« السابقةمتابعة »
Nor are the great more free; their constant train Drive the fair goddess to the humble plain; Their actions closely watch'd, their words mark'd
down, And even their very thoughts no more their own; Pursued by flatterers, parasites, and knaves, What are they but the veriest slaves to slaves ? And what concluđes this pageantry of life? The axe of justice or the murdering knife. Bribing and bribed to grasp the dazzling prize, And labouring in their country's fall to rise ; Tarpeia's just return their treachery yields, No golden bracelet, but the' o'erwhelming shields.
There are who free midst all their greatness live, If the name free to that we rightly give, Which follows (slavish term!) passion's strong gust, The heat of appetite, and rage of lust. [chase, For heaven's bright queen a gilded cloud they And monsters issue from the rude embrace : Yet the false form their ravish'd hearts adore, Held in vain raptures by her wanton lore. Meanwhile pale Virtue groaning on the ground, With all her ruin'd honours scatter'd round, Insulted lies, and with indignant shame Blushes to see the pageant's guilty fame.
O heaven-descended Freedom! if thy voice, Assuasive yet, can fix the doubtful choice, Lead us, 0, lead us to sequester'd shades, Where Reason rules, and not one lust invades; Far from the life of vanity or care, From grandeur, folly, passion, pride, and fear, Thou, when the wise, by contemplation led, The darksome grove or winding valley tread, Wilt join the walk, and breathe into the breast The sweet complacence of a mind at rest;
Whence purer reason, heighten'd wisdom flow,
(neath Whilst pleased she views her chariot wheels beAmbition, Pride, Lust, Fortune, Fear, and Death.
Forgive a verse the love of virtue warms, Nor think these only visionary charms; You'll find them, listening to the moral strain, More than a flattering fiction of the brain. Come then, with me the heat of rapture quit; Hear sober reasoning in exchange for wit; Preach on the world; but first the text divide; Of business first, of pleasure next decide.
How can the man, whose every thought is pelf, Search his own mind and look into himself? Unheard, without, all grave reflections wait, Like humble suitors at a great man's gate; Intent on each low artifice to thrive, Strangers to virtue and themselves they live:
An honest man, if honest such may be,
How are the silken sons of pleasure lost,
Lead them from these pursuits, at some grave To the calm garden or sequester'd bower; [hour, Collected there each scatter'd beam of thought, They learn to think and reason as they ought; Fame drops the wreath ; the pageantry of power And wealth's own magic cheat the sense no more: No more the wanton ask the painted toy, True solid pleasures realize their joy; They find that happiness in reason lies, Reason, that makes us and that keeps us wise.
Nor end we here: new joys enrich the scene In the calm sunshine of a soul serene. On life's wide sea unsteadily we sail, Sport of the dashing tide or driving gale; Or Hope misleads the flatter'd sense, or Fear Embitters each tumultuous hour with care; Each conversation pains; on every side Fancied or real insults hurt our pride; We pine with envy at the prosperous state, But toss the head, and mock the' unfortunate: In Passion's giddy whirl we vainly strive, Converse in storms, and in a tempest live. But, from the world retired, we find that rest Which calms the troubled ocean of the breast; VOL. I.
The distant images, erewhile so gay,
Still let me raise the verse, and point the road
There are who feel these truths, the joy serene, The humble blessings of the rural scene; But false desires their erring judgments cheat, And ruin all their bliss to make them great. Fools! not to know that happiness and pride, Things inconsistent, will not be allied ; That Nature, craving no luxurious feast, Asks but a little, and rejects the rest.
Not that this lust of pomp would be so ill,
* Rusticus expectat dum defluat amnis: at ille
Hor. 2 Epist. L. i.