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Is to behold in man's obnoxious state
Shock'd with surrounding shapes of human
All that or sense or fancy could bestow,
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.
Secure an amiable, a solid fame : [seize; 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.
Must the best movements of his soul restrain.
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.
In vain the gibbet or the pillory claim
The wretch who blasts a helpless virgin's fame.
Nor even insult the base in humbled state
But I detain you with these tedious lays, Which few perhaps would read, and fewer praise. No matter: could I please the polish'd few Who taste the serious or the gay like you, The squeamish mob may find my verses bare Of every grace-but curse me if I care. Besides, I little court Parnassian fame; There's yet a better than a poet's name. 'Twould more indulge my pride to hear it said That I with you the paths of honour tread, Than that amongst the proud poetic train No modern boasted a more classic vein, Or that in numbers I let loose my song, Smooth as the Thames, and as the Severn strong.
WIFE AND THE NURSE:
A NEW BALLAD.
VICE once with Virtue did engage,
So, for th' Alcides of our age,
His wife and ancient nurse between, Arose this wond'rous strife:
The froward Hag, his heart to win,
His wife, an island-nymph most fair,
A crown adorns her regal hair,