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Through beauteous land, from all annoyance clear,
Of thorny evil and perplexing fear.'
Yon lofty grove's delicious bow’rs to gain,
You cross th' expanse of this enamelld plain; 320
A meadow with eternal beauty bright,
Beneath a purer heav'n, o'erflow'd with light.
Full in the center of the plain, behold
A court far-fiaming with its wall of gold
And gate of diamond, where the righteous rest; 325
This clime their home, the country of the bleft:
Here all the Virtues dwell, communion sweet!
With Happiness, who rules the peaceful feat.
In station at th' effulgent portal, see
A beauteous form of mildest majesty. : 330
Her eyes how piercing ! how sedate her mien !
Mature in life, her countenance serene :
Spirit and solid thought each feature shows,
And her plain robe with state unstudy'd flows.
She stands upon a cube of marble, fix'd 335
As the firm rock, two lovely nymphs betwixt,
Her daughters, copies of her looks and air,
Here candid Truth, and sweet Perfuafion there :
She, ihe is Wisdom. In her stedfast eye
Behold th’ oppressive type of certainty:
340 6 The third court, or the virtuous life.
Certain her way, and permanent the deed
Of gift substantial to her friends decreed.
She gives the confidence erect and clear,
She gives magnanimous contempt of fear,
And bids th' invulnerable mind to know
:. 345 Her safety from the future shafts of woe.
O treasure, richer than the sea or land!
But why without the walls her destin'd stand ?
There standing, she presents her potent bowl,
Divine cathartic, which restores the soul.
This asks a comment.
In some dire disease,
Machaon's skill first purges off the lees ;
Then clear and strong the purple current flows,
And life renew'd in every member glows :
But if the patient all controul despise,
Just victim of his stubborn will he dies.
So Wisdom, by her rules, with healing art
Expells Delusion's mischiefs from the heart ;
Blindness, and error, and high-boasting pride,
Intemp?rance, lust, fierce wrath's impetuous tide, 360
Hydropic avarice, all the plagues behind
Which in the first mad court oppress’d the mind.
Thus purg'd, her pupil through the gate she brings,
The Virtues hail their guest, the guest enraptur'd sings."
Behold the spotless band, celestial charms! 365
Scene that with awe chastises whom it warms:
No harlotry, no paint, no gay excess,
But beauty unaffected as their dress.
See Knowledge grasping a refulgent star,
See Fortitude in panoply of war:
Justice her equal scale aloft displays,
And rights both human and divine the weighs.
There Moderation, all the pleasures bound
In brazen chains her dreaded feet surround.
There bounteous Liberality expands
To want, to worth, her ever-loaded hands.
The florid hue of Temperance, her side
Adorn’d by Health, a nymph in blooming pride.
Lo, soft-ey'd Meekness holds a curbing rein,
Anger's high-mettled spirit to restrain :
While Moral Order tunes her golden lyre,
And white-rob’d Probity compleats the choir.
O fairest of all fair ! O blissful state!
`What hopes sublime our ravish'd foul dilate!
Substantial hopes, if by the doctrine taught, 385
The fashion'd manners are to habit wrought.
Yes, 'tis resolvid. We'll every nerve employ. Live, then, restord; and reap the promis'd joy.
But whither do the Virtues lead their trust? To Happiness, rewarder of the juft.
Look upward to the hill beyond the grove, A sovereign pile extends its front above : Stately and strong, the lofty castle stands, Its boundless prospect all the courts commands. Within the porch, high on a jasper throne, 395 Th’Imperial Mother by her form is known; Bright as the morn, when smiling on the hills Earth, air, and sea with vernal joy she fills. Rich without lavish coft her veft behold In colours of the sky, and fring’d with gold : 400 A tiar, wreath'd with every flow'r that blows Of liveliest tints, around her temples glows : Eternal bloom her snowy temples binds, Fearless of burning suns and blafting winds. Now, with a crown of wond'rous pow'r, her hand 405 (Afiftant, round her, all the Virtues stand) Adorns her hero, honourable meed Of conquests won by many a valiant deed. What conquests ?
Formidable beasts fubdu'd : Lab’ring he fought, he routed, he pursu’d.
Once, a weak prey, beneath their force he cowrid,
O’erthrown, and worry’d, and well-nigh devour'd:
'Till rouz'd from his inglorious soth, poffeft
With generous 'ardour kindling in his breast,
Lord of himself, the victor now constrains
415 Those hostile monsters in his pow'rful chains.
Explain those savage beasts at war with man.
Error and Ignorance, which head the van,
Heart-gnawing Grief, and loud-lamenting Woe,
Incontinence, a wild-destroying foe,
420 Rapacious Avarice; cruel numbers more: O’er all he triumphs now, their Nave before.
O great atchievements! more illustrious far
These triumphs, than the bloody wreaths of war.
But, say; what falutary pow'r is fibed - 425
By the fair crown, which decks the hero's bead? . Most beatific. For poffeffing this
He lives, rich owner of man's proper bliss :
Bliss independent or on wealth or pow'r,
Fame, birth, or beauty, or voluptuous hour. 430
His hope’s divorc'd from all exterior things,
Within himself the fount of pleasure springs;
Springs ever in the self-approving breast,
And his own honest heart's a constant feast.