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Begins a long look-out for distant land,
And ignorance of better things makes man, Nor quits till er’ning watch his giddy stand, Who cannot much, rejoice in what he can; Then swift descending with a seaman's haste, And he, that deems his leisure well bestow'd Blips to his hammock, and forgets the blast. In contemplation of a turnpike road, He chooses company, but not the squire's, Is occupied as well, employs his hours Whose wit is rudeness, whose good-breeding tires; As wisely, and as much improves his pow'rs, Nor yet the parson's, who would gladly come, As he, that slumbers in pavilions grac'd Obsequious when abroad, though proud at home; With all the charms of an accomplish'd taste. Vor can be much affect the neighb'ring peer, Yet hence, alas ! insolvencies; and hence \Vhose toe of emulation treads too near ;
Th' unpitied victim of ill-judg'd expense, But wisely seeks a more convenient friend, From all his wearisome engagements freed, With whom, dismissing forms, he may unbend; Shakes hands with business, and retires indeed. A man, whom marks of condescending grace Your prudent grand-mammas, ye modern belles, Teach, while they flatter him, his proper place; Content with Bristol, Bath, and Tunbridge Wells, Who comes when callid, and at a word witlıdraws, When health required it would consent to roam, speaks with reserve, and listens with applause ; Else more attach'd to pleasures found at home. jome plain mechanic, who, without pretence But now alike, gay widow, virgin, wife, To birth or wit, nor gives nor takes offence; Ingenious to diversify dull life, On whom he rests well-pleas'd his weary pow'rs, In coaches, chaises, caravans, and hoys, And talks and laughs away his vacant hours. Fly to the coast for daily, nightly joys, The tide of life, swift always in its course,
And all, impatient of dry land, agree May run in cities with a brisker force,
With one consent to rush into the sea. But no where with a current so serene,
Ocean exhibits, fathomless and broad, Dr half so clear, as in the rural scene.
Much of the pow'r and majesty of God. Yet how fallacious is all earthly bliss,
He swathes about the swelling of the deep, What obvious truths the wisest heads may miss ; That shines and rests, as infants smile and sleep; jome pleasures live a month, and some a year, Vast as it is, it answers as it flows But short the date of all we gather here;
The breathings of the lightest air that blows; No happiness is felt except the true,
Curling and whit’ning over all the waste, That does not charm the more for being new. The rising waves obey th' increasing blast, This observation, as it chanc'd, not made,
Abrupt and horrid as the tempest roars, Or, if the thought occurr'd, not duly weigh'd,
Thunder and flash upon the stedfast shores, Je sighs — for after all by slow degrees
Till he, that rides the whirlwind, checks the rein, the spot he lov'd has lost the pow'r to please ;
Then all the world of waters sleeps again. Co cross his ambling pony day by day
Nereids or Dryads, as the fashion leads, jeems at the best but dreaming life away;
Now in the floods, now panting in the meads, The prospect, such as might enchant despair, Vot’ries of Pleasure still, where'er she dwells, He views it not, or sees no beauty there;
Near barren rocks, in palaces, or cells, With aching heart, and discontented looks, O grant a poet leave to recommend Returns at noon to billiards or to books,
(A poet fond of Nature, and your friend) But feels, while grasping at his faded joys, Her slighted works to your admiring view; A secret thirst of his renounc'd employs.
