Page images

The other dame feem'd even of fairer hue;

But bold her mien, unguarded rov'd her eye, An! her flush'd cheeks confeis'd at nearer view The borrow'd blushes of an artful dye. All foft and delicate, with airy fwin

Lightly fhe danc'd along; her robe betray'd Thro' the clear texture every tender limb,

Height'ning the charms it only feem'd to hade: And as it flow'd adown, fo loofe and thin, [fkin Her ftature fhew'd more tall, more fnowy white her Oft with a smile she view'd herself askance;

Even on her fhade a confcious look the threw : Then all around her caft a circlefs glance,

To mark what gazing eyes her beauty drew. As they came near, before that other maid

Approaching decent, eagerly the pref'd With hafty ftep; nor of repulse afraid, [drefs'd; With freedom bland the wond'ring youth adWith winning fondnefs on his neck the hung; Sweet as the honey-dew flow'd her enchanting tongue :

[ocr errors]

"Dear Hercules, whence this unkind delay ?

Dear youth, what doubts can thus diftra&t thr Securely follow where I lead the way, [mind, And range thro' wilds of pleature unconfia'd. With me retire from noife, and pain, and care,

Embath'd in blifs, and wrapt in endless eafe: Rough is the road to fame, thro' blood and war;

Smooth is my way, and all my paths are peace. With me retire, from toils and perils free, Leave honour to the wretch! pleafures were made,

for thee.

"Then will I grant thee all thy foul's defire; All that may charm thine car, and pleafe thy fight;

All that the thought can frame, or with require,

To fteep thy ravish'd fenfes in delight: The fumptuous feaft, enhanc'd with mufic's found,

Fittest to tune the melting foul to love, Rich odours, breathing choiceft fweets around; The fragrant bow'r, cool fountain, fhady grove; Fresh flowers to ftrew thy couch, and crown thy [thy bed. Joy fhall attend thy steps, and cafe fhall finooth "Thefe will I freely, conftantly fupply,


Pleafures not carn'd with toil, nor mix'd with Far from thy reft repining want thall fly, [woe, Nor labour bathe in fweat thy careful brow. Mature the copious harvest shall be thine,

Let the laborious hind fubdue the foil; Leave the rafh foldier fpoils of war to win,


Won by the foldier thou shalt fhare the spoil These fofter cares my beft allies employ, New pleasures to invent, to wifh, and to enjoy." Her winning voice the youth attentive caught:


He gaz d impatient on the fmiling maid; Still gaz'd, and liften'd; then her name befought: My name, fair youth, is Happinefs," the faid "Well can my friends this envied truth maintain: They there my blifs, they beft can speak my praite:

Tho' Slander call me Sloth (detra&tion vain!), Heed not what Slander, vain detracter, fays; Slander, ftill prompttrue merit to defame, [name.' To blot the brighteft worth, and blast the fairef By this arriv'd the fair majestic maid;

She all the while, with the fame modeft pace, Compos'd advanc'd: "Know, Hercules," the faid

Thy tender age, that lov'd inftruction's voice, With manly tone, "thy birth of heavenly race:

Promis'd thee generous, patient,brave, and wife; When manhood fhould confirm thy glorious choice,

Now expectation waits to fee thee rife. Rife, youth! exalt thyfelf and me; approve Thy high defcent from heaven, and dare be worthy Jove. [difguife: But what truth prompts, my tongue fhall not The fteep afcent must be with toil fubdued; Watching and cares muft win the lofty prize

Propos'd by Heaven-true blifs and real good. Honour rewards the brave and bold alone;

She fpurns the timorous, indolent, and base: Danger and toil stand stern before her throne,

And guard (fo Jove commands)the facred place. Who feeks her muft the mighty coft fufitain, And pay the price of fame-labour, and care, and pain.

Wouldst thou engage the gods peculiar care?
O Hercules, th' immortal pow'rs adore!
With a pure heart, with facrifice, and pray'r
wouldst thou gain thy country's loud applaufe,
Attend their altars, and their aid implore.
Lov'd as her father, as her god ador'd ?
Be thou the bold afferter of her caufe;

Her voice in council, in the fight her fword; In peace, in war, purfue thy country's good; For her bare thy bold breaft, and pour thy gene rous blood.

