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His ready smile a parent's warmth exprest,
Their welfare pleas'd him, and their cares distrest;
To them his heart, his love, his griefs were giv'n,
But all his serious thoughts had rest in Heav'n.
As some tall cliff that lifts its awful form,
Swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storm,
Tho'round its breast the rolling clouds are spread,
Eternal sunshine settles on its head.
CONTENTMENT, parent of delight,
So much a stranger to our sight,
Say, Goddess, in what happy place
Mortals behold thy blooming face:
Thy gracious auspices impart,
And for thy temple choose my: heart.
They, whom thou deignest to inspire,
Thy science learn, to bound desire ;
By happy alchymy of mind
They turn to pleasure all they find ;
They both disdain in outward mien
The grave and solemn garb of spleen,
And meretricious arts of dress,
To feign a joy, and hide distress :
Unmov'd when the rude tempest blows,
Without an opiate they repose ;
And cover'd by your shield, defy
The whizzing shafts, that round them fly;
Nor meddling with the god's affairs,
Concern themselves with distant cares
Bút place their bliss in mental rest,
And feast upon the good possess'd.
Forc'd by soft violence of pray'r,
The blithsome goddess sooths my care ;
I feel the deity inspire,
And thus she models my desire.
Two hundred pounds half-yearly paid,
Annuity securely made,
A farm some twenty miles from town,
Small, tight, Salubrious, and my own;
Two maids, that never saw the town,
A serving man not quité à clown,
A boy to help to tread the mow,
And drive, while t'other holds the plough ; .
A chief, of temper form'd to please,
Fit to converse, and keep the keys ;
And better to preserve the peace,
Commission'd by the name of niece ;
With understandings of a size
• To think their master very wise.
May heaven (it's all I wish for) send
One genial room to treat a friend,
Where decent cupboard, little plate,
Display benevolence, not state.
And may my humble dwelling stand
Upon some chosen spot of land :
A pond before full to the brim,
Where cows may cool, and geese may swim:
Behind, a green like velvet neat,
Soft to the eye, and to the feet ;
Where od'rous plants in evening fair
Breathe all around ambrosial air ;
From Eurus, foe to kitchen ground,
Fenc'd by a slope with bushes crown'd,
Fit dwelling for the featherd throng,
Who pay their quit-rents with a song:
With op'ning views of hill and dale,
Which sense and fancy too regale,
Where the half-cirque, which vision bounds,
Like amphitheatre surrounds :
And woods impervious to the breeze,
Thick phalanx of embodied trees,
From hills through plains in dusk array
Extended far, repel the day,
Here stillness, height, and solemn shade
Invite, and contemplation aid :
Here nymphs from hollow oaks relate
The dark decrees and will of fate,
And dreams beneath the spreading beech,
Inspire, and docile fancy teach ;
While soft as breezy breath of wind,
Impulses rustle through the mind :
Here Dryads, scorning Phoebus ray,
While Pan melodius pipes away,
In measur'd motions frisk about,
"Till old Silenus puts them out.
There see the clover, pea, and bean,
Vie in variety of green ;
Fresh pastures speckled o'er with sheep,
Brown fields their fallow sabbath keep,
Plump Ceres golden tresses wear,
And poppy top-knots deck her hair,
And silver streams through meadows stray,
And Naiades on the marġin play.
And lesser nymphs on side of hills
From play-thing urns pour down the rills.
Thus shelter'd, free from care and strife,
May I enjoy a calm through life ;
See faction, safe in low degree,
As men at land see storns at sea,
And laugh at miserable elves,
Not kind, so much as to themselves.
Cursd with such souls of base alloy,
As can possess, but not enjoy ;
Debarr'd the pleasure to impart
By av'rice, sphincter of the heart,
Who wealth, hard earn'd by guilty cares,
Bequeath untouch'd to thankless heirs.
May I, with look ungloom'd hy guile,
Aud wearing Virtue's liv'ry, smile,
Prone the distressed to relieve,
And little trespasses forgive,
With income not in Fortune's pow'r,
And skill to make a busy hour,
With trips to town, life to amuse,
To purchase books, and hear the news,
To see old friends, brush off the clown,
And quicken taste at coming down.
Unhurt by sickness' blasting rage,
And slowly mellowing into age,
When Fate extends its gathering gripe ;
Fall off like fruit grown fully ripe ;
Quit a worn being without pain,
In hope to blossom soon again.
SILENT nymph, with curious eye;
Who, the purple ev'ning lie
On the mountain's lonely van,
Beyond the noise of buisy man,
Painting fair the form of things,
While the yellow linnet sings ;
Or the tunefull nightengale
Charms the forest with her tale ;
Come with all thy various hues,
Come and aid thy sister Muse :
Now while Phoebus riding high
Gives lustre to the land and sky!
Grongar Hill invites my song,
Draw the landskip bright and strong;
Grongar, in whose mossy cells
Sweetly musing Quiet dwells;
Grongar, in whose silent shade,
For the modest Muses made,
So oft I have, the evening still,
At the fountain of a rill,
Sate upon a flow'ry bed,
With my hand beneath my head;
While stay'd my eyes o'er Towy's flood,
Over mead, and over wood,
From house to house, from hill to hill,
Till contemplation had her fill.
About his chequer'd sides I wind
And leave his brooks and meads behind
And groves and grottoes where I lay,
And vistoes shooting beams of day:
Wide and wider spreads the vale,
As circles on a smooth canal;
The mountains round, unhappy fate !
Sooner or later, of all height,
Withdraw their summits from the skies,
And lessen as the others rise ;
Still the prospect wider spreads,
Adds a thousand woods and meads,
Still it widens, widens still,
And sinks the newly-risen hil).
Now, I gain the mountain's brow;
What a landskip lies below!
No clouds, no vapours intervene,
Does the face of nature show,
In all the hues of heaven's bow !.
And swelling to embrace the light,
Spreads around beneath the sight.