Her works must needs excel, who fashion'd you. He chides the tardiness of ev'ry post,
Would ye, when rambling in your morning ride, Pants to be told of battles won or lost,
With some unmeaning coxcomb at your side,
To waste unheard the music of his strains,
Mark well the finish'd plan without a fault, That dread the encroachment of our growing streets, The seas globose and huge, th' o'er-arching vault, Tight boxes, neatly sash’d, and in a blaze
Earth's millions daily fed, a world employ'd With all a July sun's collected rays,
In gath'ring plenty yet to be enjoy'd, Delight the citizen, who, gasping there,
Till gratitude grew vocal in the praise Breathes clouds of dust, and calls it country air. Of God, beneficent in all his ways; O sweet retirement, who would balk the thought, Grac'd with such wisdom, how would beauty shine! That could afford retirement, or could not ? Ye want but that to seem indeed divine. -T is such an easy walk, so smooth and straight, Anticipated rents, and bills unpaid, The second milestone fronts the garden gate; Force many a shining youth into the shade, A step if fair, and, if a show'r approach,
Not to redeem his time, but his estate, You find safe shelter in the next stage-coach. And play the fool, but at a cheaper rate. There, prison'd in a parlour snug and small, There, hid in loath'd obscurity, remov'd Like bottled wasps upon a southern wall,
From pleasures left, but never more belov'd, The man of business and his friends compress'd He just endures, and with a sickly spleen Forget their labours, and yet find no rest; Sighs o'er the beauties of the charming scene. But still 't is rural — trees are to be seen
Nature indeed looks prettily in rlıyme; From ev'ry window, and the fields are green; Streams tinkle sweetly in poetic chime: Ducks paddle in the pond before the door, The warblings of the blackbird, clear and strong, And what could a remoter scene show more? Are musical enough in Thomson's song; A sense of elegance we rarely find
And Cobham's groves, and Windsor's
green retreats, The portion of a mean or vulgar mind.
When Pope describes them, have a thousand swecs:
He likes the country, but in truth must own, Nor yet the swarms, that occupy the brain,
Where dreams of dress, intrigue, and please Poor Jack - no matter who — for when I blame,
reign; I pity, and must therefore sink the name,
Nor such as useless conversation breeds, Liv'd in his saddle, lov'd the chase, the course, Or lust engenders, and indulgence feeds. And always, ere he mounted, kiss'd his horse. Whence, and what are we? to what end ondani? The estate, his sires had own'd in ancient years, What means the drama by the world sustain'd? Was quickly distanc'd, match'd against a peer's. Business or vain amusement, care ar mirth, Jack vanish’d, was regretted and forgot ;
Divide the frail inbabitants of Earth. 'Tis wild good-nature's never-failing lot.
Is duty a mere sport, or an employ?
Is there, as reason, conscience, Scripture, saç, My lord, alighting at his usual place,
Cause to provide for a great future day, The Crown, took notice of an ostler's face.
When, Earth's assign'd duration at an end, Jack knew his friend, but hop'd in that disguise Man shall be summond and the dead attend? He might escape the most observing eyes,
The trumpet — will it sound ? the curtain rise? And whistling, as if unconcern'd and gay,
And show th' august tribunal of the skies, Curried his nag, and look'd another way.
Where no prevarication shall avail, Convinc'd at last, upon a nearer view,
Where eloquence and artifice shall fail, ’T was he, the same, the very Jack he knew, The pride of arrogant distinctions fall, O'erwhelm'd at once with wonder, grief, and joy, And conscience and our conduct judge us all? He press'd him much to quit his base employ; Pardon me, ye that give the midnight oil His countenance, his purse, his heart, his hand, To learned cares or philosophic toil, Influence and pow'r, were all at his command : Though I revere your honourable names, Peers are not always gen'rous as well bred,
Your useful labours and important aims,
Yet let me stand excus'd, if I esteem
Thus some retire to nourish hopeless woe; And, after poising her advent'rous wings,
Settling at last upon eternal things, Some to comply with humour, and a mind
Far more intelligent and better taught To social scenes by nature disinclin'd;
The strenuous use of profitable thought, Some sway'd by fashion, some by deep disgust; Than ye, when happiest and enlightend most, Some self-impov'rish'd, and because they must; And highest in renown, can justly boast. But few, that court Retirement, are aware
A nind unnerv'd, or indispos'd to bear Of half the toils they must encounter there. The weight of subjects worthiest of her care, Lucrative offices are seldom lost
Whatever hopes a change of scene inspires, For want of pow'rs proportion'd to the post : Must change her nature, or in vain retires Give ev'n a dunce th' employment he desires, An idler is a watch, that wants both hands; And he soon finds the talents it requires;
As useless if it goes, as when it stands. A business with an income at it's heels
Books therefore, not the scandal of the shelves Furnishes always oil for it's own wheels,
In which lewd sensualists print out themselves; But in his arduous enterprise to close
Nor those, in which the stage gives vice a bios, His active years with indolent repose,
With what success let modern manners show; He finds the labours of that state exceed
Nor his, who, for the bane of thousands born, His utmost faculties, severe indeed.
