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While some, on earnest business bent,
Their murmuring labours ply 'Gainst graver hours, that bring constraint
To sweeten liberty;
And unknown regions dare descry:
And snatch a fearful joy.
Less pleasing when possess'd;
The sunshine of the breast: Their 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.
The little victims play!
No care beyond to-day.
And black Misfortune's baleful train.
Ah, tell them they are men! These shall the fury passions tear,
The vultures of the mind, Disdainful Anger, pallid Fear,
And Shame that skulks behind; Or pining Love shall waste their youth, Or Jealousy, with rankling tooth, VOL. I.-GG
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,
And grinning Infamy;
That mocks the tear it forced to flow; And keen Remorse, with blood defiled, And moody Madness laughing wild
Amid severest wo.
Lo, in the vale of years beneath
A grisly troop are seen, The painful family of Death,
More hideous than their queen:
Those in the deeper vitals rage :
And slow-consuming Age.
Condemn'd alike to groan:
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.
THE PROGRESS OF POESY.
A thousand rills their mazy progress take :
Oh! sovereign of the willing soul!
And frantic passions hear thy soft control :
Thee the voice, the dance, obey,
On Cytherea's day,
Now in circling troops they meet :
Glance their many-twinkling feet.
Slow melting strains their queen's approach declare:
she turns, the Graces homage pay. With arms sublime, that float upon the air,
In gliding state she wins her easy way:
Man's feeble race what ills await,
And Death, sad refuge from the storms of Fate!
In climes beyond the solar road,
To cheer the shivering native's dull abode.
Woods that wave o'er Delphi's steep,
Isles that crown the Ægean deep,
In lingering labyrinths creep,
How do your tuneful echoes languish,
Inspiration breathed around:
Murmur'd deep a solemn sound:
Left their Parnassus for the Latian plains.
And coward Vice that revels in her chains. When Latium had her lofty spirit lost, They sought, oh Albion! next thy sea-encircled coast.
Far from the sun and summer-gale,
To him the mighty mother did unveil
Nor second he, that rode sublime Upon the seraph-wings of Ecstasy, The secrets of th' abyss to spy.
He pass'd the flaming bounds of place and time : The living throne, the sapphire-blaze, Where angels tremble while they gaze, He saw: but, blasted with excess of light, Closed his eyes in endless night. Behold, where Dryden's less presumptuous car Wide o’er the fields of glory bare Two coursers of ethereal race, With necks in thunder clothed, and long-resounding pace.