Hail, happy pair! 't is yours to share
Life's elegance and ease;

The bliss of wealth without the care,
The will and power to please,-

To please, but not alone our eyes,
Nor yet alone our mind;

Your taste, your goodness, charm the wise-
Your manners all mankind.

The pleasant scenes that round you glow,
Like caskets fraught with gold,
Though beauteous in themselves, yet owe
Their worth to what they hold.

Trees may be found, and lakes, as fair;
Fresh lawns, and gardens green;
But where again the Sister-pair
Who animate the scene?

Where sense of that superior kind,
Without man's haughty air?
And where, without the trifling mind,
The softness of the fair?

Folly, with wealth, may idly raise
Her hopes to shine like you,
And humble flattery sound her praise,
Till she believes it true;

But wealth no more can give that grace
To souls of meaner kind,

Than summer's fiery sun can chase
Their darkness from the blind.

But drop, you 'll say,
Reluctant- -I obey,

the useless pen:

Yet let me take it once again,
If not to praise, to pray

That you, with partial grace, may deign
This poor attempt to take,

And I may oft behold again
The Ladies of the Lake.


[Mr. Crabbe's father possessed a small sailing-boat, in which he delighted to navigate the river. The first event which was deeply impressed on the Poet's memory was a voyage in this vessel. A party of amateur sailors was formed. -the yacht club of Aldborough to try the new purchase; a jovial dinner prepared at Orford, and a merry return anticipated at night; and his fond mother obtained permission for George to be one of the company. Soon after sunrise, in a fine summer morning, they were seated in their respective vessels, and started in gallant trim, tacking and manoeuvring on the bosom of the flickering water, as it winds gently towards its junction with the sea. The freshness of the early dawn, the anticipation of amusements at an unknown place, and no little exultation in his father's crack vessel, "made it," he said, "a morning of exquisite delight." Among his MSS. are the following verses on this early incident." - Life, antè, Vol. I. p. 14.]

WHO on the new-born light can back return,
And the first efforts of the soul discern
Waked by some sweet maternal smile, no more
To sleep so long or fondly as before?

No! Memory cannot reach, with all her power,
To that new birth, that life-awakening hour.
No! all the traces of her first employ

Are keen perceptions of the senses' joy,

And their distaste. - what then could they impart?

That figs were luscious, and that rods had smart.


But, though the Memory in that dubious way
Recalls the dawn and twilight of her day,
And thus encounters, in the doubtful view,
With imperfection and distortion too;
Can she not tell us, as she looks around,
Of good and evil, which the most abound?

Alas! and what is earthly good? 'tis lent Evil to hide, to soften, to prevent,

By scenes and shows that cheat the wandering eye, While the more pompous misery passes by;

Shifts and amusements that awhile succeed,

And heads are turn'd, that bosoms may not bleed:
For what is Pleasure, that we toil to gain?
'Tis but the slow or rapid flight of Pain.
Set Pleasure by, and there would yet remain,
For every nerve and sense the sting of Pain:
Set Pain aside, and fear no more the sting,
And whence your hopes and pleasures can ye bring?
No! there is not a joy beneath the skies,
That from no grief nor trouble shall arise.

Why does the Lover with such rapture fly To his dear mistress?-He shall show us why:

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Because her absence is such cause of grief
That her sweet smile alone can yield relief.
Why, then, that smile is Pleasure:-True, yet still
'Tis but the absence of the former ill:
For, married, soon at will he comes and goes;
Then pleasures die, and pains become repose,
And he has none of these, and therefore none of those.

Yes! looking back as early as I can,

I see the griefs that seize their subject Man,
That in the weeping Child their early reign began :
Yes! though Pain softens, and is absent since,
He still controls me like my lawful prince.
Joys I remember, like phosphoric light
Or squibs and crackers on a gala night.
Joys are like oil; if thrown upon the tide
Of flowing life, they mix not, nor subside:
Griefs are like waters on the river thrown,
They mix entirely, and become its own.
Of all the good that grew of early date,
I can but parts and incidents relate:
A guest arriving, or a borrow'd day

From school, or schoolboy triumph at some play:
And these from Pain may be deduced; for these
Removed some ill, and hence their power to please.

But it was Misery stung me in the day Death of an infant sister made a prey; For then first met and moved my early fears, A father's terrors, and a mother's tears. Though greater anguish I have since endured, Some heal'd in part, some never to be cured;

Yet was there something in that first-born ill,
So new, so strange, that memory feels it still!

That my first grief: but, oh! in after-years
Were other deaths, that call'd for other tears.
No! that I cannot, that I dare not, paint-
That patient sufferer, that enduring saint,
Holy and lovely-but all words are faint. (1)
But here I dwell not-let me, while I can,
Go to the Child, and lose the suffering Man.

Sweet was the morning's breath, the inland tide, And our boat gliding, where alone could glide Small craft-and they oft touch'd on either side. It was my first-born joy. I heard them say, "Let the child go; he will enjoy the day." For children ever feel delighted when They take their portion, and enjoy with men. Give him the pastime that the old partake, And he will quickly top and taw forsake.

The linnet chirp'd upon the furze as well,
To my young sense, as sings the nightingale.
Without was paradise because within
Was a keen relish, without taint of sin.

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A town appear'd,—and where an infant went, Could they determine, on themselves intent?

(1) [Mr. Crabbe's early religious impressions were strongly influenced by those of his mother; who was a deeply devout woman. Her mildness, humility, patient endurance of afflictions and sufferings, meek habits, and devout spirit, strongly recommended her example to her son. — Life, ante, Vol. I. p. 106.]

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