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Whilft beauty fpreads its sweetest charms
§ 10%. A Thought upon Death. FITZGERALD,
IS vain, my foul, 'tis impious all,
The human lot to mourn,
That life fo foon muft fleet away,
And duft to dust return.
And airs ecstatic fwell their tuneful found,
Art thou within the pompous circle found?
Does not thy influence more fedately shine ?
Can fuch tumultuous joys as thefe be thine?
Surely more mild, more conftant in their course,
Thy pleasures iffue from a nobler source;
From fweet difcretion ruling in the breast,
From paffions temper'd, and from lufts repreft;
From thoughts unconfcious of a guilty finart,
And the calm transports of an honest heart.
Thy aid, O ever faithful, ever kind!
Thro' life, thro' death, attends the virtuous
Of angry fate wards from us ev'ry blow,
Cures ev'ry l, and foftens ev'ry woe.
Whatever good our mortal state defires,
What wisdom finds, or innocence infpires;
From nature's bounteous hand whatever flows,
Whate'er our Maker's providence bestows,
By thee mankind enjoys; by thee repays
A grateful tribute of perpetual praife.
$107. On Industry. FITZGERALD.
UEEN of all virtues! for whate'er we call
Godlike and great, 'tis thou obtain'st it all.
No talk too arduous for thy ftrong effay,
And art and nature own thy potent fway.
Infpir'd by thee to each fuperior aim,
We prefs with ardour thro' the paths of fame,
Up to the facred top, and leave behind
Th' inglorious crowd, the herd of human kind;
While wifdom round us pours her heavenly ray,
And old experience guides our fteady way.
No anxious care, no furious lufts controul
The free habitual vigour of the foul.
Each part, each station gracefully we fill,
And bend and shape our fortune to our will.
The hero, down thro' ev'ry age renown'd,
With triumph, praife, and glorious titles crown'd,
By thee has gain'd his honourable spoils,
And mighty fame achiev'd by mighty toils.
The fage, whilft learning ftudious he pursues,
By thee the ftubborn fciences fubdues;
Through truth's wide fields expatiates unconfin'd,
And ftores for ever his capacious mind.
Nor feck the lower ranks thy aid in vain;
The poor mechanic and the lab'ring fwain:
Health, peace, and fweet content to thefe it brings,
More precious prizes than the wealth of kings.
When whelming round us death's fad terrors
'Tis thou fpeak'ft peace and comfort to the soul.
Then if our recollecting thoughts prefent
A well-plann'd life in virtuous labour spent ;
If ufeful we have pafs'd through every stage,
And paid our debt of fervice to the age;
If ftill we 've made our duty our delight,
Nor hid our master's talent from our fight,
All's well, 'tis all by our own heart approv'd,
From hence we pafs, by God and man belov'd;
Cheerful we pats, to Heaven's high will refign'd,
And leave a blessed memory behind.
Alas! from death the terrors fly,
When once 'tis underfood;
'Tis Nature's call, 'tis God's decree,
And is, and must be good.,
Wearied his limbs with honeft toil,
And void of cares his breaft,
See how the lab'ring hind finks down
Each night to wholesome rest.
No naufeous fumes perplex his fleep,
No guilty ftarts furprife;
The vifions that his fancy forms,
All free and cheerful rife.
So thou, nor led by lufts aftray,
Nor gall'd with anxious ftrife,
With virtuous induftrv fulfil
The plain intent of life.
Pafs calmly thy appointed day,
And ufefully employ,
And then thou 'rt fure whate'er fucceed
Is reft, and peace, and joy.
$109. The Fire-Side.
DEAR Chloe, while the bufy crowd,
The vain, the wealthy, and the proud,
In Folly's maze advance;
Tho' fingularity and pride
Be call'd our choice, we 'll step afide,
Nor join the giddy dance.
From the gay world we 'll oft retire
To our own family and fire,
Where love our hours employs;
No noify neighbour enters here,
No intermeddling ftranger near,
To spoil our heart-felt joys.
If folid happiness we prize,
Within our breaft this jewel lies;
And they are fools who roam:
The world has nothing to bestow;
From our own felves our joys muft flow,
And that dear hut, our home.
Of reft was Noah's dove bereft,
When with impatient wing the left
That fafe retreat, the ark;
Giving her vain excurfion o'er,
The difappointed bird once more
Explor'd the facred bark.
