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ON THE PLEASURE ARISING FRON
[Left unfinished by Mr. Gray. With additions, in
Italics, by the late Rev. Mr. Mason.]
NOW the golden Morn aloft
Waves her dew-bespangled wing,
She wooes the tardy Spring :
Frisking ply their feeble feet;
The birds his presence greet:
Rise, my Soul! on wings of fire,
Rise the rapt'rous Choir among ;
And leads the general song :
Saw the snowy whirlwind fly ;
The herd stood drooping by :
Soft Reflection's hand can trace;
A melancholy grace; While Hope prolongs our happier hour, Or deepest shades, that dimly lower And blacken round our weary.way, Gilds with a gleam of distant day.
Still, where rosy Pleasure leads,
See a kindred Grief pursue ;
Approaching Comfort view :
On the thorny bed of pain,
And breathe, and walk again :
Near the source whence Pleasure flows;
And tastes it as it goes.
* So Milton accents the word :
Par. Lost, Book vi, v.772.
„While far below the madding Crowd
oth'd by Flattery's tinkling sound, Go, softly rolling, side by side,
Their dull, but daily round: To these, if Hebe's self should bring The purest cup from Pleasure's spring, Say, can they taste the flavour high Of sober, simple, genuine Joy? Mark Ambition's march sublime
Up to Power's meridian height; While pale-ey'd Envy sees him climb,
And sickens at the sight. Phantoms of Danger, Death, and Dread, Float hourly round Ambition's head; While Spleen, within his rival's breast, Sits brooding on her scorpion nest: Happier he, the Peasant, far,
From the pangs of Passion free, That breathes the keen yet wholesome air
Of rugged Penury.
He, when his morning task is done,
He, unconscious whence the bliss,
Feels, and owns in carols rude, That all the circling joys are his,
Of dear Vicissitude. From toil he wins his spirits light, From busy day, the peaceful night; Rich, from the very want of wealth, In Heav'n's best treasures, Peace and Health.