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"The best of men have ever lov'd repose: They hate to mingle in the filthy fray; Where the soul sours, and gradual rancor grows, Embitter'd more from peevish day to day. Ev'n those whom Fame has lent her fairest ray, The most renown'd of worthy wights of yore, From a base world at last have stol'n away: So Scipio, to the soft Cumaan shore Retiring, tasted joy he never knew before.

"But if a little exercise you choose, Some zest for ease, 'tis not forbidden here. Amid the groves you may indulge the Muse, Or tend the blooms, and deck the vernal year; Or softly stealing, with your watery gear, Along the brook, the crimson-spotted fry You may delude: the whilst, amus'd, you hear Now the hoarse stream, and now the zephyr's sigh, Attuned to the birds, and woodland melody.

"O grievous folly! to heap up estate,

Losing the days you see beneath the Sun; When, sudden, comes blind unrelenting Fate, And gives th' untasted portion you have won, With ruthless toil, and many a wretch undone, To those who mock you gone to Pluto's reign, There with sad ghosts to pine, and shadows dun But sure it is of vanities most vain,

To toil for what you here untoiling may obtain."

He ceas'd. But still their trembling ears retain'd
The deep vibrations of his witching song;
That, by a kind of magic power, constrain'd
To enter in, pell-mell, the listening throng.
Heaps pour'd on heaps, and yet they slipt along,
In silent ease: as when beneath the beam
Of summer-moons, the distant woods among,
Or by some flood all silver'd with the gleam,
The soft-embodied Fays through airy portal stream.

By the smooth demon so it order'd was,
And here his baneful bounty first began:
Though some there were who would not further


And his alluring baits suspected han,
The wise distrust the too fair-spoken man.

Yet through the gate they cast a wishful eye:
Not to move on, perdie, is all they can;
For, do their very best, they cannot fly,
But often each way look, and often sorely sigh.

When this the watchful wicked wizard saw,
With sudden spring he leap'd upon them straight;
And, soon as touch'd by his unhallow'd paw,
They found themselves within the cursed gate;
Full hard to be repass'd, like that of Fate.
Not stronger were of old the giant crew,
Who sought to pull high Jove from regal state;
Though feeble wretch he seem'd, of sallow hue:
Certes, who bides his grasp, will that encounter rue

For whomsoe'er the villain takes in hand, Their joints unknit, their sinews melt apace; As lithe they grow as any willow-wand, And of their vanish'd force remains no trace: So when a maiden fair, of modest grace, In all her buxom blooming May of charms, Is seized in some losel's hot embrace, She waxeth very weakly as she warms, Then sighing yields her up to love's delicious harms. Wak'd by the crowd, slow from his bench arose A comely full-spread porter, swoln with sleep: His calm, broad, thoughtless aspect, breath'd


And in sweet torpor he was plunged deep, Ne could himself from ceaseless yawning keep; While o'er his eyes the drowsy liquor ran, Thro' which his half-wak'd soul would faintly peep. Then, taking his black staff, he call'd his man, And rous'd himself as much as rouse himself he can.

The lad leap'd lightly at his master's call.
He was, to weet, a little roguish page,
Save sleep and play who minded nought at all,
Like most the untaught striplings of his age.
This boy he kept each band to disengage,
Garters and buckles, task for him unfit,
But ill-becoming his grave personage,
And which his portly paunch would not permit,
So this same limber page to all performed it.

Meantime the master-porter wide display'd
Great store of caps, of slippers, and of gowns;
Wherewith he those that enter'd in, array'd
Loose, as the breeze that plays along the downs,
And waves the summer-woods when evening

O fair undress, best dress! it checks no vein,
But every flowing limb in pleasure drowns,
And heightens ease with grace. This done, right

Sir porter sat him down, and turn'd to sleep again.

Thus easy rob'd, they to the fountain sped,
That in the middle of the court up-threw
A stream, high-spouting from its liquid bed,
And falling back again in drizzly dew:

There each deep draughts, as deep he thirsted,

It was a fountain of Nepenthe rare :

Whence, as Dan Homer sings, huge pleasaunce


And sweet oblivion of vile earthly care; Fair gladsome waking thoughts, and joyous dreams more fair.

This rite perform'd, all inly pleas'd and still,
Withouten trump, was proclamation made.
"Ye sons of Indolence, do what you will;
And wander where you list, thro' hall or glade!
Be no man's pleasure for another staid;
Let each as likes him best his hours employ,
And curs'd be he who minds his neighbor's trade!
Here dwells kind Ease, and unreproving Joy;
He little merits bliss who others can annoy."
Straight of these endless numbers, swarming

As thick as idle motes in sunny ray,
Not one eftsoons in view was to be found,
But every man stroll'd off his own glad way,
Wide o'er this ample court's black area,

With all the lodges that thereto pertain❜d, No living creature could be seen to stray; While solitude and perfect silence reign'd: So that to think you dreamt you almost was con strain'd.

