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So idle, yet so restless, are our minds,
For this, hands, lips, and eyes, are put to school, We climb the Alps, and brave the raging winds; And each instructed feature has its rule: Through various toils to seek content we roam, And yet how few have learnt, when this is given, Which with but thinking right were ours at home. Not to disgrace the partial boon of Heaven! For not the ceaseless change of shifted place How few with all their pride of form can move ! Can from the heart a settled grief erase,
How few are lovely, that are made for love! Nor can the purer balm of foreign air
Do you, my fair, endeavour to possess
By graceful Nature's unaffected ease.
Nor make to dangerous wit a vain pretence, Whose rooted point bis bleeeding bosom tears; But wisely rest content with modest sense; With equal pain each different cline he tries, For wit, like wine, intoxicates the brain, And is himself that torment which he flies.
Too strong for feeble woman to sustain: For how should ills, which from our passions flow, Of those who claim it more than half have none; Be chang'd by Afric's heat, or Russia's snow? And half of those who have it are undone. Or how can aught but powerful reason cure
Be still superior to your sex’s arts, What from unthinking folly we endure?
Nor think dishonesty a proof of parts : Happy is he, and be alone, who knows
For you, the plainest is the wisest rule: His heart's uneasy discord to compose;
A cunning woman is a knavish fool. In generous love of others' good, to find
Be good yourself, nor think another's shame The sweetest pleasures of the social mind;
Can raise your merit, or adorn your fame. To bound bis wishes in their proper sphere;
Prudes rail at whores, as statesmen in disgrace To nourish pleasing hope, and conquer anxious fear: At ministers, because they wish their place. This was the wisdom ancient sages taught,
Virtue is amiable, mild, serene;
The honour of a prude is rage and storin,
'Tis ugliness in its most frightful form. Nor think, my lord, that couts to you deny Fiercely it stands, defying gods and men, The useful practice of philosophy:
As fiery monsters guard a giant's den. Horace, the wisest of the tuneful choir,
Seek to be good, but aim not to be great: Not always chose from greatness to retire;
A woman's noblest station is retreat: But, in the palace of Augustus, knew
Her fairest virtues fly from public sight, The same unerring maxims to pursue,
Domestic worth, that shuns too strong a light. Which, in the Sabine or the Velian shade,
To rougher man Ambition's task resign: His study and his happiness he made.
'Tis ours in senates or in courts to shine; May you, my friend, by his example taught,
To labour for a sunk corrupted state, View all the giddy scene with sober thought;
Or dare the rage of Envy, and be great. Codazzled every glittering folly see,
One only care your gentle breasts should move, And in the midst of slavish forms be free;
Th’important business of your life is love; In its own centre keep your steady mind,
To this great point direct your constant aim, Let Prudence guide you, but let Honour bind. This makes your happiness, and this your fame. In show, in manners, act the courtier's part,
Be never cool reserve with passion join'd; But be a country gentleman at heart.
With caution choose; but then be fondly kind.
Here sweet extremes alone can truly bless :
The virtue of a lover is excess.
A maid unask'd may own a well-plac'd Name;
Not loving first, but loving wrong, is shame. The counsels of a friend, Belinda, hear,
Contemn the little pride of giving pain, Ton mughly kind to please a lady's ear,
Nor think that conquest justifies disdain, l'nlike the flatteries of a lover's pen,
Short is the period of insulting power: Such truths as women seldom learn from men. Offended Cupid finds his vengeful hour; Nor think I praise you ili, when thus I show Soon will resume the empire which he gave, What female vanity might fear to know.
And soon the tyrant shall become the slave. Some merit's mine, to dare to be sincere;
Blest is the maid, and worthy to be blest, But greater your's, sincerity to bear.
Whose soul, entire by him she loves possest, Hard is the fortune that your sex attends; Feels every vanity in fondness lost, Women, like princes, find few real friends: And asks no power but that of pleasing most : All who approach them their own ends pursue;
Hers is the bliss, in just return, to prove Lovers and ministers are seldoin true.