Built God a church, and laugh'd his word to see 'T is easy to resign a toilsome place,
Skilful alike to seem devout and just, But not to manage leisure with a grace;
And stab religion with a sly side-thrust; Absence of occupation is not rest,
Nor those of learn'd philologists, who chase
A panting syllable through time and space,
The friend of truth, th' associate of sound sens, There feels a pleasure perfect in it's kind,
And such as in the zeal of good design, Ranges at liberty, and snuffs the wind :
Strong judgment lab'ring in the Scripture mine,
Worthy to live, and of eternal use :
Amusement and true knowledge hand in hand
And, while she polishes, perverts the taste; But reveries (for human minds will act)
Habits of close attention, thinking heads Specious in show, impossible in fact,
Become more rare as dissipation spreads Those Aimsy webs, that break as soon as wrought, Till authors hear at length one gen'ral cry, Attain not to the dignity of thought :
Tickle and entertain us, or we die.
The loud demand, from year to year the same, His soul exults, hope animates his lays,
And wilds, familiar with a lion's roar,
Ring with ecstatic sounds unheard before: And novels (witness every month's review) 'T is love like his, that can alone defeat Belie their name, and offer nothing new.
The foes of man, or make a desert sweet. The mind, relaxing into needful sport,
Religion does not censure or exclude
Unnumber'd pleasures harmlessly pursued ;
The grain, or herb, or plant, that each demands;
And share the joys your bounty may create ; Flow'rs by that name promiscuously we call, To mark the matchless workings of the pow'r, But one, the rose, the regent of them all,
That shuts within it's seed the future flow'r,
In colour these, and those delight the smell,
Or lay the landscape on the snowy sheet – Such friends prevent what else would soon succeed, These, these are arts pursu'd without a crime, A temper rustic as the life we lead,
That leave no stain upon the wing of Time. And keep the polish of the manners clean,
Me poetry (or rather notes that aim As theirs who bustle in the busiest scene;
Feebly and vainly at poetic fame) For solitude, however some may rave,
Employs, shut out from more important views, Seeming a sanctuary, proves a grave,
Fast by the banks of the slow-winding Ouse ; A sepulchre, in which the living lie,
Content if thus sequester'd I may raise
The history of the following production is briefly Or sought with energy, must fill the void.
this : A lady, fond of blank verse, demanded a O sacred art, to which alone life owes
poem of that kind from the author, and gave him It's happiest seasons, and a peaceful closc,
the Sora for a subject. He obeyed ; and, having Scorn'd in a world, indebted to that scorn
much leisure, connected another subject with it : For evils daily felt and hardly borne,
and, pursuing the train of thought to which his Not knowing thee, we reap with bleeding hands situation and turn of mind led him, brought Flow'rs of rank odour upon thorny lands,
forth at length, instead of the trifle which he at And, while experience cautions us in vain,
first intended, a serious affair — a volume. Grasp seeming happiness, and find it pain. In the poem on the subject of Education, he would Despondence, self-deserted in her grief,
be very sorry to stand suspected of having aimed Lost by abandoning her own relief,
his censure at any particular school. His obMurmuring and ungrateful Discontent,
jections are such as naturally apply themselves That scorns afflictions mercifully meant,
to schools in general. If there were not, as for Those humours tart as wines upon the fret,
the most part there is, wilful neglect in those Which idleness and weariness beget;
who manage them, and an omission even of These, and a thousand plagues, that haunt the breast, such discipline as they are susceptible of, the Fond of the phantom of an earthly rest,
objects are yet too numerous for minute atDivine communion chases, as the day
tention; and the aching hearts of ten thousand Drives to their dens th' obedient beasts of prey. parents, mourning under the bitterest of all disSee Judah's promis'd king bereft of all,
appointments, attest the truth of the allegation. Driv'n out an exile from the face of Saul,
His quarrel, therefore, is with the mischief at To distant caves the lonely wand'rer flies,
large, and not with any particular instance of it. To seek that peace a tyrant's frown denies, Hear the sweet accents of his tuneful voice,
Argument Suff'ring with gladness for a Saviour's sake; Historical deduction of seats, from the stool to the
Sofa. A school-boy's ramble. A walk in the * Bruyere.
