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A spark, which upward tends by nature's | Or when did Wisdom its professor save? force ;

When did the brave escape? When did the A stream diverted froin its parent source ; breath A drop, dissever'd from the boundless sea; Of Eloquence charm the dull ear of Death? A moment parted from eternity :

When did the cunding argument avail, A pilgrim, panting for the rest to come; The polish'd period, or the varnish'd tale ; An exile, anxious for his native home. The eye of lightning, or the soul of fire,

Why should I ask my foufeit life to save? Which thronging thousands crowded to adIs heaven unjust, which dooms me to the mire ? grave?

E'en while we praise the verse the poet Was I with hope of endless days deceiv'd ? dies; Or of lov'd life am I alone bereav'd ? And silent as his lyre great David lies. Let all the great, the rich, the learn'd, the Thou, blest Isaiah ! who at God's comwise,

mand, Let all the shades of Judah's monarchs rise, Now speak'st repentance to a guilty land, And say, if genius, learning, empire, wealth, Must die! as wise and good thou hadst not Youth, beauty, virtue, strength, renown or been, health,

As Nebat's son, who taught the land to sin! Has once revers'd th' immutable decree And shall I then be spar'd ? O monstrous On Adam pass'd of man's mortality ?

pride! What have these eyes ne'er seen the felon Shall I escape when Solomon has died ? worm

If all the worth of all the saints were vainThe damask cheek devour, the finish'd Peace, peace, my troubled soul, nor dare form?

complain! On the pale rose of blasted beauty feed, Lord, I 'submit, Complete thy gracious And riot on the lip so lately red?

will! Where are our fathers? Where th' illus-For if Thou slay me, I will trust Thee still, trious line

o be my will so swallow'd up in thine, Of holy prophets, and of seers divine ? | That I may do thy will in doing mine. Live they for ever? Do they shun the

grave ?

THE SEARCH AFTER HAPPINESS :

A PASTORAL DRAMA FOR YOUNG LADIES.

-To rear the tender thought,
To teach the young idea how to shoot,
To pour the fresh instruction o'er the mind,
To breathe th’enliv'ning spirit, and to fix
The gen'rous purpose in the female breast.---Thomson.

TO MRS. GWATKIN.

DEAR MADAM,-As the following poem turns chiefly on the danger of delay or error in the important article of education, I know not to whom I can, with more propriety, dedicate it than to you, as the subject it inculcates bas been one of the principal objects of your attention in your own family,

Let not the name of dedication alarm you: I am not going to offend you by making your eulogium. Panegyric is only necessary to suspicious characters : Virtue will not accept it; Delicacy will not offer it.

The friendship with which you have honoured me from my childhood, will, I flatter myself, induce you to pardon me for venturing to lay before you this public testimony of my esteem, and to assure you how much I am, dear madam,

Your obedient, and obliged humble servant,

THE AUTHOR.

PREFACE. The object of the following poem, which was written in very early youth; was an earnest wish to furnish a substitute for the improper custom, which then prevailed, of allowing plays, and those not always of the purest kind, to be acted by young ladies in boarding schools. And it has afforded a serious satisfaction to the author to learn that this little poein, and tlae

preceding sacred dramas, have very frequently been adopted to supply the place of those more dangerous amusements. If it may be still happily instrumental in promoting a regard to Religion and Virtue in the minds of young persons, and afford them an innocent, and per. haps not altogether unuseful, amusement, in the exercise of recitation, the end for which it was originally composed, and the author's utmost wish in its republication, will be fully answered.

PROLOGUE.

SPOKEN BY A YOUNG LADY.

Is these grave scenes, and unembellish'd, Or fail the poet's meaning to imbibe ; strains,

In either case your blame we justly raise, Where neither sly intrigue nor passion reigns; In either lose, or ought to lose, your praise. How dare we hope an audience will approve | How dull, if tamely flows th' impassion'd A drama void of wit and free from love?

strain ! Where no soft Juliet sighs, and weeps, and If well-how bad to be the thing we feign! starts,

| To fix the mimic scene upon the heart, No fierce Roxana takes by storm your hearts ; | And keep the passion when we quit the part! No comic ridicule, no tragic swagger,

Such are the perils the dramatic muse, Not one elopement, not one bowl or dagger! In youthful bosoms, threatens to infuse ! No husband wrong'd, who trusted and be Our timid author labours to impart liev'd,

A less pernicious lesson to the heart; No father cheated, and no friend deceiv'd; What ihough no charm of melody divine, No libertine in glowing strains describ'd, Smooth her round period, or adorn her line ; No lying chambermaid that rake had brib'd: Though her unpolish'd page in vain aspires Nor give we, to reward the rover's life,

