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Had more of strength, diviner rage,
Than all which charms this laggard age,
Ev'n all at once together found
Cæcilia's mingled world of sound
O, bid our vain endeavourg cease,
Revive the just designs of Greece
Return in all thy simple state,
Confirm the tales her sons relate!
OPPRESSED with grief, oppress'đ with care,
A burden more than can bear,
I sit me down and sigh :
O life! thou art a galling load,
Along a rough, a weary road,
To wretches such as I!
Dim-backward as I cast my view,
What sickening scenes appear!
What sorrows yet may pierce me through,
Too justly I may fear!
Still caring, despairing,
Must be my bitter doom;
My woes here shall close ne'er,
But with the closing tomb!
Happy! ye sons of busy life,
Who, equal to the bustling strife,
No other view regard !
Ev'n when the wished end's denied,
Yet, while the busy means are plied,
They bring their own reward :
Whilst I, a hope-abandon'd wight,
Unfitted with an aim,
Meet every sad returning night
And joyless morn the same.
You bustling and justling,
Forget each grief and pain; 1, listless, yet restless,
Find every prospect vain.
How blest the Solitary's lot,
Who, all-forgetting, all forgot,
Within his humble cell,
The cavern wild with tangling roots,
Sits o'er his newly-gather'd fruits,
Beside his crystal well!
Or haply to his evening thought,
By unfrequented stream,
The ways of man are distant brought,
A faint-collected dream:
While praising, and raising
His thoughts to Heaven on high,
As wand'ring, meand'ring,
He views the solemn sky.
Than I, no lonely Hermit plac'd
Where never human footstep trac'd,
Less fit to play the part,
The lucky moment to improve,
And just to stop, and just to move,
With self-respecting art:
But ah! those pleasures, loves, and joys,
Which I too keenly taste, The Solitary can despise,
Can want, and yet be blest!
He needs not, he heeds not,
Or human love or hate;
Whilst I here, must cry here,
At perfidy ingrate!
Oh! enviable early days,
When dancing thoughtless Pleasure's maze,
To Care, to Guilt unknown!
How ill exchang’d for riper timos,
To feel the follies or the crimes
Of others, or my own!
Ye tiny elves, that guiltless sport
Like linnets in the bush,
Ye little know the ills ye court,
When manhood is your wish!
The losses, the crosses,
That active man engage,
The fears all, the tears all,
Of dim declining age!
But, ah! what wish can prosper, or what prayer
For merchants rich in cargoes of despair,
Who drive a loathsome traffic, gage and span,
And buy the muscles and the bones of man?
The tender ties of father, husband, friend,
All bonds of nature, in that moment end;
And each endures, while yet he draws his breath,
A stroke as fatal as the scythe of death.
The sable warrior, frantic with regret
Of her he loves, and never can forget,
Loses in tears the far receding shore,
But not the thought that they must meet no more:
Depriv'd of her and freedom at a blow,
What has he left that he can yet forego ?
Yes, to deep sadness sullenly resign’d,
He feels his body's bondage in his mind;
Puts off his generous nature ; and to suit
His manners with his fate, puts on the brute.
Oh most degrading of all ills that wait
On man, a mourner in his best estate!
All other sorrows virtue may endure,
And find submission more than half a cure ;
Grief is itself a med’cine, and bestow'd
T' improve the fortitude that bears a load;