The honest warmth of undissembled love; Hence oft from Reason heedless Beauty strays, For her, inconstant man might cease to range, And the most trusted guide the most betrays, And gratitude forbid desire to change. Hence, by food dreams of fancied power amus'd, But, lest harsh Care the lover's peace destroy, When most ye tyrannise, you 're most abus'd. And roughly blight the tender buds of joy, What is your sex's earliest, latest care,
Let Reason teach what Passion fain would hide, Your heart's supreme ambition ?- To be fair. That Hymen's bands by Prudence should be tied, For this, the toilet every thought employs,
Venus in vain the wedded pair would crown, Hence all the toils of dress, and all the joys: If angry Fortune on their union frown:
Soon will the flattering dream of bliss be o'er, The clearest spring, or shadiest grove:
Tell me, my heart, if this be love?
Yet may you rather feel that virtuous pain,
WRITTEN IN THE YEAR 1733.
That part my love and me:
Ev’n in the happiest choice, where favouring Hea- Their only wish to see.
But how, my Delia, will you meet
The man you've lost so long? And oft, the careless find it to their cost,
Will love in all your pulses beat,
And tremble on your tongue?
Will you in every look declare
And heal each idly-anxious care
Our fears in absence frame?
Thus, Delia, thus I paint the scene,
When shortly we shall meet; Endearing thus the common acts of life,
And try what yet remains between
Of loitering time to cheat.
Shall false and groundless prove;
If I am doom'd at length to find
All I of Venus ask, is this;
No more to let us join: For well you twist the secret chains that bind
But grant me here the flattering bliss,
To die, and think you mine.
DAMON AND DELIA.
Me tranquil poverty shall lull to rest, Unkind! my falsehood to upbraid,
Humbly secure, and indolently biest;
Warın'd by the blaze of my own cheerful hearth, When your own orders I ohey'd ; Yog bid me try, by this deceit,
P ll waste the wintry hours in social mirth; The notice of the world to cheat,
In summer pleas'd at end to harvest toils, And hide, beneath another name,
In autumn press the vineyard's purple spoils,
And oft to Delia in my bosom bear
Some kid, or lamb, that wants its mother's care:
When swains their sportive rites to Bacchus pay: Danon, your prudence I confess,
With her new milk on Pales' altar pour,
And deck with ripen'd fruits Pomona's bower. With too much art your court you inade;
At night, how soothing would it be to hear,
Safe in her arms, the tempest bowling near; Had it been only art, your eyes
Or, while the wintry clouds their deluge pour, Would not have join'd in the disguise.
Slumber, assisted by the beating shower!
In search of wealth, the black tempesiuous waves! Ah! cease thus idly to molest
While I, contented with my little store,
In tedious voyage seek no distant shore;
But, idly Jolling on some shady seat,
Near cooling fountains shun the dog-star's heat:
That I by absence should my Delia grieve?
Let great Messalla shine in martial toils, My foolish heart believes you just :
And grace his palace with triumphal spoils ; Reason this faith may disapprove;
Me Beauty holds, in strong though gentle chains, But I believe, because I love.
Far from tumultuous war and dusty plains.
How would I slight Ambition's painful praise !
How would I joy with thee, my love, to yoke
The ox, and feed my solitary flock!
On thy soft breast might I but lean my head,
How downy should I think the woodland bed!
The wretch, who sleeps not by his fair-one's
Detests the gilded couch's useless pride,
Nor knows his weary weeping eyes tu close, At whose approach, inspir'd with equal fires,
Though murmuring rills invite him to repose. The amorous nightingale and poet sing !
Hard were his heart, who thee, my fair, could leave
For all the honours prosperous war can give;
Though through the vanquish'd East be spread his
fame, Blessings thou bring'st to others, but to me
And Parthian tyrants tremble at his name; The sad remembrance that I once was blest.
