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Striving free Nature's shape to hit,
Emaciate sense, before they fit.
A common place, and many friends,
Can serve the plagiary's ends.
Whose eafy vamping talent lies,
First wit to pilfer, then difguise.
Thus fome devoid of art and skill
To search the mine on Pindus' hill,
Proud to aspire and workmen grow,
By genius doom'd to stay below,
For their own digging shew the town
Wit's treasure brought by others down.
Some wanting, if they find a mine,
An artist's judgment to refine,
On fame precipitately fix’d,
The ore with baser metals mix'd
Melt down, impatient of delay,
And call the vicious mass a play.
All these engage to serve their ends,
A band select of trusty friends,
Who, lesson's right, extol the thing,
As Psapho taught his birds to sing ;
Then to the ladies they submit,
Returning officers on wit;
A crowded house their presence draws,
And on the beaus imposes laws,
A judgment in its favour ends,
When all the pannel are its friends :
Their natures merciful and mild
Have from mere pity sav'd the child ;
In bulrush ark the bantling found
Helpless and ready to be drown'd,
They have preserv'd by kind support,
And brought the baby-muse to court.
But there's a youth that you can name,
Who needs no leading strings to fame,
Whose quick maturity of brain
The birth of Pallas may explain :
Dreaming of whose depending fate,
I heard Melpomene debate,
This, this is he, that was foretold
Should emulate our Greeks of old.
Inspir'd by me with sacred art,
He sings, and rules the varied heart;
If Jove's dread anger he rehearse,
We hear the thunder in his verse;
If he describes love turn’d to rage,
The furies riot in his
If he fair liberty and law.
By ruffian power expiring draw,
The keener pafsions then engage
Aright, and fan&ify their rage ;
If he attempt disastrous love,
We hear those plaints that wound the grove,
Within the kinder passions glow,
And tears diftilld from pity flow.
From the bright vision I descend,
And my deserted theme attend.
Me never did ambition seize,
Strange fever most inflam'd by ease!
The active lunacy of pride,
That courts jilt Fortune for a bride.
This par'dise-tree, fo fair and high,
I view with no aspiring eye:
Like alpine shake the restless leaves,
And Sodom-fruit our pains deceives,
Whence frequent falls give no surprize,
But 'fits of Spleen, call’d growing wife.
Greatness in glitt'ring forms display'd
Affects weak eyes much usłd to shade,
And by its falsly-envy'd scene
Gives felf-debafing fits of Spleen.
We should be pleas'd that things are so,
Who do for nothing fee the show,
And, middle-fiz'd, can pass between
Life's hubbub fafe, because unseen,
And ʼmidst the glare of greatness trace
A watry fun-fhine in the face,
And pleasures fled to, to redress
The sad fatigue of idleness.
Contentment, parent of delight,
So much a stranger to our fight,
Say, goddess, in what happy place
Mortals behold thy blooming face ;
Thy gracious aufpices impart,
And for thy temple chuse my heart.
They, whom thou deigneft to inspire,
Thy science learn, to bound desire ;
By happy alchymy of mind
They turn to pleasure all they find;
They both disdain an outward mien
The grave and folemn garb of Spleen,
And meretricious arts of dress,
To feign a joy, and hide distress;
Unmov'd when the rude tempest blows;
Without an opiate they repose ;
And cover'd by your fhield, defy
The whizzing shafts, that round them fly;
Nor meddling with the gods' affairs,
Concern themselves with diftant cares;
But place their bliss in mental rest,
And feast upon the good poffefs’d.
Forc'd by soft violence of pray'r,
The blythsome goddess fooths my care,
I feel the deity inspire,
And thus she models
Two hundred pounds half-yearly paid,
Annuity fecurely made,
A farm some twenty miles from town,
Small, tight, falubrious, and my own;
Two maids, that never saw the town,
A serving-man not quite a clown,
A boy to help to tread the mow,
And drive, while t'other holds the plough ;
A chief of temper form'd to please,
Fit to converse, and keep the keys;
And better to preserve the peace,
Commission'd by the name of niece :
With understandings of a size
To think their master
May heav'n (it's all I wish for) fend
One genial room to treat a friend,
Where decent cup-board, little plate,
Display benevolence, not ftate.
And may my humble dwelling stand
Upon fome chosen spot of land :
A pond before full to the brim,
Where cows may cool, and geese may swim,
Behind, green like velvet neat,
Soft to the eye, and to the feet ;
Where od'rous plants in evening fair
Breathe all around ambrofial air ;
From Eurus, foc to kitchen-ground,
Fenc'd by a flope with bushes crown'd,
Fit dwelling for the feather'd throng,
Who pay their quit-rents with a fong;
With op'ning views of hill and date,
Which sense and fancy too regale,
Where the half-cirque, which vifion bounds,
Like amphitheatre surrounds ;