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To form my couch, in mossy beds she grows; She, she implores ; she bids thee seize the prime,
And tread with her the flowery track of Time;
Nor thus her lovely bloom of life bestow And swells the vegetable world, for me.
On some cold lover, or insulting foe. “ Let the gulld fool the toils of war pursue, Think, if against that tongue thou canst rebel, Where bleed the many to enrich the few :
Where love yet dwelt, and reason seem'd to dwell; Where Chance from Courage claims the boasted What strong persuasion arms her softer sighs! prize:
What full conviction sparkles in her eyes ! Where, though she give, your country oft denies. “See Nature smiles, and birds salute the shade, Industrious, thou shalt Cupid's wars maintain, Where breathing jasmin scret ns the sleeping And ever gently fight his soft canpaign :
maid : His darts alone shalt wield, his wounds endure, And such her charms, as to the rain may prove, Yet only suffer to enjoy the cure.
Ambition seeks inore humble joys than Love! Yield but to me-a choir of nymphs shall rise, There busy Toil shall ne'er invade thy reign, And fire thy breast, and bless thy ravish'd eyes. Nor sciences perplex thy labouring brain : Their beauteous cheeks a fairer rose shall wear, Or none, but what with equal sweets invite; A brighter lily on their necks appear;
Nor other arts, but to prolong delight: Where fondly thou thy favour'd head shalt rest, Sometimes thy fancy prune her tender wing, Soft as the down that swells the cygnet's nest ! To praise a pendant, or to grace a ring; While Philomel in each soft voice complains,
To fix the dress that suits each varying mien; And gently lulls thee with mellifluous strains : To show where best the clustering gems are seen; Whilst, with each accent, sweetest odours now, To sigh soft strains along the vocal grove, And spicy gums round every bosom glow.
And tell the charms, the sweet effects of love! Not the fam'd bird Arabian climes admire,
Nor fear to find a coy disdainful Muse;
Nor think the Sisters will their aid refuse.
Soft scenes of leisure, suit th' harinonious maids; Nor envy thou the head with bays o'ergrown;
And all the wise, and all the grave, decree
Some of that sacred train allied to me.
“ Let others prune the vine ; the genial bowl Some softer science shall thy thoughts amuse,
Explain the beauties of an insect's wing; Indulgent Bacchus loads his labouring tree, The plant, which Nature, less diffusely kind, And, guarding, gives its clustering sweets to me. Has to few climes with partial care contin'd : For my lov'd train, Apollo's piercing beam The shell she scatters with more careless air, Darts thro’ the passive glebe, and frames the gem.
And, in her frolics, seeins supremely fair; See in my cause consenting gods employ'd,
The worth that dazzles in the tulip's stains, Nor slight those gods, their blessings unenjoy'd ! Or lurks beneath a pebble's various veins. For thee the poplar sball its amber drain ;
“ Sleep's downy god, averse to war's alarms; For thee, in clouded beauty, spring the cane; Shall o'er thy head diffuse his softest charms; Some costly tribute every clime shall pay;
Ere anxious Thought thy dear repose
For thy repose, inform, with rival joy,
sigh. Thy vase shall sparkle, and thy car shall blaze; Thns shalt thou spend the sweetly-flowing day, Yet thou, whatever pomp the Sun display,
Till lost in bliss thou breath'st thy soul away: Shalt own the amorous night exceeds the day. Till she t' Elysian bowers of joy repair, “ When melting flutes and sweetly-sounding Nor find my charming scene exceeded there.” Tyres
She ceas'd; and on a lilied bank reclin'd, Wake the gay Loves, and cite the young Desires; Her flowing robe war'd wanton with the wind : Or, in th’lonian dance, some favourite maid One tender hand her drooping head sustains ; Improves the flame her sparkling eyes convey'd ; One points, expressive, to the flowery plains. Think, canst thou quit a glowing Delia's arms, Soon the fond youth perceiv'd her influence roll, To feed on Virtue's visionary charms;
Decp in his breast, to melt his manly soul :
And each fair fabric of the frost decays.
Soon, to his breast, the soft harangue convey'd And, where you toil'd for glory, reap disgrace? Resolves too partial to the specious maid.