country. The scene described. Rural sounds
O'er hills, through valleys, and by rivers' brink,
as well as sights deligluful. Another walk. These for the rich ; the rest whom Fate had plz: Mistake concerning the charins of solitude cor. In modest mediocrity, content rected. Colonnades commended. Alcove, and with base materials, sat on well-tan'd hides, the view from it. The wilderness. The grove. Obdurate and unyielding, glassy smooth, The thresher. The necessity and the bene- With here and there a tuft of crimson yarn, fits of exercise. The works of nature superior Or scarlet crewel, in the cushion fix'd, to, and, in some instances, inimitable by, art. If cushion might be call’d, what harder seem'd The wearisomeness of what is commonly called a Than the firm oak, of which the frame was formed life of ure. Change of scene sometimes No want of timber then was felt or fear'd expedient. A common described, and the cha- In Albion's happy isle. The lumber stood racter of Crazy Kate introduced. Gipsies. Pond'rous and fix'd by its own massy weight The blessings of civilized life. That state most But elbows still were wanting ; these, some sen, favourable to virtue. The South-Sea islanders An alderman of Cripplegate contriv'd; compassionated, but chiefly Omai. His present And some ascribe th' invention to a priest, state of mind supposed. Civilized life friendly Burly, and big, and studious of his ease
. to virtue, but not great cities. Great cities, and But rude at first, and not with easy slope. London in particular, allowed their due praises, Receding wide, they press'd against the ribs, but censured.
Féte-champêtre. The book And bruis'd the side ; and, elevated high, concludes with a reflection on the fatal effects of Taught the rais'd shoulders to invade the ears dissipation and effeminacy upon our public Long time elaps'd or e'er our rugged sires
Complain'd, though incommodiously pent in,
And ill at ease behind. The ladies first I sing the Sofa. I, who lately sang
'Gan murmur, as became the softer sel. Truth, Hope, and Charity, and touch'd with awe Ingenious Fancy, never better pleas'd, The solemn chords, and with a trembling hand, Than when employ'd t' accommodate the fair, Escap'd with pain from that advent'rous flight, Heard the sweet moan with pity, and dead Now seek repose upon an humbler theme; The soft settee; one clbow at each end, The theme though humble, yet august and proud And in the midst an elbow it received, Th' occasion for the Fair commands the song. United yet divided, twain at once.
Time was, when clothing sumptuous or for use, So sit two kings of Brentford on one throne ; Save their own painted skins, our sires had none. And so two citizens, who take the air, As yet black breeches were not ; satin smooth, Close pack'd, and smiling, in a chaise and one. Or velvet soft, or plush with shaggy pile :
But relaxation of the languid frame, The hardy chief upon the rugged rock
By soft recumbency of outstretch'd limbs Wash'd by the sea, or on the grav'lly bank
Was bliss reserv'd for happier days. So slow Thrown up by wintry torrents roaring loud, The growth of what is excellent; Fearless of wrong, repos'd his weary strength. Tattain perfection in this nether world. Those barb'ruus ages past, succeeded next
Thus first Necessity invented stools, The birth-day of Invention ; weak at first, Convenience next suggested elbow-chairs
, Dull in design, and clumsy to perform.
