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'Come, ye who still the cumbrous load of life Push hard up hill; but, as the farthest steep You trust to gain, and put an end to strife, Down thunders back the stone with mighty sweep, And hurls your labours to the valley deep, 'For ever vain; come, and withouten fee I in oblivion will your sorrows steep,

'Your cares, your toils; will steep you in a sea • Of full delight: oh come, ye weary wights, to me!

With me you need not rise at early dawn, 'To pass the joyless day in various sounds; Or, louting low, on upstart fortune fawn, And sell fair honour for some paltry pounds: 'Or thro' the city take your dirty rounds,

To cheat, and dun, and lye, and visit pay, 'Now flattering base, now giving secret wounds; Or proul in courts of law for human prey, 'In venal senate thieve, or rob on broad highway.

'No cocks with me to rustic labour call, 'From village on to village sounding clear; To tardy swains no shrill-voic'd matrons squall; No dogs, no babes, no wives, to stun your ear; •No hammers thump; no horrid blacksmith fear; 'No noisy tradesmen your sweet slumbers start, With sounds that are a misery to hear: But all is calm, as would delight the heart 'Of Sybarite of old, all nature, and all art.

'Here nought but candour reigns, indulgent ease, 'Good-natur'd lounging, saunt'ring up and down. They who are pleas'd themselves must always please;

On others ways they never squint a frown, 'Nor heed what haps in hamlet or in town. Thus, from the source of tender indolence, With milky blood the heart is overflown,

Is sooth'd and sweeten'd by the social sense;. 'Forint'rest,envy,pride,and strife are banish'd hence.

What, what is virtue, but repose of mind, 'A pure ethereal calm, that knows no storm; 'Above the reach of wild ambition's wind, 'Above those passions that this world deform, 'And torture man, a proud malignant worm! 'But here, instead, soft gales of passion play, 'And gently stir the heart, thereby to form 'A quicker sense of joy; as breezes stray Across th' enliven'd skies, and make them still more gay.

The best of men have ever lov'd repose; They hate to mingle in the filthy fray; Where the soul sours, and gradual rancour grows, Embitter'd more from peevish day to day. Ev'n those whom fame has lent her fairest ray, The most renown'd of worthy wights of yore, From a base world at last have stol'n away : So Scipio, to the soft Cumaan shore 'Retiring, tasted joy he never knew before.

But if a little exercise you choose,

Some zest for ease, 'tis not forbidden here. 'Amid the groves you may indulge the muse ; 'Or tend the blooms, and deck the vernal year; Or softly stealing, with your wat'ry gear, Along the brooks, the crimson-spotted fry 'You may delude: the whilst amus'd you hear Now the hoarse stream, and now the zephyr's sigh, Attuned to the birds and woodland melody.

O grievous folly ! to heap up estate, Losing the days you see beneath the sun; When, sudden, comes blind unrelenting fate, 'And gives th' untasted portion you have won With ruthless toil, and many a wretch undone, To those who mock you gone to Pluto's reign, 'There with sad ghosts to pine, and shadows dun: But sure it is of vanities most vain,

To toil for what you here untoiling may obtain.'

He ceas'd. But still their trembling ears retain'd The deep vibrations of his 'witching song; That by a kind of magic pow'r constrain'd To enter in, pell-mell, the list'ning throng, Heaps pour'd on heaps, and yet they slipp'd along, In silent ease; as when beneath the beam Of summer-moons, the distant woods among, Or by some flood all silver'd with the gleam, The soft-embodied fays thro' airy portal stream.

By the smooth demon so it order'd was,
And here his baneful bounty first began ;
Tho' some there were who would not further pass,
And his alluring baits suspected han.

The wise distrust the too fair spoken man;
Yet thro' the gate they cast a wishful eye:
Not to move on, forsooth, is all they can ;
For, do their very best, they cannot fly;
But often each way look, and often sorely sigh.