Wouldst thou,to quell the proud and lift th'oppreft,
In arts of war and matchlefs ftrength excel?
First conquer thou thyfelf: to cafe, to reft,

The night alternate, due to tweet repole,
To each foft thought of pleasure, bid farewel

In watches wafte; in painful march, the day: Congeal'd amidft the rigorous winter's frows,

Scorch'd by the fummer's thirst-inflaming ray, Thy harden'd limbs fhall boaft fuperior might: Vigour fhall brace thine arm,refiftiefs in the fight." "Hear'ft thou what monsters then thou must engage? [prove?" What dangers, gentle youth, the bids thee (Abrupt fays Sloth)"Il fit thy tender age Tumult and wars, fit age for joy and love. Furn, gentle youth, to me, to love, and joy!

To thefe I lead: no monfteis here fhall ftay Thine eafy courfe; no cares thy peace annoy; I lead to blifs a nearer, fmoother way: Short is my way, fair, eafy, fimooth, and plain: Turn, gentle youth-with me eternal pleatures reign."

What pleafures, vain mistaken wretch, are thine" (Virtue with feorn replied) "who fleep'ft in cafe Infenfate,


[blocks in formation]

For ever banish'd from the realms above,

To dwell on earth with man's degenerate race : Futer abode ! on earth alike difgrac'd; Rejected by the wife, and by the fool embrac'd. "Fend wretch, that vainly weenest all delight To gratify the fenfe, referv'd for thee! Yet the most pleafing object to the fight,

Thine own fair action, never didst thou fee. Tho' lull'd with foftest founds thou lieft along,

Soft mufic, warbling voices, melting lays; Nelerdidit thou hear, more fweet than fweeteft fong Charming the foul, thou ne'er didft hear thy -to thy revels let the fool repair; [praife! To fuch go fmooth thy fpecch, and fpread thy tempting fnare.

"Vat happiness enjoy thy gay allies!

A youth of follies, an old age of cares; Yeung yet enervate, old yet never wife,

Vice waftes their vigour, and their mind impairs. Trn, idle, delicate, in thoughtless eafe,

cerving woes for age, their prime they fpend, All wretched, hopeless, in the evil days,

With forrow to the verge of life they tend. Grev'd with the prefent, of the pat atham'd, They live and are defpis'd; they die, nor more

"Nor need my friends the various coftly feaft;
Hunger to them th' effects of art fupplies;
Labour prepares their weary limbs to reit;
Sweet is their fleep; light, cheerful, ftrong, they


are nam'd.

“But with the gods, and godlike men, I dwell; Me, his fupreme delight, th' Almighty Sire Regards well pleas'd: whatever works excel,

All, or divine or human, I infpire. Counfel with ftrength, and induftry with art, la union meet conjoin'd, with me refide: My dictates arm, inftruct, and mend the heart, The fureft policy, the wifeft guide. With me true friendship dwells: The deigns to bind generous fouls alone, whom I before have join'd.


Thro' health, thro' joy, thro' pleafure, and renown They tread my paths; and by a foft defcent At length to age all gently finking down,

Look back with fraufport on a life well spent, In which fome gen'rous deed diftinguish'd ev'ry In which no hour flew unimprov'd away; [day. "And when the defin'dterm at length's complete,

Their afhes ruft in peace, eternal fame Sounds wide their praise: triumphant over fate, In facred fong for ever lives their name. This, Hercules, is happiness! obey

My voice, and live: let thy celeftial birth Lift and enlarge thy thoughts: behold the way

That leads to fame, and raises thee from earth Immortal! Lo, I guide thy fteps. Arife, [fkies." Purfue the glorious path, and claim thy native Her words breathe fire celeftial, and impart


New vigour to his foul, that fudden caught The generous flame with great intent his heart Swells full, and labours with exalted thought. The mift of error from his eyes difpell'd,

Thro' all her fraudful arts, in cleareft light, Sloth in her native form he now beheld,

Unveil'd fhe stood confefs'd before his fight: Falfe Siren -All her vaunted charms, that fhone So freth erewhile and fair, now wither'd, pale, and gone.

