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The thick-sprung reeds the wat’ry marshes yield,
Seem polith'd lances in a hostile field.
The stag in limpid currents, with surprize,
Sees crystal branches on his forehead rise.
The spreading oak, the beach, and tow'ring pine,
Glaz'd over, in the freezing æther shine.
The frighted birds the rattling branches Thun,
That wave and glitter in the distant sun.
When, if a gust of wind arise,
The brittle forest into atoms flies:
The crackling wood beneath the tempest bends,
And in a spangled show'r the prospect ends.
Or, if a southern gale the region warm,
And by degrees unbind the wintry charm,
The traveller a miry country sees,
And journeys sad beneath the dropping trees.
Like fome deluded peasant, Merlin leads
Through fragrant bow'rs, and through delicious meads;
While here enchanted gardens to him rise,
And airy fabrics there attract his eyes,
His wandring feet the magic paths pursue;
And, while he thinks the fair illusion true,
The trackless scenes disperse in fluid air,
And woods and wilds, and thorny ways appear:
A tedious road the weary wretch returns,
And as he goes, the transient vision mourns.
Dear Chloe, while the busy crowd,
The vain, the wealthy, and the proud,
In folly's maze advance;
Though singularity and pride
Be call’d our choice, we'll step aside,
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 noisy neighbours enter here,
No intermeddling stranger near
To spoil our heart-felt joys.
If solid happiness we prize,
Within our breast this jewel lies ;
And they are fools who roam:
The world has nothing to bestow,
From our own selves our joys must flow,
And that dear hut, our home.
Of rest was Noah's dove bereft,
When with impatient wing the left,
That safe retreat, the ark; Giving her vain excursion o'er, The disappointed bird once more Explor'd the sacred bark.
Though fools fpurn hymen's gentle pow'rs,
We, who improve his golden hours,
By sweet experience know,
That marriage, rightly understood,
Gives to the tender and the good
A paradise below.
Our babes shall richest comforts bring,
If tutor'd right, they'll prove a spring,
Whence pleasures ever rise:
We'll form their minds with studious care,
To all that's manly, good, and fair,
And train them for the skies.
While they our wiseft hours engage,
They'll joy our youth, support our age,
And crown our hoary hairs:
They'll grow in virtue every day,
And thus our fondest loves repay,
And recompense our cares..
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 state, We look with pity on the great, And bless our humbler 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 suffice,
And make that little do.
x. We'll therefore relish with content Whate'er kind Providence has sent,
Nor aim beyond our pow'r;
For if our stock be very small,
'Tis prudence to enjoy it all,
Nor lose the present hour.
To be resign'd, when ills betide,
Patient, when favours are deny’d,
And pleas'd with favours giv’n,
Dear Chloe, this is wisdom's part,
This is that incense of the heart,
Whose fragrance smells to heav'ng,
We'll ask no long protracted treat, (Since winter life is seldom sweet ;)
But when our feast is o'er,
Grateful from table we'll arise,
Nor grudge our fons with envious eyes,
The relics of our store,
Thus hand in hand through life we'll go,
Its checker'd paths of joy and woe
With cautious steps we'll tread;
Quit its vain scenes without a tear,
Without a trouble or a fear,
And mingle with the dead.
While conscience, like a faithful friend,
Shall through the gloomy vale attend,
And cheer our dying breath;
Shall, when all other comforts cease,
Like a kind angel whisper peace,
And smooth the bed of death,
These are thy glorious works, Parent of good,
Almighty! thine this universal frame,
Thus wondrous fair; thyself how wondrous then!
Unspeakable, who sitt'st above these heav'ns,