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The pleasures of retirement. O knew he but his happiness, of men The happiest be! who, far from public rage, Deep in the vale, with a choice few retird, Drioks the pure pleasures of the rural life. What tho' the dome be wanting, whose proud gate, Each morning, vomits out the sneaking crowd Of flatterers false, and in their turn abus'd ? Vile intercourse. What though the glittring robe, Of ev'ry bue reflected light can give, Or floated loose, or stiff with mazy gold, Tbe pride and gaze of fools, oppress him not? What tho’, from utmost land and sea purvey'd, For him each rarer tributary life Bleeds not, and his insatiate table heaps, With luxury and death? What tho' his bowl Flames not with costly juice ; nor sunk in beds Oft of gay care, he tosses out the night, Or melts the thoughtless hours in idle state ? What tho’ be knows not those fantastic joys, That still amuse the wanton, stilt deceive ; A face of pleasure, but a heart of pain : Their hollow moments undelighted all ? Sure peace is his ; a solid life estrang'd To disappointment, and fallacious bope. Rich in content, in nature's bounty rich, In herbs and fruits ; whatever greens the spring, When heaven descends in showers ; or bends the bough When summer reddens, and when autumn beams; Or in the wintry glebe whatever lies Conceal’d, and fattens with the richest sap : These are not wanting ; nor the milky drove; Luxuriant, spread o'er all the lowing vale ; Nor bleating mountains ; nor the chide of streams, And hum of bees, inviting sleep sincere Into the guiltless breast, beneath the shade, Or thrown at large amid the fragrant bay ; Nor aught besides of prospect, grove, or song, Dim grottos, gleaming lakes, and fountains clear. Here too dwells simple truth ; plain innocence e ; Upsullied beauty; sound unbroken youth, Patient of labour, with a little pleas'd;
Health ever blooming ; unambitious toil ;
Yet nature's care, to all her children just,
This fair inspir'd delight: ber temper'd pow'rs
And mortals the sweets of forgetfulness prove;
And nought but the nightingale's song in the grove : 'Twas thus by the cave of the mountain afar,
While his harp rung symphonious, a hermit began ; No more with himself or with nature at war,
He thought as a sage, tho he felt as a man..
6 Ah! why, all abandon’d to darkness and wo ;
Why, lone Philomela, that languishing fall?
And sorrow, no longer thy bosom inthral.
*Mourn, sweetest complainer, man calls ihee to mourn : O sooth him whose pleasures like thine pass away:
Full quickly they pass--but they never return."
The moon half extinguish'd her crescent displays
She shone, and the planets were lost in her blaze.
The path that conducts thee to splendour again :
Ah fool! to exult in a glory so vain !"
1 mourn; but, ye woodlands, I mourn not for you:
Perfum'd with fresh fragrance, and glitt'ring with dew:
Kind nature the embryo blossom will save :
O when shall day dawo on the night of the grave!"
That leads, to bewilder; and dazzles, to blindi
Destruction before me, and sorrow behind.
Thy creature who fain would not wander from thee!
From doubt and from darkness thou only canst free." 56 And darkness and doubt are now flying away ;
No longer I roam in conjecture forlorn :
The bright and the balmy effulgence of morn.
And nature all glowing in Eden's first bloom !
And beauty immortal awak'es from the tomb.". BEATTIE
The beggar's petition. Pity the sorrows of a poor
man, Whose trembling limbs have, borne him to your door ; Whose days are dwindled to the shortest span;
Oh! give relief, and Heaven will bless your store. These tatter'd clothes my poverty bespeak,
These hoary locks proclaimi my lengthen'd years ; And many a furrow in my grief-worn cheek,
Has been the channel to a flood of tears. Yon house, erected on the rising ground, With tempting aspect drew me from my
road; For plenty there a residence has found,
And grandeur a magnificent abode. Hard is the fate of the infirm and poor!
Hers, as I crav'd a morsel of their bread, A pamper'd menial drove me from the door,
To seek a shelter in an humbler shed. Oh ! take me to your hospitable dome;
Keen blows the wind, and piercing is the cold! Short is my passage to the friendly tomb;
For I am poor, and miserably old. Should I reveal the sources of my grief,
If soft humanity e'er touch'd your breast, Your hands would not withhold the kind relief,
And tears of pity would not be represt. Heaven sends misfortunes ; why should we repine ? 'Tis Heaven has brougbt me to the state you see i condition
inay be soon like mine, The child of sorrow and of misery. A little farm was my paternal lot;
Then like the lark I sprightly hail'd the morn : But ah ! Oppression forc'd me from my cot,
My cattle died, and blighted was my corn. My daughter, once the comfort of my age,
Lur'd by a villain from her native home, Is cast abandon’d on the world's wide stage,
And door'd in scanty poverty to roam. My tender wife, sweet soother of my care !
Struck with sad anguish at the stern decree,