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The mind not taught to think, no useful store
To fix reflection, dreads the vacant hour.
Turn'd on its self its num'rous wants are seen,
And all the mighty void that lies within:
Yet cannot wisdom stamp our joys complete;
'Tis conscious virtue crowns the blest retreat.
Who feels not that, the private path must shun,
And fly to public view t'escape his own ; :
In life’s gay scenes uneasy thoughts suppress,
And lull each anxious care in dreams of peace.
'Midst foreign objects not employ'd to roam,
Thought, sadly active, still corrodes at home:
A serious moment breaks the false repose,
And guilt in all its naked horror shows.
He who would know retirement's joy refin’d,
The fair recess must seek with cheerful mind:
No Cynic's pride, no bigot's heated brain,
No frustrate hope, nor love's fantastic pain,
With him must enter the sequester'd cell,
Who means with pleasing folitude to dwell;
But equal passions let his bofom rule, . . :
A judgment candid, and a temper cool,
Enlarg’d with knowledge, and in conscience clear,
Above life’s empty hopes, and death’s vain fear.
Such he must be who greatly lives alone ;
Such Portio is, in crowded scenes unknown.
For public life with every talent born,
Portio far off retires with decent scorn;
Though without business, never unemploy'd,
And life, as more at leisure, more enjoyd : .
For who like him can various science taste,
His mind shall never want an endless feast,
In his bleft ev’ning walk may'st thou, may I,
Oft friendly join in sweet society;
Our lives like his in one smooth current flow,'..
Nor swell’d with tempest, nor too calmly fiow,
Whilst he, like some great fage of Rome or Greece,
Shall calm each rising doubt, and speak us peace,
Correct each thought, each wayward wish controul,
And stamp with every virtue all the soul
Ah! how unlike is Umbrio’s gloomy scene,
Estrang' from all the cheerful ways of men!'.
There superstition works her baneful pow'r,
And darkens all the melancholy hour. .
Unnumber'd fears corrode and haunt his breast,
With all that whim or ign’rance can suggest.
In vain for him kind nature pours her sweets;
The visionary faint no joy admits,
But seeks with pious spleen fantastic woes,
And for heav'n's fake heav'n's offer'd good foregoes.
Whate'er's our choice we still with pride prefer,
And all who deviate, vainly think muft err:
Clodio in books and abstract notions loft,
Sees none but knaves and fools in honor's post;
Whilst Syphax, fond on fortune's sea to sail,
And boldly drive before the flatt'ring gale,
(Forward her dang’rous ocean to explore,)
Condemns as cowards those who make the shore,
Not so my friend impartial,-man he views
Useful in what he shuns as what pursues ;
Sees different turns to gen’ral good conspire,
The hero's passion and the poet's fire ;
Each figure plac'd in nature's wise design,
With true proportion and exactest line:
Sees lights and shades unite in due degree;
And form the whole with faireft symmetry.
CILENT nymph, with curious eye!
w Who, the purple ev'ning, lie
On the mountain's lonely van,
Beyond the noise of busy man,
Painting fair the form of things,
While the yellow linnet sings;
Or the tuneful nightingale
Charms the forest with her tale ; ;
Come with all thy various hues,
Come, and aid thy sister Muse ;
Now while Phoebus riding high
Gives lustre to the land and sky!
Grongar Hill invites my song,
Draw the landskip bright and strong;
Grongar, in whose mossy cells
Sweetly musing Quiet dwells;
Grongar, in whose filent shade,
For the modest Muses made,
So oft I have, the evening still,
At the fountain of a rill,
Sate upon a flow'ry bed,
With my hand beneath my head;
While stray'd my eyes o’er Towy's flood,
Over mead, and over, wood,
From house to house, from hill to hill,
'Till Contemplation had her fill..
About his chequer'd sides I wind,
And leave his brooks and meads behind,
And groves and grottoes where I lay,
And vistoes shooting beams of day:
Wide and wider spreads the vale ;
As circles on a smooth canal ;
The mountains round, unhappy fate !
Sooner or later, all of height,
Withdraw their summits from the skies,
And lessen as the others rife ;
Still the prospect wider spreads,
Adds a thousand woods and meads,
Still it widens, widens still,
And finks the newly-risen hill.