No more the rofy bloom in fweet difguife

Mafks her diffembled looks; each borrow'd grace Leaves her wan check; pale fick nefs clouds her eyes Livid and funk, and pailions dim her face. As when fair Iris has awhile difplay'd

Her wat'ry arch, with gaudy painture gay, While yet we gaze the glorious colours fade,

And from our wonder gently fteal away: Where fhone the beauteous phantom erft fobright, Now low'rs the low-hung cloud, all gloomy to the fight.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

'Twas virtue plac'd him in the bleft abode; [god.[ At length 'tis morn, and at the dawn of day
Crown'd with eternal youth, among the gods a Along the wide canals the Zephyrs play;
Fresh o'er the gay parterres the breezes creep,
And fhake the neighbouring wood to banish fleeps,"
Up rife the guests, obedient to the call;
An early banquet deck'd the fplendid hall;
Rich lufcious wine a golden goblet grac'd,
Which the kind mafter forc'd the guests to taffe,
Then, pleas'd and thankful, from the porch they

$104. The Hermit. PARNELL.


AR in a wild, unknown to public view,
From youth to age a rev'rend Hermit grew;
The mofs his bed, the cave his humble cell,
Ilis food the fruits, his drink the cryftal well:
Remote from man, with God he pais'd his days,
Pray'r all his bufinefs, all his pleasure praife.

A life fo facred, fuch ferene repofe,
Seem'd heaven itself, till one fuggeftion 10fe—
That vice fhould triumph, virtue vice obey;
This fprung fome doubt of Providence's fway:
His hopes no more a certain profpe&t boast,
And all the tenour of his foul is loft.
So when a smooth expanfe receives imprest
Calm nature's image on its wat ry breaft,
Down bend the banks, the trees depending grow,
And skies beneath with anfwering colours glow:
But if a ftone the gentle fea divide,
Swift ruffling circles curl on eviy fide,
And glimm'ring fragments of a broken fun;
Banks, trees, and fkies, in thick diforder run.

And, but the landlord, none had caufe of woe:
Ilis cup was vanish'd; for in fecret guife
The younger gueft purloin'd the glitt'ring prize.
As one who fpics a ferpent in his way,
Glift'ning and basking in the fummer ray,
Disorder'd ftops to fhun the danger near,
Then walks with faintnefs on, and looks with fear;
So feem'd the fire, when far upon the road
The fhining fpoil his wily partner fhow'd.

e ftopp'd with filence, walk'd with trembling

And much he wifh'd, but durft not afk, to part
Murm'ring he lifts his eyes, and thinks it hard
That gen'rous actions meet a base reward.

While thus they pafs, the fun his glory throuds,
The changing fkies hang out their fable clouds;
A found in air prefag'd approaching rain,
And beafts to covert fcud across the plain.
Warn'd by the figns, the wand'ring pair retreat
To feek for fhelter at a neighb'ring feat:
'Twas built with turrets on a rifing ground,
And ftrong, and large, and unimprov'd around;
Its owner's temper, tim'rous and fevere,
Unkind and griping, caus'd a defert there.
As near the mifer's heavy doors they drew,
Fierce rifing gufts with fudden fury blew;
The nimble lightning mix'd with fhow'rs began
And o'er their heads loud rolling thunder ran.
Here long they knock, but knock or call in vain,
Div'n by the wind and batter'd by the rain.
At length fome pity warm'd the mafter's bicaff
anfwer('Twas then his threshold first receiv'd a gucft);
Slow creaking turns the door with jealous care,
And half he welcomes in the fhiv'ring pair;
One frugal faggot lights the naked walls,
And nature's fervour through their limbs recalls:
Bread of the coarfeft fort, with meager wine,

To clear this doubt, to know the world by fight,
To find if books or fwains report it right
(For yet by fwains alone the world he knew,
Whole feet came wand'ring o'er the nightly dew),
He quits his cell, the pilgrim-ftaff he bore,
And fix'd the fcallop in his hat before;
Then with the fun a ring journey went,
Sedate to think, and watching each event.

