Then simple Nature charm’d mankind no more,
Her pleasures vanish’d, and her power was o'er :
Then, undistingu sh’d, crowded on the view
The smiling forms her magic pencil drew :
Her hand then clothed the naked woods in vain,
Or threw the flowery mantle o'er the plain,
Gave form and order to the world below,
And show'd the source whence thought and being flow.
Unmark'd we see succeeding seasons roll,
Revolving stars illume the glowing pole;
Unmark'd behold the glorious sun arise,
Tinging with purple light the orient skies;
Unmark'd the spring, on wings of zephyrs borne,
Hangs the wild rose upon the scented thorn;
Unmark'd the cluster bends the curling vine;
Unmark'd the tempest rocks the mountain pine.
All-powerful habit the enchantment breaks;
While wonder sleeps, attention scarcely wakes,
Each soft indulgence blunts the edge of joy ;
And every pleasure has, or finds alloy.
Unhappy man takes passion for his guide,
And sighs for bliss to sated sense denied ;
Untamed desires impel the vicious mind,
To God, to Virtue, and to Nature blind.]
But dost thou hope thy crimes shall rest unknown,
Hid by the splendour of thy golden zone?
Think not that rigid Virtue frames her laws,
In vile compliance with a mob's applause.
If o'er his lusts the wretch cannot prevail,
But in the sordid search of wealth grows pale;