And Luxury th' accomplish'd Sofa lase Joint stools were then created ; on three legs The nurse sleeps sweetly, hir'd to wateli tle sista Upborne they stood. Three legs upholding firm Whom snoring she disturbs. As sweetly ke A massy slab, in fashion square or round.
Who quits the coach-box at the midnight laut, On such a stool immortal Alfred sat,
"To sleep within the carriage more secure; And sway'd the sceptre of his infant realms : His legs depending at the open door. And such in ancient halls and mansions drear, Sweet sleep enjoys the curate in his desk, May still be seen ; but perforated sore,
The tedious rector drawling o'er his head; And drill'd in holes, the solid oak is found, And sweet the clerk below. But neither slepp By worms voracious eating through and through. Of lazy nurse, who snores the sick man dead; At length a generation more refin'd
Nor his, who quits the box at midnight hout, Improv'd the simple plan ; made three legs four, To slumber in the carriage more secure; Gave them a twisted form vermicular,
Nor sleep enjoy'd by curate in his desk ; And o'er the seat, with plenteous wadding stuffd, Nor yet the dozings of the clerk, as swertes Induc'd a splendid cover, green and blue, Compar'd with the repose the Sofa yields Yellow and red, of tap’stry richly wrought
O may I live exempted (while I live And woven close, or needle-work sublime. Guiltless of pamper'd appetite obscene) There might ye see the piony spread wide,
From pangs arthritic, that infest the toe The full-blown rose, the shepherd and his lass, Of libertine Excess. The Sofa suits Lapdog and lambkin with black staring eyes,
The gouty limb, 't is true ; but gouty limiby And parrots with twin cherries in their beak. Though on a Sofa, may I never fcel :
Now came the cane from India smooth and bright For I have lov'd the rural walk through lanet With Nature's varnish; sever'd into stripes,
Of grassy swarth, close-cropp'd by nibbling shere, That interlac'd each other, these supplied
And skirted thick with intertexture firm Of texture firm a lattice-work, that brac'd
Of thorny boughs ; lave lov'd the rural walk The new machine, and it became a chair. But restless was the chair; the back erect
E'er since a truant boy 1 pass'd my bounds, Distress'd the weary loins, that felt no ease; The slipp'ry seat betray'd the sliding part,
T enjoy a ramble on the banks of Thames; That press'd it, and the feet hung dangling down,
And still remember, nor without regret, Anxious in vain to find the distant floor.
Of hours, that sorrow since has much endearid
, How oft, my slice of pocket-store consun'd,
ill hung'ring, pennyless, and far from home, And all their leaves fast flutt'ring, all at once. fed on scarlet hips and stony haws,
Nor less composure waits upon the roar r blushing crabs, or berries, that emboss
Of distant floods, or on the softer voice he bramble, black as jet, or sloes austere. Of neighb'ring fountain, or of rills that slip Card fare! but such as boyish appetite
Through the cleft rock, and, chiming as they fall visdains not; nor the palate, undeprav'd
Upon loose pebbles, lose themselves at length y culinary arts, unsav'ry deems.
In matted grass, that with a livelier green o Sofa then awaited my return !
