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Oft were my truant footsteps seen
In thy brisk gambols on the green.
Too soon those moments danced away;

My years to manhood onward drew,
And as my heart began to play,

My listless limbs more languid grew:
For now a thorn disturb'd my rest,
The wish of something unpossess’d.
At length with wonted pastimes tired,

Aside the boyish gawds I threw;
But when with expectation fired

I to the world's wide circle flew,
I look'd around with simple stare,
And found thee in broad features there.
There saw thee high in regal state,

Thy crowded clamorous orgies hold,
With bounding hands thy cymbals beat,

And wide thy tawdry flag unfold;
Whilst thy gay motley liveries shone
On myriads that begirt thy throne.
Thy devious path, sweet Power, I join'd:

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.

MERCER.

TO A FOUNTAIN.
SEQUESTER'D fountain! ever pure,

Whose placid streamlet flows,
In silent lapse, through glens obscure,

Where timid flocks repose :
Tired and disabled in the race,
I quit Ambition's fruitless chase,

To shape my course by thine ;
And, pleased, from serious trifles turn,
As thus around thy little urn

A votive wreath I twine.
Fair fountain ! on thy margin green

May tufted trees arise,
And spreading boughs thy bosom screen

From summer's fervent skies ;
Here may the Spring her flowerets strew,
And Morning shed her pearly' dew,

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,
That bathe the silent land of dreams,

Some drops oblivious bring-
With that bless'd opiate in my bowl,'
Far shall I from my wounded soul

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
The lessons of distrust and fear,

Injurious to mankind?
Hopeless in his disas us hour,
He sees the gathering tempest lour,

The bursting cloud impend
Towards the wild waste he turns his eye,
Nor can that happy port descry,

The bosom of a friend.

How changed since that propitious time,

When woo'd by fortune's gale,
Fearless in youth's adventurous prime,

He crowded every sail!
The swelling tide, the sportive breeze

Lightly along the halcyon seas

His bounding pinnace bore-
In search of happiness, the while,
He steer'd by every fragrant isle,

And touch'd at every shore.
Ah me! to youth's ingenuous eye

What charms the prospect wears!
Bright as the portals of the sky

The opening world appears;
There every figure stands confess'd,
In all the sweet advantage dress’d

Of Candour's radiant robe
There no mean cares admission find,
Love is the business of mankind,

And Honour rules the globe.
But if those gleams fallacious prove

That paint the world so fair;
If Heaven has placed for generous love

No soft asylum there;
If men fair faith, fair fame deride,
Bent on the crooked paths that guide

To Interest's sordid shrine;
Be yours, ye gloomy sons of Woe!
That melancholy truth to know;
The dream of bliss be mine.

MERCER,

HOME. TO
THE bandit whom the laws pursue,

The soldier, and the gipsy crew,
Arabs and Tartars ever doom'd to roam-

Whate'er their place of shelter be,

A tent, a cave, or hollow tree, Thither they hie with joy, and call it Home.

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There if a doxy or a wife

Receive the wretch escaped from strife;
If there bis tatter'd brood around him cling-

His features catch a brightening smile,

He rests him from his sordid toil,
And in his narrow confines reigns a king.

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,
And dead to comforts in a princely dome:

Men in the lap of Fortune nursed,

With all her froward humours cursed,
And teased by wishes ever on the wing;

Who, wandering still through Folly's maze,

In search of bliss consume their days,
Nor taste her genuine draught at Nature's spring.

Yet such the men who lead the gay,

The pride and patterns of the day,
Whose high prized friendship fools and strangers

boast;
Blush, thou! to court their barren fame;

Let Home, sweet Home, thy presence claim,
And those enjoy thy smiles who love thee most!

MERCER.

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