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Rove idle, unemployed, and less need rest :
Man hath his daily work of body or mind
Appointed, which declares his dignity,
And the regard of Heaven on all his ways;
While other animals unactive range,
And of their doings God takes no account.
To-morrow, ere fresh morning streak the east
With first approach of light, we must be risen,
And at our pleasant labour, to reform
Yon flowery arbours, yonder alleys green,
Our walk at noon, with branches overgrown,
That mock our scant manuring, and require
More hands than ours to lop their wanton growth.
Those blossoms also, and those dropping gums,
That lie bestrown, unsightly and unsmooth,
Ask riddance, if we mean to tread with ease:
Meanwhile, as nature wills, night bids us rest."
To whom thus Eve, with perfect beauty adorn'd:
"My author and disposer, what thou bidd'st
Unargued I obey; so God ordains :
God is thy law, thou mine: to know no more
Is woman's happiest knowledge and her praise.
With thee conversing, I forget all time;
All seasons and their change, all please alike.
Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet,
With charm of earliest birds: pleasant the sun,
When first on this delightful land he spreads
His orient beams, on herb, tree, fruit, and flow'r,
Glistering with dew; fragrant the fertile earth
After soft showers; and sweet the coming on
Of grateful evening mild; then silent night,
With this her solemn bird, and this fair moon,
And these the gems of heaven, her starry train:
But neither breath of morn, when she ascends,
With charm of earliest birds; nor rising sun
On this delightful land; nor herb, fruit, flower,
Glistering with dew; nor fragrance after showers;
Nor grateful evening mild; nor silent night,
With this her solemn bird; nor walk by moon.
Or glittering star-light, without thee is sweet.
But wherefore all night long shine these? for whom
This glorious sight, when sleep hath shut all eyes?"
To whom our general ancestor replied:
"Daughter of God and man, accomplish'd Eve,
These have their course to finish round the earth
By morrow evening, and from land to land
In order, though to nations yet unborn,
Ministering light prepared, they set and rise;
Lest total darkness should by night regain
Her old possession, and extinguish life
In nature and in all things; which these soft fires
Not only enliven, but with kindly heat
Of various influence foment and warm,
Temper or nourish, or in part shed down
Their stellar virtue on all kinds that grow
On earth, made hereby apter to receive
Perfection from the sun's more potent ray.
These then, though unbeheld in deep of night,
Shine not in vain; nor think, though men were none,
That heaven would want spectators, God want praise.
Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth
Unseen, both when we wake and when we sleep:
All these with ceaseless praise his works behold
Both day and night. How often from the steep
Of echoing hill or thicket have we heard
Celestial voices to the midnight air,
Sole, or responsive to each other's note,
Singing their great Creator! oft in bands,
While they keep watch, or nightly rounding walk,
With heavenly touch of insrumental sounds
In full harmonic number join'd, their songs
Divide the night, and lift our thoughts to heaven."
Thus talking, hand in hand, alone they pass'd
On to their blissful bower.
BY GEORGE LORD LYTTELTON.
THE Counsels of a friend, Belinda, hear,
Too roughly kind to please a lady's ear;
Unlike the flatteries of a lover's pen,
Such truths as women seldom learn from men.
Nor think I praise you ill, when thus I show
What female vanity might fear to know:
Some merit's mine, to dare to be sincere;
But greater yours, sincerity to bear.
Hard is the fortune that your sex attends ;
Women, like princes, find few real friends :
All who approach them their own ends pursue:
Lovers and ministers are seldom true.
Hence oft from reason heedless Beauty strays,
And the most trusted guide the most betrays;
Hence, by fond dreams of fancied power amused,
When most you tyrannize you're most abused.
What is your sex's earliest, latest care,
Your heart's supreme ambition? To, be fair:
For this the toilet every thought employs,
Hence all the toils of dress, and all the joys:
For this, hand, lips, and eyes are put to school,
And each instructive feature has its rule:
And yet how few have learnt, when this is given,
Not to disgrace the partial boon of Heaven!
How few with all their pride of form can move!
How few are lovely, that were made for love!
Do you, my fair, endeavour to possess
An elegance of mind as well as dress;
Be that your ornament, and know to please
By graceful nature's unaffected ease.
Nor make to dangerous wit a vain pretence,
But wisely rest content with modest sense;
For wit, like wine, intoxicates the brain,
Too strong for feeble women to sustain ;
Of those who claim it, more than half have none, And half of those who have it, are undone.
Be still superior to your sex's arts, Nor think dishonesty a proof of parts: For you, the plainest is the wisest rule; A cunning woman is a knavish fool.
Be good yourself, nor think another's shame Can raise your merit, or adorn your fame. Prudes rail at whores, as statesmen in disgrace At ministers, because they wish their place. Virtue is amiable, mild, serene,
Without all beauty, and all peace within:
The honour of a prude is rage and storm,
'Tis ugliness in its most frightful form:
Fiercely it stands defying gods and men,
As fiery monsters guard a giant's den.
Seek to be good, but aim not to be great:
A woman's noblest station is retreat;
Her fairest virtues fly from public sight,
Domestic worth, that shuns too strong a light.
To rougher man ambition's task resign :
'Tis ours in senates or in courts to shine,
To labour for a sunk corrupted state,
Or dare the rage of envy, and the great.
One only care your gentle breast should move,
The important business of your life is love:
To this great point direct your constant aim,
This makes your happiness, and this your fame.