« ForrigeFortsett »
He chooses company, but not the squire's,
This observation, as it chanced, not made,
Or if the thought occurred, not duly weighed,
He sighs—for after all by slow degrees
The spot he loved has lost the power to please;
To cross his ambling poney day by day,
Seems at the best but dreaming life away;
The prospect, such as might enchant despair,
He views it not, or sees no beauty there;
With aching heart, and discontented looks.
Returns at noon to billiards or to books,
But feels, while grasping at his faded joys,
A secret thirst of his renounced employs.
He chides the tardiness of every post,
Pants to be told of battles won or lost,
Blames his own indolence, observes, though late,
'Tis criminal to leave a sinking state,
Flies to the levee, and received with grace
Kneels, kisses hands, and shines again in place.
Suburban villas, highway-side retreats, That dread th' encroachment of our growing streets, Tight boxes neatly sashed, and in a blaze With all a July sun's collected rays, Delimit the citizen, who, gasping there, Brer.thes clouds of iia-t, and c^ils it country air. Oh sweet retirement, who would balk the thought, That could affoi d retirement, or could not I
'Tis such an easy walk, so smooth and straight, The second milestone fronts the garden gate; A step if fair, and if a shower approach, You find safe shelter in the next stage-coach. There, prisoned in a parlour snug and small, Like bottled wasps upon a southern wall, The man of business and his friends compressed, Forget their labours, and yet find no rest; But still 'tis rural—trees are to be seen From every window, and the fields are green; Ducks paddle in the pond before the door, And what could a remoter scene show more? A sense of elegance we rarely find The portion of a mean or vulgar mind, And ignorance of better things makes man, Who cannot much, rejoice in what he can; And he, that deems his leisure well bestowed In contemplation of a turnpike road, Is occupied as well, employs his hours As wisely, and as much improves his powers, As he, that slumbers in pavilions graced With all the charms of an accomplished taste. Yet hence, alas! insolvencies; and hence The unpitied victim of ill-judged expense, From all his wearisome engagements freed, Shakes hands with business, and retires indeed.
Your prudent grand-mammas, ye modern belles,
Content with Bristol, Uath, and Tunbridge-wells,
When health required it would consent to roam.
Else more attached to pleasures found at home.
But now alike, gay widow, virgin, wife,
Ingenious to diversify dull life,
In coaches, chaises, caravans, and hoys,
Fly to the coast for daily, nightly joys,
And all, impatient of dry land, agree
With one consent to rush into the sea.—
Ocean exhibits, fathomless and broad,
Much of the power and majesty of God.
He swathes about the swelling of the deep,
That shines and rests, as infants smile and sleep;
Vast as it is, it answers as it flows
The breathings of the lightest air that blows;
Curling and whitening over all the waste,
The rising waves obey the increasing blast,
Abrupt and horrid as the tempest roars,
Thunder and flash upon the stedfast shores,
Till h.2, that rides the whirlwind, checks the rein,.
Then all the world of waters sleeps again.—
Nereids or Dryads, as the fashion leads,
Now in the floods, now panting in the meads,
Votaries of pleasure still, wherever she dwells^
Xear barren rocks, in. palaces, or cells,
Oh grant a poet leave to recommend
(A poet fond of nature, and your friend)
Her slighted works to your admiring view;
Her works must needs excel, who fashioned you.
Would ye, when rambling in your morning ride,
With some unmeaning coxcomb at your side,
Condemn the prattler for his idle pains,
To waste unheard the music of his strains,
And deaf to all the impertinence of tongue,
That, while it courts, affronts and does you wrong,
Mark well the finished plan without a fault,
The seas globose and huge, the overarching vauH,
Earth's millions daily fed, a world employed
In gathering plenty yet to be enjoyed,
Till gratitude grew vocal in the praise
Of God, beneficent in all his ways;
Graced with such wisdom, how would beauty shine!
Ye want but that to seem indeed divine.
Anticipated rents, and bills unpaid,