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BOOK II. ODE X.
Receive, dear friend, the truths I teach;
Of adverse Fortune's power :
Along the treacherous shore.
He that holds fast the golden mean,
The little and the great,
Imbittering all his state.
The tallest pines feel most the power
Comes heaviest to the ground:
And spread the ruin round.
The well inform’d philosopher
And hopes in spite of pain :
And Nature laughs again.
What if thine heaven be overcast ?
Expect a brighter sky;
And lays his arrows by.
If hinderances obstruct thy way,
And let thy strength be seen ;
Take half thy canvass in.
THE FOREGOING ODE.
And is this all ? Can Reason do no more
The rose had been wash'd, just wash'd in a shower,
Which Mary to Anna convey'd ;
And weigh'd down its beautiful head.
The cup was all fill'd, and the leaves were all wet;
And it seem'd, to a fanciful view,
On the flourishing bush where it grew.
I hastily seized it, unfit as it was
For a nosegay, so dripping and drown'd, And swinging it rudely, too rudely, alas !
I snapp'd it-it fell to the ground.
• And such,' I exclaim'd, ' is the pitiless part
Some act by the delicate mind,
Already to sorrow resign'd.
Might have bloom'd with its owner awhile, And the tear that is wiped with a little address,
May be follow'd, perhaps, by a smile.'
THE WINTER NOSEGAY.
What Nature, alas ! has denied
To the delicate growth of our isle, Art has in a measure supplied,
And Winter is deck'd with a smile. See, Mary, what beauties I bring
From the shelter of that sunny shed, Where the flowers have the charms of the spring,
Though abroad they are frozen and dead.
'Tis a bower of Arcadian sweets,
Where Flora is still in her prime; A fortress, to which she retreats
From the cruel assaults of the cline. While Earth wears a mantle of snow,
These pinks are as fresh and as gay As the fairest and sweetest that blow
On the beautiful bosom of May.
See how they have safely survived
The frowns of a sky so severe : Such Mary's true love, that has lived
Through many a turbulent year. The charms of the late-blowing rose
Seem graced with a livelier hue, And the winter of sorrow best shows
The truth of a friend such as you.
TO THE NIGHTINGALE,
WHICH THE AUTHOR HEARD SING ON NEW
YEAR'S DAY, 1792.
Whence is it, that amazed I hear
From yonder wither'd spray,
The melody of May ?
Of such a favour shown,
To witness it alone ?
Sing'st thou, sweet Philomel, to me,
For that I also long
Though not like thee in song ?
Of some divine command,
Of happier days at hand ?
And joyless year have I,
Beneath a wintry sky.
Who only need'st to sing,
And every season Spring.