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ELEGY X.

Ito fortune, suggesting bis motive for repining at her dispensations.

AS K not the cause, why this rebellious tongue
Loads with fresh curses thy detested sway;
Ask not, thus branded in my softest song,

Why stands the flatter'd name, which all obey?

'Tis not, that in my shed I lurk forlorn,
Nor see my roof on Parian columns rise;

That, on this breast, no mimic star is borne,

Rever'd, ah! more than those that light the skies.

'Tis not, that on the turf supinely laid,
I sing or pipe, but to the flocks that graze;

And, all inglorious, in the lonesome shade,
My finger stiffens, and my voice decays.

Not, that my fancy mourns thy stern command,
When many an embrio dome is lost in air;

While guardian prudence checks my eager hand,
And, ere the turf is broken, cries, "Forbear.

"Forbear, vain youth! be cautious, weigh thy gold;

"Nor let yon rising column more aspire; ** Ah! better dwell in ruins, than behold

"Thy fortunes mould'ring, and thy domes entire.

D 3 i* Honouio "Honorio built, but dar'd my laws defy;

"He planted, scornful of my sage commands; .'* The peach's vernal bud regal'd his eye;

"The fruitage ripen'd for more frugal hands."

See the small stream that pours its murm'ring tide O'er some rough rock that wou'd its wealth display,

Displays it aught but penury and pride?

Ah! construe wisely what such murmurs say.

How wou'd some flood, with ampler treasures blest,
Disdainful view the scantling drops distil!

How must * Velino shake his reedy crest 1
How ev'ry cygnet mock the boastive rill!

Fortune, I yield! and see, I give the sign;

At noon the poor mechanic wanders home; Collects the square, the level, and the line,

And, with retorted eye, forsakes the dome.

Yes, I can patient view the shadeless plains;

Can unrepining leave the rising wall; Check the sond love of art that fir'd my veins,

And my warm hopes, in full pursuit, recall.

• A river in Italy, that falls an hundred yards perpendicular.

Descend, Descend, ye storms! destroy my rising pile;

Loos'd be the whirlwind's unremitting sway; "Contented I, altho' the gazer smile

To see it scarce survive a winter's day.

Let some dull dotard bask in thy gay shrine,
As in the sun regales his wanton herd;

Guiltless of envy, why shou'd I repine,

That his rude voice, his grating reed's prefer'd?

Let him exult, with boundless wealth supply'd, Mine and the swain's reluctant homage share;

But ah 1 his tawdry shepherdess's pride,

Gods! must my Delia, must my Delia bear?

Must Delia's softness, elegance, and ease

Submit to Marian's dress? to Marian's gold?

Must Marian's robe from distant India please? The simple fleece my Delia's limbs enfold?

** Yet sure on Delia seems the russet fair

** Ye glitt'ring daughters of disguise adieu!"

So talk the wise, who judge of shape and air,
But will the rural thane "decide so true?

Ah! what is native worth esteem'd of clowns?

'T is thy false glare, O fortune! thine they see: 'Tis for my Delia's sake I dread thy frowns,

And my last gasp shall curses breathe on thee.

D 4 ELEG ELEGY XL

Me corn-plains how soon the pleasing novelty of life ut over. To Mr. J

AH me, my friend! it will not, will not last!
This fairy-scene, that cheats our youthful eyes!
The charm dissolves; th' aerial music's past j
The banquet ceases, and the vision flies.

Where are the splendid forms, the rich perfumes,
Where the gay tapers, where the spacious dome?

Vanish'd the costly pearls, the crimson plumes,
And we, delightless, left to wander home!

Vain now are books, thfc sage's wisdom vain!

What has the world to bribe our steps astray? Ere reason learns by study'd laws to reign,

The weaken'd passions, self-subdued, obey.

Scarce has the sun sev'n annual courses roll'd,

Scarce stiewn the whole that fortune can supply;

Since, not the miser so caress'd his gold,
As I, for what it gave, was heard to sigh.

On the world's stage I wish'd some sprightly part;

To deck my native fleece with tawdry lace; 'Twas life, 'twas taste, and—oh my foolish heart!

Substantial joy was fix'd in pow'r and pUce.

And

And you, ye works of art! allur'd mine eye,
The breathing picture, and the living stone 1

'* Tho' gold, tho' splendour, heav'n and fate deny, "Yet might I call one Titian stroke my own!"

Smit with the charms of fame, whose lovely spoil,
The wreath, the garland, fire the poet's pride,

I trim'd my lamp, consum'd the midnight oil—
But soon the paths of health and fame divide!

Oft too I pray'd, 'twas nature form'd the pray'r,
To grace my native scenes, my rural home;

To see my trees express their planter's care,
And gay, on Attic models, raise my dome.

But now 'tis o'er, the dear delusion's o'er!

A stagnant breezeless air becalms my soul: A fond aspiring candidate no more,

I scorn the palm, before I reach the goal.

O youth! enchanting stage, profusely blest!

Bliss ev'n obtrusive courts the frolic mind •, Of health neglectful, yet by health carest;

Careless of favour, yet secure to find.

Then glows the breast, as op'ning roses fair;

More free, more vivid than the linnet's wing; Jionest as light, transparent ev'n as air,

Tender as buds, and lavish as the spring.

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