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Unfit she said, for perilous attempt,
That manly limb requir'd, and finews tough.
She took, and lay'd me in a vale remote,
Amid the gloomy scene of fir and yew,
On poppy beds, where Morpheus ftrew'd the ground:
Obscurity her curtain round me drew,
And syren Sloth a dull quietus sung.
Sithence no fairy lights, no quick’ning ray,
Nor ftir of pulse, nor objects to entice
Abroad the spirits; but the cloyster'd heart
Sits squat at home, like pagod in a nitch
Obscure, or grandees with nod-watching eye,
And folded arms, in presence of the throne,
Turk, or Indostan.-Cities, forums, courts
And prating fanhedrims, and drumming wars,
Affect no more than stories told to bed
Lethargic, which at intervals the fick
Hears and forgets, and wakes to doze again.
Instead of converse and variety,
The same trite round, the same stale filent scene :
Such are thy comforts, blessed Solitude !
But Innocence is there, but Peace all kind,
And fimple Quiet with her downy couch,
Meads lowing, tune of birds, and lapse of streams,
And Saunter, with a book, and warbling Muse,
In praise of hawthorns.---Life's whole business this!
Is it to bask i' th' fun, if so, a snail
Were happy crawling on a southern wall.
Why fits Content upon a cottage-fill
At eventide, and blesseth the coarse meal
In footy corner ? why sweet slumbers wait
Th' hard pallet ? not because from haunt remote
Sequefter'd in a dingle's bushy lap :
'Tis labour makes the peasant's fav'ry fare,
And works out his repose : for ease must ask
The leave of diligence to be enjoy’d.
Oh! liften not to that enchantress Ease
With seeming smile, her palatable cup
By standing grows infipid ; and beware
The bottom, for there's poison in the lees.
What health impair'd, and crowds inactive maim'd ?
What daily martyrs to her sluggish cause !
Less strict devoir the Russ and Persian claim
Despotic ; and as subjects long inur'd
To servile burden, grow supine and tame,
So fares it with our sov'reign and her train.
What tho' with lure fallacious fhe pretend
From worldly bondage to set free, what gain
Her votaries? What avails from iron chains
Exempt, if rosy fetters bind as fast.
Beitir, and answer your creation's end.
Think we that man with vig'rous pow'r endow'd,
And room to stretch, was destin'd to fit ftill ?
Sluggards are nature's rebels, flight her laws,
Nor live up to the terms on which they hold
Their vital lease. Laborious terms and hard,
But such the tenure of our earthly state!
Riches and fame are Industry's reward ;
The nimble runner courses Fortune downl,
And then he banquets, for the feeds the bold.
Think what you owe your country, what yourself.
If splendor charm not; yet avoid the scorn
That treads on lowly stations. Think of some
Aliiduous booby mounting o'er your head,
And thence with saucy grandeur looking down :
Think of (Reflection's stab!) the pitying friend
With shoulder shrug'd, and forry. Think that Time
Has golden minutes, if discreetly seiz'd :
And if some fad example, indolent,
To warn and scare be wanting
_think of me.
To the Reverend T-T, D. D.
Rench pow'r, and weak allies, and war, and want
No more of that, my friend ; you touch a string
That hurts my ear. All politics apart,
Except a gen’rous wish, a glowing prayer
For British welfare, commerce, glory, peace.
Give party to the winds : it is a word,
A phantom found, by which the cunning great
Whistle to their dependents: a decoy
To gull th' unwary, where the master stands
Encouraging his minions, his train'd birds,
Fed and carefs'd their species to betray.
See with what hollow blandishment and art
They lead the winged captive to the snare !
Fools ! that in open æther might have foar’d,
Free as the air they cut; sip'd purest rills,
Din'd with the Thames, or bath'd in crystal lakes,
We wear no badges, no dependence own :
Who truly loves thee, dearest Liberty,
A filken fetter will uneasy fit.
Heav'n knows it is not Insolence that speaks !
The tribute of respect to greatness due
Not the brib'd sycophant more willing pays.
Still, still as much of party be retain’d,
As principle requires, and sense directs :
Else our vain bark, without a rudder, floats
The scorn and pastime of each veering gale.
This gentle ev’ning let the sun descend
Untroubled, while it paints your ambient hills
With faded lustre, and a sweet farewel.
Here is our feat: that castle opposite,
Proud of its woody brow, adorns the scene.
Dictate, O vers’d in books, and just of taite,
Dictate the pleasing theme of our discourse.
Shall we trace Science from her Eastern home
Chaldæan; or the banks of Nile, where Thebes,
Nursing her daughter arts, majestic stood,
And pour'd forth knowledge from an hundred gates?
There first the marble learn'd to mimic life,
The pillar'd temple rose, and pyramids,
Whose undecaying grandeur laughs at Time;
Birth-place of letters, where the sun was shewn
His radiant way, and heav'ns were taught to roll.
There too the Muses tun'd their earliest lyre,
Warbling soft numbers to Serapis' ear ;
'Till chac'd by tyrants, or a milder clime
Inviting, they remov’d-with pilgrim harps,
And all their band of harmony to Greece.
As when a flock of linnets, if perchance
Deliver'd from the falcon's talon, fly
With trembling wing to cover, and renew
Their notes ; tell ev'ry buth of their escape,
And thrill their merry thanks to Liberty.
The tuneful tribe, pleas'd with their new abode, * Polish'd the rude inhabitants, whence tales
Of lift'ning woods, and rocks that danc'd to found.
Hear the full chorus lifting hymns to Jove!
Linus and Orpheus catch the strain, and all
The raptur'd audience utter loud applause.
A song, believe me, was no trifle then :
Weighty the Muse's talk, and wide her sway:
Her's was religion, the resounding fanes
Echo'd her language; polity was her's,
And the world bow'd to legislative verse.
As states increas'd, and governments were form'd,
Her aid less useful, me retir'd to grots