“O! think that Beauty waits on thy decree, He sigh’d, he gaz'd, so sweetly smild the dame; And thy lov'd loveliest charmer pleads with me. Yet, sighing, gazing, seem'd to scorn his flame, She, whose soft smile, or gentler glance to move, And, oft as Virtue caught his wandering eye, You vow'd the wild extremities of love;
A criinson blush condemn'd the rising sigh. In whose endearments years, like moments, flew; 'Twas such the lingering Trojan's shame betray'd, for whose endearments millions seem'd too few; When Maia's son the frown of Jove display'd:
When wealth, fame, empire, could no balance prove Till joyless Indolence suggests desires,
Or drugs are sought to furnish languid fires : Thus ill with arduous glory love conspires;
Such languid tires as on the vitals prey, Soft tender flames with bold impetuous fires! Barren of bliss, but fertile of decay.
Somie hovering doubts his anxious bosom mov'd, As artful heats, applied to thirsty lands, And Virtue, zealous fair! those doubts improv'd. Produce no towers, and but debase the sands.
“ Fly, fly, fond youth, the too indulgent maid, “But let fair Health her cheering smiles impart, Nor err, by such fantastic scenes betray'd.
How sweet is Nature, how superfluous Art! Though in my path the rugged thorn be seen, YT is she the fountain's ready draught cominends, And the dry turf disclose a fainter green;
And smoothis the flinty couch which Fortune lends; Though no gay rose or flowery product shine, And when my hero from his toils retires, The barren surface still conceals the mine.
Fills his gay bosom with unusual fires, Each thorn that threatens, e'en the weed that grows And, wbile no cherks th’unbounded joy reprove, In Virtue's path, superior sweets bestows
Aids and refines the genuine sweets of love. Yet should those boasted, specious toys allure, liis fairest prospect rising trophies frame ;Whence could fond Sloth the flattering gifts procure | His su eetest music is the voice of Fame; The various wealth that tempts thy soft desire, Pleasures to Sloth unknown! she never found 'Tis I alone, her greatest fve, acquire.
How fair the prospect, or how sweet the sound. I from old Ocean rob the treasur'd store;
“ See Fame's gay structure from yon summit I through each region latent gems explore; And fires the manly breast to arts or arins; (charms, 'T was I the rugged brilliant first reveal'd, Nor dread the steep ascent by which you rise By numerous strata deep in earth conceal'd. From grovelling vales to towers which reach the skies. 'Tis I the surface yet refine, and show
“ Love, Fame, Esteem, 'tis Labour must acquire; The modest gem's intrinsic charms to glow. The smiling ofispring of a rigid sire! Nor swells the grape, nor spires its feeble tree To fix the friend, your service inust be shown; Without the firm supports of industry.
All, ere they lov'd your merit, lov'd their own. “ But grant we Sloth the scene herself has drawn, That wondering Greece your portrait may admire, The mossy grotto, and the flowery lawn;
That tuneful bards may string for you their lyre, Let Philomela tune th' harmonious gale,
That books may praise, or coins record your name, And with each breeze eternal sweets exhale; Such, such rewards 't is Toil alone can claim ! Let gay Pomona slight the plains around,
And the same column which displays to view And choose, for fairest fruits, the favour'd ground ; The conqueror's name, displays the conquest too. To bless the fertile vale should Virtue cease,
“ 'Twas slow Experience, tedious mistress! taught Nor mossy grots nor flowery lawns could please; All that e'er nobly spoke, or bravely fought. Nor gay Pomona's luscious gifts avail,
'Twas she the patriot, she the bard refin’d, The sound harmonious, or the spicy gale.
In arts that serve, protect, or please, mankind. “ Seest thou yon rocks in dreadful pomp arise, Not the vain visions of inactive schools; Whose rugged cliffs deform th’encircling skies? Not Fancy's maxiins, not Opinion's rules, Those fields, whencePhæbus all their moisture drains, E’erform’d the man whose generous warmth extends And, too profusely fond, disrobes the plains ? T'enrich his country, or to serve bis friends. When I vouchsafe to tread the barren soil,
On active Worth the laurel War bestons: Those rocks seem lovely, and those deserts smile. Peace rears her olive for industrious brows: The form thou view'st, to every scene with ease Nor Earth, incultur'd, yields its kind supplies : Transfers its charms, and every scene can please. Nor Heaven, its showers without a sacrifice. When I have on those pathless wiliks appear’d, “ See far below such grovelling scenes of shame, And the lone wanderer with my presence cheer'd ; As Jull to rest Ignavia's slumbering dame. Those cliffs the exile has with pleasure view'd, Her friends, from all the toils of Fame secure, And call'd that desert blissful solitude!