Tho' fools fpurn Hymen's gentle pow'rs,
We, who improve his golden hours,
By fweet experience know,
That marriage, rightly understood,
Gives to the tender and the good
A paradife below.
Our babes fhall richest comforts bring;
If tutor'd right, they 'll prove a spring
Whence pleasures ever rile.
We'll form their minds, with ftudious care,
To all that 's manly, good and fair,
And train them for the fkies.
While they our wifeft hours engage,
They'll joy our youth, fupport our age,
And crown our hoary hairs:
They'll grow in virtue ev'ry day,
And thus our fondeft loves repay,
And recompenfe our cales.
No borrow'd joys, they're all our own,
While to the world we live unknown,
Or by the world forgot:
Monarchs! we envy not your
We look with pity on the great,
And blefs our humble lot.
Our portion is not large, indeed
But then how little do we need!
For nature's calls are few:
In this the art of living lies,
To want no more than may fuffice,
And make that little do.
Forego the fearch, my curious friend,
And husband time to better end.
All my ambition is, I own,
To profit and to picafe unknown;
Like ftreams fupplied from fprings below,
Which featter bleflings as they flow.
Were you difeas'd, or prefs'd with pain,
Straight you'd apply to Warwick Lanc.
The thoughtful Doctor feels your pulle
(No matter whether Mead or Hulfe),
Writes Arabic to you and me--
Then figns his hand, and takes his fee.
Now, fhould the fage omit his name,
Would not the cure remain the fame ?
Not but phyficians fign their bill,
Or when they cure, or when they kill.
'Tis often known, the mental race
Their fond ambitious fires difgrace.
Dar'd I avow a parent's claim,
Critics might fneer, and friends might blame.
This dang rous fecret let me hide,
I'll tell you ev'ry thing befide:
Not that it boots the world a tittle,
Whether the author's big or little;
Or whether fair, or black, or brown;
No writer's hue concerns the town.
I pafs the filent rural hour,
No flave to wealth, no tool to pow'r:
My manfion's warm, and very neat ;
You'd fay, A pretty fnug retreat
My rooms no cofily paintings grace,
The humbler print fupplies their place.
Behind the houfe my garden lies,
And opens to the fouthern fkies:
The distant hills gay profpects yield,
And plenty fmiles in ev'ry field.
The faithful mastiff is my guard:
The feather'd tribes adorn my yard;
Alive my joy, my treat when dead,
And their foft plumes improve my bed.
My cow rewards me all the can
(Brutes leave ingratitude to man);
She, daily thankful to her lord,
Crowns with nectareous fweets my board:
Am I difcas'd the cure is known,
Her fweeter juices mend my own.
I love my houfe, and feldom roam;
Few vifits pleafe me more than home:
I pity that unhappy elf
Who loves all company but felf;
By idle paffions borne away
To opera, mafquerade, or play;
Fond of thofe hives where Folly reigns,
And Britain's peers receive her chains,
§ 110. Vifions for the Entertainment and Inftruc- Where the pert virgin flights a name,
tion of younger Minds.
And fcorus to redden into fhame.
Virginibus puerifque canto.
We'll therefore relifa, with content,
Whate'er kind:Providence has fent,
Nor aim beyond our pow'r;
For, if our stock be very finall,
'Tis prudence to enjoy it all,
Nor lofe the prefent hour.
To be refign'd when ills betide,
Patient when favours are denied,
And pleas'd with favours given; Dear Chloe, this is wifdom's part; This is that incenfe of the heart
Whose fragrance fmells ro heaven.
We'll afk no long protracted treat,
Since winter life is feldom fweet;
But, when our feaft is o'er,
Grateful from table we 'll arifè,
Nor grudge our fons with envious eyes
The relics of our store.
Thus, hand in hand, thro' life we 'll go;
Its chequer'd paths of joy and woe
With cautious fteps we 'll tread;
Quit its vain fcenes without a tear,
Without a trouble or a fear,
And mingle with the dead.
While confcience, like a faithful friend,
Shall thro' the gloomy yale atrend,.
And cheer our dying breath;
Shall, when all other comforts ccafe,
Like a kind angel whisper peace,
And smooth the bed of death.
AUTHORS, you know, of greateft fame,
Thro' modely fupprefs their name ";
And would with me to reveal
What these fuperior wits conceal?
But know, my fair, to whom belong
The poet and his artlefs fong,
When female cheeks refute to glow,
Farewell to virtue here below!
Our fex is loft to ev'ry rule;
Our fole diftinction, knave or fool.
