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In full content, we fometimes nobly rest,
Unanxious for ourselves; and only wish,
As duteous fons, our fathers were more wife.
At thirty, man fufpects himfelf a fool;
Knows it at forty, and reforms his plan;
At fifty, chides his infamous delay,
Pushes his prudent purpose to Refolve;
In all the magnanimity of thought,
Refolves, and rerefolves, then dies the same.

And why? Because he thinks himself immortal. All men think all men mortal, but themselves; Themselves, when fome alarming fhock of fate Strikes through their wounded hearts the fudden dread; But their hearts wounded, like the wounded air, Soon clofe; where pafs'd the shaft, no trace is found. As from the wing no fear the sky retains, The parted wave no furrow from the keel, So dies in human hearts the thought of death. Ev'n with the tender tear which nature sheds O'er those we love, we drop it in the grave.

CHAP. XXIV.

YOUNG.

THE PAIN ARISING FROM VIRTUOUS EMOTIONS ATTENDED WITH PLEASURE.

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BEHOLD the ways

Of Heav'n's eternal destiny to man,

For ever juft, benevolent, and wife :

That VIRTUE's awful fteps, howe'er pursued
By vexing Fortune and intrufive Pain,
Should never be divided-from her chaste,

Her fair attendant, PLEASURE. Need I urge
Thy tardy thought through all the various round
Of this exiftence, that thy foft'ning foul

*At length may learn what energy the hand

Of

Of Virtue mingles in the bitter tide
Of paffion fwelling with diftrefs and pain,
To mitigate the fharp with gracious drops
Of cordial Pleafure?-Afk the faithful youth,
Why the cold urn of her whom long he lov'd
So often fills his arms; fo often draws
His lonely footsteps, at the filent hour,
Το pay the mournful tribute of his tears?
O! he will tell thee that the wealth of worlds
Should ne'er feduce his bofom to forego
'That facred hour, when ftealing from the noife
Of care and envy, sweet Remembrance foothes
With Virtue's kindeft looks his aching breast,
And turns his tears to rapture.—Afk the crowd
Which flies impatient from the village-walk
To climb the neighb'ring cliffs, when far below
The cruel winds have hurl'd upon the coaft
Some hapless bark; while facred Pity melts
The gen'ral eye, or 'Terrour's icy hand
Smites their diftorted limbs and horrent hair;
While ev'ry mother closer to her breast
Catches her child, and pointing where the waves
Foam through the shatter'd veffel, fhrieks aloud
As one poor wretch, that fpreads his piteous arms
For fuccour, fwallow'd by the roaring furge,
As now another, dafh'd against the rock,
Drops lifeless down, O! deemeft thou indeed
No kind endearment here by Nature giv❜n
To mutual Terrour and Compaffion's tears?
No fweetly-melting foftnefs which attracts,
O'er all that edge of pain, the focial pow'rs
To this their proper action and their end?—
Afk thy own heart; when at the midnight hour,
[Slow through that ftudious gloom thy pausing eye
Led by the glimm'xing taper moves around

The

The facred volumes of the dead, the fongs
Of Grecian bards, and records writ by fame
For Grecian heroes, where the prefent pow'r
Of Heav'n and earth furveys th' immortal page,
E'en as a father bleffing, while he reads.
The praifes of his fon; if then thy foul,
Spurning the yoke of these inglorious days,
Mix in their deeds and kindle with their flame:
Say, when the profpect blackens on thy view,
When rooted from the bafe, heroic ftates
Mourn in the duft, and tremble at the frown
Of curft Ambition;-when the pious band
Of youths that fought for freedom and their fires
Lie fide by fide in gore;-when ruffian-Pride
Ufurps the throne of juftice, turns the pomp
Of public pow'r, the majefty of rule,
The fword, the laurel, and the purple robe,
To flavish empty pageants, to adorn
A tyrant's walk, and glitter in the eyes
Of fuch as bow the knee;-when honour'd urns
Of patriots and of chiefs, the awful bust
And ftoried arch, to giut the coward rage
Of regal envy, firew the public way
With hallow'd ruins!-when the mufe's haunt,
The marble porch where Wildom, wont to talk
With Socrates or Tully, hears no more,
Save the hoarfe jargon of contentious monks,
Or female Superstition's midnight pray'r;-
When ruthless Rapine from the hand of Time
Tears the destroying fcythe, with furer blow
To fweep the works of Glory from their base;
Till Defolation o'er the grafs-grown street
Expands his raven-wings, and up the wall,
Where fenates once the pride of monarchs doom'd,
Hiffes the gliding fnake through hoary weeds

"

That

That clafp the mould'ring column: thus defac'd,
Thus widely mournful when the profpect thrills
Thy beating bofom, when the patriot's tear
Starts from thine eye, and thy extended arm
In fancy hurls the thunderbolt of Jove
To fire the impious wreath on Philip's brow,
Or dash Octavius from the trophied car;-
Say, does thy fecret foul repine to tafte
The big diftrefs? Or wouldft thou then exchange
Those heat ennobling forrows, for the lot
Of him who fits amid the gaudy herd
Of mute barbarians bending to his nod,
And-bears aloft his gold-invefted front,
And fays within himself, "I am a king,
"And wherefore fhould the clam'rous voice of Woe
"Intrude upon mine ear?"-The baleful dregs
Of thefe late ages, this inglorious draught
Of fervitude and folly, have not yet,
Bleft be th' Eternal Ruler of the world!
'Defil'd to fuch a depth of fordid shame
The native honours of the human foul,
Nor fo effac'd the image of its fire.

CHAP. XXV.

ON TASTE.

SAY, what is tafte, but the internal powers
Active and strong, and feelingly alive
To each fine impulse? a difcerning sense
Of decent and fublime, with quick disgust
From things deform'd, or difarrang'd, or grofs
In fpecies? This nor gems, nor ftores of gold,
Nor purple ftate, nor culture can bestow;
But God alone, when firft his active hand
Imprints the facred bias of the foul.

AKENSIDE,

He,

He, Mighty Parent! wife and juft in all,
Free as the vital breeze, or light of Heav'n,
Reveals the charms of nature. Afk the fwain
Who journeys homeward from a fummer-day's-
Long labour, why forgetful of his toils
And due repose, he loiters to behold

The funfhine gleaming as through amber clouds
O'er all the western fky! Full foon, I ween,
His rude expreffion, and untutor'd airs,
Beyond the pow'r of language, will unfold
The form of Beauty fmiling at his heart,

How lovely how commanding! But though Heav'n
In every breast hath fown these early feeds
Of love and admiration, yet in vain,
Without fair Culture's kind parental aid,
Without enliv'ning funs and genial fhow'rs,
And shelter from the blast, in vain we hope
The tender plant should rear its blooming head,
Or yield the harveft promis'd in its fpring.
Nor yet will every foil with equal stores
Repay the tiller's labour; or attend
His will, obfequious, whether to produce
The olive or the laurel. Diff'rent minds
Incline to diff'rent objects: one pursues
The vaft alone, the wonderful, the wild;
Another fighs for harmony and grace,

And gentleft beauty. Hence when lightning fires
The arch of Heav'n, and thunders rock the ground;
When furious whirlwinds rend the howling air,
And ocean, groaning from his lowest bed,
Heaves his tempeftuous billows to the sky;
Amid the mighty uproar, while below
The nations tremble, Shakspeare looks abroad
From fome high cliff, fuperior, and enjoys
The elemental war. But Waller longs,

Al

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