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He will; because it is by him endued
If ev'ry rule of equity demands,
Doubt we of this! what folid proof remains,
The ARBOUR : An Ode to CONTENTMENT.
By Mr. THOMAS COLE.
O these lone shades, where Peace delights to dwell,
May Fortune oft permit me to retreat ; Here bid the world, with all its cares, farewel,
And leave its pleasures to the rich and great.
Oft as the summer's sun shall cheer this fcene,
With that mild gleam which points his parting ray, Here let my soul enjoy each eve ferene,
Here share its calm, 'till life's declining day.
No gladsome image then should 'scape my fight,
From these gay flow'rs, which border near my eye, To yon bright cloud, that decks, with richest light,
The gilded mantle of the western sky,
With ample gaze, I'd trace that ridge remote,
Where op’ning cliffs disclose the boundless main ; With earnest ken, from each low hamlet note
The steeple's summit peeping o'er the plain.
What various works that rural landscape fill,
Where mingling hedge-rows beauteous fields inclofe ;
How should I love to mark that riv'let's maze,
Through which it works its untaught course along; Whilft ncar its graffy banks the herd fhall graze,
And blithsome milkmaid chaunt her thoughtless fong ?
Still would I note the lhades of length'ning sheep,
As scatter'd o'er the hill's Nant brow they rove; Still note the day's laft glimm'ring luftre creep
From off the verge of yonder upland grove.
Nor should my leisure seldom wait to view
forbear the swallow to pursue,
But mostly here should I delight t'explore
The bounteous laws of Nature's myftic pow'r; Then muse on him who blesseth all her store,
And give to folemn thoughts the sober hour.
Let Mirth unenvy'd laugh with proud disdain,
And deem it spleen one moment thus to waste; If so she keep far hence her moisy train,
Nor interrupt thofe joys she cannot taste.
Far sweeter streams shall flow from Wisdom's spring,
Than the receives from Folly's costlieft bowl; And what delights can her chief dainties bring,
Like those which feast the heavenly-pensive soul?
Hail Silence then! be thou my frequent guest;
For thou art wont my gratitude to raise, As high as wonder can the theme suggest,
Whene'er I meditate my Maker's praise.
What joy for tutor'd Piety to learn,
All that my christian folitude can teach, Where weak-ey'd Reason's self may well discern
Each clearer truth the gospel deigns to preach?
No object here but may convince the mind,
Of more than thoughtful honefty shall need; Nor can Suspense long question here to find
Sufficient evidence to fix its creed,
"Tis God that gives this bow'r its aweful glcom;
His arched verdure does its roof inveft;
And with his kindness makes its owner bleft.
Oh! may the guidance of thy grace attend
The use of all thy bounty shall bestow; Left folly hould mistake its facred end,
Or vice convert it into means of woe.
Incline and aid me still my life to steer,
As conscience dictates what to shun or chuse; Nor let my heart feel anxious hope or fear,
For aught this world can give me or refuse.
Then shall not wealth's parade one wish excite,
For wretched state to barter peace away ; Nor vain ambition's lure my pride invite,
Beyond Contentment's humble path to stray.
What tho' thy wisdom may my lot deny,
The treasur'd plenty freely to dispense; Yet well thy goodness can that want supply
With larger portions of benevolence.
And sure the heart that wills the gen'rous deed,
May all the joys of Charity command ; For the best loves from notice to recede,
And deals her unsought gifts with secret hand.
Then will I sometimes bid my fancy steal,
That unclaim'd wealth no property restrains ; Soothe with fictitious aid my friendly zeal,
And realize each godly act she feigns.
So fall I gain the gold without alloy ;
Without oppression, toil, or treach’rous snares ; So shall I know its use, its pow'r employ,
And yet avoid its dangers and its cares.
And spite of all that boastful wealth can do,
In vain would Fortune strive the rich to bless, Were they not flatter'd with some distant view
Of what she ne'er can give them to possess.