The morn was wafted in the pathlefs grafs,
And long and lonefome was the wild to pafs:
But when the fouthern fun had warm'd the day,
A youth came pofting o'er a croffing way;
His raiment decent, his complexion fair,
And foft in graceful ringlets wav'd his hair:
Then near approaching, Father, hail!" he cried.
And "Hail, iny fon!" the rev'rend fire replied:
Words follow'd words, from queftion



And talk of various kind deceiv'd the road;
Till each with other pleas'd, and loth to part,
While in their age they differ, join in heart.
Thus ftands an aged elm in ivy bound,
Thus youthful ivy clafps an elm around.

Now funk the fun; the clofing hour of day
Came onward, mantled o'er with fober grey;
Nature in filence bid the world repose:
When near the road a stately palace rofe. [pafs,
There, by the moon, through ranks of trees they
Whofe verdure crown'd their floping fides of grafs.
It chanc'd the noble mafter of the dome
Still made his house the wand'ring ftranger's home;
Yet ftill the kindness, from a thirft of praife,
Prov'd the vain flourish of expenfive eafe.
The pair arrive: the liveried fervants wait;
Their lord receives them at the pompous gate.
The table groans with coftly piles of food,
And all is more than hofpitably good.
Then, led to reft, the day's long toil they drown,
Deep funk in fleep, and filk, and heaps of down.

Each hardly granted) ferv'd them both to dine;
And when the tempeft first appear'd to cease,
A ready warning bid them part in peace.

With ftill remark the pond ring Hermit view'd,
In one fo rich, a life fo poor and rude;
And why fhould fuch (within himfelf he cried)
Lock the loft wealth a thoufand want befide?
But what new marks of wonder foon take place
In ev'ry fettling feature of his face,
When from his veft the young companion bore
That cup the gen'rous landlord own'd before, -
And paid profufely with the precious bowl
The ftinted kindness of this churlifh foul!

But now the clouds in airy tumult fly;
The fun emerging opes an azure sky;
A fresher green the fmelling leaves difplay,
And, glitt'ring as they tremble, cheer the day


The weather courts them from the poor retreat, | Surprise in fecret chains his words fufpends,
And in a calm his fettling temper ends.
But filence here the beauteous angel broke
(The voice of mufic ravish'd as he spoke):

And the glad master bolts the wary gate.
While hence they walk, the Pilgrim's bofom

With all the travail of uncertain thought;
His partner's acts without their cause appear;
'Twas there a vice; and feem'd a madnefs here:
Detaiting that, and pitying this, he goes,
Lof and confounded with the various fhows.
Now night's dim fhades again involve the sky;
Again the wand'rers want a place to lie :
Again they fearch, and find a lodging nigh.
The foil improv'd around, the mansion neat,
And neither poorly low, nor idly great,
It feem'd to speak its mafter's turn of mind,
Content, and not for praife but virtue kind.

"Thy pray 'r,thy praife,thy life to vice unknown,
In fweet memorial rife before the throne:
Thefe charms fuccefs in our bright region find,
And force an angel down to calm thy mind,
For this commiflion'd, I forfook the sky-
Nay, ceafe to kneel!-thy fellow-fervant I.

Then know the truth of government Divine,
And let thefe fcruples be no longer thine.

Hither the walkers turn with weary feet
Then biefs the manfion, and the mafter greet.
Their greeting fair, bestow'd with modeft guife,
The courteous mafter hears, and thus replies:


