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The prospect, such as might enchant despair,
He views it not, or fees no beauty there ;
With aching heart and discontented looks,
Returns at noon, to billiards or to books,
But feels, while grasping at his faded joys,
A secret thirst of his renounc'd employs.
He chides the tardiness of ev'ry post,
Pants to be told of battles won or loft,
Blames his own indolence, observes, though late,
'Tis criminal to leave a sinking state,
Flies to the levee, and receiv’d with grace,
Kneels, kisses hands, and shines again in place.
Suburban villas, highway-side retreats,
That dread th' encroachment of our growing streets,
Tight boxes, neatly fash'd, and in a blaze
With all a July sun's collected rays,
Delight the citizen, who gasping there
Breathes clouds of dust and calls it country air.
Oh sweet retirement, who would baulk the thought,
That could afford retirement, or could not ?
'Tis such an easy walk, so smooth and strait,
The second milestone fronts the garden gate,
A step if fair, and if a shower approach,
You find safe shelter in the next stage-coach.
There prison’d in a parlour snug and fmall,
Like bottled wasps upon a southern wall,
The man of bus’ness and his friends compressid,
Forget their labours, and yet find no rest ;
But still 'tis rural— trees are to be seen
From ev'ry window, and the fields are green,
Ducks paddle in the pond before the door,
And what could a remoter scene show more ?
A sense of elegance we rarely find .
The portion of a mean or vulgar mind,
And ignorance of better things, makes man
Who cannot much, rejoice in what he can;
And he that deems his leisure well bestow'd
In contemplation of a turnpike road,
Is occupied as well, employs his hours
As wisely, and as much improves his pow'rs,
As he that Numbers in pavillion's grac'd
With all the charms of an accomplish'd taste.
Yet hence, alas ! Insolvencies, and hence
Th' unpitied victim of ill-judg'd expence,
From all his wearifome engagements freed,
Shakes hands with business, and retires indeed.
Your prudent grand mammas, ye modern belles,
Content with Bristol, Bath, and Tunbridge-wells,
When health requir’d it would consent to roam,
Else more attach’d to pleasures found at home.
But now alike, gay widow, virgin, wife,
Ingenious to diversify dull life,
In coaches, chaises, caravans and hoys,
Fly to the coast for daily, nightly joys,
And all impatient of dry land, agree
With one consent to rush into the sea.
Ocean exhibits, fathomless and broad,
Much of the power and majesty of God.
He swathes about the swelling of the deep,
That shines and rests, as infants smile and Neep;
Vast as it is, it answers as it Aows
The breathings of the lightest air that blows;
Curling and whit’ning over all the waste,
The rising waves obey th' increasing blast,
Abrupt and horrid as the tempest roars,
Thunder and Aash upon the stedfast shores,
'Till he that rides the whirlwind, checks the rein,
Then, all the world of waters Neeps again.-
Nereids or Dryads, as the fashion leads,
Now in the floods, now panting in the meads,
Vot’ries of pleasure still, where'er she dwells,
Near barren rocks, in palaces or cells.
Oh grant a poet leave to recommend,
(A poet fond of nature, and your friend)
Her Nighted works to your admiring view,
Her works must needs excel, who fashion’d you.
Would ye, when rambling in your morning ride,
With some unmeaning coxcomb at your side,
Condemn the prattler for his idle pains,
To waste unheard the music of his strains,
And deaf to all the impertinence of tonguè,
That while it courts, affronts and does you wrong.
Mark well the finish'd plan without a fault,
The feas globose and huge, th’ o’erarching vault,
Earth's millions daily fed, a world employ'd
In gath’ring plenty yet to be enjoy’d,
'Till gratitude grew vocal in the praise
Of God, beneficent in all his ways;
Grac'd with such wisdom how would beauty shine?
Ye want but that to feem indeed divine.
Anticipated rents and bills unpaid,
Force many a shining youth into the snade,
Not to redeem his time, but his estate,
And play the fool, but at a cheaper rate.
There hid in loath'd obscurity, remov'd
From pleasures left, but never more belov'd,
He just endures, and with a sickly spleen
Sighs o’er the beauties of the charming scene.
Nature indeed looks prettily in rhime,
Streams tinkle sweetly in poetic chime,