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But why for thee this fond complaint?
Above thy master thou art bless’d!
Then deign with me to live;
Shall ne'er thy destiny contrive;
Nor shall the fiend, fell Famine, dare
Thy wiry tenement affail ;
And when the blooming spring
To thee officious will I bring 3
From drear Oblivion's gloomy cave
The powerful Mufe shall wrest thy name,
She knows thy liberal heart
And Melody's soft aid impart;
Erewhile, when brooding o'er my foul
Frown'd the black demons of Despair,
If Fortune should be kind,
And when the weeping wretch. I find,
H, ftay!-Thy wand oblivious o'er my eyes
Yet wave, mild power of sleep!-My prayer is vain ! She Aies; the partial nurse of Nature fies, .
With all her foothing, vifionary train !
Then let me forth, and near yon flowering, thorn
Tafte heaven's pure breath ; while, rob’d in amber veft, Fresh from her watery couch, the youthful morn
Steals on the slumbers of the drowzy east.
Lo! at her presence, the strong arm of toil,
With glittering fickle mows the prime of May; While yon poor hirelings, for the mine's rude foil,
Leave to their sleeping babes their cots of clay,
With sturdy step, they chearly whittle o'er
The path that Alings across the reedy plain, To the deep caverns of that yawning moor,
Whose thaggy breat abhors the golden grain.
There, in her green dress, Nature never roves,
, Spreads the gay lawn, nor lifts the lordly pine; They see no melting clouds refresh the groves,
No living landscape drawn by Hands Divine:
Their painful way in their bended knees,
But many a fathom from the funny breeze,
in central night they wear ; Heave the pik'd axes on their bended knees,
Or, fide-long, the rough quarry slowly tear.
Yet while damp vapaurs chill each reeking brown:
How loudly laughs the jovial voice of mirth ; ; Pleas'd that the wages of the day allow si
A social blaze to chear their evening hearth!
T'here the chaste housewife, with maternal care,
Her thrifty distaff plies, in grave attire; Bless'd to behold her ruddy offspring wear
The full resemblance of their sturdy fire.
To spread with such coarse fare their homely board
As fits the genius of their little fate,
To be unhappy, we must first, be great.
In these dark caves, where Heav'n's paternal hand,
Far from the world their private cradle laid, They' toil secure; the storms that strike the land
With wild dismay, roll harmless o'er their head.
For who, the load of weary life to bear,
Wou'd from these murky manfions chase the slave ? Who cease to breathe Heav'n's pure and chearful air,
To be but living tenants of the grave ?
Yet harass'd as they are, their face ftill wears
age ; No ftains their mind from worldly science bears:
Their ray of knowledge gleams from Nature's page.
The few plain rules her simple lessons give,
They still thro' life with pleas'd attention ply; Their helpless offspring bid them wish to live,
Their breathless parents bid them learn to die.
And surely Heaven, whose penetrating sight
Pierces the soul, and reads it's inmoft groan, Must see Content, with more sincere delight,
Toil in the mine, than triumph on the throne.
See Charles , more pleas'd, within the convent's gloom,
Seeking the llaves calm nights, their temp'rate days, And peaceful passage to the private tomb,
Than diadem'd with glory's crimson rays.
E’en the proud fage, whose deep mysterious brain
Has reason'd all the balm of hope away ; Convinc'd that learning's but ingenious pain,
Might hail their happier lot, and sighing say
• O had I thus, within the dark profound,
By daily labour earn’d my daily food ; • Or with yon seedman sow'd the quick’ning ground,
• Or cleav'd with ponderous axe the groaning wood !
• Full many an hour, that now, tho' sped with art,
« On flow and dusky pinions fullen flies ; • Full many an anxious wilh, or pang of heart,
• That Reason's boasted anodyne defies,
* Charles V. of Spain, who in the full blaze of his glory resigned the throne to his son Philip, and retir'd to a convent in Eftremadura.
? Had ne'er been born. Nor had th’ uneasy mind,
• Pent in the prison of this mortal mould, · Felt it's etherial energy confin'd,
• It's brightest sunshine in dark clouds enroll’d.
• But native sense her modest course had run ;
• Her saintly lustre untaught virtue spread ; • Health crown'd my toils ; and, ere the day was done,
• Sound sleep beneath some alder's ruftling fhade.
• Then, as I stole down life's declining hill,
• Here nature's gifts had furnish'd nature's needs i • The brook's cold beverage every latent ill
• Had starv'd, that cloyster'd Contemplation feeds.
• Till in the peaceful shade of this lone bower,
• Or near yon shatter'd tower, in silence laid,
HOW W blythe the flowery graces of the spring
From Nature's wardrobe come: and hark how gay Each glittering infect, hovering on the wing,
Sings it's glad welcome to the fields of May!
They gaze with greedy eye each beauty o'er ;
They fuck the sweet breath of the blushing rose; Sport in the gale, or lip the rainbow shower:
Their life's short day no pause of pleasure knows.