As when a shepherd of the Hebrid isles, Plac'd far amid the melancholy main, (Whether it be lone fancy him beguiles; Or that aërial beings sometimes deign To stand embodied, to our senses plain,) Sees on the naked hill, or valley low, The whilst in ocean Phoebus dips his wain, A vast assembly moving to and fro: Then all at once in air dissolves the wondrous show.

Ye gods of quiet, and of sleep profound! Whose soft dominion o'er this castle sways, And all the widely-silent places round, Forgive me, if my trembling pen displays What never yet was sung in mortal lays. But how shall I attempt such arduous string, I, who have spent my nights, and nightly days, In this soul-deadening place, loose-loitering? Ah! how shall I for this uprear my moulted wing?

Come on, my Muse, nor stoop to low despair, Thou imp of Jove, touch'd by celestial fire! Thou yet shalt sing of war, and actions fair, Which the bold sons of Britain will inspire; Of ancient bards thou yet shalt sweep the lyre; Thou yet shalt tread in tragic pall the stage, Paint love's enchanting woes, the hero's ire, The sage's calm, the patriot's noble rage, Dashing corruption down through every worthless


The doors, that knew no shrill alarming bell, Ne cursed knocker ply'd by villain's hand, Self-open'd into halls, where, who can tell What elegance and grandeur wide expand, The pride of Turkey and of Persia land? Soft quilts on quilts, on carpets carpets spread, And couches stretch'd around in seemly band; And endless pillows rise to prop the head; So that each spacious room was one full-swelling bed.

And everywhere huge cover'd tables stood, With wines high-flavor'd and rich viands crown'd Whatever sprightly juice or tasteful food On the green bosom of this Earth are found, And all old Ocean genders in his round : Some hand unseen these silently display'd, Ev'n undemanded by a sign or sound; You need but wish, and, instantly obey'd, Fair-rang'd the dishes rose, and thick the glasses play'd.

Here freedom reign'd, without the least alloy; Nor gossip's tale, nor ancient maiden's gall, Nor saintly spleen, durst murmur at our joy, And with envenom'd tongue our pleasures pall. For why there was but one great rule for all; To wit, that each should work his own desire, And eat, drink, study, sleep, as it may fall, Or melt the time in love, or wake the lyre, And carol what, unbid, the Muses might inspire.

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Our easy bliss, when each thing joy supplied; The woods, the mountains, and the warbling maze Of the wild brooks!-But fondly wandering wide, My Muse, resume the task that yet doth thee abide.

One great amusement of our household was,
In a huge crystal magic globe to spy,
Still as you turn'd it, all things that do pass
Upon this ant-hill Earth; where constantly
Of idly-busy men the restless fry

Run bustling to and fro with foolish haste,
In search of pleasure vain that from them fly,
Or which obtain'd, the caitiffs dare not taste:
When nothing is enjoy'd, can there be greater waste?

"Of vanity the mirror" this was call'd.
Here you a muckworm of the town might see,
At his dull desk, amid his legers stall'd,
Eat up with carking care and penurie :
Most like to carcass parch'd on gallow-tree.
"A penny saved is a penny got;"

Firm to this scoundrel maxim keepeth he,
Ne of its rigor will he bate a jot,

Till it has quench'd his fire, and banished his pot.

Straight from the filth of this low grub, behold!
Comes fluttering forth a gaudy spendthrift heir,
All glossy gay, enamel'd all with gold,
The silly tenant of the summer-air,
In folly lost, of nothing takes he care;
Pimps, lawyers, stewards, harlots, flatterers vile,
And thieving tradesmen him among them share :
His father's ghost from limbo-lake, the while,
Sees this, which more damnation doth upon him pile.

This globe portray'd the race of learned men,
Still at their books, and turning o'er the page
Backwards and forwards: oft they snatch the pen,
As if inspir'd, and in a Thespian rage;
Then write, and blot, as would your ruth engage.
Why, authors, all this scrawl and scribbling sore?
To lose the present, gain the future age,
Praised to be when you can hear no more,
And much enrich'd with fame, when useless worldly


Then would a splendid city rise to view,
With carts, and cars, and coaches, roaring all:
Wide pour'd abroad behold the giddy crew;
See how they dash along from wall to wall!
At every door, hark how they thundering call!
Good Lord! what can this giddy rout excite ?
Why, on each other with fell tooth to fall;
A neighbor's fortune, fame, or peace to blight,
And make new tiresome parties for the coming

The puzzling sons of party next appear'd,
In dark cabals and nightly juntoes met;
And now they whisper'd close, now shrugging

Th' important shoulder; then, as if to get

But what most show'd the vanity of life.
Was to behold the nations all on fire,
In cruel broils engag'd, and deadly strife:
Most Christian kings, inflam'd by black desire,
With honorable ruffians in their hire,
Cause war to rage, and blood around to pour:
Of this sad work when each begins to tire,
They sit them down just where they were before,
Till for new scenes of woe peace shall their force


To number up the thousands dwelling here,
An useless were, and eke an endless task;
From kings, and those who at the helm appear,
To gypsies brown in summer-glades who bask.
Yea, many a man, perdie, I could unmask,
Whose desk and table make a solemn show,
With tape-tied trash, and suits of fools that ask
For place or pension laid in decent row;

But these I passen by, with nameless numbers moe.

