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'Youth, you're mistaken, if you think to find
In shades a medicine for a troubled mind;
Wan Grief will haunt you wheresoe'er you go,
Sigh in the breeze, and in the streamlet flow.
There pale Inaction pines his life away,
And, satiate, curses the return of day:
There naked Frenzy, laughing wild with pain;
Or bares the blade, or plunges in the main:
There Superstition broods o'er all her fears,
And yells of demons in the zephyr hears,
But if a hermit you're resolv'd to dwell,
And bid to social life a last farewell;
God never made an independent man,
"Twould jar the concord of his general plan:
See every part of that stupendous whole,
"Whose body Nature is, and God the soul ?"
To one great end, the general good, conspire,
From matter, brute, to man, to seraph, sire.
Should man through nature solitary roam,
His will his sovereign, every where his home,
What force would guard him from the lion's jaw?
What swiftness wing him from the panther's paw?
Or should fate lead him to some safer shore,
Where panthers never prowl, nor liens roar ;
Where liberal Nature all her charms bestows,
Suns shine, birds sing, flowers bloom, and water
Fool, dost thou think he'd revel on the store, Absolve the care of Heaven, nor ask more? Though waters flow'd, flowers bloom'd, and Phœbus shone,
He'd sigh, he'd murmur that he was alone.
For know, the Maker on the human breast
A sense of kindred, country, man, impress'd;
And social life to better, aid, adorn,
With proper faculties each mortal's born.
"Though nature's works the ruling mind declare,
And well deserve inquiry's serious care,
The God (whate'er misanthropy may say)
Shines, beams in man, with most unclouded ray.
What boots it thee to fly from pole to pole?
Hang o'er the sun, and with the planets roll?
What boots through space's farthest bourns to
If thon, O man! a stranger art at home?
Then know thyself, the human mind survey,
The use, the pleasure, will the toil repay.
Hence inspiration plans his manner'd lays ;
Hence Homer's crown; and, Shakspeare! hence
Hence he, the pride of Athens and the shame,
The best and wisest of mankind became.
Nor study only, practise what you know;
Your life, your knowledge, to mankind you owe.
With Plato's olive wreath the bays entwine;
Those who in study, should in practice shine.
Say, does the learned lord* of Hagley's shade
Charm man, so much by mossy fountains laid,
As when, arous'd, he stems corruption's course,
And shakes the senate with a Tully's force?
When freedom gasp'd beneath a Cæsar's feet,
Then public virtue might to shades retreat:
But where she breathes, the least may useful be,
And freedom, Britain, stiil belongs to thee!
Though man's ungrateful, or though fortune frown;
Is the reward of worth a song, or crown?
Nor yet unrecompens'd are virtue's pains,
Good Allen lives, and bounteous Brunswick reigns.
On each condition disappointments wait,
Enter the hut, and force the guarded gate:
Nor dare repine, though early friendship bleed,
From love, the world, and all its cares, he's freed.
But know, Adversity's the child of God;
Whom Heaven approves of most, most feel her rod.
When smooth old Ocean, and each storm's asleep,
Then ignorance may plough the watery deep;
But when the demons of the tempest rave,
Skill must conduct the vessel through the wave.
Sidney, what good man envies not thy blow?
Who would not wish Anytus for a foe?
Intrepid virtue triumphs over fate,
The good can never be unfortunate :
And be this maxim graven in thy mind,
"The height of virtue is to serve mankind."
'But when old age has silver'd o'er thy head, When mem'ry fails, and all thy vigour's fled, Then may'st thou seek the stillness of retreat, Then hear aloof the human tempest beat; Then will I greet thee to my woodland cave, Allay the pangs of age, and smooth thy grave.'
O PARENT of each lovely Muse!
Thy spirit o'er my soul diffuse;
O'er all my artless songs preside,
My footsteps to thy temple guide;
To offer to thy turf-built-shrine,
In golden cups no costly wine;
No murder'd fatling of the flock,
But flowers and honey from the rock.
O nymph! with loosely-flowing hair,
With buskin❜d leg, and bosom bare;
Thy waist with myrtle-girdle bound,
Thy brows with Indian feathers crown'd;
Waving in thy snowy hand
An all-commanding magic wand;
Of pow'r to bid fresh gardens blow
'Mid cheerless Lapland's barren snow;
Whose rapid wings thy flight convey
Through air, and over earth and sea:
While the vast, various landscape lies
Conspicuous to thy piercing eyes;
O lover of the desert, hail!
Say, in what deep and pathless vale,
Or on what hoary mountain's side,
'Midst falls of water, you reside;
'Midst broken rocks, a rugged scene,
With green and grassy dales between:
"Midst forests dark of aged oak,
Ne'er echoing with the woodman's stroke;
Where never human art appear'd,
Nor ev'n one straw-roof'd cot was rear'd;
Where Nature seems to sit alone,
Majestic on a craggy throne.
Tell me the path, sweet wanderer, tell,
To thy unknown sequester'd cell;
Where woodbines cluster round the door,
Where shells and moss o'erlay the floor;
And on whose top a hawthorn blows,
Amid whose thickly-woven boughs
Some nightingale still builds her nest,
Each evening warbling thee to rest.
Then lay me by the haunted stream,
Wrapt in some wild, poetic dream;
In converse while methinks I rove
With Spenser through a fairy grove ;
Till suddenly awak'd, I hear
Strange whisper'd music in my ear;
And my glad soul in bliss is drown'd,
By the sweetly-soothing sound!
Me, goddess, by the right-hand lead,
Sometimes through the yellow mead,
Where Joy and white-rob'd Peace resort,
And Venus keeps her festive court;
Where Mirth and Youth each evening meet,
And lightly trip with nimble feet,
Nodding their lily-crowned heads,
Where Laughter rose-lipp'd Hebe leads,
Where Echo walks steep hills among,
List'ning to the shepherd's song.
Yet not these flowery fields of joy
Can long my pensive mind employ;
Haste, Fancy, from the scenes of folly,
To meet the matron Melancholy!
Goddess of the tearful eye,
That loves to fold her arms and sigh;
Let us with silent footsteps go
To charnels and the house of wo;
To Gothic churches, vaults and tombs,
Where each sad night some virgin comes,
With throbbing breast, and faded cheek,
Her promis'd bridegroom's urn to seek.
Or to some Abbey's mouldering tow'rs,
Where, to avoid cold wintry show'rs,