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And as I wake, sweet music breathe
may with sweetnels, through mine ear,
THE FOUR AGES.
THE GOLDEN AGE. The Golden Age was first ; when man, yet new, No rule but uncorrupted reason knew; And with a native bent did good pursue. Unforc'd by punishment, unaw'd by fear, His words were fimple, and his soul fincere : Needless was written law, where none oppress’d'; The law of man was written in his breast : No suppliant crowds before the judge appeard; No court erected yet, nor cause was heard; But all was fate, for conscience was their guardi. The mountain-trees in distant prospect please, Ere yet the pine descended to the seas; Ere fails were spread, new oceans to explore; And happy inortals, unconcerp'd for more, Confin'd their wishes to their native thore. No walls were yet, nor fence, nor moat, nor mound, Nor drum was heard, nor trumpet's angry found: Nor swords were forg'd; but void of care and crime, The soft creation Dept away their time. The teeming earth, yet guiltless of the plough; And, unprovok'd, did fruitful fores allow : Content with food, wh ch nature freely bred, On wildings and on strawberries they led;
Cornels and bramble-berries gave the reft,
THE SILVER AGE. But when good Saturn, banish'd from above, Was driv'n to hell, the world was under Jove. Succeeding times a Silver Age behold, Excelling brass, but more excell'd by gold. Then summer, autumn, winter, did appear, And spring was but a season of the year. The sun his annual course obliquely made, Good days contracted, and enlarg'd the bad. Then air with sultry heats began to glow, The wings of winds were clogg’d with ice and snow; And shiv'ring mortals into houses drivin, Sought shelter from th’inclemency of heav'n. Those houses then were caves, or homely sheds, With twining ozier: fened and moss their beds. Then ploughs, for seed, the fruitful furrous broke, And oxen labour'd first beneath the yoke.
THE BRAZEN AGE.
THE IRUN AGE.
THE BEGINNING OF THE SECOND BOOK OF
'Tis pleasant fafely to behold from shore The rolling ship, and hear the tempeft roar: Not that another's pain is our delight; But pains unfelt produce the pleasing fight. 'Tis pleasant also, to behold from far, The moving legions mingled in the war: But much more sweet the lab’ring fteps to guide, To virtue's heights, with wisdoin well lupply'd, And all the magazines of learning fortify'd: From thence to look beloy on human kiad; Bewilder'd in the maze of lite and blind : To see vain fools ambitioufy contend, For wit and pow'r; their laft endeavours bend T'outshine each other; waste their time and health, In search of honour, and pursuit of wealth. O wretched man! in what a inift of life, Inclos'd with dangers and with noisy itrife, He spends his little span; and over-feeds His cramm'd degre, with more than nature needs! For Nature wisely stints our appetite, And craves no more than undisturb'd delight; Which minds, unmix'd with cares and fears, obtain; A soul serene, a body void of pain. So little this corporeal frame requires ; So bounded are our natural degres, That wanting all, and setting pain afide, With bare privation fenfe is satisfy'd.