Slike strani

Still is the toiling hand of Care;
The panting herds repose;

Yet hark how through the peopled air
The busy murmur glows!
The insect youth are on the wing,
Eager to taste the honied spring

And float amid the liquid noon;
Some lightly o'er the current skim,
Some show their gaily-gilded trim
Quick-glancing to the sun.

To Contemplation's sober eye
Such is the race of man;
And they that creep, and they that fly,
Shall end where they began:

Alike the busy and the gay

But flutter through life's little day,
In Fortune's varying colours drest;
Brushed by the hand of rough Mischance,

Or chilled by age, their airy dance
They leave, in dust to rest.

Methinks I hear in accents low

The sportive kind reply:

"Poor moralist, and what art thou?

A solitary fly!

Thy joys no glittering female meets,
No hive hast thou of hoarded sweets,
No painted plumage to display;
On hasty wings thy youth is flown,
Thy sun is set, thy spring is gone-
We frolic while 't is May.


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Ye distant spires, ye antique towers,

That crown the wat'ry glade,
Where grateful Science still adores
Her Henry's holy shade;

And ye that from the stately brow

Of Windsor's heights th' expanse below

Of grove, of lawn, of mead survey,

Whose turf, whose shade, whose flowers among
Wanders the hoary Thames along

His silver-winding way:

Ah, happy hills! ah, pleasing shade!

Ah, fields beloved in vain!

Where once my careless childhood strayed,

A stranger yet to pain!

I feel the gales that from ye blow

A momentary bliss bestow,

As, waving fresh their gladsome wing,
My weary soul they seem to soothe,
And, redolent of joy and youth,

To breathe a second spring.

Say, father Thames-for thou hast seen
Full many a sprightly race,

Disporting on thy margent green,

The paths of pleasure trace,—

Who foremost now delight to cleave
With pliant arm thy glassy wave?

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While some, on earnest business bent,

Their murm'ring labours ply

'Gainst graver hours, that bring constraint

To sweeten liberty,

Some bold adventurers disdain



The limits of their little reign,

And unknown regions dare descry;

Still as they run they look behind,

They hear a voice in every wind,

And snatch a fearful joy.


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This racks the joints; this fires the veins;


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The tender for another's pain,

Th' unfeeling for his own.

Yet, ah, why should they know their fate?
Since sorrow never comes too late,

And happiness too swiftly flies,

Thought would destroy their paradise.
No more; where ignorance is bliss,
'Tis folly to be wise.



Daughter of Jove, relentless power,
Thou tamer of the human breast,

Whose iron scourge and tort'ring hour

The bad affright, afflict the best!

Bound in thy adamantine chain,

The proud are taught to taste of pain,

And purple tyrants vainly groan

With pangs unfelt before, unpitied and alone.

When first thy sire to send on earth
Virtue, his darling child, designed,

To thee he gave the heav'nly birth,

And bade to form her infant mind.






Stern, rugged nurse! thy rigid lore

With patience many a year she bore;

What sorrow was thou bad'st her know,

And from her own she learned to melt at others' woe.

Scared at thy frown terrific, fly

Self-pleasing Folly's idle brood,

Wild Laughter, Noise, and thoughtless Joy,

And leave us leisure to be good:

Light they disperse, and with them go

The summer friend, the flatt'ring foe;

By vain Prosperity received,

To her they vow their truth and are again believed.

Wisdom in sable garb arrayed,

Immersed in rapt'rous thought profound,

And Melancholy, silent maid,

With leaden eye that loves the ground, Still on thy solemn steps attend;

Warm Charity, the gen'ral friend,

With Justice, to herself severe,

And Pity, dropping soft the sadly-pleasing tear.

Oh, gently on thy suppliant's head,

Dread goddess, lay thy chast'ning hand!

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Not in thy Gorgon terrors clad,

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Nor circled with the vengeful band

(As by the impious thou art seen),

With thund'ring voice and threat'ning mien,

With screaming Horror's funeral cry,

Despair, and fell Disease, and ghastly Poverty:


Thy form benign, O goddess, wear,

Thy milder influence impart;

Thy philosophic train be there,

To soften, not to wound, my heart;

The gen'rous spark extinct revive,
Teach me to love and to forgive,
Exact my own defects to scan,

What others are to feel, and know myself a man.




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