Alas! inglorious, greater toil endure. “ Nor I alone to such extend my care :
Duom'd all to mourn, who in her cause engage Fair-blooming Health surveys her altars there. A youth enervate, and a painful age; Brown Exercise will lead thee where she reigns, A sickly sapless mass, if Reason flies; And with reflected lustre gild the plains.
And, if she linger, impotently wise!
"But Healthaverse from Sloth’s-muoti region Dies; When to the mind, diseas'd, for aid they tis,
But to my friends, when youth, when pleasure flies, For ever beauteous, and for erer near.
And Earth's din beauties fade before their eyes, “ Nor will soft Sleep to Sloth's request incline, Through Death's dark vista flowery tracts are seen, He from her couches Ries unbid to mine.
Elysian plains, and groves for ever green. “Vain is the sparkling bowl, the warbling strain, o'er their lives a refluent glance they cast, Th’incentive song, the labour'd viand vain ! Theirs is the present who can praise the past. Where she relentless reigns without control, Life has its bliss for these, when past its bloom, And checks each gay excursion of the soul :
As wither'd roses vield a late perfume. Unmor’d, though Beauty, deck'd in all its charms, “ Serene, and safe from Passion's stormy rage, Grace the rich couch, and spread the softest arins. How calm they glide into the port of Age!
Of the rude voyage less depriv'd than eas'd; Thus when my life well-spent the good enjoy,
I yet devoté my choicer vows to thine,
“ Sloth views the towers of Fame with envious He ceas'd his vows, and, with disdainful air, Desirous still, still impotent to rise. [eyes; | He turn'd to blast the late exulting fair: Oft, when resolv'd to gain those blissful towers, But vanish’d, fled to some more frienilly shore, The pensive queen the dire ascent explores, The conscious phantom's beauty pleas'd no more: Comes onward, wafted by the balıny trees, Convinc'd, her spurious charms of dress and face Some sylvan music, or some scented breeze : Claim'd a quick conquest, or a sure disgrace. She turns her head, her own gay realm she spies, Fantastic power! whose transient charis allur'd, And all the short-liv'd resolution dies.
While Errour's mist the reasoning mind obscurid: Thus some fond insect's faltering pinions wave, Not such the victress, Virtue's constant queen, Clasp'd in its favourite sweets, a lasting slave: Endur'd the test of Truth, and dar'd be seen. And thus in vain these charming visions please Her brightening form and features seem'd to own, The wretch of glory, and the slave of ease : ’T was all her wish, her interest to be known: Doom'd ever in ignoble state to pine,
And when his longing view the fair declin'd, Boast her own scenes, and languish after mine. Left a full image of her charms behind.
“ But shun her snares: nor let the world exclaim, Thus reigns the Moon, with furtive splendour •Thy birth, which was thy glory, prov'd thy shame.' crown'd, With early hope thine infant actions fir'd,
While glooms oppress us, and thick shades surround. Let manhood crown what infancy inspir'd.
But let the source of light its beams display,
THE PROGRESS OF TASTE,
OR, “ Then in their feasts thy name shall Grecians join:
THE FATE OF DELICACY. Shall pour the sparkling juice to Jove's and thine. Thine, usd in war, shall raise their native fire; A poem on the temper and studies of the author; Thine, us’d in peace, their mutual faith inspire. and how great a misfortune it is for a man of Dulness, perbaps, through want of sight may blame, small estate to have much taste. And Spleen, with odious industry, defame; And that, the honours given, with wonder view, And this, in secret sadness, own them due: Contempt and Envy were by Fate design'd Perhaps some cloud eclips'd the day, The rival tyrants which divide mankind;
When thus I tun'd my pensive lay: Contempt, which none, but who deserve, can bear;
The ship is launch'd-e catch the gale-
On life's extended ocean sail:
Our ardent cry, our general end!
Yet, ab! the scenes which tempt our care Lov'd by the good, their images below.”
Are like the forms dispers'd in air, “ Cease, lorely maid, fair daughter of the skies! | Still dancing near disorder'd eyes; My guide! my queen!" th’ ecstatic youth replies. And weakest his, who best descries! “ In thee I trace a form design'd for sway;
Yet let me not my birth-right barter, Which chiefs may conrt, and kings with pride obey. (For wishing is the poet's charter; And, by thy bright immortal friends I swear,
All bards have leave to wish what's wanted, Thy fair idea shall no toils impair.
