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Through moffy grotto's amaranthine bow'rs,
And form a laughing food in vale below: Where oft their limbs the loves and graces bay (When summer sheds insufferable day) [play. And sport, and dive, and flounce in wantonness of No noise o'ercomes the filence of the shades,
Save short-breath'd vows, the dear excess of joy; Or harmlefs giggle of the youths and maids,
Who yield obeisance to the Cyprian boy: Or lute, foft-fighing in the passing gale ; Or fountain, gurgling down the facred vale, Or hymn to beauty's queen, or lover's tender tale. Here Venus revels, here maintains her court,
In light feftivity and gladsome game: The young and gay, in frolic troops resort,
Withouten cenfure and withouten blame. In pleasure steep'd, and dancing in delight, Night steals upon the day, and day on night: Each knight, his lady loves; each lady, loves her
knight. Where lives the man (if such a man there be)
In idle wilderness or desert drear, To beauty's facred pow'r an enemy?
Let foul fiends harrow him ; I'll drop no tear. I deem that carl, by beauty's pow'r unmov'd, Hated of heav'n, of none but hell approv’d. 0 may
he never love, O never be belov'd! Hard is his heart, unmelted by thee, MAY!
Unconscious of love's nectar-tickling ftring, And, unrelenting, cold to beauty's ray;
Beauty the mother and the child of spring! Beauty and wit declare the sexes even; Beauty to woman, wit to man is giv’n; Neither the slime of earth, but each the fire of heav'n. Alliance sweet! let beauty, wit approve,
As flow'rs to sunshine ope the ready breast: Wit beauty loves, and nothing else can love :
The best alone is grateful to the best.
Perfection has no other parallel !
For gold the beauteous fools (O fools besure !) Can win; though brighter wit fhall never move :
But folly is to wit the certain cure.
To languish in the Sulmo poet's arms,
To give to fceptres and to crowns her charms. Not Laura such: in fweet Vauclusa's vale She listen'd'to her Petrarch's amorous tale. But did poor Colin Clout o’er Rosalind prevail ? Howe'er that be; in Acidalian Shade,
Embracing Julia, Ovid melts the day:
Encircled in eternity of MAY.
That e'er with tuneful breath inform’d the quill: Pipe on, of lovers the most loving swain!
Of bliss and melody, O take thy fill!
And grateful as the rofy month of MAY,
Inchanting wild, from every bush and spray:
Let us our steps direct where father Thames,
In filver windings draws his humid train, And pours, where'er he rolls his naval fiream,
Pomp on the city, plenty o'er the plain.
Embofom’d, Surrey, in thy verdant vale,
There gently listen to my faithful tale. Along the dew-bright parterres let us rove, Or taste the odours of the mazy-grove: Hark how the turtles coo: I languish too with love. Amid the pleafaunce of Arcadian scenes,
Love steals his filent arrows on my breast;
Can footh my anguilh, or invite to reft.
heart. With line of filk, with hook of barbed steel,
Beneath this oaken umbrage let us lay, And from the water's cryftal bosom steal
Upon the grassy bank the finny prey: The perch, with purple-speckled manifold; The eel, in silver labyrinth felt roll’d, And carp, all-burniih'd o'er with drops of fcaly
gold. Or shall the meads invite, with Iris' hues
And nature's pencil gay diversify’d, (For now the sun has lick'd away the dews)
Fair flushing and bedeck'd like virgin bride Thither (for they invite us), we'll repair, Collect and weave (whate'er is sweet and fair) A posy for thy brealt, a garland for thy hair.
Fair is the lily, clad in balmy snow;
Sweet is the rose, of spring the smiling eye; Nipt by the winds, their heads the lilies bow;
Cropt by the hand, the roses fade and die. Though now in pride of youth and beauty drest, O think, IANTHE, cruel time lays wafte The roses of the cheek, the lilies of the breast. Weep not; but, rather taught by this, improve
The present freshness of thy springing prime: Bestow thy graces on the god of love,
Too precious for the wither'd arms of time. In chafte endearments, innocently gay, IANTHE! now,—now love thy spring away; Ere cold October blasts despois the bloom of May. Now up the chalky mazes of yon hill,
With grateful diligence, we wind our way, What op'ning scenes our ravish'd senses fill,
And, wide, their rural luxury display!
The gladsome lyre, when livelood swellid my veins And Eden's nymphs and Ilis' damsels sung
In tender elegy, and pastoral strains ; Collect and shed thyself
on Theron's bow'rs, O green his gardens, O perfume his flow'rs, Obless his morning walks and footh his ev’ning hours. Long, Theron, with thy Annabell enjoy
The walks of nature, still to virtue kind, For sacred solitude can never cloy
The wisdom of an uncorrupted mind! O very long may Hymen's golden chain To earth confine you and the rural reign ; Then soar, at length, to Heaven! nor pray, O muse, Where'er the muses haunt, or poets muse,
In folitary filence sweetly tir’d,
Thy vernal stores, by poets most defir'd,
Thy softest plenitude of beauties shed, Thick as the winter stars, or fummer flow'rs;
Albe the tuneful master (ah!) be dead. To Colin next he taught my youth to fing, My reed to warble, to resound my ftring: The king of shepherd's he, of poet's he the king. Hail, happy scenes, where joy wou'd choose to dwell;
Hail, golden days, which Saturn deems his own; Hail music, which the mules scant excel;
Hail flowrets, not unworthy Venus' crown. Ye linnets, larks, ye thrushes, nightingales ; Ye hills, ye plains, ye groves, ye ftreams, ye vales, Ye ever happy scenes! all you, your poet hails. All hail to thee, O MAY! the crown of all !
The recompence and glory of my song: Ne small the recompence, ne glory small,
If gentle ladies, and the tuneful-throng, With lover's-myrtle, and with poet's-bay, Fairly bedight, approve the simple lay, And think on THOMALIN whene'er they hail thee,
SEVEN AGES OF MAN.
ALL the world's a fiage, And all the men and women merely players : They have their exits, and their entrances ; And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven Ages.-At first, the INFANT,