*Though Dr. Cotten is well known to have been the author of thefe Vifions, they have generally been published without prefixing his name.
Tis to your innocence we run;
Save us, ye fair, or we 're undone;
Maintain your modesty and station,
So women fhall preferve the nation.
Mothers, 'tis faid, in days of old,
Efteem'd their girls more choice than geld;
Too well a daughter's worth they knew,
To make her cheap by public view:
Few, who their diamonds' value weigh,
Expofe thofe diamonds ev'ry day.
Then, if Sir Plume drew near, and fmil'd,
The parent trembled for her child:
The first advance alarm'd her breast;
And fancy pictur'd all the reft.
But now no mother fears a foc;
No daughter fhudders at a beau.
Pleafure is all the reigning theme;
Our noon-day thought, our midnight dream.
la Folly's chace our youths engage,
And fhameless crowds of tott'ring age.
The die, the dance, th' intemp'rate bowl,
With various charms engrofs the foul.
Are gold, fame, health, the terms of vice?
The frantic tribes fhall pay the price.
But tho' to ruin poft they run,
They'll think it hard to be undone.
Do not arraign my want of taste,
Or fight, to ken where joys are plac'd.
They widely err who think me blind;
And I difclaim a ftoic's mind.
yours are my fenfations quite; I only strive to feel aright.
My joys, like ftreams, glide gently by;
Tho' Imall their channel, never dry;
Keep a ftill, even, fruitful wave,
And blefs the neighb'ring meads they lave.
My fortune (for I'll mention all,
And more than you dare tell) is fmall;
Yet ev'ry friend partakes my store,
And want goes fmiling from my door.
Will forty fhillings warm the breast
Of worth or industry distrest-
This fum I cheerfully impart,
Tis fourfcore pleasures to my heart;
And you may make, by means like thefe,
Five talents ten, whene'er you please.
Tis true, my little purfe grows light;
But then I fleep fo fweet at night!
This grand fpecific will prevail
When all the doctor's opiates fail.
You afk what party I purfue;
Perhaps you mean, Whofe fool are you?'
The names of party I deteft;
Badges of flavery at best:
I've too much grace to play the knave,
And too much pride to turn a flave.
I love my country from my foul,
And grieve when knaves or fools controul :
I'm pleas'd when vice and folly finart,
Or at the gibbet or the cart:
Yet always pity where I can ;
Abhor the guilt, but mourn the man,
Now the religion of your poetDoes not this little preface how it? My Visions if you fean with care, 'Tis ten to one you 'll find it there. And if my actions fuit my fong, You can't in confcience think me wrong.
§ 111. Vifion I. Slander. Infcribed to Mifs
Y lovely girl, I write for you,
And pray believe Vilious true;
They'll form your mind to ev'ry grace,
They'll add new beauties to your face;
And when old age impairs your prime,
You'll triumph o'er the spoils of time.
Childhood and youth engage my pen;
'Tis labour loft to talk to men:
Youth may perhaps reform when wrong;
Age will not liften to my fong.
He who at fifty is a fool,
Is far too ftubborn grown for fchool.
What is that vice which fill prevails,
When almoft ev'ry paffion fails;
Which with our very dawn begun,
Nor ends but with our fetting fun;
Which, like a noxious weed, can spoil
The faireft flow'rs, and choke the foil?
'Tis Slander-and, with fhame I own,
The vice of human kind alone.
Be Slander, then, my leading dream, Tho' you 're a stranger to the theme; Thy fofter breaft, and honeft heart, Scorn the defamatory art; Thy foul afferts her native fkies, Nor afks detraction's wings to rife; In foreign fpoils let others fhine, Intrinsic excellence is thine.
The bird in peacock's plumes who fhone
Could plead no merit of her own;
The filly theft betray'd her pride,
And fpoke her poverty befide.
Th' infidious fland'ring thief is worfe
Than the poor rogue who fteals your purfe.
Say, he purloins your glitt'ring ftore;
Who takes your gold, takes traih—no more;
Perhaps he pilfers—to be fed-
Ah, guiltlefs wretch who fteals for bread!
But the dark villain who fhall aim
To blaft, my fair, thy fpotlefs name,
He'd fteal a precious gem away,
Steal what both Indies can 't repay!
Here the ftrong pleas of want are vain,
Or the more impious pleas of gain.
No finking family to fave!
No gold to glut th' infatiate knave!
