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In gay succession to his ravish'd eyes
O'er nature's soft repose;
Nor ruffling tempest blows.
The throbbing heart lies still ;
Distract the lab'ring will.
In silence hush'd, to reason's voice,
Attends each mental pow'r
Reflection's fav'rite bour.
Come :--while the peaceful scene invites,
Let's search this ample round;-
Of happiness be found?
Does it amidst the frolic mirth
Of gay assemblies dwell!
That shades the hermit's cell ?
How oft the laughing brow of joy
A sick’ning heart conceals! And through the cloister's deep recess,
Invading sorrow steals.
In vain through beauty, fortune, wit,
The fugitive we trace;
That brightens Clodio's face.
Perhaps the joy to these deny'd,
The heart in friendship finds : Ab! dear delusion! gay conceit
Of visionary minds!
Howe'er our Farying notions rove,
Yet all agree in one;-
At distance from our own.
O! blind to each indulgent aim,
Of pow'r supremely wise, Who fancy happiness in ought
The hand of heav'n denies,
Vain is alike the joy we seek,
And vain what we possess ; Unless harmonious reason tunes
The passions into peace.
To temper'd wishes, just desires,
Is happiness confin'd,
The music of the mind.
Has earth, or air, or ocean to bestow,
And bounds its narrow views to scenes below?
Is life thy passion ?-let it not depend
On flutt'ring pulses, and a fleeting breath: Io sad despair the fruitless wish must end,
That seeks it in the gloomy range of death.
Is all devoted to his tyrant pow'r ;
To speed his conquests flies the rapid hour.
This verdant earth, these fair surrounding skies,
Are all the triamphs of his wasteful reiga: "Tis but to set the brightest suns arise ;
'Tis but to wither,-blooms the flow'ry plain.
Tis but to die, mortality was born;
Nor struggling folly breaks the dread decree: Then cease the common destiny to mourn,
Nor wish thy nature's laws revers’d for thee. The sun that sets, again shall gild the skies,
The faded plain reviving flow'rs shall grace; But hopeless fall, no more on earth to rise,
The transitory forms of human race.
No more on earth :--but see, beyond the gloom,
Where the short reiga of time and death expires, Victorious o'er the ravage of the tomb,
Smiles the fair object of thy fond desires.
The seed of life below, imperfect lies,
To virtue's hand its cultivation giv'n; Form'd by her care, the beauteous plant shall rise,
And flourish with unfading bloom in heav'n.
TO THE EARL OF BATH. Bright are the beams meridian suns diffuse;
Yet drooping nature mourns their force severe : And hails the gentle fall of ev’ning dews,
Whose cooling drops the wither'd world repair.
Bright is our mortal being's noontide state,
The glowing breast when new-born spirits fire : When vast designs th' aspiring soul elate,
And fair achievements ev'ry wish inspire. While unrelax'd the springs of action play,
And gay success on raptur'd fancy smiles, She bids all dangers, and all doubts give way,
To crown the hero's, or the statesman's toils.
Untaught what cross events the wise confound,
How time and chance the boast of pow'r deride, Exulting hope o’erleaps the fatal bound,
By imperfection fix'd to human pride.
Subdu'd at length beneath laborious life,
With passion struggling, and by care deprest, In peaceful age, that ends the various strife,
The harrass'd virtues .gladly sink to resto
Yet not in flow'ry indolence reclin'd,
They waste th' important gift of sober hours: To ev'ry state has heav'n its task assign'd;
To ev'ry task assign’d its needful pow'rs. Within the fun'ral cypress' awful gloom,
Shall pleasure her fantastic garlands wreathe ? Shall giddy mirth profane the neighb'ring tomb,
And folly riot in the vale of death?
For better purposes, to favour'd man
Is length of days, tremendous blessing! gio'n; To regulate our life's disorder'd plan,
And purify the blemish'd soul for heav'n.
For oft, alas! amidst our fairest aim,
The busy passions mix their fatal art; Perplex defective virtue's genuine scheme,
And slily warp the unsuspecting heart. Oft too, by inconsistent crouds misled,
Our devious steps through winding mazes stray: How few the simple path of duty tread,
And steadfast keep their heav'n-directed way!
With calm severity, unpassion'd'age
Detects the specious fallacies of youth; Reviews the motives, which no more engage,
And weighs each action in the scale of truth.
The soul no more on mortal good relies,
But nobler objects urge ber hopes and fears, And, sick of folly, views no tempting prize
Beneath the radiant circle of the stars,