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Fresh pastures speckled o'er with sheep,
Brown fields their fallow sabbaths keep,
Plump Ceres golden tresses wear,
And poppy top-knots deck her hair,
And silver streams through meadows stray,
And Naiads on the margin play,
And lesser nymphs, on side of hills,
From plaything urns pour down the rills.
Thus shelter'd, free from care and strife,
May I enjoy a calın through life;
See faction safe in low degree,
As men at land see storms at sea,
And laugh at miserable elves,
Not kind, so much as to themselves,
Curs'd with such souls of base alloy,
As can possess, but not enjoy ;
Debarr'd the pleasure to impart
By avarice, sphincter of the heart ;
Who wealth, hard earn’d by guilty cares,
Bequeath untouch'd to thankless heirs.
May I, with look ungloom'd by guile,
And wearing Virtue's livery-smile,
Prone the distressed to relieve,
And little trespasses forgive;
With income not in Fortune's pow'r,
And skill to make a busy hour,
And trips to town, life to amuse,
To purchase books, and hear the news,
To see old friends, brush off the clown,
And quicken taste at coming down,
Unhurt by sickness' blasting rage,
And slowly mellowing in age,
When Fate extends its gathering gripe,
Fall off, like fruit grown fully ripe ;
Quite a worn being without pain,
Perhaps to blossom soon again.
But now more serious see me grow,
And what I think, my Memmius, know.
Th’enthusiast's hope, and raptures wild,
Have never yet my reason foild.
His springy soul dilates like air,
When free from weight of ambient care,
And hush'd in meditation deep,
Slides into dreams, as when asleep;
Then, fond of new discoveries grown,
Proves a Columbus of her own,
Disdains the narrow bounds of place,
And through the wilds of endless space,
Borne up on metaphysic wings,
Chases light forms and shadowy things,
And, in the vague excursion caught,
Brings home some rare exotic thought.
The melancholy man such dreams,
As brightest evidence, esteems;
Fain would he see some distant scene
Suggested by his restless Spleen,
And Fancy's telescope applies,
With tinctur'd glass, to cheat his eyes.
Such thoughts, as love the gloom of night,
I close examine by the light;
For who, though brib'd by gain to lie,
Dare sunbeam-written truths deny,
And execute plain common sense,
On Faith's mere hearsay evidence ?
That superstition mayn't create,
And club its ills with those of fate,
I many a notion take to task,
Made dreadful by its visor-mask,
Thus scruple, spasm of the mind,
Is cur'd, and certainty I find ;
Since optic reason shows me plain,
I dreaded sceptres of the brain;
And legendary fears are gone,
Though in tenacious childhood sown.
Thus in opinions I commence
Freeholder, in the proper sense,
And neither suit nor service do,
Nor homage to pretenders show,
Who boast themselves, by spurious roll,
Lords of the manor of the soul;
Preferring sense, from chin that's bare,
To nonsense thron'd in whisker'd hair.
• To thee, Creator uncreate,
O Entium Ens ! divinely great!'-
Hold, Muse, nor melting pinions try,
Nor near the blazing glory fly;
Nor, straining, break thy feeble bow,
Unfeather'd arrows far to throw
Through fields unknown, nor madly stray,
Where no ideas mark the way.
With tender eyes, and colours faint,
And trembling hands forbear to faint.
Wbo, features veild by light, can hit ?
Where can, what has no outline, sit ?
My soul, the vain attempt forego,
Thyself, the fitter subject, know.
He wisely shuns the bold extreme,
W.bo soon lays by th’unequal theme,
Nor runs, with wisdom's sirens caught,
On quicksands swallowing shipwreck'd thought :
But, conscious of his distance, gives
Mute praise, and humble negatives.
In one, no object of our sight,
Immutable, and infinite,
Who can't be cruel, or unjust,
Calm and resign'd, I fix my trust;
To him my past and present state
I owe, and must my future fate.
A stranger into life I'm come,
Dying may be our going home:
Transported here by angry fate,
The convicts of a prior state.
Hence, I no anxious thoughts bestow
On matters I can never know:
Through life's foul way, like vagrant, pass'd,
He'll grant à settlement at last;
And with sweet ease the wearied crown,
By leave to lay his being down.
If doom'd to dance th' eternal round
Of life, no sooner lost but found,
And dissolution, soon to come,
Like spunge, wipes out life's present sum,
But can't our state of pow'r bereave
An endless series to receive;
Then, if hard dealt with here by fate,
We balance in another state,
And consciousness must go along,
And sigh th' acquittance for the wrong,
He for his creatures must decree
More happiness than misery.
Or be supposed to create,
Curious to try, what 'tis to hate :
And do an act, which rage infers,
'Cause laneness balts, or blindness errs.
Thus, thus I steer my bark, and sail
On even keel with gentle gale;
At helm I make my reason sit,
My crew of passions all submit.
If dark and blustering prove some nights,
Philosophy puts forth her lights;
Experience holds the cautious glass,
To shun the breakers, as I pass,
And frequent throws the wary lead,
To see what dangers may be hid :
And once in seven years
At Bath or Tunbridge, to careen.
Though pleas'd to see the dolphins play,
I mind my compass and my way:
With store sufficient for relief,
And wisely still prepar'd to reef;
Nor wanting the dispersive bowl
Of cloudy weather in the soul,
I make (may Heaven propitious send
Such wind and weather to the end !)
Neither becalm’d, nor over-blown,
Life's voyage to the world unknown. Greent.
THE TRAVELLER: OR, A PROSPECT OF SOCIETY.
Inscribed to the Rev. H. Goldsmith.
REMOTE, unfriendly, melancholy, slow,
Or by the lazy Scheld, or wandering Po;
Or onward, where the rude Carinthian boor
Against the houseless stranger shuts the door;
Or where Campania's plain forsaken lies,
A weary waste expanding to the skies ;
Where'er I roam, whatever realms to see,
My heart, untravell’d, fondly turns to thee :