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With happy follies rise above their fate,
The jest and envy of each wiser state.
Yet here the Muses deign’d a while to sport
In the short sun-fhine of a favouring court :
Here Boileau, strong in sense, and sharp in wit,,
Who, from the ancients, like the ancients writ::
Permission gain'd inferior vice to blame,
By flattering incenfe to his master's fame.
Here Moliere, first.of comic wits, excell'd
Whate'er Athenian theatres beheld ;
By keen, yet decent, satire skills 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 sweet Racine, with milder influence, move
The soften'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’ opprest and poor;
Where ev’n mute walls are taught to flatter state, -
And painted triumphs style Ambition GREAT *.
With more delight those pleasing shades I view,
Where Condé from an envious court withdrew ti
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 reposid,
And life’s great scene in quiet virtue clos’d.
With shame that other fam'd retreat I see,
Adorn’d by art, disgrac'd by luxury
Where Orleans wasted every vacant hour,
In the wild riot of unbounded powe
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 infructed in a foreign land;
Yet oft a tender with recals my
From present joys to dearer left behind !
O native ifle, fair Freedom's happiest feat!
At thought of thee, my bounding pulses beat;
At thought of thee, my heart impatient burns,
And all my country on my soul returns.
When shall I see thy fields, whose plenteous grain
power can ravish from th’industrious fwain ?
When kiss, with pious-love, the facred earth
a Burleigh or a. Russel birth ?
'When, in the shade of laws, that long have stood,
Propt by their care, or strengtheni'd by their blood,
Of fearless independence wifely vain,
The proudest lave of Bourbon's race difdain ?
Yet, oh! what doubt, what-sad<prefaging voice,
Whispers within, and bids me not rejoice;
Bids me contemplate every state around,
From fultry Spain to Norway's icy bound;
Bids their loft rights, their ruin'd glories, see;
And tells me, These, like England, once were free!
TO * St. Cloud,
Ambassador at the Congrefs of SOISSONS,
THOU, whose friendship is my joy and pride,
Whose virtues warm me, and whose 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 secret foul desire retreat ?
Dost thou not wish (the task of glory done)
Thy busy life at length might be thy own;
That, to thy lov'd philofophy resign'd,
No care might ruffle thy unbended mind ?
Just is the wish. For sure the happiest meed,
To favour'd man by smiling Heaven decreed,
Is, to reflect at ease on glorious pains,
And calmly to enjoy what virtue gains.
Not him I praise, who, from the world retir'd,
By no enlivening generous passion 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 blest is he, who, exercis’d in cares,
To private leisure public virtue bears ;
Who tranquil ends the race he nobly run,
And decks repose with trophies Labour won.
Him Honour follows to the secret shade,
And crowns propitious his declining head;
In his retreats their harps the Muses ftring,
For him in Jays 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 rise.
So when thy country shall no more demand
The needful aid of thy sustaining hand;
restor'd shall, on her downy wing,
Secure repose and careless leisure bring;
Then, to the shades 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 sweet content.
Yet, ugh thy hours unclogg'd with forrow roll,
Though wisdom calm, and science feed thy soul,
One dearer bliss remains to be pofseft,
That only can improve and crown the rest.
Permit thy friend this secret to reveal,
Which thy own heart perhaps would better tell;
The point to wlich our sweetest 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 inspires
More pleasing 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 consuming 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 some fair eyes, my friend, thy bosom fire
With pleasing pangs of ever-gay desire;
And teach thee that foft science, which alone
Still to thy searching mind refts-flightly known !
Thy foul, though great, is tender and refin'd,
To friendship fenfible, to love inclin d,
And therefore long thou caust not arm thy breast
Against the entrance of so sweet a guest.
Hear what th' inspiring Muses bid me tell,
For Heaven fhiall ratify what they reveal :
“ A chofen bride shall in thy arms be plac'd,
:.86 With all th' attractive charms of beauty grac’d,