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PLEASURE, Sweet power, to Nature dear!

I never wish to be austere;

I seek the happiest state.

PLEASURE replies with modest smile,
"Let not a name thy heart beguile :
My name the sons of sense
Have oft assumed: but, trust me, they
From happiness are far astray:
'Tis all a mere pretence.

"To me they boast alliance near;
As men of pleasure, men of cheer,
If you will them believe.

Meanwhile they are of CIRCE's crew,
Wretched, defiled; with painted hue,
Weak mortals to deceive.

"CIRCE, my rival, harlot base!
Her poison'd cup the human race
To phrensy can inflame :

Her blinded followers she betrays;
Her specious arts, her flowery ways,
Lead on to guilt and shame.

"Mine is a purer, nobler rise; VIRTUE, my parent, from the skies

Came down to bless the earth

With me, the child she bore to Love;
A beauteous happy pair above,
And here of highest worth!

"VIRTUE, I grant, is often tried By sickness, sorrow, envy, pride; Nor is ashamed to mourn.

But trial strengthens; conscience cheers, Of death and woe prevents the fears ; Assaults to victory turn.

"Of active life the hard turmoils,
The patriot's cares, the hero's toils,
In brighter triumphs end.

Of friendship, sympathy, the pains,
A generous soul accounts her gains,
While all the good commend.

"But who can paint the heartfelt glow Of holy love, of thought the flow Reciprocal, sincere;

Faith's firm repose, hope's vision bright,

Of God's approving face the light,
Of prayer the rapturous tear?

"Nor deem such bliss an empty form; "Tis solid, will defy the storm,

And keep the breast serene;

When all the merriment of vice,
A low-born vapour sudden flies,
And leaves a void within.

"An aching void where naught can come,
But self-reproach and secret gloom,
Earnest of future woe!

Let braggart sinners loudly boast;
To joy, to peace, to comfort lost,
True heart they do not know.

66 They dare not face rich Folly's frown; To saucy Greatness they bow down. Held fast in Passion's chain

They talk of liberty: 'tis prate;

The slaves of appetite and fate,

They start at every pain.

"Lest death their trembling souls should seize,

Their blood with mortal horrors freeze,

And all their prospects end.

At that inevitable hour,

My parent, VIRTUE, proves her power,

An everlasting friend!

"In life, in death, I follow her; She, she alone, can joys confer,

To fill the human heart:

From heaven together first we came :
Constant we breathe one common flame,
And never, never part!"




STERN Winter now, by Spring repress'd,
Forbears the long-continued strife;

And Nature, on her naked breast,
Delights to catch the gales of life.

Now o'er the rural kingdom roves
Soft Pleasure with her laughing train,
Love warbles in the vocal groves,

And Vegetation paints the plain.

Unhappy! whom to beds of pain

Arthritic tyranny consigns;

Whom smiling Nature courts in vain,

Though Rapture sings and Beauty shines.

Yet though my limbs disease invades,
Her wings Imagination tries,

And bears me to the peaceful shades
-'s humble turrets rise.


Here stop, my soul, thy rapid flight,
Nor from the pleasing groves depart,
Where first great Nature charmed my sight,
Where Wisdom first inform'd my heart.

Here let me through the vales pursue
A guide-a father-and a friend,

Once more great Nature's works renew,
Once more on Wisdom's voice attend.

From false caresses, causeless strife,
Wild hope, vain fear, alike removed;

Here let me learn the use of life,

When best enjoy'd-when most improved.

Teach me,

thou venerable bower,

Cool Meditation's quiet seat,

The generous scorn of venal power,

The silent grandeur of retreat.

When Pride by guilt to greatness climbs, Or raging factions rush to war,

Here let me learn to shun, the crimes

I can't prevent, and will not share.

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