To emulate the graces she admires : The ample portion and the beauteous wife; Though destitute of skill, her sole pretence Betuld, to raise the manners of the ago, But aims at simple truth and common sense ; The frequent moral of the scenic page! Yet shall her honest unassuming page And shall we then transplant these noxious Tell that its author, in a modish age, scenes

Preferr'd plain virtue to the boast of art, To private life? to misses in their teens? Nor fix'd one dangerous maxim on the heart. The pompous tone, the masculine attire, (if, to crown the efforts, she could find The stills, the buskin, the dramatic fire, They rooted but one error from one mind: Corrupt the softness of the gentler kind, If in the bosom of ingenuous youth And laint the sweetness of the youthful mind. They stamp'd one useful thought, one lasting Ungovern'd passons, jealousy and rage,

truth; Bat ill become our sex, still less our age; 'Twould be a fairer tribute to her name, Whether we learn too well what we describe, I Than loud applauses, or an empty fame.

PERSONS OF THE DRAMA. Erphelia,

Urania, an ancient shepherdess. CLEORA, | four young ladies of distinction,

11: { her daughters. PASTORELLA, 1

ELIZA, S in search of Happiness.

Florella, a young shepherdess.

LAURINDA,

(last,

Scene-A Grove,

| And dull Satiety succeeds Delight;

Where midnight Vices their fell orgies EUPHELIA, CLEORA, PASTORELLA, LAU

keep, RINDA.

| Ind guilty revels scare the phantom Sleep; Cle. WELCOME, ye humble vales, ye Where Dissipation wears the name of Bliss; flow'ry shades,

| From these we fly in search of Happiness, Ye crystal fountains, and ye silent glades! Euph. Not the tir'd pilgrim all his danFrom the gay mis’ry of the thoughtless...., gers past, great,

| When he descries the long sought shrine at The walks of folly, the disease of state ; j E'er felt a joy so pure as this fair field, From scenes where daring Guilt triumphant These peaceful shades, and smiling vallies reigns,

yield!

Cappear, Its dark suspicions and its hoard of pains; For, sure, these oaks, which old as Time Where Pleasure never comes without alloy, Proclaim Urania's lonely dwelling near. And Art but thinly paints fallacious joy; Past, How the description with the scene Where Laughter loads the day, Excess the agrees ! night,

Illere lowly thickets, there aspiring trees;

The hazel copse excluding noon-bays beam, I Cle. Long have we search'd throughout The tufted arbor, the pellucid stream ;

this bounteous isle, The blooming sweet-briar, and the haw-/ With constant ardour and with ceaseless thorn shade,

toil; The springing cowslips, and the daisy'd The various ways of various life we're mead,

trv'd ; The wild luxuriance of the full blown fields, But still the bliss we seek has been deny’d. Which Spring prepares, and laughing Sum-/We've sought in vain through ev'ry diff'rent mer yields.

state; Euph. Here simple Nature strikes th’| The mur'm'ring poor, the discontented enraptur'd eye

great. With charms, which wealth and art but ill If Peace, and Joy, in palaces reside, supply:

Or in obscurer haunts delight to hide ; The genuine graces, which without we find, If Happiness with worldly pleasures dwell, Display the beauty of the owner's mind. Or shrouds her graces in the hermit's

Lau. These embow'ring shades conceal cell: - the cell,

If Wit, if Science, teach the road to bliss, Where sage Urania and her daughters Or torpid Dulness find the joys they miss ; dwell :

To learn this truth, we've bid a long adieu Florella too, if right we've heard the tale, To all the shadows blinded men pursue. With them resides the lily of the vale. We seek Urania; whose sagacious mind Cle. But soft! what gentle female form May lead our steps this latent good to find : appears,

Her worth we emulate; her virtues fire Which smiles of more than mortal beauty Qur ardent hearts to be what we admire : wears?

For though with care she shuns the public Is it the guardian Genius of the grove?

eye, Or some fair angel of the choirs above? Yet worth like hers, unknown can never lie.

Lau, On such a fair and faultless model Enter Fiorella, who speaks. • form’d, Whom do I see? ye beauteous virgins say By Prudence guided, and by Virtue warm’d, What chance conducts your steps this lone- Perhaps Florella can direct our youth, ly way?

And point our footsteps to the paths of Do you pursue some fav’rite lambkin Truth. stray'd ?

Flor. Ill would it suit my unexperienc'd Or do yon alders court you to their shade? age, Declare, fair strangers ! if aright I deem, In such important questions to engage. No rustic nymphs of vulgar rank you seem. Young as I am, unskilful to discern, Cle. No cooling shades allure our eager Nor fit to teach, who yet have much to sight,

[vite. learn, Nor lambkins lost, our searching steps in- But would you with maturer years advise, Flo. Or is it, hap'ly, yonder branching And reap the counsel of the truly wise, vine,

| The dame, in whom such worth and wisdom Whose tendrils round our low roof cottage meet, twine;

Dwells in the covert of yon green retreat: Whose spreading height, with purple clus. All that the world calls great she once posters crown'd,

sess'd, Attracts the gaze of ev'ry nymph around? With wealth, with rank, her prosp'rous Have these lone regions aught that charms youth was bless'd. beside ?

