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Content, fair daughter of the skies,
Or gives spontaneous, or denies,
Her choice divinely free:
She visits oft the hamlet cot,
When Want and Sorrow are the lot
Of Avarice and me.
But see or is it Fancy's dream?
Methought a bright celestial gleam
Shot sudden thro' the groves;
Behold, behold, in loose array,
Euphrosyne, more bright than day,
More mild than Paphian doves!
Welcome, O! welcome, Pleasure's queen! And see, along the velvet green,
The jocund train advance:
With scatter'd flowers they fill the air,
The wood-nymph's dew-bespangled hair Plays in the sportive dance.
Ah! baneful grant of angry Heaven
When to the feeling wretch is given
A soul alive to joy!
Joys fly with every hour away,
And leave th' unguarded heart a prey
To cares, that Peace destroy.
And see, with visionary haste,
(Too soon the gay delusion past)
Despair has seiz'd my captive soul,
And Horror drives without controul,
And slackens still the reins.
Ten thousand beauties round me throng:
What beauties, say, ye nymphs, belong
To the distemper'd soul?
I see the lawn of hideous dye,
The tow'ring elm nods misery,
With groans the waters roll.
Ye gilded roofs, Palladian domes,
Ye vivid tints of Persia's looms,
Ye were for misery made-
'Twas thus the Man of Sorrow spoke,
His wayward step then pensive took
Along th' unhallow'd shade.
YES, to the Sages be it told,
However great, or wise, or old—
Fair Pleasure's my pursuit ;
For her I breathe the joyful day,
For her thro' Nature's wilds I stray,
And cull the flowers and fruit.
Sweep, sweep the lute's enchanting string And all thy sweets, lov'd Luxury, bring! "To enjoy is to obey;"
The heavenly mandate still prevail,
And let each unwise wretch bewail
The dire neglected day.
Ah! graceless wretch! to disobey,
And devious quit the flowery way,
And slight the gods decree !
Still, still, ye gods, the blessings send!
If e'er my guilty hands offend,
Indeed my heart is free.
In Pleasure's ray see Nature shine, How dull, alas! at Wisdom's shrine! "'Tis Folly to be wise :"
Collusive term, poor vain pretence,
Enjoyment sure is real Sense
In philosophic eyes.
I love the carol of the hound,
Enraptur'd on the living ground,
In dashing ecstasy;
I love the awkward courser's stride,
The courser that has been well tried,
And with him eager fly.
And yes, I love, ye sneering wise !-
Fair Honour, spurning still at lies,
As courting Liberty;
Still hand in hand great Nature goes,
With joys to honour never foes,
And all those joys are free.
And welcome thrice to British land,
From Italy's voluptuous strand,
Ye destin'd men of art;
Breathe on the thrilling meaning sound, Each grace shall still be faithful found, your admirer's heart.
Avert, ye gods! that curse of fools,
The pride of theoretic rules;
That dupery of sense:
I ne'er refuse the proffer'd joy,
With every good-that can annoy-
Most easily dispense.
I catch each rapture as it flies,
Each happy loss a gain supplies,
And boon still follows boon:
The smile of beauty gilds my day,
Regardless of her frowns I stray ;—
Thus thro' my hours I run!
But let me not for idle rhyme
Neglect, ungrateful, good old Time:
Dear watch thou art obey'd-
'Twas thus the Man of Pleasure spoke,
His jovial step then careless took
To Celia-or her maid.