Where nought but shadowy forms were seen to move,
As Idless fancied in her dreaming mood;
And up the hills, on either side, a wood
Of blackening pines, aye waving to and fro,
Sent forth a sleepy horror through the blood;

And where this valley winded out below,
The murmuring main was beard, and scarcely heard to


A pleasing land of drowsy-head it was,
Of dreams that wave before the half-shut eye ;
And of gay castles in the clouds that pass,
For ever flushing round a summer sky :
There eke the soft delights, that witchingly
Instil a wanton sweetness through the breast,
And the calm pleasures always hover'd nigh;

But whate'er smack'd of noyance, or unrest,
Was far, far off expell’d from this delicious nest.

The landskip such, inspiring perfect ease,
Where Indolence, (for so the wizard hight)
Close hid his castle mid embowering trees,
That half shut out the beams of Phæbus bright,
And made a kind of checker'd day and night;
Meanwhile, unceasing at the massy gate,
Beneath a spacious palm, the wicked wight

Was plac'd; and to his lute, of cruel fate,
And labour harsh, complain’d, lamenting man's estate.

VIII. Thither continual pilgrims crowded still, From all the roads of earth that pass thereby ; For as they chaunc'd to breathe on neighb’ring hill, The freshness of this valley smote their eye, And drew them ever and anon more nigh; 'Till clustering round th' enchanter false they hung, Ymolten with his syren melody ;

While o'er th’ enfeebling lute his hand he flung, And to the trembling chords these tempting verses sung!

IX. “Behold! ye pilgrims of this earth, behold! “See all but man with unearn'd pleasure gay ; 66 See her bright robes the butterfly unfold, “ Broke from her wintry tomb in prime of May! “What youthful bride can equal her array? “Who can with her for easy pleasure vie ? “ From mead to mead with gentle wing to stray,

66 From flower to flower on balmy gales to fly, “ Is all she has to do beneath the radiant sky.

X. “Behold the merry minstrels of the morn, “ The swarming songsters of the careless grove, “ Ten thousand throats! that,from the powering thorn, “ Hymn their good God, and carol sweet of love, “ Such grateful kindly raptures them emove: “ They neither plough, nor sow; ne, fit for flail, “ E'er to the barn the nodden sheaves they drove ;

“ Yet theirs each harvest dancing in the gale, “Whatever crowns the hill, or smiles along the vale.


“Outcast of nature, man! the wretched thrall
“ Of bitter-drooping sweat, of sweltry pain,
“Of cares that eat away the heart with gall,
“ And of the vices, an inhuman train,
“ That all proceed from savage thirst of gain :
“For when hard-hearted Interest first began
“ To poison earth, Astræa left the plain!

“Guile, violence, and murder seiz'd on man, “ And, for sost milky streams, with blood the rivers [ran.

XII. “Come, ye, who still the cumb'rous load of life “ Push hard up hill ; but as the farthest steep “ You trust to gain, and put an end to strife, “Down thunders back the stone with mighty sweep, “ And hurls your labours to the valley deep, “For ever vain: come, and, withouten fee, “I in oblivion will your sorrows steep,

“ Your cares, your toils, will steep you in a sea “Of full delight: 0 come ye weary wights, to me!

XIII. “ With me, you need not rise at early dawn, To pass the joyless day in various stounds ; “ Or, louting low, on upstart fortune fawn, " And sell fair honour for some paltry pounds; " Or through the city take your dirty rounds, “ To cheat, and dun, and lie, and visit pay, “ Now flattering base, now giving secret wounds;


“ Or prowl in courts of law for human prey, “ In venal senate thieve, or rob on broad highway.

XIV. “ No cocks, with me, to rustic labour call, “From village on to village sounding clear : “To tardy swain no shrill-voic'd matrons squall ; “ No dogs, no babes, no wives, to stun your ear ; “ No hammers thump; no horrid blacksmith fear; “No noisy tradesmen your sweet slumbers start, “ With sounds that are a misery to hear :

“But ail is calm, as would delight the heart “ Of Sybarite of old, all nature, and all art.

XV. “ Here nought but candour reigns, indulgent ease, “Good-natur?d lounging, sauntering up and down: 66 They who are pleas'd themselves must always

please ; “On others' ways they never squint a frown, “ Nor heed what haps in hamlet or in town: “ Thus, from the source of tender indolence,

With milky blood the heart is overflown, “ Is sooth'd and sweeten'd by the social sense : For interest, envy, pride, and strife are banish'd


XVI. 66 What, what is virtue, but repose of mind, “ A pure ethereal calm, that knows no storm ; « Above the reach of wild ambition's wind, “ Above those passions that this world deform,

“ And torture man a proud malignant worm?
“But here, instead, soft gales of passions play,
“ And gently stir the heart, thereby to form

“A quicker sense of joy; as breezes stray “ Across th’enliven'd' skies, and make them still more


XVH. “ The best of men have ever lov'd repose : « They hate to mingle in the filthy fray ; " Where the soul sours, and gradual rancour grows, “Imbitter'd more from peevish day to day. « Even those whom fame has lent her fairest ray, “ The most renown'd of worthy wights of yore, “ From a base world at last have stol'n away :

“ So Seipio, to the soft Cumæan shore “ Retiring tasted joys he never knew before.

XVIII. “ But if a little exercise you choose, “Some zest for ease, 'tis not forbidden here. “ Amid the groves you may indulge the muse, “ Or tend the blooms, and deck the vernal year ; “Or softly stealing, with your watery gear,

Along the brooks, the crimson-spotted fry “You may delude : the whilst, amus'd you

hear “Now the hoarse stream, and now the zephyr's

sigh “Attun'd to the birds, and woodland melody.

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