“Without a vain, without a grudging heart,
To him who gives us all I yield a part;
From him you come, for him accept it here,
A frank and fober, more than coftly cheer."
He spoke, and bid the welcome table spread,
Then talk'd of virtue till the time of bed;
When the grave household round his hall repair,
Warn'd by a bell, and close the hours with pray'r.
At length the world, renew'd by calm repofe,
Was ftrong for toil; the dappled morn arofe;
Before the pilgrims part, the younger crept
Near the clos'd cradle, where an infant flept,
And writh'd his neck the landlord's little pride,
Oftrangereturn! grew black, and gafp'd, and died.
Horror of horrors! what! his only fon?
How look'd our Hermit when the fact was done
Not hell, tho' hell's black jaws in funder part,
And breathe blue fire, could more affault his heart.
Confus'd and ftruck with filence at the deed,
He flies; but, trembling, fails to fly with speed.
His fteps she youth purfues; the country lay
Perplex'd with roads; a fervant fhew'd the way:
A river crofs'd the path; the paffage o'er
Was nice to find; the fervant trod before:
Long arms of oaks an open bridge fupplied,[glide.
And deep the waves beneath the bending branches
The youth, who feem'd to watch a time to fin,
Approach'd the careless guide, and thrust him in:
Plunging he falls, and rifing lifts his head;
Then flashing turns, and finks among the dead.
Wild fparkling rage inflames the father's eyes;
He burfts the bands of fear, and madly cries,
“Detefted wretch !”—But fcarce his fpeech began,
When the ftrange partner feem'd no longer man.
His youthful face grew more ferenely fweet;
His robe turn'd white, and flow'd upon his feet;
Fair rounds of radiant points inveft his hair;
Celeftial odours breathe through purpled air;
And wings whofe colours glitter'd on the day,
Wide at his back their gradual plumes difplay.
The form ethereal burfts upon his fight,
And moves in all the majefty of light.

Tho' loud at first the Pilgrim's paffion grew, Sudden he gaz'd, and wift not what to do;

"The Maker justly claims that world he made,
In this the right of Providence is laid;
Its facred majesty through all depends
On using second means to work his ends;
'Tis thus, withdrawn in ftate from human eye,
The Pow'r exerts his attributes on high;
Your actions ufes, nor controuls your will,
And bids the doubting fons of men be still. [prife,
"What strange events can ftrike with more fur-
Thanthofe which lately ftruck thy wond'ring eyes?
Yet, taught by thefe, confefs th' Almighty juft;
And, where you can't unriddle, learn to trust.

"The great vain man, who far'd on coftly food,
Whofe life was too luxurious to be good;
Who made his iv'ry ftands with goblets thine,
And forc'd his guests to morning draughts of wine;
Has, with the cup, the gracelets cuftom loft,
And ftill he welcomes, but with lefs of coft.

"The mean fufpicious wretch,whose bolted door
Ne'er mov'd in pity to the wand'ring poor,
With him I left the cup, to teach his mind
That Heaven can blefs, if mortals will be kind.
Confcious of wanting worth, he views the bowl,
And feels compaffion touch his grateful foul.
Thus artists melt the fullen ore of lead,
With heaping coals of fire upon its head;
In the kind warmth the metal learns to glow,
And, loofe from drofs, the filver runs below.


Long had our pious friend in virtue trod,
But now the child half wean'd his heart from God;
(Child of his age) for him he liv'd in pain,
And meafur'd back his fteps to earth again.
To what excelles had his dotage run!
But God, to fave the father, took the fon.
To all but thee in fits he feem'd to go;
And 'twas my miniftry to deal the blow.
The poor fond parent, humbled in the duft,
Now owns in tears the punishment was just.

"But how had all his fortunes felt a wrack,
Had that falfe fervant fped in fafety back!
This night his treafur'd heaps he meant to steal,
And what a fund of charity would fail!
Thus Heaven inftructs thy mind: this trial o'er,
Depart in peace, refign, and fin no more.”

On founding pinions here the youth withdrew;
The fage ftood wond'ring as the feraph flew.
Thus look'd Elisha, when, to mount on high,
His master took the chariot of the fky:
The fiery pomp afcending left the view;
The prophet gaz`d, and with'd to follow too.

The bending Hermit here a pray'r begun : Lord! as in beaven, on earth thy will be de.


Then, gladly turning, fought his ancient place, And pais'd a life of piety and peace.

§ 105. The Golden Verfes of Pythagoras. FITZGERALD.

FIRST, the Supreme doth high-ft rev'rence Ufe with religious awe his facred name: Affur'd he views thy ways, let nought controul The oath thou once haft bound upon thy foul.

Next, to the heroes bear a grateful mind, Whole glorious cares and toils liave bleft mankind. Let juft refpect and decent rites be paid To the immortal manes of the dead. Honour thy parents, and thy next of kind; And virtuous men wherever thou canft find, In the fame bond of love let them be join'd.

