E'en now the devastation is begun,
And half the bus'ness of destruction done;
E'en now, methinks, as pond'ring here I stand,
I see the rural virtues leave the land.
Down where yon anch’ring vessel spreads the sail,
That idly waiting flaps with ev'ry gale,
Downward they move, a melancholy band,
Pass from the shore, and darken all the strand.
Contented toil, and hospitable care,
And kind connubial tenderness, are there ;
And piety with wishes plac'd above,
And steady loyalty, and faithful love.
And thou, sweet Poetry, thou loveliest maid,
Still first to fly where sensual joys invade!
Unfit, in these degen'rate times of shame,
To catch the heart, or strike for honest fame;
Dear charming nymph, neglected and decry'd,
My shame in crowds, my solitary pride;
Thou source of all my bliss, and all my woe,
That found’st me poor at first, and keep’st me so;
Thou guide, by which the nobler arts excel,
Thou nurse of ev'ry virtue, fare thee well;