« PreviousContinue »
Oft were my truant footsteps seen
Too soon those moments danced away;
My listless limbs more languid grew:
At length with wonted pastimes tired,
I to the world's wide circle flew,
Thy crowded clamorous orgies hold,
Thy devious path, sweet Power, I join'd: Through fancied fields of bliss we stray'd, A thousand wonders we design'd,
A thousand idle pranks we play'd; Now grasp'd at glory's quivering ray, And now in Chloe's chains we lay.
But, Folly, why prolong my verse
To sing the laughter-loving age? Or what avails it to rehearse
Thy triumphs on the youthful stage Where Wisdom, if she claims a place, Sits ever with an awkward grace?
For now, even now in riper years,
And clasp thee to my thoughtless breast; Enough that in Presumption's mien Beneath my roof thou ne'er art seen:
That, as my harmless course I run,
The world through candid lights I view, And still with generous pity shun
The moody, moping, serious crew; Since what they fondly vainly prize, Is ever, ever to be wise.
TO A FOUNTAIN.
SEQUESTER'D fountain! ever pure,
To shape my course by thine;
Fair fountain! on thy margin green
And spreading boughs thy bosom screen
Here may the Spring her flowerets strew,
May Health infuse her balm; And some soft virtue in thee flow, To mitigate the pangs of woe, And bid the heart be calm.
O! may thy salutary streams,
Like those of Lethe's spring,
The cordial ties of love.
For what avails the wretch to bear
The lessons of distrust and fear,
How changed since that propitious time,
The swelling tide, the sportive breeze
His bounding pinnace bore-
What charms the prospect wears!-
The opening world appears; There every figure stands confess'd, In all the sweet advantage dress'd
Of Candour's radiant robeThere no mean cares admission find, Love is the business of mankind, And Honour rules the globe.
But if those gleams fallacious prove
If men fair faith, fair fame deride,
THE bandit whom the laws pursue, The soldier, and the gipsy crew, Arabs and Tartars ever doom'd to roamWhate'er their place of shelter be, A tent, a cave, or hollow tree, Thither they hie with joy, and call it Home.
There if a doxy or a wife
Receive the wretch escaped from strife;
While thus the poor and wretched find The' asylum for a wounded mind,— Distemper'd men there are, estranged from home, Cold to an angel's kind embrace, Cheerless amid a blooming race,
And dead to comforts in a princely dome:
Men in the lap of Fortune nursed,
With all her froward humours cursed, And teased by wishes ever on the wing; Who, wandering still through Folly's maze, In search of bliss consume their days, Nor taste her genuine draught at Nature's spring.
Yet such the men who lead the gay,
The pride and patterns of the day,
Whose high prized friendship fools and strangers boast;
Blush, thou! to court their barren fame;
Let Home, sweet Home, thy presence claim, And those enjoy thy smiles who love thee most!