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Of harmony and bliss, in forms distinct,
From these sweet meditations on the charms
6 See Plato's Dialogues, Xenophon's Memorabilia, &c. whom the ingenious author of the Traité du Beau follows. Si la félicité des hommes est nécessairement liée avec la pratique de la vertu, il faut reconnoitre que la verta est essentiellement belle, puisque le beau consiste dans le rapport des choses avec notre destination.
FATHER'S ADVICE TO HIS SON.
IN IMITATION OF THE OLD SONG TO WINIFRIDA.
DEEP in a grove by cypress shaded,
Where midday sun had seldom shone, Or noise the solemn scene invaded,
Save some afflicted Muse's moan; A swain, towards full-aged manhood wending,
Sat sorrowing at the close of day; At whose fond side a boy attending
Lisp'd half his father's cares away.
But on the smiling prattler hung,
These accents trembled from his tongue• My youth's first hope, my manhood's treasure,
My prattling innocent, attend,
A father's loveliest name is friend.
• Some truths, from long experience flowing,
Worth more than royal grants, receive; For truths are wealth of Heaven's bestowing,
Which kings have seldom power to give. Since, from an ancient race descended,
You boast an unattainted blood, By yours be their fair fame attended,
And claim by birthright to be good. • In love for every fellow creature
Superior rise above the crowd; What most ennobles human nature
Was ne'er the portion of the proud.
From others' joys a friendly glow;
Throbs with a sympathetic woe.
Though wide proud pomp her banners spreads, An heavenlier power good nature bearing
Each heart in willing thraldom leads. · Taste not from fame's uncertain fountain
The peace-destroying streams that flow, Nor from ambition's dangerous mountain
Look down upon the world below. • The princely pine on hills exalted,
Whose lofty branches cleave the sky, By winds, long braved, at last assaulted,
Is headlong whirld in dust to lie; • Whilst the mild rose, more safely growing
Low in its unaspiring vale, Amidst retirement's shelter blowing,
Exchanges sweets with every gale.
Wish not for beauty's darling features,
Moulded by nature's fondling power, For fairest forms 'mong human creatures
Shine but the pageants of an hour. • I saw the pride of all the meadow,
At noon, a gay Narcissus, blow Upon a river's bank, whose shadow
Bloom'd in the silver waves below; · By noontide's heat its youth was wasted,
The waters, as they pass’d, complain'd: At eve its glories all were blasted,
And not one former tint remain’d. · Nor let vain wit's deceitful glory
Lead you from wisdom's path astray; What genius lives renown'd in story,
To happiness who found the way? • In yonder mead behold that vapour
Whose vivid beams illusive play, Far off it seems a friendly taper
To guide the traveller on his way; • But should some hapless wretch, pursuing,
Tread where the treacherous meteors glow, He'd find, too late his rashness ruing,
That fatal quicksands lurk below.
Gilt with false light, and fill'd with air,
To peace in virtue's cot repair;
Which mutual love and friendship give,
And bless'd and blessing you will live.
· If Heaven with children crown your dwelling,
As mine its bounty does with you, In fondness fatherly excelling,
The' example you have felt pursue.' He paused — for tenderly caressing
The darling of his wounded heart, Looks had means only of expressing
Thoughts language never could impart. Now night her mournful mantle spreading,
Had robed with black the horizon round, And dank dews, from her tresses shedding,
With genial moisture bathed the ground; When back to city follies flying
Midst custom's slaves he lived resign'd, His face, array'd in smiles, denying
The true complexion of his mind;
Each character, in youth and age,
That play'd upon this human stage; (Peaceful himself and undesigning)
He loathed the scenes of guile and strife, And felt each secret wish inclining
To leave this fretful farce of life.
Obediently he bow'd his soul;
He thought Heaven only should control.