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And-prithee, lead me in;
ODE ON A DISTANT PROSPECT OF
YE distant spires, ye antique towers,
That crown the wat’ry glade,
Her Henry's holy shade:
Of grove, of lawn, of mead, survey,
His silver-winding way.
Ah, fields belov’d in vain,
A stranger yet to pain!
As waving fresh their gladsome wing,
To breathe a second spring.
Say, father Thames (for thou hast seen
Full many a sprightly race,
The paths of pleasure trace)
The captive linnet, which enthral ?
Or urge the flying ball ?
Their murm’ring labours ply 'Gainst graver hours, that bring constraint
To sweeten liberty:
And unknown regions dare descry:
And snatch a fearful joy.
Less pleasing when possess'd;
The sunshine of the breast; Theirs buxom health, of rosy hue, Wild wit, invention ever new,
And lively cheer of vigour born; The thoughtless day, the easy night, The spirits pure, the slumbers light,
That fly th' approach of morn. Alas, regardless of their doom,
The little victims play!
No sense have they of ills to come,
No care beyond to-day: Yet see,
how all around them wait The ministers of human fate,
And black Misfortune's baleful tram! Ah, show them where in ambush stand To seize their prey, the murd'rous band ;
Ah, tell them, they are men! These shall the fury passions tear,
The vultures of the mind; Disdainful Anger, pallid Fear,
And Shame that skulks behind; Or pining Love shall waste their youth, Or Jealousy with rankling tooth,
That inly gnaws the secret heart; And Envy wan, and faded
Care, Grim-visag'd comfortless Despair,
And Sorrow's piercing dart. Ambition this shall tempt to rise;
Then whirl the wretch from high, To bitter scorn a sacrifice,
And grinning infamy: The stings of Falsehood those shall try, And hard Unkindness' alter'd eye,
That mocks the tear it forc'd to flow; And keen Remorse, with blood defild, And moody Madness, laughing wild
Amid severest woe.
A grisly troop are seen,
More hideous than their queen;
This racks the joints, this fires the veins,
Those in the deeper vitals rage:
And slow-consuming Age.
Condemn'd alike to groan;
Th' unfeeling for his own.
And happiness too swiftly flies;
ODE TO POVERTY.
Hail! mighty power! who o'er my
I bid thee hail, dread Poverty!
A helpless stranger I was cast,
The sport and victim of the blast, Thy russet robe was o'er me flung, And to thy cold, lean hand I clung.
In youth I felt thy guardian care,
Each saving, self-denying rule,
I learnt and practis'd in thy school;
Of chance and change in this vain world; The low to high estate preferr'd
From high estate the haughty hurl'd; But chance or change ne'er pass'd o'er me-I'm still thy subject, Poverty ! (Oh how unwise are they who scorn
Thy homely garb and homely fare;
Ideal happiness to share;
Who spurn thy salutary laws,
And hold it sin to own thy cause.
Thy sons have prov'd their country's shield, When wealth's effeminate array
Appear'd not on the battle field :'Twas theirs to grasp the patriot brand, That dropp'd from luxury's nerveless hand.