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And as I wake, fweet music breathe
Above, about, or underneath,
Sent by fome fpirit to mortals' good,
Or th' unfeen genius of the wood.
But let my due feet never fail
To walk the ftudious cloyfter's pale,
And love the high embowed roof,
With ant que pillars maffy proof,
And storied windows richly dight,
Cafting a dim religious light.
There let the pealing organ blow,
To the full-voic'd quire below,
In fervice high and anthems clear,
As may with fweetnels, through mine ear,
Diffolve me into ecitafies,
And bring all heav'n before mine eyes.
And may at last my weary age
Find out the peaceful hermitage,
The hairy gown and moffy cell,
Where I may fit, and rightly spell
Of every ftar that heav'n doth shew
And every herb that fips the dew;
Till old experience do attain
To fomething like prophetic strain.
Thefe pleasures, Melancholy, give.
And I with thee will choose to live.
THE FOUR AGES.
From the First Book of Ovid's Metamorphoses.]
THE Golden Age was firft; when man, yet new,
No rule but uncorrupted reafon knew;
And with a native bent did good purfue.
Unforc'd by punishment, unaw'd by fear,
His words were fimple, and his foul fincere :
Needlefs was written law, where none opprefs'd;
The law of man was written in his breast:
No fuppliant crowds before the judge appear'd;
No court erected yet, nor cause was heard;
But all was fate, for confcience was their guard.
The mountain-trees in diftant profpect please,
Ere yet the pine defcended to the feas;
Ere fails were fpread, new oceans to explore;
And happy mortals, unconcern'd for more,
Confin'd their wishes to their native fhore.
No walls were yet, nor fence, nor moat, nor mound,
Nor drum was heard, nor trumpet's angry found:
Nor fwords were forg'd; but void of care and crime,
The foft creation slept away their time.
The teeming earth, yet guiltless of the plough;
And, unprovok'd, did fruitful ftores allow :
Content with food, which nature freely bred,
On wildings and on fiawberries they led;
Cornels and bramble-berries gave the reft,
And falling acorns furnish'd out a feast.
The flow'rs, unfown, in fields and meadows reign'd;
And western winds immortal fpring mainta n'd.
In following years the bearded corn enfu'd,
From earth, unask'd; nor was that earth renew'd.
From veins and vallies milk and nectar broke,
And honey fweating through the pores of oak.
THE SILVER AGE.
BUT when good Saturn, banish'd from above,
Was driv'n to hell, the world was under Jove.
Succeeding times a Silver Age behold,
Excelling brafs, but more excell'd by gold.
Then fummer, autumn, winter, did appear,
And fpring was but a feafon of the year.
The fun his annual courfe obliquely made,
Good days contracted, and enlarg'd the bad.
Then air with fultry heats began to glow,
The wings of winds were clogg'd with ice and fnow;
And fhiv'ring mortals into houfes driv'n,
Sought fhelter from th' inclemency of heav'n.
Thofe houfes 'then were caves, or homely fheds,
With twining oziers fenc'd and moss their beds.
Then ploughs, for feed, the fruitful furrows broke,
And oxen labour'd first beneath the yoke.
THE BRAZEN AGE.
To this came next in courfe the Braven Age,
A warthe offspring, promp to bloody rage,
Not impious yet ·
THE IRON AGE.
HARD fteel fucceeded then;
And tubborn as the metal were the men.
Truth, Modefty, and Shame, the world forfook,
Fraud, Avarice, and Force, their places took.
Then fails were spread to every wind that blew,
Raw were the failors, and the depths were new;
Trees rudely hallow'd did the waves sustain ;
Ere fhips in triumph plough'd the watʼry plain.
Then land-marks limited to each his right,
For all before was common as the light.
Nor was the ground alone requir'd to bear
Her annual income to the crooked share;
But greedy mortals, rummaging her store,
Digg'd from her entrails firft the precious ore;
Which next to hell the prudent Gods had laid;
And that alluring ill to fight difplay'd.
Thus curfed feel, and more accurfed gold,
Gave mifchief birth, and made that mischief bold:
And double death did wretched man invade,
By steel affaulted, and by gold betray'd.
Now (brandish'd weapons glitt'ring in their hands),
Mankind is broken loofe from moral bands.
No rights of hofpitality remain ;
The guest, by him who harbour'd him is flair:
The fon-in-law purfues the father's life;
The wife her husband murders, he the wife:
The ftep-dame porfon for the fon prepares;
The fon inquires into his father's years.
Faith flies, aud Piety in exile mourns;
And Justice, here oppreft, to heav'n returas.
THE BEGINNING OF THE SECOND BOOK OF
"TIS pleafant fafely to behold from shore
The rolling fhip, and hear the tempeft roar:
Not that another's pain is our delight;
But pains unfelt produce the pleafing fight.
Tis pleafant alfo, to behold from far,
The moving legions mingled in the war:
But much more fweet the lab'ring steps to guide,
To virtue's heights, with wisdom well supply'd,
And all the magazines of learning fortify'd:
From thence to look below on human kind;
Bewilder'd in the maze of life and blind :
To fee vain fools ambitiously contend,
For wit and pow'r; their last endeavours bend
T'outshine each other; wafte their time and health,
In fearch of honour, and pursuit of wealth.
O wretched man! in what a mift of life,
Inclos'd with dangers and with noisy strife,
He spends his little span; and over-feeds
His cramm'd defire,, with more than nature needs!
For Nature wifely ftints our appetite,
And craves no more than undisturb'd delight;
Which minds, unmix'd with cares and fears, obtain;
A foul ferene, a body void of pain.
So little this corporeal frame requires;
So bounded are our natural defires,
That wanting all, and fetting pain afide,
With bare privation fenfe is fatisfy'd.