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Of rest was Noah's dove bereft,
That safe retreat, the ark;
Explor’d the sacred bark.
Though fools spurn Hymen's gentle pow'rs,
By sweet experience know,
A paradise below.
Our babes shall richest comforts bring;
Whence pleasures ever rise:
And train them for the skies.
While they our wisest hours engage,
And crown our hoary hairs:
And recompense our cares.
No borrow'd joys, they're all our own, While to the world we live unknown,
Or by the world forgot: Monarchs ! we envy not your state, We look with pity on the great,
And bless our humbler lot.
Our portion is not large indeed,
For nature's calls are few !
And make that little do.
We'll therefore relish with content
Nor aim beyond our pow'r; For if our stock be very small, 'Tis prudent to enjoy it all,
Nor lose the present hour.
To be resign’d when ills betide,
And pleas’d with favours giv'ı,
Whose fragrance smells to heav'ıı.
We'll ask no long protracted treat
But when our feast is o’er,
The relics of our store.
Thus hand in hand through life we'll go, Its chequer'd paths of joy and woe
With cautious steps we'll tread; Quit its vain scenes without a tear, Without a trouble or a fear,
And mingle with the dead:
While conscience, like a faithful friend,
And cheer our dying breath;
And smooth the bed of death.
HYMN ON SOLITUDE.
Hail, mildly-pleasing Solitude!
Oh! how I love with thee to walk,
A thousand shapes you wear with ease, And still in every shape you please. Now, wrapt in some mysterious dream, A lone philosopher you seem; Now quick from hill to vale you fly, And now you sweep the vaulted sky. A shepherd next, you haunt the plain, And warble forth your oaten strain. A lover now, with all the grace Of that sweet passion in your face: Then, calm’d to friendship, you assume The gentle-looking Hartford's bloom, As, with her Musidora, she (Her Musidora fond of thee) Amid the long-withdrawing vale Awakes the rivalld nightingale.
Thine is the balmy breath of morn, Just as the dew-bent rose is born; And while meridian fervours beat, Thine is the woodland duinb retreat: But chief when evening scenes decay, And the faint landscape swims away, Thine is the doubtful soft decline, And that best hour of musing thine.
Descending angels bless thy train, The virtues of the sage and swain; Plain Innocence, in white array'd, Before thee lifts her fearless head: Religion's beams around thee shive, And cheer thy glooms with light divine: About thee sports sweet Liberty; And rapt Urania sings to thee.
Oh! let me pierce thy secret cell, And in thy deep recesses dwell. Perhaps from Norwood's oak-clad hill, When Meditation has her fill, I just may cast my careless eyes Where London's spiry turrets rise, . Think of its crimes, its cares, its pain, Then shield me in the woods again.