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Fir'd by this thought great Ashley, gen'rous fage,
Plan'd in sweet leisure his instructive page.
Not orbs he weighs, but marks, with happier kill,
The scope of actions and the poife of will ;.
In fair proportion here describ'd we trace
Each mental beauty, and each moral grace ;
Each useful paflion taught, its tone defign'd
In the nice concord of a well-tun'd mind.
Does mean felf-love contract each social aim ?.
Here publick transports shall thy soul inflame.
Virtue and Deity fupremely fair,
Too oft delineated with looks fevere,
Resume their native smiles and graces here:
Sooth d into love relenting foes admire,
And warmer raptures every friend inspire.
Such are the fruits which from retirement spring; These blessings ease and learned leisure bring.
Yet of the various tasks mankind employ,
'Tis sure the hardest, leisure to enjoy.
For one who knows to taste this godlike bliss,
What countless swarms of vain pretenders miss ?
Tho' each dull plodding thing, to ape the wise,
Ridiculously grave, for leisure fighs,
(His boasted with from busy scenes to run)
Grant him that leisure, and the fool's undone.
See the Characteristicks, particularly the enquiry concerning Virtue and the Moralists.
The gods, to curfe poor Demea, heard his vow,
And business now no more contracts his brow :
Nor real cares, 'tis true, perplex his breast,
But thousand fancied ills his peace moleft :
The slightest trifes folid forrows prove,
And the long ling'ring whcel of life scarce seems to move.
Useless in business, yet unfit for ease,
Nor kill'd to mend mankind, nor form'd to please,
Such fpurious animals of worthless race
Live but the publick burthen and disgrace :
Like mean attendants on life's stage are seen,
Drawn forth to fill, but not conduct the scene,
The mind not taught to think, no useful store
To fix reflection, dreads the vacant hour.
Turn'd on its self its num'rous wants are seen,
And all the mighty void that lies within
Yet cannot wisdom stamp our joys complete ;
'Tis conscious virtue crowns the blest retreat.
Who feels not that, the private path must fhun,
And fly to publick view t escape his own ;
In life's gay scenes uneafy thoughts suppress,
And lull each' anxious care in dreams of peace.
'Midf foreign objects not employ'd to roam,
Thought, fadly active, still corrodes at home :
A serious moment breaks the false repose,
And guilt in all its naked horror shows.
He who would know retirement's joy refin'd
The fair recess must seek with cheerful mind :
No Cynick's pride, no bigot's heated brain,
No frustrate hope, nor love's fantastick pain,
With him muft enter the fequefter'd cell,
Who means with pleasing folitude to dwell ;
But equal passions let his bofom rule,
A judgment candid, and a temper cool,
Enlarg'd with knowledge, and in conscience clear,
Above life's empty hopes, and death's vain fear.
Such he must be who greatly lives alone ;
Such Portio is, in crowded scenes unknown.
For publick life with every talent born,
Portio far off retires with decent scorn
Tho' without business never unemploy'd,
And life, as more at leisure, more enjoy'd :
For who like him can various science taste,
His mind shall never want an endless feast,
In his blest ev'ning walk may'st thou, may I,
Oft friendly join in sweet fociety;
Our lives like his in one smooth current flow,
Nor swell'd with tempest, nor too calmly flow,
Whilft he like some great fage of Rome or Greece,
Shall calm each rifing doubt and speak us peace,
Correct each thought, each wayward with controul.
And stamp with every virtue all the foul.
Ah ! how unlike is Umbrio's gloomy scene, Eftrang'd from all the cheerful ways of men ! There superftition works her baneful pow'r, And darkens all the melanchoiy hour.
Unnumber'd fears corrode and haunt his breast,
With all that whim or ign’rance can suggeft.
In vain for him kind nature pours her sweets ;
The visionary faint no joy admits,
But seeks with pious spleen fantastick woes,
And for heav'n's fake heav'n's offer'd good foregoes.
Whate’er's our choice we still with pride prefer,
And all who deviate, vainly think must err :
Clodio in books and abstract notions loft,
Sees none but knaves and fools in honoris poft ;
Whilft Syphax, fond on fortune's fea to fail,
And boldly drive before the fatt'ring gale,
(Forward her dang'rous ocean to explore,)
Condemns as cowards those who make the shore.
man he views
Useful in what he hans as what pursues ;
Sees different turns to gen’ral good conspire,
The hero's passion and the poet's fire ;
Each figure plac'd in nature's wise design,
With true proportion and exacteft line :
Sees lights and shadeş unite in due degree,
And form the whole with faireft symmetry.
ILENT nymph, with curious eye!
Who, the purple ev’ning lie,
On the mountain's lonely van,
Beyond the noise of busy man,
Painting fair the form of things,
While the yellow linet sings ;
Or the tuneful nightingale
Charms the forest with her tale ;
Come with all thy various hues,
Come, and aid thy fifter Mufe;
Now while Phobus riding high
Gives luftre to the land and sky!
Grongar Hill invites my song,
Draw the landskip bright and strong;
Grongar, in whose moffy cells
Sweetly musing Quiet dwells;
Grongar, in whose filent shade,
For the modeft Muses made,
So oft I have, the evening still,
At the fountain of a rill,