Of all the gentle tenants of the place,
There was a man of special grave remark:
A certain tender gloom o'erspread his face,
Pensive, not sad, in thought involv'd, not dark;
As soot this man could sing as morning-lark,
And teach the noblest morals of the heart:
But these his talents were yburied stark;
Of the fine stores he nothing would impart,
Which or boon Nature gave, or Nature-painting

To noontide shades incontinent he ran,
Where purls the brook with sleep-inviting sound;
Or when Dan Sol to slope his wheels began,
Amid the broom he bask'd him on the ground,
Where the wild thyme and camomile are found:
There would he linger, till the latest ray
Of light sat trembling on the welkin's bound;
Then homeward through the twilight shadows

Sauntering and slow. So had he passed many a day!

Yet not in thoughtless slumber were they past:
For oft the heavenly fire, that lay conceal'd
Beneath the sleeping embers, mounted fast,
And all its native light anew reveal'd:
Oft as he travers'd the cerulean field,
And markt the clouds that drove before the wind,
Ten thousand glorious systems would he build,
Ten thousand great ideas fill'd his mind;

But with the clouds they fled, and left no trace

With him was sometimes join'd, in silent walk,
(Profoundly silent, for they never poke,)
One shyer still, who quite detested talk:
Oft, stung by spleen, at once away he broke,
To groves of pine, and broad o'ershadowing oak,
There, inly thrill'd, he wander'd all alone,
And on himself his pensive fury wroke,
Ne ever utter'd word, save when first shone
Thank Heaven! the

New light, their twinkling eyes were inward set. The glittering star of eve-"
No sooner Lucifer recalls affairs,

Than forth they various rush in mighty fret;
When, lo! push'd up to power, and crown'd their

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day is done."

Here lurk'd a wretch, who had not crept abroad
For forty years, ne face of mortal seen;
In chamber brooding like a lothely toad:
And sure his linen was not very clean.

Through secret loop-holes, that had practis'd been Near to his bed, his dinner vile he took; Unkempt, and rough, of squalid face and mien, Our castle's shame! whence, from his filthy nook, We drove the villain out for fitter lair to look.

One day there chaunc'd into these halls to rove A joyous youth, who took you at first sight; Him the wild wave of pleasure hither drove, Before the sprightly tempest-tossing light: Certes, he was a most engaging wight,

Of social glee, and wit humane, though keen, Turning the night to day, and day to night: For him the merry bells had rung, I ween, If in this nook of quiet bells had ever been.

But not ev'n pleasure to excess is good : What most elates then sinks the soul as low: When spring-tide joy pours in with copious flood, The higher still th' exulting billows flow, The farther back again they flagging go, And leave us grovelling on the dreary shore: Taught by this son of joy, we found it so: Who, whilst he staid, kept in a gay uproar Our madden'd castle all, th' abode of sleep no more.

As when in prime of June a burnish'd fly, Sprung from the meads, o'er which he sweeps along,

Cheer'd by the breathing bloom and vital sky,
Tunes up amid these airy halls his song,
Soothing at first the gay reposing throng:
And oft he sips their bowl: or, nearly drown'd,
He, thence recovering, drives their beds among,
And scares their tender sleep, with trump pro-

Then out again he flies, to wing his mazy round.

Another guest there was, of sense refin'd,
Who felt each worth, for every worth he had;
Serene, yet warm, humane, yet firm his mind,
As little touch'd as any man's with bad:
Him through their inmost walks the Muses lad,
To him the sacred love of Nature lent,

And sometimes would he make our valley glad; When as we found he would not here be pent, To him the better sort this friendly message sent.

"Come, dwell with us! true son of virtue, come!
But if, alas! we cannot thee persuade,
To lie content beneath our peaceful dome,
Ne ever more to quit our quiet glade;
Yet when at last thy toils but ill apaid
Shall dead thy fire, and damp its heavenly spark,
Thou wilt be glad to seek the rural shade,
There to indulge the Muse, and Nature mark:
We then a lodge for thee will rear in Hagley-Park."

Here whilom ligg'd th' Esopus* of the age;
But call'd by Fame, in soul ypricked deep,
A noble pride restor'd him to the stage,
And rous'd him like a giant from his sleep.
Ev'n from his slumbers we advantage reap:
With double force th' enliven'd scene he wakes,

Yet quits not Nature's bounds. He knows to keep Each due decorum: now the heart he shakes, And now with well-urg'd sense th' enlighten'd judgment takes.

* Mr. Quin.

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