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On Leven's banks, while free to rove,
And tune the rural pipe to love;
I envied not the happiest swain
That ever trod th’ Arcadian plain.
Pure stream ! in whose transparent wave
My youthful limbs I wont to lave;
No torrents stain thy limpid source ;
No rocks impede thy dimpling course,
That sweetly warblesi o'er its bed,
With white, round, polish'd pebbles spread;
While, lightly pois’d the scaly brood
In myriads cleave thy crystal flood;
The springing trout, in speckled pride ;
The salmon, monarch of the tide;
The ruthless pike, intent on war ;
The silver eel, and mottled par.
Devolving from thy parent lake,
A charming maze thy waters make,
By bowers of birch, and groves of pine,
And edges flower'd with eglantine.
Still on thy banks, so gaily green,
May numerous herds and flocks be seen,
And lasses chanting o'er the pail,
And shepherds piping in the dale,
And ancient Faith that knows no guile,
And Industry, imbrown'd with toil,
And heart resolv'd, and hands prepar'd,
The blessings they enjoy to guard. Smollet.
OPPRESS'D with grief, oppress’d with care,
A burden more than I can bear,
I sit me down and sigh :
O life! thou art a galling load,
Along a rough, a weary road,
To wretches such I.
Dim backward as I cast my view,
What sickening scenes appear!
What sorrows yet maỹ pierce me through,
Too justly I may fear!
Still caring, despairing,
Must be my bitter doom ;
My woes here shall close ne'er,
But with the closing tomb!
Happy, ye sons of busy life,
Who, equal to the bustling strife,
No other view regard !
Ev’n when the wished end's denied,
Yet while the busy means are plied,
They bring their own reward :
Whilst I, a hope-abandon’d wight,
Unfitted with an aim,
Meet every sad returning night
And joyless morn the same,
You bustling, and justling,
Forget each grief and pain;
I listless, yet restless,
Find every prospect vain.
How bless'd the solitary's lot,
Who, all-forgetting, all-forgot,
Within his humble cell,
The cavern wild with tangling roots,
Sits o'er his newly-gather'd fruits,
Beside his crystal well!
Or, haply, to his evening thought,
By unfrequented stream,
The ways of men are distant brought,
A faint collected dream:
While praising, and raising
His thoughts to Heav'n on high,
As wandering, meandering,
He views the solemn sky.
Than I, no lonely hermit plac'd
Where never human footstep trac'd,
-Less fit to play the part:
The lucky moment to improve,
And just to stop, and just to move,
With self-respecting art:
But ah! those pleasures, loves and joys,
Which I too keenly taste,
The solitary can despise,
Can want, and yet be bless'd!
He needs not, he heeds not,
Or human love or hate,
Whilst I here must cry here,
At perfidy ingrate!
Oh! enviable, early days,
When dancing thoughless pleasure's maze,
To care, to guilt unknown! How ill exchang'd for riper times, To feel the follies, or the crimes,
Of others, or my own!
Ye tiny elves, that guiltless sport,
Like linnets in the bush,
Ye little know the ills ye court,
When manhood is your wish!
The losses, the crosses,
That active man engage!
The fears all, the tears all,
Of dim-declining age!
HORACE, BOOK II. ODE X.
RECEIVE, dear friend, the truths I teach,
So shalt thou live beyond the reach
Of adverse Fortune's pow'r;
Not always tempt the distant deep,
Nor always timorously creep
Along the treach'rous shore.
He, that holds fast the golden mean,
And lives contentedly between
The little and the great,
Feels not the wants, that pinch the poor,
Nor plagues, that haunt the rich man's door,
Imbitt'ring all his state.
The tallest pines feel most the pow'r
Of wintry blasts; the loftiest tow'r
Comes heaviest to the ground ;
The bolts, that spare the mountain's side,
His cloudcapt eminence divide,
And spread the ruin round.
"The well inform'd philosopher
Rejoices with a wholesome fear,
And hopes, in spite of pain;
If Winter bellow from the north,
Soon the sweet Spring comes dancing forth,
And Nature laughs again.
What if thine Heav'n be overcast,
The dark appearance will not last ;
Expect a brighter sky.
The God, that strings the silver bow,
Awakes sometimes the muses too,
And lays his arrows by,
If hindrances obstruct thy way,
Thy nagnanimity display,
And let thy strength be seen;
But oh! if Fortune fill thy sail
With more than a propitious gale,
Take half thy canvass in.
A Reflection on the foregoing Ode. And is this all ? Can reason do no more, Than bid me shun the deep, and dread the shore ? Sweet moralist! afloat on life's rough sea, The Christian has an art unknown to thee. He holds no parley with unmanly fears ; Where duty bids, he confidently steers, Faces a thousand dangers at her call, And, trusting in his God, surmounts them all.