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The longer I heard, I efteem'd
The work of my fancy the more,
And ev❜n to myself never feem'd
So tuneful a poet before.
Though the pleasures of London exceed
In number the days of the year,
Catharina, did nothing impede,
Would feel herself happier here;
For the close-woven arches of limes,
On the banks of our river, I know,
Are fweeter to her many times
Than all that the city can fhow.
So it is, when the mind is endued
With a well-judging tafte from above,
Then, whether embellifh'd or rude,
'Tis nature alone that we love.
The achievements of art may amufe,
May ev'n our wonder excite,
But groves, hills, and valleys, diffufe
A lasting, a facred delight.
Since then in the rural recefs
Catharina alone can rejoice,
May it still be her lot to poffefs
The scene of her fenfible choice!
To inhabit a mansion remote
From the clatter of street-pacing steeds, And by Philomel's annual note
To measure the life that fhe leads.
With her book, and her voice, and her lyre,
To wing all her moments at home,
And with scenes that new rapture infpire
As oft as it fuits her to roam,
She will have juft the life fhe prefers,
With little to wifh or to fear,
And ours will be pleasant as her's,
Might we view her enjoying it here.
A HERMIT (or if 'chance you hold
That title now too trite and old)
A man, once young, who liv'd retir'd
As hermits could have well defir'd,
His hours of ftudy clos'd at last,
And finish'd his concise repast,
Stoppled his cruife, replac'd his book
Within its customary nook,
And, ftaff in hand, set forth to share
The fober cordial of sweet air,
Like Ifaac, with a mind applied
To serious thought at evening-tide.
Autumnal rains had made it chill,
And from the trees that fring'd his hill
Shades flanting at the clofe of day
Chill'd more his else delightful way.
Distant a little mile he fpied
A western bank's ftill funny fide,
And right toward the favour'd place
Proceeding with his nimbleft pace,
In hope to bask a little yet,
Just reach'd it when the sun was set.
Your hermit, young and jovial, Sirs!
Learns fomething from whate'er occurs—
And hence, he said, my mind computes
The real worth of man's purfuits.
His object chofen, wealth or fame,
Or other fublunary game,
Imagination to his view,
Prefents it deck'd with ev'ry hue
That can feduce him not to spare
His pow'rs of best exertion there,
But youth, health, vigour, to expend
On fo defirable an end.
Ere long, approach life's evening fhades,
The glow that fancy gave it fades ;
And, earn'd too late, it wants the grace
Which first engag'd him in the chase.
True, answer'd an angelic guide,
Attendant at the fenior's fide-
But whether all the time it coft
To urge the fruitless chase be loft,
Must be decided by the worth
Of that which call'd his ardour forth.
Trifles purfu'd, whate'er th' event,
Muft caufe him fhame or difcontent;
A vicious object ftill is worse, Successful there, he wins a curfe; But he, whom even in life's last stage Endeavours laudable engage, Is paid, at least in peace of mind, And fenfe of having well design'd; And if, ere he attain his end, His fun precipitate descend, A brighter prize than that he meant Shall recompence his mere intent. No virtuous wifh can bear a date Either too early or too late.