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1742.

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.

1748.

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ODE ON A DISTANT PROSPECT OF ETON COLLEGE

Ye distant spires, ye antique towers,
That crown the wat'ry glade,

Where grateful Science still adores
Her Henry's holy shade;

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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?

The captive linnet which enthral?
What idle progeny succeed
To chase the rolling circle's speed,
Or urge the flying ball?

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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Gay hope is theirs, by fancy fed,

Less pleasing when possessed; The tear forgot as soon as shed; The sunshine of the breast; Theirs buxom health rosy hue, Wild wit, invention ever-new,

And lively cheer of vigour born; The thoughtless day, the easy night, The spirits pure, the slumbers light, That fly th' approach of morn.

Alas, regardless of their doom
The little victims play!

No sense have they of ills to come,

Nor care beyond to-day:

Yet see how all around 'em wait
The ministers of human Fate,

And black Misfortune's baleful train!
Ah, show them where in ambush stand,
To seize their prey, the murth'rous band!
Ah, tell them they are men!

These shall the fury Passions tear,
The vultures of the mind:
Disdainful Anger, pallid Fear,

And Shame that sculks behind;
Or pining Love shall waste their youth,
Or Jealousy with rankling tooth,

That inly gnaws the secret heart,
And Envy wan, and faded Care,
Grim-visaged, comfortless Despair,

And Sorrow's piercing dart.

Ambition this shall tempt to rise,
Then whirl the wretch from high,
To bitter Scorn a sacrifice,

And grinning Infamy.

The stings of Falsehood those shall try,
And hard Unkindness' altered eye,

That mocks the tear it forced to flow,

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And keen Remorse with blood defiled,
And moody Madness laughing wild
Amid severest woe.

Lo, in the vale of years beneath,
A griesly troop are seen,
The painful family of Death,

More hideous than their queen:

This racks the joints; this fires the veins;
That every labouring sinew strains;
Those in the deeper vitals rage;
Lo, Poverty, to fill the band,

That numbs the soul with icy hand,
And slow-consuming Age.

To each his suff'rings; all are men,
Condemned alike to groan-

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.

1742.

HYMN TO ADVERSITY
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.

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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!
Not in thy Gorgon terrors clad,

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.

1742.

1748.

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