Though few e'er found their wishes granted;
“ For humble ease, ye powers ! I pray;
To flaunt it--once a month or so.
The first for constant wear we want; And tyrants queild, the monsters of mankind! The first, ye powers! for ever grant ; Nature shall smile to view the vanquish'd brood, But constant wear the last bespatters, And none, but Envy, riot unsubdued :
And turns the tissue into tatters.
Where'er my vagrant course I bend,
Let me, in public scenes, request
PART THE FIRST.
Alas! that Wisdom ever shuns
Or, like a splendid shield, is fit To congregate her scatter'd sons;
To screen the Templar's random wit; Whose nervous forces well combin'd
Or what some gentler cit lets fall, Would win the field, and sway mankind.
As wool-packs quash the leaden ball. The fool will squeeze, from morn to night,
Allusions these of weaker force, To fix his follies full in sight;
And apter still the stalking-horse ! The note he strikes, the plume he shows,
O let me wander all unseen,
Beneath the sanction of bis mien !
Empty as air-pumps drain'd of air!
With steady eve and pace remark Steals soft on tip-toe through the crowd ;
The speckled flock that haunts the Park'; Conveys his meagre form between;
Level my pen with wondrous heed And slides, like pervious air, unseen :
At follies flocking there to feed ; Contracts his known tenuity,
And, as my satire bursts amain, As though 't were e'en a crime, to be;
See, feather'd foppery strew the plain. Nor e'en permits his eyes to stray,
But when I seek my rural grove, And win acquaintance in their way.
And share the peaceful haunts I love, In company, so mean his aii,
Let none of this unhallow'd train You scarce are conscious he is there :
My sweet sequester'd paths profane. Tiil from some nook, like sharpen'd steel,
Oft may some polish'd, virtuous friend Occurs his face's thin profile,
To the soft winding vales descend; Still seeming, from the gazer's eye,
And love with me inglorious things, Like Venus, newly bath’d, to fly.
And scorn with me the pomp of kings; Yet, while reluctant he displays
And check me, when my bosom burns His real gems before the blaze,
For statues, paintings, coins, and urns. The fool hath, in its centre, plac'd
For 1 in Damon's prayer could join, His tawdry stock of painted paste.
And Damon's wish might now be mine Disus'd to speak, he tries his skills;
But all dispers'd! the wish, the prayer, Speaks coldly, and succeeds but ill ;
Are driven to mix with common air.
PART THE SECOND.
How happy once was Damon's lot,
While yet romantic scenes were not!
Ere vet he sent his weakly eyes
To plan frail castles in the skies;
Forsaking pleasures cheap and common,
To court a blaze, still fitting from one. And starve, to study mutual satire. But fricnds, and favourites, to chagrin them,
Ah happy Damon! thrice and more,
Had Taste ne'er touch'd thy tranquil shore ! Find counties, countries, seas between them :
Oh days! when to a girdle tied
The couples jingled at his side;
And Damon swore he would not barter Some human form to grace my side;
The sportsman's girdle, for a garter!
Whoever came to kill an hour, At hand, where'er I shape my course;
Found easy Damon in their power; An useful, pliant, stalking-horse!
Pure social Nature all his guide, No gesture free from some grimace;
“ Damon had not a grain of pride." No seam, without its share of lace;
He wish'd not to elude the snares
Which Knavery plans and Craft prepares;
But rather wealth to crown their wiles, His legs be lengthen'd, 1 advise,
And win their universal smiles :
For who are cheerful, who at ease,
But they who cheat us as they please?
He wink'd at many a gross design,
The new-fallen calf might countermine: A twisted ribbon, like the track
Thus every foul allow'd his merit;
“ Yes! Damon had a generous spirit !" Which Nature gives an ass's back. Silent as midnight! pity 't were
A coxcomb's jest, however vile, His wisdom's slender wealth to share!
Was sure, at least, of Damon's smile: And, whilst in flocks our fancies stray,
That coxconib ne'er denied him sense ; To wish the poor man's lamb away.
