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Let observation, with extensive view,
Survey mankind, from China to Peru;
Remark each anxious toil, each eager strife,
And watch the busy scenes of crowded life:
Then say how hope and fear, desire and hate, 5
O'erspread with snares the clouded maze of
fate,
Where wav'ring man, betray'd by vent'rous
pride

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To tread the dreary paths without a guide,
As treach'rous phantoms in the mist delude,
Shuns fancied ills, or chases airy good;
How rarely reason guides the stubborn choice,
Rules the bold hand, or prompts the suppliant
voice;

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A frame of adamant, a soul of fire,
No dangers fright him, and no labours tire;
O'er love, o'er fear, extends his wide domain,
Unconquer'd lord of pleasure and of pain; 196
No joys to him pacific sceptres yield, —
War sounds the trump, he rushes to the field;
Behold surrounding kings their pow'rs com-
bine,

200

And one capitulate, and one resign: Peace courts his hand, but spreads her charms in vain ;

"Think nothing gain'd," he cries, "till naught remain,

On Moscow's walls till Gothic standards fly,
And all be mine beneath the polar sky."
The march begins in military state,
And nations on his eye suspended wait;
Stern Famine guards the solitary coast,
And Winter barricades the realms of Frost:
He comes; nor want nor cold his course
delay;

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But grant, the virtues of a temp'rate prime1 Bless with an age exempt from scorn or crime; An age that melts with unperceiv'd decay, And glides in modest innocence away; Whose peaceful day Benevolence endears, 295 Whose night congratulating Conscience

cheers;

The gen'ral fav'rite as the gen'ral friend:
Such age there is, and who shall wish its end?
Yet ev'n on this her load Misfortune flings,
To press the weary minutes' flagging wings;
New sorrow rises as the day returns,
301
A sister sickens, or a daughter mourns.
Now kindred Merit fills the sable bier,
Now lacerated Friendship claims a tear.
Year chases year, decay pursues decay,
Still drops some joy from with'ring life away;
New forms arise, and diff'rent views engage,
Superfluous lags the vet'ran on the stage,
Till pitying Nature signs the last release,
And bids afflicted worth retire to peace.

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But few there are whom hours like these await,

Who set unclouded in the gulphs of Fate. From Lydia's monarch2 should the search descend,

By Solon caution'd to regard his end, 314 In life's last scene what prodigies surprise Fears of the brave, and follies of the wise! From Marlb'rough's eyes the streams of dotage flow,

And Swift expires a driv'ler and a show.

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Safe in his pow'r, whose eyes discern afar
The secret ambush of a specious pray'r.
Implore his aid, in his decisions rest, 355
Secure, whate'er he gives, he gives the best.
Yet when the sense of sacred presence fires,
And strong devotion to the skies aspires,
Pour forth thy fervours for a healthful
mind,

360

Obedient passions, and a will resign'd;
For love, which scarce collective man can

fill;

For patience, sov'reign o'er transmuted ill; For faith, that, panting for a happier seat, Counts death kind Nature's signal of retreat : These goods for man the laws of heav'n ordain; 365 These goods He grants, who grants the pow'r to gain;

With these celestial Wisdom calms the mind,

And makes the happiness she does not find.

WILLIAM SHENSTONE

(1714-1763)

WRITTEN AT AN INN AT HENLEY

To thee, fair freedom! I retire

From flattery, cards, and dice, and din; Nor art thou found in mansions higher Than the low cot, or humble inn.

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To rushen forth, and, with presumptuous hand,

To stay harsh justice in its mid career. On thee she calls, on thee, her parent dear! (Ah! too remote to ward the shameful blow!)

She sees no kind domestic visage near, And soon a flood of tears begins to flow; And gives a loose at last to unavailing woe.

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The other tribe, aghast, with sore dismay, Attend, and conn their tasks with mickle

care:

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By turns, astony'd, ev'ry twig survey, And, from their fellow's hateful wounds, beware;

Knowing, I wist,' how each the same may share;

'Till fear has taught them a performance meet,

And to the well-known chest the dame repair;

Whence oft with sugar'd cates she doth 'em greet, And ginger-bread y-rare; now, certes, doubly sweet! 207

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