Though, bright in arms, while hosts around him bleed, Thy faded charms, which Winter snatch'd away,
With martial pride he prest his foaming steed. Renew'd in all their former lustre shine;
No pomps like these my humble vows require; But, ab! no more shall hapless I be gay,
With thee I 'll live, and in thy arms expire. Or know the vernal joys that have been mine.
Thee may my closing eyes in death behold!
Thee may my faultering hand yet strive to hold !
Then, Delia, then, thy heart will melt in woe,
Nor dost thou think it weakness to be kind.
But, ab ! fair mourner, I coujure thee, spare Cheerless and cold I feel the genial Sun,
Thy heaving breasts and loose dishevell’d hair: From thee while absent I in exile rove;
Wound not thy form ; lest on th' Elysian coast
Thy anguish should disturb my peaceful ghost. Thy lovely presence, fairest light, alone
But now nor death nor parting should employ
Our sprightly thoughts, or damp our bridal joy :
All care, all business, but delightful love.
Which youth alone can taste, alone can give : (Divitias alius fulvo sibi congerat auro.)
Then let us snatch the moment to be blest,
This hour is Love's--be Fortune's all the rest.
To both, from courts and all their state,
Eager I fly, to prove
Joys far above a courtier's fate,
Tranquillity and love.
A stranger to that mind,
TO MISS LUCY FORTESCUE.
Once, by the Muse alone inspir'd The ills that love molest;
I sung my amorous strains : The jealous doubt, the tender care,
No serious love my bosom fird; That rack the amorous breast?
Yet every tender maid, deceiv'd,
The idly-mournful tale believ'd,
And wept my fancied pains.
But Venus now, to punish me
For having. feign'd so well,
Its real flame to tell.
TO THE SAME ;
WITH HAMMOND'S ELEWIES.
All that of love can be express'd, Not all its wealth or pride
In these soft numbers see; Could tempt me from the charms that crown
But, Lucy, would you know the rest, Thy rural flowery side:
It must be read in me.
TO THE SAME.
IN HER TEMPLE AT STOW.
TO THB SAME.
Ah! should I lose thee, my too lovely maid,
Couldst thou forget thy heart was ever mine, Fear not thy letters should the change upbraid ; My hand each dear memorial shall resign :
Your shape, your lips, your eyes, are still the same, Not one kind word shall in my power remain,
Still the bright object of my constant flame; A painful witness of reproach to thee;
But where is now the tender glance, that stole, And lest any heart should still their sense retain,
With gentle sweetness, my enchanted soul?
Each melting charm that love alone inspires?
The maid my heart delighted to adore.
Yet, still unchang'd, still doating to excess,
Were far more blest, when you like me could love. FAIR Venus, whose delightful shrine surveys
Its front reflected in the silver lake,
TO THE SAME.
WHEN I think on your truth, I doubt you no more, Far from my breast each soothing hope remove,
I blame all the fears I gave way to before: And there let sad Despair for ever dwell.
I say to my heart, “ Be at rest, and believe
That whom once she has chosen she never will But if my soul is fill'd with her alone;
leave." No other wish nor other object knows : Oh! make her, goddess, make her all my own,
But, ah! when I think on each ravishing grace And give my trembling heart secure repose !
That plays in the smiles of that heavenly face;
My heart beats again; I again apprehend
Some fortunate rival in every friend.
These painful suspicions you cannot remove, Love's surest fort, and I will doubt no more.
Since you neither can lessen your charms nor my
love; But doubts caus’d by passion you never can blame; For they are not ill founded, or you feel the same
AN IRREGULAR ODE.
WRITTEN AT WICKHAM IN 1746.
TO THE SAME.
" It was not thus, inconstant maid ! You acted once," the shepherd said,
“When love was in its prime:” She griev'd to bear him thus complain; and would bave writ, to ease his pain,
But that she had not time.
If love be not a crime.
But that she had not time.
Ye sylvan scenes with artless beauty gay,
Ye gentle shades of Wickham, say,
Which sees me with my Lucy here,
Can thus to my transported heart