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Since in each scheme of life I've fail'd,
And disappointment seems entail'd ;
Since all on earth I valued most,
My guide, my stay, my friend is lost;
You, only you, can make me blest,
And hush the tempest in my breast.
Then gently deign to guide my feet
To your hermit-trodden seat,
Where I may live at last my own,
Where I at last may die unknown.
I spoke, she twin'd her magic ray,
And thus she said, or seem'd to say:
Youth, you're mistaken, if you think to find
In shades a medicine for a troubled mind;
Wan Grief will haunt you wheresoe'er you go,
Sigh in the breeze, and in the streamlet fow.
There pale Inaction pines his life away,
And, satiate, curses the return of day:
There naked Frenzy laughing wild with pain,
Or bares the blade, or plunges in the main :
There Superstition broods o'er all her fears,
And yells of demons in the Zephyr hears.
But if a hermit you're resolv'd to dwell,
And bid to social life a last farewell;
God never made an independent man,
'Twould jar the concord of his general plan:
See every part of that stupendous whole,
“Whose body Nature is, and God the soul;"
To one great end, the general good, conspire,
From matter, brute, to man, to seraph, fire.
Should man through Nature solitary roam,
His will his sovereign, every where his home,
What force would guard him from the lion's jaw ?
What swiftness wing him from the panther's paw ?
Or should Fate lead him to some safer shore
Where panthers never prowl, nor lions roar :
Where liberal Nature all her charms bestows,
Suns shine, birdssing, flowers bloom, and water flows,
Fool, dost thou think he'd revel on the store,
Absolve the care of Heav'n, nor ask for more ?
Iho' waters flow'd, flowers bloom'd, and Phoebus
He'd sigh, he'd murmur that he was alone.
For know, the Maker on the human breast
A sense of kindred, country, man, imprest;
And social life to better, aid, adorn,
With proper faculties each mortal's born.
Though Nature's works the ruling mind declare,
And well deserve enquiry's serious care,
The God (whate’er misanthropy may say)
Shines, beams in man with most unclouded ray.
What boots it thee to fly from pole to pole,
Hang o'er the sun, and with the planets roll?
What boots through space's furthest bourns to roam,
If thou, O man, a stranger art at home ?
Then know thyself, the human mind survey,
The use, the pleasure will the toil repay.
Hence Inspiration plans his manner'd lays,
Hence Homer's crown; and, Shakspere, hence thy
Hence he, the pride of Athens, and the shame,
The best and wisest of mankind became.
Nor study only, practise what you know,
Your life, your knowledge, to mankind you owe.
With Plato's olive wreath the bays entwine:
Those who in study, should in practice shine.
Say, does the learned Lord of Hagley's shade,
Charm man so much by mossy fountains laid,
As when, arous'd, he stems Corruption's course,
And shakes the senate with a Tully's force?
When Freedom gasp'd beneath a Caesar's feet,
Then public virtue might to shades retreat;
But where she breathes, the least may useful be,
And Freedom, Britain, still belongs to thee.
Though man's ungrateful, orthough Fortune frown,
Is the reward of worth a song, or crown?
Nor yet unrecompenc'd are Virtue's pains,
Good Allen lives, and bounteous Brunswick reigns.
On each condition disappointments wait,
Enter the hut, and force the guarded gate.
Nor dare repine, though early Friendship bleed,
From love, the world, and all its cares he's freed.
But know, Adversity's the child of God;
Whom Heaven approves of most, most feel her rod.
When smooth old Ocean and each storm's asleep,
Then Ignorance may plough the wat'ry deep;
But when the demons of the tempest rave,
Skill must conduct the vessel through the wave.
Sydney, what good man envies not thy blow?
Who would not wish Anytus for a foe?
Intrepid Virtue triumphs over Fate,
The good can never be unfortunate.
And be this maxim graven in thy mind,
The height of virtue is to serve mankind.
But when old age has silver'd o'er thy head, When memory fails, and all thy vigour's Aed; Then may'st thou seek the stillness of retreat ; Then hear aloof the human tempest beat; Then will I greet thee to my woodland cave, Allay the
of age, and smooth thy grave.
Hence to some convent's gloomy isles,
Where cheerful day-light never smiles, Tyrant, from Albion haste to slavish Rome;
There by dim taper's livid light,
At the still solemn hours of night, In pensive musings walk o'er many a sounding tomb.
Thy clanking chains, thy crimson steel,
Thy venom’d darts, and barbarous wheel, Malignant fiend, bear from this isle away,
Nor dare in Error's fetters bind
One active, freeborn, British mind, That strongly strives to springindignant from thy sway.
Thou bad’st grim Moloch's frowning priest,
Snatch screaming infants from the breast, Regardless of the frantic mother's woes ;