Improve the hint of Shakspeare's tongue;
'Twas thus immortal Shakspeare fung:
And truft the bard's unerring rule,
For nature was that poet's fchool.
As I was nodding in my chair, I faw a rueful wild appear: No verdure met my aching fight, But hemlock and cold aconite;
Two very pois'nous plants, 'tis true, But not fo bad as vice to you.
The dreary profpect fpread around; Deep fnow had whiten'd all the ground: A bleak and barren mountain nigh, Expos'd to ev'ry friendlefs fky! Here foul-mouth'd Slander lay reclin'd, Her fnaky treffes hifs'd behind;
A bloated toad-ftool rais'd her head, The plumes of ravens were her bed ;' She fed upon the viper's brood, And flak'd her impious thirst with blood.
The rifing fun, and western ray, Were witnels to her diftant fway. The tyrant claim'd a mightier hoft Than the proud Perfian c'er could boast. No conquett grac'd Darius' fon †, By his own numbers half undone: Succefs attended Slander's pow'r; She reap'd fresh laurels ev'ry hour. Her troops a deeper fearlet wore Than ever armies knew before.
No plea diverts the fury's rage, The fury fpares nor fex nor age. E'en Merit, with deftructive charms, Provokes the vengeance of her arms.
Whene'er the tyrant founds to war, Her canker'd trump is heard afar. Pride, with a heart unknown to yield, Commands in chief, and guides the field; He talks with vaft gigantic ftride, And fcatters fear and ruin wide: So the impetuous torrents fweep At once whole nations to the deep.
Revenge, that bafe Hefperian, known A chief fupport of Slander's thiene, Amidst the bloody crowd is feen, And treach'ry brooding in his mien; The monster often chang'd his gait, But march'd refolv'd and fix'd as fate. Thus the fell kite, whom hunger ftings, Now flowly moves his out-ftretch'd wings; Now fwift as lightning bears away, And darts upon his trembling prey.
Envy commands a facred band, With word and poifon in her hand. Around her haggard eye-balls roll; A thousand fiends poffefs her foul. The artful unfufpected sprite With fatal aim attacks by night. Her troops advance with filent tread, And ftab the hero in his bed; Or fhoot the wing'd malignant lye, And female honours pine and die. So prowling wolves, when darkness reigns, Intent on murder, fcour the plains; Approach the folds where lambs repose, Whofe guileless breafts fufpect no focs;
The favage gluts his fierce defires,
And bleating innocence expires.
Slander fmil'd horribly, to view
How wide her conquefts daily grew:
Around the crowded levees wait,
Like oriental flaves of state;
Of either fex whole armies preft,
But chiefly of the fair and beft.
Is it a breach of friendship's law,
To fay what female friends I faw?
Slander affumes the idol's part,
And claims the tribute of the heart;
The beft, in fome unguarded hour,
Have bow'd the knee, and own'd her pow'r.
Then let the poet not reveal
What candour wishes to conceal.
If I beheld fome faulty fair,
Much worfe delinquents crowded there:
Prelates in facred lawn I faw,
Grave phyfic, and loquacious law;
Courtiers, like fummer flies, abound;
And hungry pocts swarm around.
But now my partial ftory ends,
And makes my females full amends.
If Albion's ifle fuch dreams fulfils, 'Tis Albion's ifle which cures thefe ills: Fertile of ev'ry worth and grace Which warm the heart and flush the face. Fancy difclos'd a smiling train Of British nymphs that tripp'd the plain. Good-nature firft, a fylvan queen, Attir'd in robes of cheerful green; A fair and fmiling virgin the! With ev'ry charm that fhines in thee. Prudence affum'd the chief command, And tore a mirior in her hand; Grey was the matron's head by age, Her mind by long experience fage; Of ev'ry diftant ill afraid, And anxious for the fimp'ring maid. The Graces danc'd before the fair; And white-rob'd Innocence was there.
+ Xerxes, king of Perfia, and fon of Darius. He invaded Greece with an army confifting of more than a million of men (fome fay more than two millions); who, together with their cattle, perished in a great measure through the inability of the countries to fupply fuch a vait hoft with provifion.
Hefperia includes Italy as well as Spain; and the inhabitants of both are remarkable for their revengeful fpofitions.
For this fuch anxious moments feel,
And ask the friendly aids of fteel;
For this import the diftant cane,
Or flay the monarch of the main.
And fhall the foul be warp'd afide
By paffion, prejudice, and pride ?
