin to survey,
How cool, serene, and clear the current glides away.
O blind to truth, to virtue blind,
Who flight the sweetly-pensive mind !
On whose fair birth the Graces mild,
And every Muse prophetick smil'd.
Not that the poet's boasted fire
Should Fame's wide-echoing trumpet swell;
Or, on the musick of his lyre
Each future age with rapture dwell;
The vaunted sweet of praise remove,
Yet shall such bofoms claim a part
In all that glads the human heart; Yet these the spirits, form’d to judge and prove Allnature's charmsimmense, and Heav'n's unbounded love.
XIV. And 3
And oh! the transport, most ally'd to song,
In some fair villa's peaceful bound,
To catch soft hints from Nature's tongue,
And bid Arcadia bloom around :
Whether we fringe the sloping hill,
Or smoothe below the verdant mead;
Whether we break the falling rill,
Or thro' meandering mazes lead;
Or in the horrid bramble's room
Bid careless groups of roses bloom ;
Or let some shelter'd lake serene
Reflect flow'rs, woods and spires, and brighten all the scene.
O sweet disposal of the rural hour!
O beauties never known to cloy!
While worth and genius haunt the favour'd bow'r,
And every gentle breast partakes the joy!
While Charity at eve surveys the fwain,
Enabled by these toils to chear
A train of helpless infants dear,
Speed whistling home across the plain;
Sees vagrant Luxury, her hand-maid grown,
For half her graceless deeds attone, And hails the bounteous work, and ranks it with her own.
Why brand these pleasures with the name
Of soft, unsocial toils, of indolence and shame?
Search but the garden, or the wood,
Let admir'd carnation own,
Not all was meant for raiment, or for food,
Not all for needful use alone;
There while the feed of future blossoms dwell,
'Tis colour’d for the fight, perfum'd to please the smell.
Why knows the nightingale to sing ?
Why flows the pine's nectareous juice ?
Why shines with paint the linnet's wing?
For suítenance alone? for use ?
For preservation ? Every sphere
Shall bid fair Pleasure's rightful claim appear.
And sure there seem, of human kind,
Some born to fhun the solemn strife;
Some for amufive tasks defign'd,
To soothe the certain ills of life;
Grace it's lone vales with many a budding rose,
New founts of bliss disclose,
Call forth refreshing shades, and decorate repose.
From plains and woodlands; from the view
Of rural Nature's blooming face,
Smit with the glare of rank and place,
To courts the fons of Fancy flew ;
There long had Art ordain'd a rival feat;
There had fhe lavish'd all her care
To form a scene more dazling fair, And call'd them from their
To share her proud controul ;
Had giv’n the robe with grace to flow,
Had taught exotick gems to flow;
And emulous of nature's pow'r,
Mimick'd the plume, the leaf, the flow'r;
Chang'd the complexion's native hue,
Moulded each rustick limb anew,
And warp'd the very foul !
Awhile her magick strikes the novel eye,
Awhile the faery forms delight;
And now aloof we seem to fly
On purple pinions thro' a purer sky,
Where all is wonderous, all is bright:
Now landed on some spangled shore
Awhile each dazled maniac roves
By saphire lakes, thro'em'rald groves,
Paternal acres please no more ;
Adieu the simple, the sincere delight
Th’habitual scene of hill and dale,
The rural herds, the vernal gale,
The tangled vetch's purple bloom,
The fragrance of the bean's perfume,
Be theirs alone who cultivate the soil,
And drink the cup of thirst, and eat the bread of toil,