Ufeful and fteady let thy life proceed, Mild ev'ry word, good-natur'd ev'ry deed; Oh, never with the man thou lov'ft contend! But bear a thousand frailties from thy friend. Rafhly inflam'd, vain spleen, and flight furmise, To real feuds, and endlets difcords rife.

O'er luft, o'er anger, keep the ftrictest rein, Subdue thy floth, thy appetite restrain. With no vile action venture to comply, Not, tho' unfeen by ev'ry mortal eye. Above all witneffes thy confcience fear, And more than all mankind thyself revere.

One way let all thy words and actions tend, Reafon their conftant guide, and truth their end. And ever mindful of thy mortal state, How quick, how various are the turns of fate; How here, how there, the tides of fortune roll; How foon impending death concludes the whole, Compofe thy mind, and free from anxious ftrife Endure thy portion of the ills of life: Tho' ftill the good man stands fecure from harms, Nor can misfortune wound, whom virtue arms.

Difcourfe in common converfe, thou wilt find Some to improve, and fome to taint the mind; Grateful to that a due obfervance pay; Beware left this entice thy thoughts aftray; And bold untruths which thou art forc'd to hear, Receive difcreetly with a patient car.

Wouldst thou be justly rank'd among the wife, Think ere thou doft, ere thou refolv'ft, advise. Still let thy aims with fage experience square, And plan thy conduct with fagacious care; So fhalt thou all thy courfe with pleasure run, Nor with an action of thy life undone.

Among the various ends of thy defires,
'Tis no inferior place thy health requires.
Firmly for this from all excefs refrain,
Thy cups be mod rate, and thy diet plain :
Nor yet unelegant thy board fupply,
But thun the naufeous pomp of luxury.
Let fpleen by cheerful converfe be withfood,
And honeft labours purify the blood.

Each night, ere needful flumber feals thy eyes,
Home to thy foul let thefe reflections rife :
How has this day my duty feen exprefs'd
What have I done, omitted, or tranfgrefs'd?

Then grieve the moments thou haft idly spent : The reft will yield thee comfort and content.

Be thefe good rules thy ftudy and delight, Practife by day, and ponder them by night; Thus all thy thoughts to virtue's height fall rife, And truth thall stand unveil'd before thy eyes. Of beings the whole fyftem thou thalt fee,

Rang'd as they are in beauteous harmony,
Whilft all depend from one fuperior caufe,
And Nature works obedient to her laws.
Hence, as thou labour'ft with judicious care
To run the courfe allotted to thy fhare,
Wildom refulgent with a heavenly ray
Shall clear thy profpect, and direct thy way.
Then all around compattionately view
The wretched ends which vain mankind purfue,
Tofs'd to and fro by cach impetuous guit,
The rage of pailion, or the fire of luft,
No certain ftay, no fafe retreat they know,
But blindly wander through a maze of woe.
Mean while congenial vilenefs works within,
And cuftom quite fubdues the foul to fin.
Save us from this diftrefs, Almighty Lord,
Our minds illumine, and thy aid afford !

But O! fecure from all thy life is led,
Whofe feet the happy paths of virtue tread.
Thou ftand'it united to the race divine,
And the perfection of the skies is thine.
Imperial reafon, free from all controul,
Maintains her juft dominion in thy foul:
Till purg'd at length from every finful stain,
When friendly death fhall break the cumbrous

Loos'd from the body thou fhalt take thy flight, And range immortal in the fields of light.

[blocks in formation]


To choofe thy manfion, and to fix thy feat?
Thy facred prefence how fhall we explore!
Can av'rice gain thee with her golden store?
Can vain ambition with her boafted charms
Tempt thee within her wide-extended arms?
No, with Content alone canft thou abide,
Thy fifter, ever fmiling by thy fide.

When boon companions void of ev'ry care Crown the full bowl,and the rich banquet fhare, And give a loofe to pleafure-art thou there? Or when th' afiembled great and fair advance To celebrate the maik, the play, the dance,

« PreviousContinue »