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With happy follies rife above their fate,
The jeft and envy of each wifer state.
Yet here the Mufes deign'd a while to sport
In the short fun-fhine of a favouring court:
Here Boileau, ftrong in fenfe, and sharp in wit,.
Who, from the ancients, like the ancients writ::
Permiffion gain'd inferior vice to blame,
By flattering incenfe to his mafter's fame.
Here Moliere, firft of comic wits, excell'd
Whate'er Athenian theatres beheld;
By keen, yet decent, satire skill'd to please,
With morals mirth uniting, strength with ease..
Now, charm'd, I hear the bold Corneille inspire
Heroic thoughts, with Shakespeare's force and fire ! ^
Now fweet Racine, with milder influence, move
The foften'd heart to pity and to love.
With mingled pain and pleasure, I survey
The pompous works of arbitrary sway ;
Proud palaces, that drain'd the subjects' store,
Rais'd on the ruins of th' oppreft and poor;
Where ev'n mute walls are taught to flatter state,
And painted triumphs ftyle Ambition GREAT *.
With more delight those pleasing shades I view,
Where Condé from an envious court withdrew t;
Where, fick of glory, faction, power, and pride,
(Sure judge how empty all, who all had tried !)
* The victories of Louis the Fourteenth, painted in the galleries of Versailles.
Beneath his palms the weary chief repos'd,
And life's great fcene in quiet virtue clos'd.
With fhame that other fam'd retreat I fee,
Adorn'd by art, difgrac'd by luxury :
Where Orleans wafted every vacant hour,
In the wild riot of unbounded power;
Where feverish debauch and impious love
Stain'd the mad table and the guilty grove.
With these amusements is thy friend detain’d,
Pleas'd and inftructed in a foreign land;
Yet oft a tender with recals my mind
From prefent joys to dearer left behind!
O native isle, fair Freedom's happiest seat!
At thought of thee, my bounding pulfes beat;
At thought of thee, my heart impatient burns,
And all my country on my foul returns.
When shall I see thy fields, whofe plenteous grain
No power can ravish from th' industrious swain ?
When kifs, with pious love, the facred earth
That gave a Burleigh or a Ruffel birth?
When, in the shade of laws, that long have ftood,
Propt by their care, or frengthen'd by their blood,
Of fearless independence wifely vain,
The proudest flave of Bourbon's race difdain?
Yet, oh! what doubt, what fad prefaging voice,
Whispers within, and bids me not rejoice;
Bids me contemplate every ftate around,
From fultry Spain to Norway's icy bound;
Bids their loft rights, their ruin'd glories, fee;
And tells me, These, like England, once were free!
Ambaffador at the Congrefs of SOISSONS,.
THOU, whofe friendship is my joy and pride,
Whofe virtues warm me, and whofe precepts
Thou to whom greatness, rightly understood,
Is but a larger power of being good;
Say, Poyntz, amidst the toil of anxious state,
Does not thy fecret soul defire retreat?
Doft thou not wish (the task of glory done)
Thy busy life at length might be thy own;
That, to thy lov'd philofophy refign'd,
No care might ruffle thy unbended mind?
Juft is the wish. For fure the happiest meed,
To favour'd man by smiling Heaven decreed,
Is, to reflect at eafe on glorious pains,
And calmly to enjoy what virtue gains.
Not him I praise, who, from the world retir'd,
By no enlivening generous paffion fir'd,
On flowery couches flumbers life away,
And gently bids his active powers decay;
Who fears bright Glory's awful face to fee,
And shuns renown as much as infamy.
But bleft is he, who, exercis'd in cares,
To private leifure public virtue bears;
Who tranquil ends the race he nobly run,
And decks repofe with trophies Labour won.
Him Honour follows to the fecret shade,
And crowns propitious his declining head;
In his retreats their harps the Muses string,
For him in lays unbought fpontaneous fing;
Friendship and Truth on all his moments wait,
Pleas'd with retirement better than with state;
And round the bower, where humbly great he lies,
Fair olives bloom, or verdant laurels rife.
So when thy country shall no more demand
The needful aid of thy fuftaining hand;
When peace reftor'd fhall, on her downy wing,
Secure repofe and careless leisure bring;
Then, to the fhades of learned ease retir'd,
The world forgetting, by the world admir'd,
Among thy books and friends, thou shalt possess
Contemplative and quiet happiness:
Pleas'd to review a life in honour spent,
And painful merit paid with fweet content.
Yet, though thy hours unclogg'd with forrow roll,
Though wisdom calm, and science feed thy foul,
One dearer blifs remains to be poffeft,
That only can improve and crown the rest.—
Permit thy friend this fecret to reveal,
Which thy own heart perhaps would better tell;
The point to which our fweetest passions move
Is, to be truly lov'd, and fondly love.
This is the charm that smooths the troubled breast,
Friend of our health, and author of our rest:
Bids every gloomy vexing paffion fly,
And tunes each jarring string to harmony.
Ev'n while I write, the name of Love infpires
More pleafing thoughts, and more enlivening fires;
Beneath his power my raptur'd fancy glows,
And every tender verfe more sweetly flows.
Dull is the privilege of living free;
Our hearts were never form'd for liberty:
Some beauteous image, well imprinted there,
→Can beft defend them from confuming care.
In vain to groves and gardens we retire,
And Nature in her rural works admire;
Though grateful these, yet these but faintly charm;
They may delight us, but can never warm.
May fome fair eyes, my friend, thy bofom fire
With pleafing pangs of ever-gay defire ;
And teach thee that foft fcience, which alone
Still to thy fearching mind rests slightly known!
Thy foul, though great, is tender and refin'd,
To friendship fenfible, to love inclin'd,
And therefore long thou cauft not arm thy breaft
Against the entrance of so sweet a guest.
Hear what th' infpiring Mufes bid me tell,
For Heaven fhall ratify what they reveal :
"A chofen bride fhall in thy arms be plac'd, With all th' attractive charms of beauty grac'd,