« ForrigeFortsett »
He does not scorn it, who imprison'd long
In fome unwholefome dungeon, and a prey
To fallow fickness, which the vapors dank
And clammy of his dark abode have bred,
Efcapes at laft to liberty and light.
His cheek recovers foon its healthful hue,
His eye relumines its extinguish'd fires,
He walks, he leaps, he runs-is wing'd with joy,
And riots in the fweets of ev'ry breeze.
He does not fcorn it, who has long endur'd
A fever's agonies, and fed on drugs.
Nor yet the mariner, his blood inflamed
With acrid falts; his very heart athirst
To gaze at Nature in her green array.
Upon the fhip's tall fide he ftands, poffefs'd
With vifions prompted by intenfe defire;
Fair fields appear below, such as he left
Far diftant, fuch as he would die to find-
He feeks them headlong, and is feen no more.
The spleen is feldom felt where Flora reigns;
The low'ring eye, the petulance, the frown,
And fullen fadness that o'erfhade, distort,
And mar the face of beauty, when no cause
For fuch immeasurable woe appears,
These Flora banishes, and gives the fair
Sweet fmiles and bloom lefs tranfient than her own.
It is the conftant revolution ftale
And tastelefs, of the fame repeated joys,
That palls and fatiates, and makes languid life
A pedlar's pack, that bows the bearer down.
Health fuffers, and the spirits ebb; the heart
Recoils from its own choice-at the full feast
Is famifh'd-finds no mufic in the fong,
No smartness in the jeft, and wonders why.
Yet thousands ftill defire to journey on,
Though halt and weary of the path they tread.
The paralytic who can hold her cards.
But cannot play them, borrows a friend's hand.
To deal and fhuffle, to divide and fort
Her mingled fuits and fequences, and fits
Spectatrefs both and spectacle, a fad
And filent cypher, while her proxy plays.
Others are dragg'd into the crowded room
Between fupporters; and once feated, fit
Through downright inability to rise,
'Till the stout bearers lift the corpfe again.
These speak a loud memento.. Yet ev'n these
Themselves love life, and cling to it, as he
That overhangs a torrent, to a twig.
They love it, and yet loath it; fear to die,
Yet fcorn the purposes for which they live.
Then wherefore not renounce them? No-the dread,
The flavish dread of folitude, that breeds
Reflection and remorfe, the fear of fhame,
And their invet'rate habits, all forbid.
Whom call we gay? That honor has been long The boast of mere pretenders to the name.
The innocent are gay-the lark is gay
That dries his feathers faturate with dew
Beneath the rofy cloud, while yet the beams
Of day-spring overshoot his humble nest.
The peasant too, a witness of his fong,
Himself a fongfter, is as gay as he.
But fave me from the gaiety of those
Whose head-achs nail them to a noon-day bed;
And fave me too from theirs whofe haggard eyes.
Flash desperation, and betray their
property ftripp'd off by cruel chance;
From gaiety that fills the bones with pain,
The mouth with blafphemy, the heart with woe.
The earth was made fo various, that the mind
Of defultory man, ftudious of change,.
And pleas'd with novelty, might be indulged.
Prospects however lovely may be seen
'Till half their beauties fade; the weary fight,
Too well acquainted with their fmiles, flides off
Faftidious, feeking lefs familiar fcenes.
Then fnug inclosures in the fhelter'd vale,
Where frequent hedges intercept the eye,
Delight us, happy to renounce a while,
Not fenfelefs of its charms, what ftill we love,
That fuch fhort abfence may endear it more.
Then forests, or the favage rock may please,
That hides the fea-mew in his hollow clefts
Above the reach of man: his hoary head
Confpicuous many a league, the mariner
Bound homeward, and in hope already there,
Greets with three cheers exulting. At his waist
A girdle of half-wither'd fhrubs he shows,
And at his feet the baffled billows die.
The common overgrown with fern, and rough
With prickly gofs, that shapeless and deform
And dang'rous to the touch, has yet its bloom.
And decks itself with ornaments of gold,
Yields no unpleasing ramble; there the turf
Smells fresh, and rich in odorif'rous herbs