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Visit the spacious heavens, and look abroad
On Nature's common, far as they can see,
Or wing, their range, and pasture. O'er the boughs
Dancing about, still at the giddy verge
Their resolution fails; their pinions still,
Jn loose libration stretch'd, to trust the void
Trembling refuse, till down before them fly
The parent-guides, and chide, exhort, command,
Or push them off". The surging air receives
The plumy burden; and their self-taught wings
Winnow the waving element. On ground
Alighted, bolder up again they lead,
Farther and farther on the lengthening flight;
Till vanish'd every fear, and every power
Rouz'd into life and action, light in air
Th' acquitted parents see their soaring race,
And once rejoiciag never know them more.
Domestic Love and Happiness.
But happy they! the happiest of their kind!
"Whom gentler stars unite, and in one fate
Their hearts, their fortunes, and their beings blend.
'Tis not the coarser tie of human laws,
Unnatural oft, and foreign to the mind,
That binds their peace, but harmony itself,
Attuning all their passions into love;
Where friendship full exerts her softest power,
Perfect esteem enliven'd by desire
Ineffable, and sympathy of soul;
Thought meeting thought, and will preventing will,
With boundless confidence: for nought but Jove
Can answer love, and render bliss secure.
Let him, ungenerous, who, alone intent
To bless himself, from sordid parents buys
The loathing virgin, in eternal care,
Well merited, consume his nights and dayss
Let barbarous nations, whose inhuman love
Is wild desire, fierce as the suns they feel;
Let eastern tyrants from the light of Heaven
Seclude their bosom slaves, meanly possess'd
Of a mere lifeless., violated form:
While those whom love cements in holy faith, And equal transport, frae as nature live, Disdaining fear. What is the world to them, Its pomp, its pleasure, and its nonsense all? Who in each other clasp whatever fair High fancy forms, and lavish hearts can wish; Something than beauty dearer, should they look Or on the mind, or mind-illumin'd face j Truth, goodness, honour, harmony and love, The richest bounty of indulgent Heaven. Mean-time a smiling offspring rises round, And mingles both their graces. By degrees The human blossom blows; and every day, Soft as it rolls along, shews some new charm, The father's lustre, and the mother's bloom. The infant reason grows apace, and calls For the kind hand of an assiduous care. Delightful task! to rear the tender thought, To teach the young idea how to shoot, To pour the fresh instruction o'er the mind, To breathe th' enlivening spirit, and to fix The generous purpose in the glowing breast. Oh speak the joy! ye, whom the sudden tear Surprizes often, while yon look around, And nothing strikes your eye but sights of bliss, All various nature pressing on the heart: An elegant sufficiency, content, Retirement, rural quiet, friendship, books, Ease and alternate labour, useful life, Progressive virtue, and approving Heav'n. These are the matchless ;oys of virtuous love; And thus their moments fly. The Seasons thus, As ceaseless round a jarring world they roll, Still find them happy: and consenting Spring Sheds her own rosy garland on their heads: Till evening comes at last, serene and mild; When after the long vernal day of life, Enamour'd more, as more remembrance swells With many a proof of recollected love, Together down they sink in social sleep; Together freed their gentle spirits fly To scenes where love and bliss immortal reign.
The Pleasures of Retirement.
O Knew he but his happiness, of men The happiest he! who far from public rage, Deep in the vale. with a choice few retir'd, Drinks the pure pleasures of the rural life. "What tho' the dome be wanting, whose proud gate, Each morning, vomits out the sneaking crowd Of flatterers false, and in their turn abus'd? Vile intercourse! What tho' the glittering robe, Of every hue reflected light can give, Or floating loose, or stiff with mazy gold, The pride and gaze of fools! oppress him not? What tho', from utmost land and sea purvey'd, For him each rarer tributary life Bleeds not, and his insatiate table heaps With luxury and death? What tho' his bowl Flames not with costly juice; nor sunk in beds, Oft of gay care, he tosses out the night, Or melts the thoughtless hours in idle state? What tho' he knows not those fantastic joys, That still amuse the wanton, still deceive; A face of pleasure, but a heart of pain; Their hollow moments undelighted all? Sure peace is bis; a solid life, estrang'd To disappointment and fallacious hope; Rich in content, in Nature's bounty rich, In herbs and fruits; whatever greens the Spring, When heaven descends in showers; or bends the bough When Summer reddens, and when Autumn beams; Or in the wintry glebe whatever lies Conceal'd, and fattens with the richest sap: These are not wanting: nor the milky drove, Luxuriant, spread oer all the lowing vale; Nor bleating mountains; nor the chide of streams, And hutn of bees, inviting sleep sincere Into the guiltless breast, beneath the shade, Or thrown at large amid the fragrant hay; Nor aught besides of prospect, grove, or song, Dim grottoes, gleaming lakes, and fountain clear. Here too dwells simple truth; plain innocence; Unsullied beauty; sound unbroken youth, Patient of labour, with a little pleas'd;
Health ever blooming; unambitious toil;
The rage ot" nations, and the crush of states,
Into his freshen'd soul; her genial hours
O'er land and sea th' imagination roams;
Or truth, divinely breaking on his mind,
Elates his being, and unfolds his powers;
Or in his breast heroic virtue burns.
The touch of kindred too and love he feels;
The modest eye, whose beams on his alone
Extatic shine; the little strong embrace
Of prattling children, twin'd around his neck,
And emulous to please him, calling forth
The fond parental soul. Nor purpose gay,
Amusement, dance, or song, he sternly scwns;
For happiness and true philosophy
Are of the social still and smiling kind.
This is.the life which those who fret in guilt,
And guilty cities, never knew; the life,
Led by primeval ages, uncorrupt,
When Angels dwelt, and God himself, with Man!
A Panegyric on Great Britain.
Heavens! what a goodly prospect spreads around,
Full are thy cities with the sons of art;