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His breast to admiration prone
Enjoys the smile upon her face,
Enjoys triumphant every grace,
And finds her more his own,
Fatigued with form's oppressive laws,
When Somerset avoids the great;
When cloy'd with merited applause,
She seeks the rural calm retreat;
Does she not praise each mossy cell,
And feel the truth my numbers tell?
When deafen'd by the loud acclaim,
Which genius grac'd with rank obtains,
Could she not more delighted hear
Yon throstle chaunt the rising year?
Could she not spurn the wreaths of fame,
To crop the primrose of the plains?
Does she not sweets in each fair valley find,
Lost to the sons of pow'r, unknown to half mankind?
Ah can she covet there to see
The splendid slaves, the reptile race,
That oil the tongue, and bow the knee,
That slight her merit, but adore her place?
Far happier, if aright I deem,
When from gay throngs, and gilded spires,
To where the lonely halcyons play,
Her philosophic step retires:
While studious of the moral theme,
She, to some smooth sequester'd stream
Likens the swain's inglorious day;
Pleas'd from the flowery margin to survey,
How cool, serene, and clear the current glides away,
O blind to truth, to virtue blind,
Who slight the sweetly-pensive mind!
On whose fair birth the graces mild,
And every muse prophetic smil❜d.
Not that the poet's boasted fire
Should fame's wide-echoing trumpet swell;
Or, on the music of his lyre
Each future age with rapture dwell;
The vaunted sweets of praise remove,
Yet shall such bosoms claim a part
In all that glads the human heart;
Yet these the spirits, form'd to judge and prove
All nature's charms immense, and heaven's unbounded
And oh! the transport, most allied to song,
In some fair villa's peaceful bound,
To catch soft hints from nature's tongue,
And bid Arcadia bloom around:
Whether we fringe the sloping hill,
Or smooth below the verdant mead;
Whether we break the falling rill,
Or thro' meandering mazes lead;
Or in the horrid bramble's room
Bid careless groups of roses bloom;
Or let some shelter'd lake serene
Reflect flow'rs, woods, and spires, and brighten all the
O sweet disposal of the rural hour!
O beauties never known to cloy!
While worth and genius haunt the favour'd bow'r,
And every gentle breast partakes the joy!
While charity at eve surveys the swain,
Enabled by these toils to cheer
A train of helpless infants dear,
Speed whistling home across the plain;
See vagrant luxury, her hand-maid grown,
For half her graceless deeds atone,
And hails the bounteous work, and ranks it with her own. Why brand these pleasures with the name
Of soft, unsocial toils, of indolence and shame?
Search but the garden, or the wood,
Let yon admir'd carnation own,
Not all was meant for raiment or for food,
Not all for needful use alone;
There while the seeds of future blossoms dwell, Tis colour'd for the sight, perfum'd to please the smell.
Why knows the nightingale to sing?
Why flows the pine's nectareous juice?
Why shines with paint the linnet's wing?
For sustenance alone? For use?
For preservation? Every sphere
Shall bid fair pleasure's rightful claim appear.
And sure there seem, of human kind,
Some born to shun the solemn strife;
Some for amusive tasks design'd,
To sooth the certain ills of life;
Grace its lone vales with many a budding rose,
New founts of bliss disclose,
Call forth refreshing shades, and decorate repose.
From plains and woodlands; from the view
Of rural nature's blooming face,
Smit with the glare of rank and place,
To courts the sons of fancy flew;
There long had art ordain'd a rival seat,
There had she lavish'd all her care
To form a scene more dazzling fair,
And call'd them from their green retreat
To share her proud controul;
Had given the robe with grace to flow,
Had taught exotic gems to glow;
And, emulous of nature's pow'r,
Mimick'd the plume, the leaf, the flow'r;
Chang'd the complexion's native hue,
Moulded each rustic limb anew,
And warp'd the very soul.
Awhile her magic strikes the novel eye,
Awhile the fairy forms delight;
And now aloof we seem to fly
On purple pinions thro' a purer sky,
Where all is wonderous, all is bright:
Now landed on some spangled shore
Awhile each dazzled maniac roves
By sapphire lakes, thro' em'rald groves.
Paternal acres please no more;
Adieu the simple, the sincere delight—
Th' habitual scene of hill and dale,
The rural herds, the vernal gale,
The tangled vetch's purple bloom,
The fragrance of the bean's perfume,
Be theirs alone who cultivate the soil,
And drink the cup of thirst, and eat the bread of toil.
But soon the pageant fades away!
"Tis nature only bears perpetual sway.