Betrays the secret of their silent course. for Sofa then I needed. Youth repairs
Nature inanimate employs sweet sounds, lis wasted spirits quickly, by long toil
But animated nature sweeter still, acurring short fatigue; and, though our years,
To soothe and satisfy the human ear. is life declines, speed rapidly away,
Ten thousand warblers cheer the day, and one ind not a year but pilfers as he goes
The live-long night : nor these alone, whose notes ome youthful grace, that age would gladly keep; Nice-finger'd'Art must emulate in vain, i tooth, or auburn lock, and by degrees
But cawing rooks, and kites that swim sublime "heir length and colour from the locks they spare ; In still repeated circles, screaming loud, The elastic spring of an unwearied foot,
The jay, the pie, and ev’n the boding owl, "hat mounts the stile with ease, or leaps the fence, That hails the rising moon, have charms for me. "hat play of lungs, inhaling and again
Sounds inharmonious in themselves and harsh, Lespiring freely the fresh air, that makes
Yet heard in scenes where peace for ever reigns, wift pace or steep ascent no toil to me,
And only there, please highly for their sake. Iine have not pilfer'd yet; nor yet impair'd
Peace to the artist, whose ingenious thought Iy relish of fair prospect; scenes that sooth'd Devis'd the weather-house, that useful toy ! or charm'd me young, no longer young, I find Fearless of humid air and gath'ring rains, till soothing, and of pow'r to charm me still. Forth steps the man -- an emblem of myself! and witness, dear companion of my walks,
More delicate his tim'rous mate retires. Vhose arm this twentieth winter I perceive
When Winter soaks the fields, and female feet, 'ast lock'd in mine, with pleasure such as love, Too weak to struggle with tenacious clay, Confirm'd by long experience of thy worth Or ford the rivulets, are best at home, ind well-tried virtues, could alone inspire - The task of new discov'ries falls on me. Vitness a joy that thou hast doubted long.
At such a season, and with such a charge, Thou know'st my praise of nature most sincere,
Once went I forth; and found, till then unknown, ind that my raptures are not conjur'd up
A cottage, whither oft we since repair : 'o serve occasions of poetic pomp,
’T is perch'd upon the green hill top, but close But genuine, and art partner of them all.
Environ'd with a ring of branching elms, low oft upon yon eminence our pace
That overhang the thatch, itself unseen las slacken'd to a pause, and we have borne Peeps at the vale below ; so thick beset he ruffling wind, scarce conscious that it blew, With foliage of such dark redundant growth, Vhile Admiration, feeding at the eye,
I call'd the low-roof'd lodge the Peasant's Nest. Ind still unsated, dwelt upon the scene.
And, hidden as it is, and far remote Chence with what pleasure have we just discern'd From such unpleasing sounds, as haunt the ear The distant plough slow moving, and beside In village or in town, the bay of curs Iis lah’ring team, that swerv'd not from the track, Incessant, clinking hammers, grinding wheels, The sturdy swain diminish'd to a boy!
And infants clam'rous whether pleas'd or pain'd, Iere Ouse, slow winding through a level plain
Oft have I wish'd the peaceful covert mine. Of spacious meads with cattle sprinkled o'er,
“ Here," I have said, “ at least I should posses: Conducts the eye along his sinuous course The poet's treasure, silence, and indulge Delighted. There, fast rooted in their bank, The dreams of fancy, tranquil and secure." stand, never overlook'd, our fav’rite elms,
Vain thought! the dweller in that still retreat l'hat screen the herdsman's solitary hut;
Dearly obtains the refuge it affords.
Its elevated site forbids the wretch
He dips his bowl into the weedy ditch,
And, heavy laden, brings his bev'rage home, Of hedge-row beauties numberless, square tow'r,
Far fetch'd and little worth ; nor seldom waits, Tall
spire, from which the sound of cheerful bells Dependant on the baker's punctual call, Just undulates upon the list'ning ear,
To hear his creaking panniers at the door, Groves, heaths, and smoking villages, remote. Angry, and sad, and his last crust consum'de Scenes must be beautiful, which daily view'd So farewell envy of the Acasant's Nest ! Please daily, and hose novelty survives
If solitude make scant the means of life, Long knowledge and the scrutiny of years. Society for me! -- thou seeming sweet, Praise justly due to those that I describe.
Be still a pleasing object in my view; _Nor rural sights alone, but rural sounds, My visit still, but never mine abode. Exhilarate the spirit, and restore
Not distant far a length of colonnade
Our fathers knew the value of a screen
From sultry suns; and in their shaded walks And lull the spirit while they fill the mind;
And long protracted bow'rs, enjoy'd at noon Unnumber'd branches waving in the blast
coolness of declining dav.