(pride. In adverse fortune, now serene and gay, Yours are my shades, my flow'rs, my Heecy Who gave,' she said, had right to take Euph. Florella ! our united thanks re away.' ceive,

Two lovely daughters bless her growing Sole proof of gratitude we have to give :

years, And since you deign to ask, ( courteous And by their virtues, well repay her cares, fair !

With them, beneath her shelt'ring wing i 'The motive of our unremitting care ;

live, Know then, kind maid, our joint rescarches And share the bounties she has still to give; tend

For Heav'n, who in its dispensations join'd To find that sovereign good of life, a friend ; A narrow fortune to a noble mind, From whom the wholesome counsel we may Has bless'd the sage Urania with a heart

Which Wisdom's noblest treasures can imHow our young hearts may happiness ob- . part; tain.

In Duty's active round each day is past, By Fancy's mimic pencil oft portray'd, As if she thought each day might prove her Still have we woo'd the visionary maid :

last: The lovely phantom, mocks our eager eyes; Her labours for devotion best prepare, And still we chase, and still we miss the And meek Devotion smooths the brow of prize!

care,

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Pas!. Then lead, Florella, to that humble The springs of life shall gently cease, shed

[fled! | And angels point the way to peace.. Where Peace resides from court and cities! Ura, Ye tender objects of maternal love, SONG,

Ye dearest joys my widow'd heart can

prove;

Come taste the glories of the new-born day, O Happiness, celestial fair,

And grateful homage to its Author pay! Our earliest hope, our latest care,

O' ever may this animating sight
O hear our fond request !

Convey instruction while it sheds delight! Vouchsafe, reluctant Nymph to tell

Does not that sun, whose cheering beams On what sweet spot thou lov'st to dwell,

impart And make us truly blest.

Joy's glad emotions to the pure in heart; II.

Does not that vivid pow'r teach ev'ry mind Amidst the walks of public life,

| To be as warm, benevolent, and kind; The toils of wealth, ambition's strife, Toburn with unremitted ardour still, We long have sought in vai.) ;

Like him to execute their Maker's will ? The crowded city's noisy din,

Then let us, Pow'r Supreme! thy will And all the busy haunts of men,

adore, Afford but care and pain.

Invoke thy mercies, and proclaim thy pow'r. III,

Shalt thou these benefits in vain bestow ? Pleas'd with the soft, the soothing pow'r Shall we forget the fountain whence they Of calm Reflection's silent hour,

[Thee, Sequester'd dost thou dwell!

Teach us through these to lift our hearts to Where Care and Tumult ne'er intrude, And in the gift the bounteous giver see. Dost thou reside with Solitude,

To vicw Thee as thou art, all good and wise, Thy humble votries tell!

Nor let thy blessings hide Thee from our IV.

eyes. O Happiness, celestial fair,

From all obstructions clear our mental Our earliest hope, our latest care!

sight; Let us not sue in vain !

Pour on our souls thy beatific light! Odeign to hear our fond request,

Teach us thy wond'rous goodness to revere, Come, take possession of our breast,

With love to worship, and with rev'rence And there for ever reign.

fear! retire In the mild works of thy benignant hand,

| As in the thunder of thy dread command. Scene- The Grove.

In common objects we neglect thy pow'r,

While wonders shine in every plant and URANIA, SYLVIA, ELIZA.

flow'r. SYLVIA (singing.)

-Tell me, my first, my last, my darling

care, SWEET Solitude, thou placid queen

If you this morn have rais'd your hearts in Of modest air and brow serene!

pray'r? "Tis thou inspir’st the sage's themes ;

Say did you rise from the sweet bed of rest, The poet's visionary dreams.

Your Gód unprais'd, his holy name unblest?

Syl. Our hearts with gratitude and rev'Parent of Virtue, nurse of Thought!

rence fraught, By thee were saints and patriarchs taught;

By those pure precepts you have ever \Visdom from thee her treasure drew,

taught; And in thy lap tair Science grew!

By your example more than precept strong

Of pray'r and praise have tun'd their matin Whate'er exalts, refines, and charms,

song. Invites to thooght, to virtue warms;

Eliz. With ever new delight, we now atWhate'er is perfect, fair, and good,

tend We owe to thee, sweet Solitude !

The counsels of our fond maternal friend. IV.

Enter FLORELLA, with EUPHELIA, CLEOIn these blest shades, ( still maintain

RA, PASTORELLA, LAURINDA.
Thy peaceful, unmolested reign !
Let no disorder'd thoughts intrude

Flo. (aside to the ladies ) See how the On thy repose, sweet Solitude !

goodly dame, with pious art, V.

