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Some hov'ring doubts his anxious bosom mov'd, And virtue, zealous fair! those doubts improv'd.
“ Fly, Ay, fond youth, the too indulgent maid, Nor err, by such fantastic scenes betray'd. Tho' in my path the rugged thorn be seen, And the dry turf disclose a fainter green ; Tho' no gay rose, or flow'ry product shine, The barren surface still conceals the mine. Each thorn that threatens, ev'n the weed that grows In virtue's path, fuperior (weets bestows--Yet shou'd those boasted, specious toys allure, Whence cou'd fond Noth the Aattring gifts procure ? The various wealth that tempts thy fond desire, 'Tis I alone, her greatest foe, acquire. I from old ocean rob the treasur'd store ; I thro' each region, latent gems explore ; 'Twas I the rugged brilliant first reveald, By num'rous strata deep in earth conceal'd; 'Tis I the surface yet refine, and shew The modest gem's intrinsic charms to glow. Nor swells the grape, nor spires its feeble tree Without the firm supports of industry.
But grant we floth the scene herself has drawn, The mossy grotto, and the flow'ry lawn ; Let PHILOMELA tune th' harmonious gale, And with each breeze eternal sweets exhale ; Let gay Pomona slight the plains around, And chuse, for fairest fruits, the favour'd ground; 3
To bless the fertile vale fhou'd virtue cease,
Nor molly grots, nor flow'ry lawns cou'd please ;
Nor gay Pomona's luscious gifts avail,
The found harmonious, or the spicy gale.
Seest thou yon rocks in dreadful pomp arise, ,
Whose rugged cliffs deform th' encircling skies?
Those fields, whence PHOEBUs all their moisture drains,
And, too profusely fond, disrobes the plains ?
When I vouchfafe to tread the barren foil,
Those rocks seem lovely, and those deferts smile.
The form thou view'st, to ev'ry scene with ease
Transfers its charms, and ev'ry scene can please.
When I have on those pathless wilds appear’d,
And the lone wand'rer with my presence chear'd;
Those cliffs the exile has with pleasure view'd,
And call'd that defert blissful folitude !
Nor I alone to fuch extend my care :
Fair-blooming health surveys her altars there,
Brown exercise will lead thee where the reigns,
And with reflected lustre gild the plains.
With her, in flow'r of youth, and beauty's pride,
Her offspring, calm content and peace, reside.
One ready off'ring suits each neighb'ring shrine ;
And all obey their laws, who practise mine.
But health averse from Noth's smooth region fies;
And, in her absence, pleasure droops and dies.
Her bright companions, mirth, delight, repose,
Smile where ihe smiles, and ficken when she goes.
A galaxy of pow'rs! whose forms appear
For ever beauteous, and for ever near.
Nor will soft Neep to noth's request'incline,
He from her couches flies unbid to mine.
Vain is the sparkling bowl, the warbling strain,
Th’incentive song, the labour'd viand vain !
Where she relentless reigns without controul,
And checks each gay excursion of the foul:
Unmov'd, tho’ beauty, deck'd in all its charms,
Grace the rich couch, and spread the softest arms :
Till joyless indolence suggests desires;
Or drugs are sought to furnish languid fires :
Such languid fires as on the vitals prey,
Barren of bliss, but fertile of decay.
As artful heats, apply'd to thirfty lands,
Produce no flow'rs, and but debase the sands.
But let fair health her chearing smiles impart,
How sweet is nature, how superfluous art !
'Tis she the fountain's ready draught commends,
And smooths the finty couch which fortune lends.
And, when my hero from his toils retires,
Fills his gay bosom with unusual fires,
And, while no checks th’ unbounded joy reprove,
Aids and refines the genuine sweets of love.
His faireft prospect rising trophies frame :
His sweetest music is the voice of fame;
Pleasures to noth unknown ! she never found
How fair the prospect, or how sweet the found.
See fame's gay structure from yon fummit charms, And fires the manly breast to arts or arms : Nor dread the steep ascent, by which you rise From grov'ling vales to tow'rs which reach the skies.
Love, fame, esteem, 'tis labour must acquire ; The smiling offspring of a rigid fire ! To fix the friend, your service must be shewn; All, ere they lov'd your merit, lov'd their own. That wond'ring Greece your portrait may admire, That tuneful bards may string for you
their lyre, That books may praise, or coins record your name, Such, such rewards 'tis toil alone can claim ! And the same column which displays to view The conqu’ror's name, displays the conquest too.
'Twas now experience, tedious mistress ! taught
All that e'er nobly spoke, or bravely fought.
'Twas she the patriot, she the bard refin'd,
In arts that serve, protect, or please mankind.
Not the vain visions of inactive schools,
Not fancy's maxims, not opinion's rules
E’er form’d the man whose gen’rous warmth extends
T'enrich his country, or to serve his friends.
On active worth the laurel war bestows :
Peace rears her olive for industrious brows:
Nor earth, unculcur’d, yields its kind supplies :
Nor heav'n, its show'rs without a sacrifice.
See far below such grov'ling scenes of shame,
As lull to rest Ignavia's Numb'ring dame.
Her friends, from all the toils of fame secure,
Alas! inglorious, greater toils endure.
Doom'd all to mourn, who in her cause engage,
A youth enervate, and a painful age !
A fickly sapless mass, if reason fies;
And, if she linger, impotently wise !
A thoughtless train, who pamper'd, neek, and gay,
Invite old age, and revel youth away ;
From life's fresh vigour move the load of care,
And idly place it where they least can bear.
When to the mind, diseas’d, for aid they fly,
What kind reflection shall the mind supply?
When, with loft health, what shou'd the loss allay,
Peace, peace is lost: a comfortless decay!
But to my friends, when youth, when pleasure flies,
And earth's dim beauties fade before their eyes,
Thro' death's dark vista flowery tracts are seen,
Elysian plains, and groves for ever green.
If o'er their lives a refluent glance they cast,
Their's is the present who can praise the past.
Life has its bliss for these, when past its bloom,
As wither’d roses yield a late perfume.
Serene, and safe from passion's stormy rage,
How calm they glide into the port of age !
Of the rude voyage less depriv'd than eas'd;
More tir'd than pain’d, and weaken’d than diseas’d.
For health on age, 'tis temp'rance must bestow;
And peace from piety alone can flow;