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The warblings of the black-bird, clear and strong,
Are musical enough in Thomson's song;
And Cobham's groves and Windsor's green retreats,
When Pope describes them have a thousand sweets ;
He likes the country, but in truth must own,
Most likes it, when he studies it in town.
Poor Jack no matter who-for when I blame
I pity, and must therefore sink the name,
Liv'd in his saddle, lov'd the chace, the course,
And always, e'er he mounted, kiss'd his horse.'
Th' estate his fires had own'd in ancient years,
Was quickly distanc’d, match'd against a peer's.
Jack vanish'd, was regretted and forgot,
'Tis wild good-nature's never failing lot.
At length, when all had long suppos’d him dead,
By cold submersion, razor, rope, or lead,
My lord, alighting at his usual place,
The crown, took notice of an oftler's face.
Jack knew his friend, but hop'd in that disguise
He might escape the most observing eyes,
And whistling as if unconcern'd and gay,
Curried his nag and look’d another way.
Convinc'd at last upon a nearer view,
'Twas he, the fame, the very Jack he knew,
O’erwhelm’d at once with wonder, grief, and joy,
He press'd him much to quit his base employ,
His countenance, his purse, his heart, his hand,
Inf’ence, and pow'r were all at his command:
Peers are not always gen’rous as well-bred,
But Granby was, meant truly what he said :
Jack bow'd and was oblig'd—confess’d 'twas strange
That so retir’d he should not with a change,
But knew no medium between guzzling beer,
And his old stint, three thousand pounds a year. > Thus some retire to nourish hopeless woe,
Some seeking happiness not found below,
Some to comply with humour, and a mind
To social scenes by nature disinclin'd,
Some sway'd by fashion, some by deep disgust,
Some self impov’rish'd, and because they must;
But few that court Retirement, are aware
Of half the toils they must encounter there.
Lucrative offices are seldom loft
For want of pow’rs proportion' to the post:
Give ev'n a dunce th’employment he desires,
And he soon finds the talents it requires ;
A business with an income at its heels
Furnishes always oil for its own wheels.
But in his arduous enterprize to close
His active years with indolent repose,
He finds the labours of that state exceed
His utmost faculties, severe indeed.
'Tis easy to resign a toilfome place,
But not to manage leisure with a grace;
Absence of occupation is not rest,
A mind quite vacant is a mind distress’d. -
The vet'ran steed excus'd his task at length,
In kind compassion of his failing strength,
And turn'd into the park or mead to graze,
Exempt from future service all his days,
There feels a pleasure perfect in its kind,
Ranges at liberty, and snuffs the wind.
But when his lord would quit the busy road,
To taste a joy like that he has bestow'd,
He proves less happy than his favour?d brutes
A life of ease a difficult pursuit.
Thought, to the man that never thinks, may seem
As natural, as when asleep, to dream,
But reveries (for human minds will act)
Specious in show, impossible in fact,
Those Alimfy webs that break as soon as wrought,
Attain not to the dignity of thought.
Nor yet the swarms that occupy. the brain
Where dreams of dress, intrigue, and pleasure reign,
Nor such as useless conversation breeds,
Or lust engenders, and indulgence feeds.
Whence, and what are we ? to what end ordain'd?:.'
What means the drama by the world sustain'd? :
Business or vain ainusement, care or mirth,
Divide the frail inhabitants of earth,
Is duty a mere sport, or an employ?
Life an intrusted talent, or a toy ?
Is there as reason, conscience, fcripture say,
Cause to provide for a great future day,
When earth's assign’d duration at an end,
Man shall be summón’d and the dead attend ?
The trumpet-Will it sound ? the curtain rise?
And show th' august tribunal of the skies,
Where no prevarication shall avail;
Where eloquence and artifice shall fail,
The pride of arrogant distinctions fall,
And conscience and our conduct judge us all ?
Pardon me, ye that give the midnight oil,
To learned cares or philofophic toil,
Though I'revere your honourable names,
Your useful labours and important aims,
And hold the world indebted to your aid,
Enrich'd with the discoveries ye have made,
Yet let me stand excus’d, if I esteem
A mind employ'doñ so sublime a theme,