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The PLEASURES of RETIREMENT.
(THOMSON) Knew he but ,
The happiest he! who far from public rage,
Deep in the vale, with a choice few retird,
Drinks the pure pleasures of the rural life.
What tho' the dome be wanting, whose proud gate,
Each morning, vomits out the sneaking croud
Of Aatterers false; and in their turn abus'd?
Vile intercourse! What tho' the glittering robe,
Of every hue reflected light can give,
Or floating loose, or stiff with mazy gold,
The pride and gaze of fools ! oppress him not?
What tho', from utmost land and sea purvey'd,
For him each rarer tributary life
Bleeds not, and his infatiate table heaps
With luxury, and death? What thoo his bowl
Flames not with costly juice ; nor funk in beds,
Oft of gay care, he tosses out the night,
Or melts the thoughtless hours in idle state?
What tho' he knows not those fantastic joys,
That still amuse the wanton, ftill deceive;
A face of pleasure, but a heart of pain;
Their hollow moments undelighted' all ?
Sure peace is his ; a solid life, estrang’d
To disappointment, and fallacious hope:
Rich in content, in Nature's bounty rich,
In herbs and fruits ; whatever greens the Spring,
When heaven descends in showers; or bends the bough
When Summer reddens, and when Autumn beams;
Or in the wintry glebe whatever lies
Conceal'd, and fattens with the richest fap:
These are not wanting ; nor the milky drove,
Luxuriant, spread o'er all the lowing vale;
Nor bleating mountains ; nor the chide of streams,
And hum of bees, inviting sleep fincere
Into the guiltless breast, beneath the shade,
Or thrown at large amid the fragrant hay ;
Nor aught besides of prospect, grove, or fong,
Dim grottoes, gleaming lakes, and fountain Clear.
Here too dwells fimple truth; plain innocence;
Unsullied beauty; sound unbroken youth,
Patient of labour, with a little pleas'd;
Health ever blooming; unambitious toil;
Calm contemplation, and poetic ease.
The rage of nations, and the crush of states,
Move not the man, who, from the world escap'd,
In still retreats, and flowery solitudes,
To națure's voice attends, from month to month,
And day to day, thro' the revolving year ;
Admiring, sees her in her every shape;
Feels all her sweet emotions at his heart,
Takes what she liberal gives, nor thinks of more.
He, when young Spring protrudes the bursting gems,
Marks the first bud, and sucks the healthful gale
Into his freshen'd foul; her genial hours
He full enjoys; and not a beauty, blows,
And not an opening blossom breathes in vain.
In Summer he, beneath the living shade,
Such as o'er frigid Tempe wont to wave,
Or Hemus cool, reads, what the muse, of these
Perhaps, has in immortal numbers fungia
Or what she dictates writes: and, oft an eye
Shot round, rejoices in the vigorous year.
When Autumn's yellow lustre gilds the world,
And tempts the sickled swain into the field,
Seiz'd by the general joy, his heart distends
With gentle throws; and, thro’ the tepid gleams
Deep mufing, then he best exerts his song.
Even Winter wild to him is full of bliss.
The mighty tempest, and the hoary waste,
Abrupt, and deep, stretch'd o'er the buried earth,
Awake to folemn thought. At night the skies,
Disclos'd, and kindled, by refining frost,
Pour every lustre on th' exalted eye.
A friend, a book, the stealing hours secure,
And mark them down for wisdom. With swift wing,
O’er land and sea th' imagination roams
Or truth, divinely breaking on his mind,
Elates his being, and unfolds his powers;
Or in his breast heroic virtue burns.
The touch of kindred too and love he feels;
The modest eye, whose beams on his alone
Extatic shine; the little strong embrace
Of prattling children, twin'd around his neck,
And emulous to please him, calling forth
The fond parental soul. Nor purpose gay,
Amusement, dance, or song, he sternly scorns:;
For happiness and true philosophy
Are of the social still, and smiling kind.
This is the life which those who fret in guilt,
And guilty cities, never knew; the life,
Led by primeval ages, uncorrupt,
:When Angels dwelt, and God himself, with Man !
A PANEGYRIC on GREAT BRITAIN.
[THOMSON.] EAVENS! what a goodly prospect spreads around,
Of hills, and dales, and woods, and lawns, and
And glittering towns, and gilded streams, till all
The stretching landskip into fmoke decays !
Happy Britannia ! where the Queen of Arts,
Inspiring vigour, Liberty abroad
Walks, unconfin'd, even to thy farthest cotts,
And scatters plenty with unsparing hand.
Rich is thy soil, and merciful thy clime;
Thy streams unfailing in the summer's drought;
Unmatch'd thy guardian oaks; thy valleys hoat
With golden waves : and on thy mountains flocks
Bleat numberless, while, roving round their sides,
Bellow the blackening herds in lusty droves.
