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To virtue's lowest duty sacrifice
Or interest or ambition's highest prize';
That, injur'd or offended, never tried
Its dignity by vengeance to maintain,
But by magnanimous disdain.
A wit that, temperately bright,
With inoffensive light,
All pleasing shone ; nor ever pass'd
The decent bounds that wisdom's sober hand,
And sweet benevolence's mild command,
And bashful modesty, before it cast.
A prudence undeceiving, undeceiv'd,
That' nor too little nor too much believ'd ;
That scorn'd unjust suspicion's coward fear,
And, without weakness, knew to be sincere.
Such Lucy was, when in her fairest days,
Amidst th' acclaim of universal praise,
In life's and glory's freshest bloom,
Death came remorseless on, and sunk her to the tomb.
So where the silent streams of Liris glide,
In the soft bosom of Campania's vale,
When now the wintry tempests all are fled,
And genial summer breathes her gentle gale,
The verdant orange lifts its beauteous head ;
From ev'ry branch the balmy flow'rets rise.
On ev'ry bough the golden fruits are seen ;
With odours sweet it fills the smiling skies,
The wood-nymphs tend it, and th' Idalian queen :
But, in the midst of all its blooming pride,
A sudden blast from Apenninus blows,
Cold with perpetual snows ;
The tender-blighted plant shrinks up its leaves, and dies.
O best of women ! dearer far to me
Than when, in blooming life,
My lips first call’d thee wife;
How can my soul endure the loss of thee?
How, in the world, to me a desert grown,
Abandon', and alone,
Without my sweet companion can I live?
Without thy lovely smile,
The dear reward of ev'ry virtuous toil,
What pleasures now can pallid ambition give ?
E’en the delightful sense of well-earn'd praise,
Unshar'd by thee, no more my lifeless thoughts could raise.
For my distracted mind
What succour can I find ?
On whom for consolation shall I call ?.
Support me, ev'ry friend;
Your kind assistance lend,
To bear the weight of this oppressive wo.
Alas ! each friend of mine,
My dear departed love, so inuch was thine,
That none has any comfort to bestow,
My books, the best relief
In ev'ry other grief,
Are now with your idea sadden'd all :
Each fav’rite author we together read
My tortur'd mem'ry wounds, and speaks of Lucy dead.
We were the happiest pair of human kind :
The rolling year its various course perform'a,
And back return'd again ;
Another, and another, smiling came,
And saw: our happiness unchang'd remain.
Still in her golden chain
Harmonious Concord did our wishes bind :
Our studies, pleasures, taste, the same.
O fatal, fatal stroke!
That all this pleasing fabric love had rais'd
Of rare felicity,
On which e’en wanton vice with envy gaz'd,
And every scheme of bliss our hearts had form'd
With soothing hope for many a future day,
In one sad moment broke !
Yet, O my soul ! thy rising murmur stay ;
Nor dare th' all-wise Disposer to arraign,
Or against his supreme decree
With impious grief complain.
That all thy full-blown joys at once should fade,
Was his most righteous will and be that will obey'a.
Would thy fond love bis grace to her control;
And, in these low abodes of sin and pain,
Unjustly, for thy partial good, detain ?
No-rather strive thy grov'ling mind to raise
Up to that unclouded blaze,
That heav'nly radiance of eternal light,
Lo which enthron’d, she now with pity sees,
How frail, how insecure, how slight,
Is every mortal bliss ;
Ev'n love itself, if rising by degrees Beyond the bounds of this imperfect state,
Whose fleeting joys so soon must end,
It does not to its sovereign good ascend.
Rise then, my soul, with hope elate,
And seek those regions of serene delight,
Whose peaceful path, and ever-open gate,
No feet but those of harden'd guilt shall miss ;
There, death himself thy Lucy shall restore ;
There yield up all his pow'r, ne'er to divide you more.'
Hymn to contentment.
LOVELY. lasting peace of mind !
Sweet delight of human kind !
Heav'nly born, and bred on high,
To crown the fav'rites of the sky,
With more of happiness below,
Than victors in a triumph know !
Whitber, oh whither art thou fled,
To lay thy meek contented head ?
What happy region dost thou please
To make the seat of calm and ease ?
Ambition searches all its sphere
Of pomp and state, to meet thee there ;
Increasing avarice would find
Thy presence in its gold inshrin'd :
The bold advent'rer ploughs his way
Through rocks, amidst the foaming sea,
To gain thy love ; and then perceives
Thou wast not in the rocks and waves.
The silent heart which grief assails,
Treads soft and lonesome o'er the vales.
Sees daisies openi, rivers ruas
And seeks (as I have vainly done)
Amusing thought; but learns to know
That solitude's the nurse of wo.
No real happiness is found
In trailing purple o'er the ground;
Or in a soul exalted high,
To range the circuit of the sky,
Converse with stars above, and know
All nature in its forms below :
The resti it seeks, in seeking dies ;
And doubts at last for knowledge rise.
Lovely, lasting peace, appear ;
This world itself, if thou art here,
Is once again with Eden blest,
And man contains it in his breast.
'Twas thus, as under shade I stood,
Esung my wisbes to the wood,
And, lost in thought, no more perceiv'd
The branches whisper as they way'd :
It seem'd as all the quiet place
Confess'd the presence of the grace;
When thus she spoke :-"Go rule thy will
Bid thy wild passions all be still ;
Know God, and bring thy heart to know
The joys which from religion flow;
Then ev'ry grace shall prove its guest,
And I'll be there to crown the rest."
Oh! by yonder mossy seat,
In my hours of sweet retreat,
Might I thus my soul employ,
With sense of gratitude and joy,
Rais'd as ancient prophets were,
In heav'nly vision, praise, and pray’r;
Pleasing all men, hurting none,
Pleas'd and blest with God alone ;
Then while the gardens take my sight,
With all the colours of delight;
While silver waters glide along,
To please my ear, and court my song ;
I'll lift my voice and tune my string,
And thee, Great Source of Nature, sing.
The sun that walks bis airy way,
To light the world, and give the day ;
The moon that shines with borrow'd light;
The stars that gild the gloomy night ;
The seas that roll unnumbered waves ;
The wood that spreads its shady leaves ;
The field whose ears conceal the grain,
The yellow treasure of the plain :
All of these, and all I see,
Should be sung, and sung by me :
They speak their Maker as they can,
But want and ask the tongue of man.
Go search among your idle dreams,
Your busy or your vain extremes ;
And find a life of equal bliss,
Or own the next begun in this. PARNELL,
An elegy written in a country church-yard.
The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea, The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
Now fades the glimm’ring landscape on the sight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his drony flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds ;
Save that, from yonder ivy-mantled tow'r,
The moping ow) does to the moon complain Of such, as wand'ring near her secret bow'r,
Molest her ancient solitary reign. Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mould’ring heap, Each in his narrow cell fo ever laid,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep. The breezy call of incense-breathing morn,
The swallow twitt'ring from the straw-built shed, The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed. For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
Or busy housewife ply her evening care: Nor children run to lisp their sire's return,
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share. )