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Sometimes I pass a whole long day
In happy indolence away,
In fondly meditating o'er
Past pleasures, and in hoping more:
Or wander through the fields and woods,
And gardens bath'd in circling floods,
There blooming flow'rs with rapture view,
And sparkling gems of morning dew,
Whence in my mind ideas rise
Of CELIA's cheeks, and CHLOE's eyes.
'Tis thus, my Lord, I, free from strife, Spend an inglorious country life; These are the joys I still pursue, When absent from the town and you : Thus pass long summer suns away, Busily idle, calmly gay;
Nor great, nor mean, nor rich, nor poor,
Nor having much, or wishing more;
Except that you, when weary grown
Of all the follies of the town,
And seeing, in all public places,
The same vain fops and painted faces,
Would sometimes kindly condescend
To visit a dull country friend :
Here you'll be ever sure to meet
A hearty welcome, though no treat,
One who has nothing else to do,
But to divert himself and you:
A house, where quiet guards the door,
No rural wits smoak, drink and roar ;
Choice books, safe horses, wholesome liquor,
Clean girls, backgammon, and the vicar.
LADY MARY WORTLEY MONTAGU.
How happy You! who varied joys pursue;
And every hour presents you something new!
Plans, schemes, and models, all Palladio's art,
For six long months have gain'd upon your heart;
Of colonades, of corridores you talk,
The winding stair-case and the cover'd walk:
You blend the orders with Vitruvian toil,
And raise with wond'rous joy the fancy'd pile :
But the dull workman's slow performing hand
Too coldly executes his lord's command.
With dirt and mortar soon you grow displeas'd,
Planting succeeds, and avenues are rais'd,
Canals are cut, and mountains level made;
Bowers of retreat, and galleries of shade;
The shaven turf presents a lively green;
The bordering flow'rs in mystic knots are seen:
With studied art on nature you refine-
The spring beheld you warm in this design;
But scarce the cold attacks your fav'rite trees,
Your inclination fails, and wishes freeze:
You quit the grove, so lately you admir'd ;
With other views your eager hopes are fir'd.
Post to the city you direct your way;
Not blooming paradise could bribe your stay:
Ambition shews you power's brightest side;
'Tis meanly poor in solitude to hide.
Though certain pains attend the cares of state,
A good man owes his country to be great;
Should act abroad the high distinguish'd part,
Or shew at least the purpose of his heart.
With thoughts like these the shining courts you
Full of new projects for almost a week:
You then despise the tinsel glittering snare;
Think vile mankind below a serious care.
Life is too short for any distant aim;
And cold the dull reward of future fame :
Be happy then while yet you have to live;
And love is all the blessing Heav'n can give.
Fir'd by new passion you address the fair;
Survey the opera as a gay parterre :
Young Cloe's bloom had made you certain prize,
But for a side-long glance from Celia's eyes :
Your beating heart acknowledges her power;
Your eager eyes her lovely form devour;
You feel the poison swelling in your breast,
And all your soul by fond desire possess❜d.
In dying sighs a long three hours are past;
To some assembly with impatient haste,
With trembling hope, and doubtful fear you move,
Resolv'd to tempt your fate, and own your
But there Belinda meets you on the stairs,
Easy her shape, attracting all her airs ;
A smile she gives, and with a smile can wound;
Her melting voice has music in the sound;
Her every motion wears resistless grace;
Wit in her mien, and pleasure in her face:
Here while you vow eternity of love,
Cloe and Celia unregarded move.
Thus on the sands of Afric's burning plains, However deeply made, no long impress remains; The lightest leaf can leave its figure there; The strongest form is scatter'd by the air. So yielding the warm temper of your mind, So touch'd by every eye, so toss'd by wind; Oh! how unlike the heav'n my soul design'd! Unseen, unheard, the throng around me move ; Not wishing praise, insensible of love: No whispers soften, nor no beauties fire; Careless I see the dance, and coldly hear the lyre.
So num'rous herds are driven o'er the rock; No print is left of all the passing flock: So sings the wind around the solid stone: So vainly beat the waves with fruitless moan. Tedious the toil, and great the workman's care, Who dare attempt to fix impressions there: