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Of net or gun, and bid defiance
To every robber, small or great,
That would disturb your calm retreat.
O may kind heaven propitious smile
On every art that can beguile
A Son's long absence from your sight,
And render back that just delight!
From those distracting dire alarms,
That set a jarring world in arms,
From tainted air's infectious breath,
Where Aies unseen the dart of death,
His steps, ye Guardian Angels, guide,
And turn the fatal shaft aside!
Return’d, his parent's bliss to crown,
And make, all earth can give, their own,
Like Smithson's, may his manly heart
Act not the vain, but generous part,
Call drooping art from her recess,
With health, and ease, and fame to bless!
O may, like his, His riper age
With caution tread the civil stage,
Like him, th' enchanted cup put by,
And every vain temptation fly,
Of power, or pension, place, or name,
If meant state-traps, that sink to shame;
Yet his just Prince, without a bribe,
Love-more than all the venal tribe!
But from these themes I now.refrain, Reserv'd to grace a future strain. For I have tresspas'd on your time, And see a tedious length of rhyme. What must it then appear to you? Respectful most this short adieu.
I would tell thee, thou art fair;
But the pleasing tale, I fear,
Might deceive thy tender ear,
Make thee fancy beauty more
Than thou'lt find the faithless store;
Faithless as the dream of night,
Flitting with returning light;
Just as sure as Summer seas,
When behind th’inviting breeze
Storms and thunders loitering wait,
Soon to give the wretch his fate.
Let the Muse then send her song To thy mind, thy mind yet young, Yet as pure and free from stain As the snow driven o'er the plain : But how nice th' instructive lay! Yet the Muse has bid me say, Thou hast ask'd, and she'll obey.
Gentle Maid, to whose kind heart
Friendly Nature doth impart
(Choicest of the gifts she brings)
Soft good temper, first of things ;
May that temper be thy guide,
May she still with thee reside,
Free from passion, free from pride;
Pride that aims the deadliest dart
At the growing Virgin's heart!
Once its poison enter'd there,
Nought can cure the wounded Fair.
Pride like Venus does not move,
Graces at her side, and Love;
But the fierce Desire of Power,
And dull Ignorance, march before;
Saucy Sneer and Calumny,
Cruelty and high Disdain,
Form her virtue-killing train.
Shun then Flattery's tainting breath,
Self-opinion shun like Death.
Next, my Fair, with curious quest, Search the garden of thy breast, Underneath th' enliven'd clay, 'Midst the streams that through it stray, Clay as fine as Nature makes, Streams yet cool in vestal lakes; Search, I say, with nicest heed, And, if found, destroy the weed ;
Fruitless, baneful, and unkind,
(Fond yet of the female mind)
If base Avarice you spy,
Pluck it forth, and bid it die ;
See! thy parents praise the deed,
Loathing the pernicious weed,
And with pleasure bid thee tread
On the snow-cold poison's head.
The observing Muse believe, Nothing can your bliss deceive, If in noble scorn you hold Thirst of power, and love of gold. Quell’d these passions, thou shalt find Virtue easy, soft, and kind. These two dangers canst thou shun, More than half Life's task is done. When thy breast thus clear'd you see, When the soil from weeds is free, When no more the thistle grows, Nor the thorn surrounds the rose, Thou shalt then employ thy hours, Gathering sweets, and culling flowers. All that Virtue has to give Thou shalt to thy breast receive. Under thy commanding eye, White rob’d Purity shall lie ; And thy altering cheek her throne Rose-red Modesty shall own; Still at thy extended hand Glowing Charity shall stand;