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VERSE'S to WILLIAM Shenstone,
On receiving a Gilt Pocket-Book. 1751.
By Mr. J. AGO.
HESE spotless leaves, this neat array
Might well invite your charming quill, In fair assemblage to display
The power of learning, wit, and skill :
But since you carelessly refuse,
And to my pen the task assign;
And every vulgar thought refine.
Teach me your best, your
beft-lov'd art, With frugal care to store my mind; In this to play the miser's part,
And give mean lucre to the wind :
To fun the coxcomb's empty noise ;
; Nor trust gay pleasure's fleeting joys,
Nor urge ambition's endless talk.
Teach me to ftem youth's boisterous tide ;
To regulate its giddy rage ;
Into the friendly port of age :
To share what clalic culture yields;
Thro’ rhetoric's painted meads to roam; With
historic fields, And bring the golden harvest home :
To taste the genuine sweets of wit ;
To quaff in humour's sprightly bowl; The philofophic mean to hit,
And prize the dignity of foul.
Teach me to read fair Nature's book,
Wide-opening in each flowery plain ; And with judicious eye to look
On all the glories of her reign.
To hail her seated on her throne;
By aweful woods encompass'd round: Or her divine extraction own,
Tho' with a wreath of rushes crown'd.
Thro' arched walks, 'o'er spreading lawns,
Near solemn rocks, with her to rove:
Whether the prospect strain the fight,
Or in the nearer landskips charm,
To grace our sweet Arcadian farm,
There let me fit; and
Both fair, but faireft, thus combin'd!
The SW ALLOWS.
Written September, 1748,
By the Same.
RE yellow Autumn from our plains retir'd,
And gave to wintry storms the varied year, The Swallow-race, with foresight clear inspir’d,
To Southern climes prepar'd their course to steer.
On Damon's roof a grave assembly fate;
His roof, a refuge to the feather'd kind; With serious look he mark'd the nice debate,
And to his Delia thus address'd his mind.
Observe yon twitt’ring flock, my gentle maid,
Observe, and read the wondrous ways of heav'n! With us thro’ summer's genial reign they stay'd,
And food, and lodging to their wants were giv'n.
But now, thro' facred prescience, well they know
The near approach of elemental strife ; The blustry tempeft, and the chilling snow,
With ev'ry want, and scourge of tender life!
Thus taught, they meditate a speedy flight;
For this, ev'n now they prune their vig'rous wing; For this, consult, advise, prepare, excite,
And prove their strength in many an airy ring.
No forrow loads their breast, or swells their eye,
To quit their friendly haunts, or native home; Nor fear they, launching on the boundless sky,
In search of future settlements, to roam.
They feel a pow'r, an inpulse all divine !
That warns the in hence; they feel it, and obey; To this direction all their cares resign,
Unknown their destin'd stage, unmark'd their way!
Well fare your flight! ye mild domestic race !
Oh! for your wings to travel with the fun!
Till your long voyage happily be done!
See, Delia, on my roof your guests to-day ;
To-morrow on my roof your guests no more ! Ere yet ’tis night, with hafte they wing away,
To-morrow lands them on fome safer shore.
How just the moral in this scene convey'd !
And what without a moral wou'd we read ? Then mark what Damon tells his gentle maid,
And with bis leffon register the deed.
'Tis thus life's chearful seasons roll away;
Thus threats the winter of inclement age ; Our time of action but a summer's day;
And earth's frail orb the fadly-varied ftage!
And does no pow'r its friendly aid dispense,
Nor give us tidings of some happier clime ? Find we no guide in gracious Providence
Beyond the stroke of death, the verge of time !
Yes, yes, the sacred oracles we hear,
That point the path to realms of endless day : That bid our hearts, nor death, nor anguish fear,
This future transport, that to life the way.
Then let us timely for our flight prepare,
And form the soul for her divine abode ; Obey the call, and trust the Leader's care
To bring us safe thro' Virtue's paths to God.