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Tantum inter densas, umbrosa cacumina fagas
The spreading beech alone he would explore
HE ARRIVES AT HIS RETIREMENT IN THE COUN
TRY, AND TAKES OCCASION TO EXPATIATE IN PRAISE OF SIMPLICITY.
TO A FRIEND.
For rural virtues, and for native skies,
I bade Augusta's venal sons farewell ; Now mid the trees I see my smoke arise,
Now hear the fountains bubbling round my cell. O may that' Genius which secures my rest,
Preserve this villa for a friend that's dear! Ne'er may my vintage glad the sordid breast,
Ne'er tinge the lip that dares be unsincere! Far from these paths, ye faithless friends! depart;
Fly my plain board, abhor my hostile name! Hence, the faint verse that flows not from the heart, . But mourns in labour'd strains, the price of fame !
O lov'd Simplicity! be thine the prize!
Assiduous Art correct her page in vain ! His be the palm who, guiltless of disguise,
Contemns the pow'r, the dull resource, to feign! Still may the mourner, lavish of his tears,
For lucre's venal meed invite my scorn! Still may the bard, dissembling doubts and fears,
For praise, for flattery sighing, sigh forlorn! Soft as the line of love-sick Hammond flows,
'Twas his fond heart effus'd the melting theme; Ah! never could Aonia's hill disclose
So fair a fountain or so lov'd a stream. Ye loveless bards ! intent with artful pains
To form a sigh, or to contrive a tear! Forego your Pindus, and on plains
Survey Camilla's charms, and grow sincere. But thou, my friend! while in thy youthful soul
Love's gentle tyrant seats his awful throne, Write from thy bosom-let not Art control
The ready pen that makes his edicts known. Pleasing when youth is long expir'd, to trace
The forms our pencil or our pen design'd! Such was our youthful air, and shape, and face!
Such the soft image of our youthful mind ! Soft whilst we sleep beneath the rural bow'rs,
The Loves and Graces steal unseen away, And where the turf diffus'd its pomp of flow'rs,
We wake to wintry scenes of chill decay ! Curse the sad fortune that detains thy fair ;
Praise the soft hours that gave thee to her arms; Paint thy proud scorn of every vulgar care,
When hope exalts thee, or when doubt alarms.
Where with none thou hast worn the day,
Near fount or stream, in meditation, rove; If in the grove Enone lov'd to stray,
The faithful Muse shall meet thee in the grove.
ON POSTHUMOUS REPUTATION.
TO A FRIEND.
O GRIEF of griefs! that Envy's frantic ire
Should rob the living virtue of its praise ; O foolish Muses! that with zeal aspire
To deck the cold insensate shrine with bays. When the free spirit quits her humble frame,
To tread the skies with radiant garlands crown'd, Say, will she hear the distant voice of Fame ?
Or, hearing, fancy sweetness in the sound? Perhaps ev'n Genius ponrs a slighted lay;
Perhaps ev'n Friendship sheds a fruitless tear; Ev'n Lyttelton but vainly trims the bay,
And fondly graces Hammond's mournful bier. Though weeping virgins haunt his favour'd urn,
Renew their chaplets and repeat their siglis; Though near his tomb Sabæan odours burn,
The loitering fragrance will it reach the skies? No; should his Delia votive wreaths prepare,
Delia might place the votive wreaths in vain ; Yet the dear hope of Delia's future care
Once crown’d his pleasures and dispellid luis pain. Yes—the fair prospect of surviving praise
Can every sense of présent joys excel; For this great Hadrian chose laborious days,
Through this, expiring, bade a gay farewell.
Shall then our youths,who Fame's bright fabric raise,
To life's precarious date confine their care? O teach them you, to spread the sacred base,
To plan a work through latest ages fair ?
You trace the story of each Attic sage,
Shall waft, like odours, through the pleasing page? To mark the day when, through the bulky tome,
Around your name the varying style refines? And readers call their lost attention home,
Led by that index where true genius shines ? Ah! let not Britons doubt their social aim, · Whose ardent bosoms catch this ancient fire; Cold interest melts before the vivid flame,
And patriot ardours but with life expire.
ON THE UNTIMELY DEATH OF A CERTAIN
Funereal pomp the scanty tear supplies,
Lo! here the brave and the puissant lies. When humbler Alcon leaves his drooping friends,
Pageant nor plume distinguish Alcon's bier; The faithful Muse with votive song attends,
And blots the mournful numbers with a tear. He little knew the sly penarious art,
That odious art which Fortune's favourites know; Form’d to bestow, he felt the warmest heart,
But envious Fate forbade him to bestow.