Deformity of heart I call
The worst deformity of all.
Your cares to body are confin'd;
Few fear obliquity of mind.
Why not adorn the better part?
This is a nobler theme for art.
For what is form, or what is face,
But the foul's index, or its cafe?
Now take a fimile at hand,
Compare the mental foil to land.
Shall fields be till'd with annual care,
And minds lie fallow ev'ry year?
Oh, fince the crop depends on you,
Give them the culture which is due:
He ev'ry weed, and drefs the foil,
So harvest thall repay your toil.
If human minds refemble trees
(As ev'ry moralift agrees),
Prune all the ftragglers of your vine,
Then thall the purple clusters fhine.
The gardiner knows that fruitful life
Demands his falutary knife:
For ev'ry wild luxuriant shoot
Or robs the bloom, or ftarves the fruit. A fatirift in Roman times,
Teach them to spurn inglorious reft,
And roufe the hero in their breast :
Paint Creffy's vanquifh'd field anew,
Their fouls fhall kindle at the view;
Refolv'd to conquer or to fall,
When Liberty and Britain call.
Thus fhall they rule the crimfon plain,'
Or hurl their thunders thro' the main;
Gain with their blood, nor grudge the coft,
What their degen'rate fires have loft :
The laurel thus fhall grace their brow,
As Churchill's once, or Warren's now.
One fummer's evening, as I ftray'd
Along the filent moon-light glade,
With thefe reflections in my breast,
Beneath an oak I funk to reft;
A gentle flumber intervenes,
And fancy drefs'd inftructive scenes.
Methought a fpacious road I fpied,
And ftately trees adorn'd its fide;
Frequented by a giddy crowd
Of thoughtlefs mortals, vain and loud;
Who tripp'd with jocund heel along,
And bade me join their fmiling throng,
I ftraight obey'd-perfuafion hung
Like honey on the fpeaker's tongue:
A cloudlefs fun improv'd the day,
And pinks and roses strew'd our way.
Now as our journey we purfue,
A beauteous fabric rofe to view;
A stately dome, and sweetly grac'd
When Rome, like Britain, groan'd with crimes, With ev'ry ornament of tafte.
Afferts it for a facred truth,
That pleasures are the bane of youth;
That forrows fuch pursuits attend,
Or fuch purfuits in forrows end:
That all the wild advent rer gains,
Are perils, penitence, and pains.
Approve, ye fair, the Roman page,
And bid your fons revere the fage;
In ftudy fpend their midnight oil,
And firing their nerves by manly toil.
Thas fhall they grow, like Temple, wife;
Thus future Lockes and Newtons rife;
Or hardy chiefs to wield the lance,
And fave us from the chains of France.
Yes, bid your fons betimes forego
Thofe treach'rous paths where pleafures grow;
Where the young mind is Folly's flave ;
Where ev'ry virtue finds a grave.
Let each bright character be nam'd,
For wifdom or for valour fam'd.
Are the dear youths to fcience prone?
Tell how th' immortal Bacon fhone!
Who, leaving meaner joys to kings,
Scar'd high on contemplation's wings;
Rang'd the fair fields of nature o'er,
Where never mortal trod before:
Bacon! whose vaft, capacious plan
Befpoke him angel more than man!
Does love of martial fame inspire ?
Cherish, ye fair, the gen'rous are;
This fructure was a female's claim, And Pleasure was the monarch's name.
The hall we enter'd uncontroul'd, And faw the queen enthron'd on gold: Arabian fweets perfum'd the ground, And laughing Cupids flutter'd round; A flowing veft adorn'd the fair, And flow'ry chaplets wreath'd her hair. Fraud taught the queen a thoufand wiles, A thousand foft infidious fmiles; Love taught her lifping tongue to speak, And form'd the dimple in her cheek; The lily and the damask rofe The tincture of her face compofe; Nor did the god of wit difdain To mingle with the thining train. Her vot'ries flock from various parts, And chiefly youth refign'd their hearts; The old in fparing numbers prefs'd, But awkward devotees at best!
Now let us range at large,' we cried, Thro' all the garden's boafted pride.' Here jafmines fpread the filver flow'r, To deck the wall, or weave the bow'r; The woodbines mix in am'rous play, And breathe their fragrant lives away. Here rifing myrtles form a fhade; There rofes bluth, and fcent the glade; The orange, with a vernal face, Wears ev'ry rich autumnal grace;