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Ah happy hills! ah pleasing shade!
Ah fields belov'd in vain!
A stranger yet to pain!
As, waving fresh their gladsome wing,
To breathe a second spring.
Say, father Thames (for thou hast seen
Full many a sprightly race,
The paths of pleasure trace,)
The captive linnet which inthral?
Or urge the flying ball?
While some, on earnest business bent,
Their murm'ring labours ply 'Gainst graver hours, that bring constraint
To sweeten liberty ;
And unknown regions dare descry:
Still as they run they look behind,
And snatch a fearful joy.
Gay Hope is theirs, by Fancy fed,
Less pleasing when possess'd; The tear forgot as soon as shed,
The sunshine of the breast : Theirs buxom Health of rosy hue, Wild Wit, Invention ever new,
And lively Cheer, of Vigour born; The thoughtless day, the easy night, The spirits pure, the slumbers light,
That fly th' approach of morn.
Alas! regardless of their doom,
The little victims play!
No care beyond to-day :
And black Misfortune's baleful train; Ah, show them where in ambush stand, To seize their prey the murderous band !
Ah, tell them they are men!
These shall the fury passions tear,
The vultures of the mind, Disdainful Anger, pallid Fear,
Aud Shame that sculks behind :
Or pining Love shall waste their youth, Or Jealousy with rankling tooth,
That inly gnaws the secret heart, And Envy wan, and faded Care, Grim-visaged, comfortless Despair,
And Sorrow's piercing dart.
Ambition this shall tempt to rise,
Then whirl the wretch from high, To bitter Scorn a sacrifice,
And grinning Infamy. The stings of Falsehood those shall try, And hard Unkindness' alter'd eye,
That mocks the tear it forced to flow; And keen Remorse with blood defiled, And moody Madness laughing wild
Amid severest woe.
Lo, in the vale of years beneath
A grisly troop are seen, The painful family of Death,
More hideous than their queen: This racks the joints, this fires the veins, That every labouring sinew strains ;
Those in the deeper vitals rage :
That numbs the soul with icy hand;
To each his suff'rings; all are men,
Condemn'd alike to groan, The tender for another's pain,
The unfeeling for his own. Yet, ah! why should they know their fate ? Since Sorrow never comes too late,
And Happiness too swiftly flies: Thought would destroy their paradise. No more: where ignorance is bliss,
'Tis folly to be wise.
COUNTRY BOX, 1757.
BY ROBERT LLOYD, M. A.
The wealthy Cit, grown old in trade,
And, as they slowly jog together,
the loads of wealth
Sir Traffic's name so well applied