When this the watchful wicked wizard saw, With sudden spring he leap'd upon them straight; And, soon as touch'd by his unhallow'd paw, They found themselves within the cursed gate; Full hard to be repass'd, like that of fate. Not stronger were of old the giant crew Who sought to pull high Jove from regal state; Tho' feeble wretch he seem'd, of sallow hue, Certes, who bides his grasp, will that encounter rue.

For whomsoe'er the villain takes in hand,
Their joints unknit, their sinews melt apace;
As lithe they grow as any willow wand,
And of their vanish'd force remains no trace.
So when a maiden fair, of modest grace,
In all her buxom blooming May of charms,
Is seized in some losel's hot embrace,
She waxeth very weakly as she warms,

Then sighing yields her up to love's delicious harms.

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Wak'd by the crowd, slow from his bench arose
A comely full-spread porter, swol'n with sleep;
His calm, broad, thoughtless aspect breath'd repose,
And in sweet torpor he was plunged deep,
Ne could himself from ceaseless yawning keep :
While o'er his eyes the drowsy liquor ran,
Thro' which his half-wak'd soul would faintly peep.
Then, taking his black staff, he call'd his man,
And rous'd himself as much as rouse himself he can.

The lad leap'd lightly at his master's call,
He was, to weet, a little roguish page,

Save sleep and play who minded nought at all,
Like most the untaught striplings of his age.
This boy he kept each band to disengage,
Garters, and buckles, task for him unfit,
But ill becoming his grave personage,

And which his portly paunch would not permit; So this same limber page to all performed it.

Meantime the master-porter wide display'd
Great store of caps, of slippers, and of gowns;
Wherewith he those who enter'd in array'd,
Loose as the breeze that plays along the downs,
And waves the summer woods when ev'ning frowns.
O fair undress, best dress! it checks no vein,
But every flowing limb in pleasure drowns,
And heightens ease with grace. This done,right fain,
Sir porter sat him down, and turn'd to sleep again.

Thus easy rob'd, they to the fountain sped,
That in the middle of the court up-threw
A stream, high spouting from its liquid bed,
And falling back again in drizzly dew:
There cach deep draughts,as deep he thirsted,drew.
It was a fountain of Nepenthe rare :

Whence,as Dan Homer sings,huge pleasaunce grew,
And sweet oblivion of vile earthly care;

Fair gladsome waking thoughts, and joyous dreams more fair.

This rite perform'd, all inly pleas'd and still,
Withouten tromp was proclamation made :

Ye sons of Indolence, do what you will; And wander where you list, thro' hall or glade! Be no man's pleasure for another's staid; Let each as likes him best his hours employ; And curs'd be he who minds his neighbour's trade! Here dwells kind ease and unreproving joy: 'He little merits bliss who others can annoy.'

Straight of these endless numbers, swarming round, As thick as idle moats in sunny ray,

Not one,eftsoons in view was to be found,
But ev'ry man stroll'd off his own glad way.
Wide o'er this ample court's blank area,
With all the lodges that thereto pertain❜d,
No living creature could be seen to stray;
While solitude and perfect silence reign'd:
So that to think you dream'd you almost was con-

As when a shepherd of the Hebrid Isles,
Plac'd far amid the melancholy main,
(Whether it be lone fancy him beguiles;
Or that aërial beings sometimes deign
To stand, embodied, to our senses plain)
Sees on the naked hill, or valley low,
The whilst in ocean Phœbus dips his wain,
A vast assembly moving to and fro :

Then all at once in air dissolves the wondrous show.

Ye gods of quiet and of sleep profound, Whose soft dominion o'er this castle sways, And all the wildly silent places round, Forgive me, if my trembling pen displays What never yet was sung in mortal lays. But how shall I attempt such arduous string, I who have spent my nights and nightly days In this soul-deadening place, loose-loitering? Ah! how shall I for this uprear my moulted wing? Vol. II.


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