Beneath, thy meadows glow, and rise unquelld
Against the mower's scythe. On every hand
Thy villas shine. Thy country teems with wealth;
And property assures it to the swain,
Pleas'd, and unwearied, in his guardian toil.
Full are thy cities with the sons of art;
And trade and joy, in every_bufy street,
Mingling are heard : even Drudgery himself,
As at the car he sweats, or dusty hews
The palace-stone, looks gay. Thy crowded ports,
Where rifing mafts an endless prospect yield,
With labour burn, and echo to the shouts
Of hurry'd sailor, as he hearty waves
His latt adieu, and loosening every sheet,
Resigns the spreading vessel to the wind.
Bold, firm, and graceful, are thy generous youth,
By hardship finew'd, and by danger fir'd,
Scattering the nations where they go; and first
Or on the listed plain, or stormy feas.
Mild are thy glories too, as o'er the plans
Of thriving peace thy thoughtful fires preside ;
In genius, and fubftantial learning, high ;
For every virtue, every worth renown'd;
Sincere, plain-hearted, hospitable, kind;
Yet, like the mustering. thunder when provok’d,
The dread of tyrants, and the sole resource
Of those that under grim oppression groan.
Thy Sons of Glory many! Alfred thine,
In whom the fplendour of heroic war,
And more heroic peace, when govern'd well;
Combine! whose hallow' name the virtues faint,
And his own Muses love, the best of Kings!
With him thy Edwards and thy Henrys shine,
Names dear to fame, the first who deep impress’d-
On haughty Gaul the terror of thy arms,
That awes her genius stih. In Statesmen thou,
And Patriots, fertile, Thine a steady More,
Who, with a generous, tho' mistaken zeal,
Withstood a brutal tyrant's useful-rage,
Like Cato firm, like Aristides just,
Like rigid Cincinnatus nobly poor,
A dauntless foul erect, who smil'd on death.
Frugal, and wise, a Walsingham is thine;
A Drake, who made thee mistress of the deep,
And Bore thy name in thunder round the world.
Then fram'd thy spirit high : but who can speak
The numerous worthies of the Maiden Reign?
In Raleigh mark their every glory mix'd;
Raleigh, the scourge of Spain! whose breast with all
The lage, the patriot, and the hero burn'd.
Nor funk his vigour, when a coward reign
The warrior fetter’d, and at last resign’d,
To glut the vengeance of a vanquish'd foe.
Then, active still and unrestrain'd, his mind
Explor'd the vast extent of ages past,
And with his prison-hours enrich'd the world;
Yer found no times, in all the long research,
So glorious, or so bafe, as those he proy'd,
In which he conquerd, and in which he bled.
Nor can the Mule the gallant Sidney pass,
The plume of war!' with early laurels crown'd,
The Lover's myrtle, and the Poet's bay.
A Hampden too is thine, illustrious land !
Wise, Itrenuous, firm, of unsubmitting soul,
Who stem'd the torrent of a downward
To llavery prone, and bade thee rise again,
In all thy native pomp of freedom bold.
Bright, at his call, thy age of men effulg'd,
Of men on whom late time a kindling eye
Shall turn, and tyrants tremble while they read.
Bring every sweetest flower, and let me strew
The grave where Russel lies; whose temper'd blood,
With calmest chearfulness for the resign'd,
Stain'd the fad annals of a giddy reign;
Aiming at lawless power, tho' meanly sunk
In looie inglorious luxury. With him
His friend, the * British Cassius, fearless bled,
Of high determin’d spirit, roughly brave,
By antient learning to th' enlighten'd love
Of antient freedom warm’d. Fair thy renown
In awful Sages, and in noble Bards,
Soon as the light of dawning Science spread
Her orient ray, and wak'd the Muses' long.
Thine is a Bacon; hapless in his choice,
Unfit to stand the civil storm of ftate,
And thro' the smooth barbarity of courts,
With firm but pliant virtue, forward still
To urge his course : him for the studious shade
Kind Nature form’d, deep, comprehensive, clear,
Exact, and elegant; in one rich foul,
Plato, the Stagyrite, and Tully join'd.
The great deliverer he ! who from the gloom
Of cloyster'd monks, and jargon-teaching schools,
Led forth the true philosophy, there long
Held in the magic chain of words and forms,
And definitions void : he led her forth,
Daughter of Heaven ! that flow-ascending still,
Inveltigating sure the chain of things,
With radiant finger points to Heaven again.
The generous + Ashley thine, the friend of Man;
Who scann'd his Nature with a brother's eye,
His weakness prompt to fhade, to raise his aim,
To touch the finer inovements of the mind,
* Algernon Sydney.
t Anthony Alley Cooper, Earl of Shaftesbury.