Makes each event a lesson to the heart! With thee the charm of life shall last, Observe the duteous list'ners how they Although its rosy bloom be past ;

stand : Shall still endure when Time shall spread Improvement and delight go hand in hand. His silver blossoms o'er my head.

Ura. But where 's Florella?

Flor. Here's the happy she, No more with this vain world perplex'd, Whom Heav'n most favour'd when it gave Thou shalt prepare me for the next;

her thee,

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Ura. But who are these, in whose attrac-i Yet still some cause of wretchedness I tive lien,

found, So sweetly blended, ev'ry grace is seen? Some barbed shaft my shatter'd peace to Speak, my Florella ! say the cause why here wound. These beauteous damsels on our plains ap- Perhaps her gay attire exceeded minepear?

When she was finer, how could I be fine ? Flor. Invited hither by Urania's fame, Syl. Pardon my interruption, beauteous To seek her friendship, to these shades they maid ! came.

Can truth have prompted what you just Straying alone at morning's earliest dawn, I have said ? I met them wand'ring on the distant lawn. What! can the poor pre-eminence of dress Their courteous manners soon engag'd my Ease the pain'd heart, or give it happiness? love :

(prove. Or can you think your robes, though rich I've brought them here your sage advice to and fine, Ura. Tell me, ye gentle nymphs! the Possess intrinsic value more than mine? reason tell,

| Ura, So close our nature is to vice allied, Which brings such guests to grace my low- Our very comforts are the source of pride; ly cell?

[small, And dress, so much corruption reigus withMy pow'r of serving, though indeed but in, Such as it is, you may command it all. Is both the consequence and cause of sin. Cle. Your counsel, your advice, is all we Cle. Of Happiness unfound I too comask;

plain, And for Urania that's no irksome task. Sought in a diff'rent path, but sought in vain! 'Tis Happiness we seek : 0) déign to tell I sigh'd for fame, I languish'd for renown, Where the coy fugitive delights to dwell! I would be flatter'd, prais'd, admir'd and Ura. Ah, rather say where you have known, sought this guest,

On daring wing my mountain spirit soara, This lovely inmate of the virtuous breast? And Science through her boundless fields Declare the various methods you've essay'd explor’d: To court and win the bright celestial maid. I scorn'd the salique laws of pedant schools, But first, though harsh the task, each beau-Which chain our genius down by tasteless teous fair

rules, Fler ruling passion must with truth declare. I long'd to burst these female bonds, which from evil habits own'd, from faults con- held fess'd,

My sex in awe, by vanity impelld: Alone we trace the secrets of the breast. To boast each various faculty of mind, Euph. Bred in the regal splendours of a Thy graces, Pope! with Johnson's learning court,

I join'd : Where pleasures, dress'd in every shape, Like Swift, with strongly pointed ridicule, resort,

To brand the villain, and abash the fool : I try'd the pow'r of pomp and costly glare, To judge with taste, with spirit to compose, Nure'er found room for thought, or time for Now mount in cpic, now descend to prose; pray’r:

To join, like Burke, the beauteous and subIn diff'rent follies ev'ry hour I spent; I shunn'd Reflection, yet I sought Content. Or build, with Milton's art, "the lofty My hours were shar'd betwixt the park and rhyme;' play,

Through Fancy's fields I rang'd; I strove And music serv'd to waste the tedious day; I to hit Yet softest airs no more with joy I heard, Melmoth's chaste style, and Prior's easy If any sweeter warbler was preferr'd;

wit : The dance succeeded, and, succeeding, Thy classic graces, Mason, to display,

And court the Muse of Elegy with Gray : If some more graceful dancer were admir'd. I rav'd of Shakspeare's flame and Dryden's No sounds but flatt'ry ever sooth'd my ear : rage, Ungentle truths I knew not how to bear. And ev'ry charm of Otway's melting page. "The anxious day induc'd the sleepless night, I talk'd by rote the jargon of the schools, And my vex'd spirit never knew delight; Of critic laws, and Aristotle's rules; Coy Pleasure mock'd me with delusive Of passion, sentiment, and style, and grace, charms,

l And unities of action, time, and place, Still the thin shadow fled my clasping arms: The daily duties of my life forgot, Or if some actual joy I seem'd to taste, To study fiction, incident, and plot : Another's pleasure laid my blessings waste: Howe'er the conduct of my life might err, One truth I prov'd, that lurking Envy hides Still my dramatic plans were regular. In ev'ry heart where Vanity presides,

Ura. Who aims at ev'ry science, socn A fairer face would rob my soul of rest,

will find And fix a scorpion in my wounded breast. The field how vast, how limited the mind ! Or, if my elegance of form prevail'd

Cle. Abstruser studies soon my fancy And haply her inferior graces fail'd;

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