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E L E G D E S.



He arrives at his retirement in the country, and

takes occasion to expatiate in praise of simplicity. To a FRIEND.

OR rural virtues, and for native skies,

I bade Augusta's venal fons farewell ; Now 'mid the trees, I fee my smoke arist;

Now hear the fountains bubbling round my cell. O may that genius, which secures my reít,

Preserve this villa for a friend that's dear! Ne’er may my vintage glad the fordid breast;

Ne'er tinge the lip that dares be unfincere ! Far from these paths, ye faithless friends, depart ! Fly my plain board, abhor


hoitile nanie ! Ilence! the faint verse that Aows not from the heart,

But mourns in labour'd strains, the price of fame! O lov'd fimplicity, be thine the prize!

Affiduous art correct her page in vain ! His be the palm who, guiltless of disguise,

Contemns the power, the dull resource to feign! Sull may the mourner, lavish of his tears

For lucre’s venal meed, invite my scorn!
Still may the bard diffembling doubts and fears,
For praise, for flattery fighing, figh forlorn!



She guides the foot that treads on Parian floors;

She wins the ear when formal pleas are vain She tempts patricians from the fatal doors

Of vice's brothel, forth to virtue's fane. He wish'd for wealth, for much he wish'd to give;

He ğriev'd that virtue might not wealth obtain ; Piteous of woes, and hopeless to relieve,

The penfive profpe&t fadden'd all his strain. I saw him faint! I saw him link to rest!

Like one ordain'd to swell the vulgar throng; As though the virtues had not warm’d his breast,

As though the Muses not inspir’d his tongue,
I saw his bier ignobly cross the plain;

Saw peasant hands the pious rite fupply:
The generous rustics mourn'd the friendly swain,

power and wealth’s unvarying cheek was dry! Such Alcon fell; in meagre want forlorn !

Where were ye then, ye powerful patrons, where. Would ye the purple should your

limbs adorn, Go wash the conscious blernish with a tear,




THROUGH the dim veil of evening's dusky shade,

Near some lone fane, or yew's funereal green, What dreary forms has magic fear survey'd ! What shrouded spectres superstition seen!

But you secure shall pour your fad complaint,

Nor dread the meagre phantoms wan array ; What none but fear's officious hand can paint,

What none, but fuperftition's eye, survey. The glimmering twilight and the doubtful dawn

Shall fee your step to these fad scenes return: Constant, as crystal dews impearl the lawn,

Shall Strephon's tear bedew Ophelia's urn ! Sure nought unhallow'd shall presume to stray

Where sleep the reliques of that virtuous maid : Nor aught unlovely bend its devious way,

Where soft Ophelia's dear remains are laid. Haply thy Muse, as with unceasing fighs

She keeps late vigils on her urn reclin’d, May see light groups of pleasing visions rise ;

And phantoms glide, but of celestial kind. There fame, her clarion 'pendant at her fide,

Shall seek forgiveness of Ophelia’s fade; “ Why has such worth, without distinction, dy'd,

“ Why, like the desert's lily, bloom'd to fade?" Then young fimplicity, averse to feign,

Shall unmolested breathe her softest sigh:
And candour with unwonted warmth complain,

And innocence indulge a wailful cry.
Then elegance, with coy judicious hand,

Shall cull fresh flowrets for Ophelia's tomb : And beauty chide the Fates' severe command, That hew'd the frailty of so fair a bloom !


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Soft as the line of love-fick Hammond flows,

'Twas his fond heart effus’d the melting theme; Ah! never could Aonia's hill disclose

So fair a fountain, or so lov'd a stream. Ye loveless bards! intent with artful pains

To form a figh, or to contrive a tear! Forego your Pindus, and on plains

Survey Camilla's charms, and grow fincere. But thou, my friend! while in thy youthful soul

Love's gentle tyrant seats his aweful throne, Write from thy bosom-let not art controul

The ready pen, that makes his edicts known. Pleasing, when youth is long expir’d, to trace,

The forms our pencil, or our pen design'd! ". Such was our youthful air, and shape, and face!

6. Such the soft image of our youthful mind! Soft whilst we sleep beneath the rural bowers,

The Loves and Graces steal unseen away ; And where the turf diffus'd its pomp of flowers,

We wake to wintry scenes of chill decay ! *Curse the fad fortune that detains thy fair;

Praise the soft hours that gave thee to her arms; Paint thy proud fcorn of every vulgar care,

When Hope exalts thee, or when Doubt alarms. Where with Oenone thou hast worn the day,

Near fount or stream, in meditation, rove; If in the grove Oenone lov’d to stray,

The faithful Muse shall meet thee in the grove,



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