For why? it prov'd his own pretence : This form attracting every eye,
All own'd, were modesty away, I stroll all uniegarded by:
Damn could shine as much as they. This wards the jokes of every kind,
When wine and folly came in season, As an umbrella sun or wind;
Damon ne'er strove to save his reason i Or, like a sponge, absorbs the sallies And pestilential fumes of malice;
1 St. James's.
Obnoxious to the mad uproar :
And each abrupter period crown'd, A spy upon a hostile shore !
With nods, and winks, and smiles profound, 'Twas this his company endear'd: '
Till, rescued from the crowd beneath,
No more with pain to move or breathe,
Respect is won by grave pretence,
And silence, surer e'en than sense Defied the world, like idle Colley,
'Tis hence the sacred grandeur springs To show a softer word than folly.
Of eastern--and of other kings, Since Wisdom's gorgon-shield was known
Or whence this awe to Virtue due, To stare the gazer into stone;
While Virtue's distant as Pern? He chose to trust in Folly's charm,
The sheathless sword the guard displays, To keep his breast alive and warın.
Which round emits its dazzling rays: At length grave Learning's sober train
The stately fort, the turrets tall, Remark'd the tritler with disdain;
Portcullis'd gate, and battled wall, The sons of Taste contenn'd his ways,
Less screens the body, than controls, And rank'd him with the brutes that graze; And wards contempt from royal souls. While they to nobler heights aspir'd,
The crowns they wear but check the eye, And grew belov'd, esteem'd, admir'd.
Before it fondly pierce too nigh; Hence with our youth, not void of spirit,
That dazzled crowds may be employ'd His old companions lost their merit:
Around the surface of-the void. And every kind well-natur'd sot
(! 'tis the statesman's craft profound Seejn'd a dull play, without a plot;
To scatter his amusements round! Where every yawning guest agrees,
To tempt us from the conscious breast, The willing creature strives to please:
Where full-fledg'd crimes enjoy their nest. But temper never could amuse;
Nor awes us every worth reveald It barely led us to excuse ;
So deeply as each vice conceal'd. 'T was true, conversing they averr'd,
The lordly log, dispatch'd of yore, All they had seen, or felt, or beard:
That the frog people might adore, Talents of weight! for wights like these,
With guards to keep them at a distance, The Law might choose fur witnesses:
Had reign’d, nor wanted wit's assistance: But sure th' attesting dry narration
Nay-had addresses from his nation,
In praise of log-administration.
The buoyant fires of youth were o'er,
And fame and tinery pleas'd no more; Punctilio ne'er was known to breed them,
Productive of that general stare, So sure as fond prolific Freedom.
Which cool reflection ill can bear! Their courage! but a loaded gun;
And, crowds commencing mere vexation, Machine the wise would wish to shun;
Retirement sent its invitation. Its guard unsafe, its lock an ill one,
Romantic scenes of pendent hills, Where accident might fire and kill one.
And verdant vales, and falling rills, In short, disgusted out of measure,
And mossy banks, the fields adorn, Through much contempt, and slender pleasure, Where Damon, simple swain, was born. His sense of dignity returns;
The Dryads rear'd a shady grove, His native pride his bosom burns;
Where such as think, and such as love, Ile seeks respect, but how to gain it ?
May safely sigh their summer's day; Wit, social Mirth, could ne'er obtain it :
Or muse their silent hours away. And Laughter, where it reigns uncheck'd,
The Oreads lik'd the climate well; Discards and dissipates respect.
And taught the level plain to swell The man who bravely bows, enjoys it;
In verdant mounds, from whence the eye But shaking hands, at once, destroys it.
Might all their larger works descry. Precarious plant, which, fresh and gay,
The Naiads pour’d their urns around, Shrinks at the touch, aud fades away!
From nodding rocks o'er vales profound. Come then, Reserve! yet frem thy train They form’d their streams to please the view, Banish Contempt, and curst Disdain.
And bade them wind, as serpents do: Teach me, he cried, thy magic art,
And, having shown them where to stray, To act the decent distant part:
Threw little pebbles in their way. To hnsband well my complaisance,
These Fancy, all-sagacious maid, Nor let e'en Wit too far advance;
Had at their several tasks survey'd : But choose calm Reason for my theme,
She saw and smil'd; and oft would lead In these her royal realms supreme;
Our Damon's foot o'er hill and mead; And o'er her charms, with caution shown,
There, with descriptive finger, trace Le still a graceful umbrage thrown;
The genuine beauties of the place;
And, when she all its charms had shown, Boisterous mirth,
Prescribe improvements of her own.
PART THE THIRD.