Abbildungen der Seite

You wonder how, without one liberal joy,
The steady miser can his years employ;
Without one friend, howe'er his fortunes thrive,
Despis'd and hated, how he bears to live.
With honest warmth of heart, with some degree
Of Pity that such wretched things should be.
You scorn the sordid knave-He grins at you,
And deems himself the wiser of the two.-
'Tis all but taste, howe'er we sift the case;
He has his joy, as every creature has.
'Tis true, he cannot boast an angel's share,
Yet has what happiness his organs bear.
Thou likewise mad'st the high seraphic soul,
Maker Omnipotent! and thou the owl.

Heav'n form'd him too, and doubtless for some



But Crane-court knows not yet all nature's

'Tis chiefly taste, or blunt, or gross, or fine, Makes life insipid, bestial, or divine.

Better be born, with Taste, to little rent,

Than the dull monarch of a continent.

Without this bounty which the gods bestow,
Can Fortune make one favourite happy?-No.
As well might Fortune in her frolic vein,
Proclaim an oyster sovereign of the main.
Without fine nerves, and bosom justly warm'd,
An eye, an ear, a fancy, to be charm'd,
In vain majestic Wren expands the dome;
Blank as pale stucco Rubens lines the room;
Lost are the raptures of bold Handel's strain;
Great Tully storms, sweet Virgil sings, in vain.
The beauteous forms of nature are effac'd;

Tempè's soft charms, the raging watry waste,
Each greatly-wild, each sweet romantic scene
Unheeded rises, and almost unseen.

Yet these are joys, with some of better clay, To soothe the toils of life's embarrass'd way. These the fine frame with charming horrors


And give the nerves delightfully to thrill.
But of all taste the noblest and the best,
The first enjoyment of the generous breast,

Is to behold in man's obnoxious state
Scenes of content, and happy turns of fate.
Fair views of nature, shining works of art,
Amuse the fancy: but those touch the heart.
Chiefly for this proud epic song delights,
For this some riot on th' Arabian Nights.
Each case is ours: and for the human mind
'Tis monstrous not to feel for all mankind.
Were all mankind unhappy, who could taste
Elysium? or be solitarily blest?

Shock'd with surrounding shapes of human


All that or sense or fancy could bestow,
You would reject with sick and coy disdain,
And pant to see one cheerful face again.

But if Life's better prospects to behold So much delight the man of generous mould; How happy they, the great, the godlike few, Who daily cultivate this pleasing view! This is a joy possess'd by few indeed! Dame Fortune has so many fools to feed,

She cannot oft afford, with all her store,

To yield her smiles where Nature smil'd before.
To sinking worth a cordial hand to lend;
With better fortune to surprise a friend;
To cheer the modest Stranger's lonely state;
Or snatch an orphan family from fate;

To do, possess'd with virtue's noblest fire,
Such generous deeds as we with tears admire;
Deeds that, above Ambition's vulgar aim,
Secure an amiable, a solid fame :


These are such joys as Heaven's first favourites These please you now, and will for ever please.

Too seldom we great moral deeds admire; The will, the power, th' occasion must conspire. Yet few there are so impotent and low,

But can some small good offices bestow.
Small as they are, however cheap they come,
They add still something to the genʼral sum:
And him who gives the little in his power,
The world acquits; and heaven demands no


Unhappy he! who feels each neighbour's


Yet no relief, no comfort can bestow.
Unhappy too, who feels each kind essay,
And for great favours has but words to pay;
Who, scornful of the flatterer's fawning art,
Dreads ev'n to pour his gratitude of heart;
And with a distant lover's silent pain

Must the best movements of his soul restrain.
But men sagacious to explore mankind

Trace ev❜n the coyest passions of the mind.

Not only to the good we owe good-will; In good and bad, Distress demands it still. This, with the generous, lays distinction low, Endears a friend, and recommends a foe. Not that resentment never ought to rise; For even excess of virtue ranks with vice: And there are villanies no bench can awe, That sport without the limits of the law. No laws th' ungenerous crime would reprehend, Could I forgot Eumenes was my friend.

« ZurückWeiter »