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Oft were my truant footsteps seen
My years to manhood onward drew,
My listless limbs more languid grew:
Aside the boyish gawds I threw;
I to the world's wide circle flew,
Thy crowded clamorous orgies hold,
And wide thy tawdry flag unfold;
Through fancied fields of bliss we stray'd, A thousand wonders we design'd,
A thousand idle pranks we play'd ; Now grasp'd at glory's quivering ray, And now in Chloe's chains we lay. But, Folly, why prolong my verse
To sing the laughter-loving age ? Or what avails it to rehearse
Thy triumphs on the youthful stage Where Wisdom, if she claims a place, Sits ever with an awkward grace?
For now, even now in riper years,
Smit with thy many-colour'd vest, Oft I renounce my cautious fears,
And clasp thee to my thoughtless breast; Enough that in Presumption's mien Beneath my roof thou ne'er art seen : That, as my harmless course I run,
The world through candid lights I view, And still with generous pity shun
The moody, moping, serious crew; Since what they fondly vainly prize, Is ever, ever to be wise.
TO A FOUNTAIN.
Whose placid streamlet flows,
Where timid flocks repose :
To shape my course by thine ;
A votive wreath I twine.
May tufted trees arise,
From summer's fervent skies ;
May Health infuse her balm; And some soft virtue in thee flow, To mitigate the pangs of woe,
And bid the heart be calm.
0! may thy salutary streams,
Like those of Lethe's spring,
Some drops oblivious bring-
The thorns of spleen removeForget how there at first they grew, And once again with man renew
The cordial ties of love.
For what avails the wretch to bear
Imprinted on his mind
Injurious to mankind?
The bursting cloud impend
The bosom of a friend.
How changed since that propitious time,
When woo'd by fortune's gale,
He crowded every sail!
Lightly along the halcyon seas
His bounding pinnace bore-
And touch'd at every shore.
What charms the prospect wears!
The opening world appears;
Of Candour's radiant robe
And Honour rules the globe.
That paint the world so fair;
No soft asylum there;
To Interest's sordid shrine;
The soldier, and the gipsy crew,
Whate'er their place of shelter be,
A tent, a cave, or hollow tree, Thither they hie with joy, and call it Home.
There if a doxy or a wife
Receive the wretch escaped from strife;
His features catch a brightening smile,
He rests him from his sordid toil,
While thus the poor and wretched find
The asylum for a wounded mind,Distemper'd men there are, estranged from home,
Cold to an angel's kind embrace,
Cheerless amid a blooming race,
Men in the lap of Fortune nursed,
With all her froward humours cursed,
Who, wandering still through Folly's maze,
In search of bliss consume their days,
Yet such the men who lead the gay,
The pride and patterns of the day,
Let Home, sweet Home, thy presence claim,