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Inspiration, nature's child,
Seek the solitary wild.
4 When all nature's hush'd asleep,
Nor love, nor guilt, their vigils keep,
Soft you leave your cavern d den,
And wander o'er the works of men;
But when Phosphor brings the dawn,
By her dappled coursers drawn,
And the early huntsman meet,
Where, as you pensive pass along,
You catch the distant shepherd's song,
Or brush from herbs the pearly dew,
Or the rising primrose view,
Devotion lends her heav'n plum'd wings,
You mount, and nature with you sings. 5 But when the mid-day fervours glow,
To upland airy shades you go,
Where never sun-burnt woodman came,
Nor sportsman chas'd the timid game:
And there, beneath an oak reclin'd,
With drowsy waterfalls behind,
You sink to rest,
Till the tuneful bird of night,
From the neighb'ring poplar's height,
Wake you with her solemn strain,
And teach pleas'd echo to complain. 6 With you roses brighter bloom,
Sweeter ev'ry sweet perfume;
Purer ev'ry fountain flows,
Stronger ev'ry wilding grows.
Let those toil for gold who please,
Or for fame renounce their ease.
What is fame? An empty bubble?
"Gold? A shining, constant trouble.
Let them for their country bleed !
What was Sidney's, Raleigh's meed?
Man's not worth a moment's pain ;
Base, ungrateful, fickle, vain. 7 Then let me, sequester'd fair,
To your sybil grot repair ;
On yon hanging cliff it stands,
Scoop'd hy nature's plastic hands,
Bosom'd in the gloomy shade
Of cypress not with age decay'd;
Where the owl still hooting sits,
Where the hat incessant slits;
There in loftier strains I'll sing
Whence the changing seasons spring;
Tell how storms deform the skies,
Whence the waves subside and rise,
Trace the comet's blazing tail,
Weigh the planets in a scale;
Bend, great God, before thy shrine;
The bournless macrocosm's thine.
8 Since in each scheme of life I've fail'd,
And disappointment seems entailid;
Since all on earth I valu'd most,
My guide, my stay, my friend is lost ;
O solitude, now give me rest,
And hush the tempest in my breast.
O gently deign to guide my feet
To your hermit-trodden seat;
Where I may live at last my own,
Where I at last may die unknown.
I spoke; she turn'd her magic ray;
And thus she said, or seem'd to say ;
9 Youth, you're mistaken, if you think to find
In shades, a med'cine for a troubled mind;
Wan grief will haunt you wheresoe'er you go,
Sigh in the breeze, and in the streamlet fow.
There pale inaction pines his life away ;
And satiate mourns the quick return ofday:
There,naked frenzy laughing wild with pain,
Or bares the blade, or plunges in the main :
There superstition broods o'er all her fears,
And yells of demons in the zephyr hears.
But if a hermit you're resolv'd to dwell,
And bid to social life a last farewell;
"Tis impious.10 God never made an independent man ;
"Twould jar the concord of his general plan.
See every part of that stupendous whole,
“Whose body nature is, and God the soul ;"
To one great end, the general good, conspire,
From matter, brute, to man, to seraph, fire.
Should man through nature solitary roam,
His will his sovereign, every where his home,
What force would guard him from the lion's jaw ?
What swiftness wing him from the panther's paw ?
Or, should fate lead him to some safer shore,
Where panthers never prowl, nor lions roar,
Where liberal nature all her charms bestows,
Suns shine, birds sing, flowers bloom, and water flows;
Fool, dost thou think he'd revel on the store,
Absolve the care of Heav'n, nor ask for more?
Though waters flow'd, flow'rs bloom'd, and Phæbus
He'd sigh, he'd murmur, that he was alone.
For know, the Maker on the human breast,
A sense of kindred, country, man, impress’d.
11 Though nature's works the ruling mind declare,
And well deserve inquiry's serious care,
The God, (whate'er misanthropy may say,)
Shines, beams in man with most unclouded ray.
What boots it thee to fly from pole to pole?
Hang o'er the sun, and with the planets roll ?
What boots through space's furthest bourns to roam ?
If thou, O man, a stranger art at home.
Then know thyself, the human mind survey;
The use, the pleasure, will the toil repay. 12 Nor study only, practice what you know; Your life, your knowledge, to mankind you
With Plato's olive wreath the bays entwine;
Those who in study, should in practice shine.
Say, does the learned lord of Ilagley's shade,
Charm man so much by mossy fountains laid,
As when arous’d, he stems corruption's course,
And shakes the senate with a Tully's force?
When freedom gasp'd beneath a Cæsar's feet,
Then public virtue might to shades retreat :
But where she breathes, the least may useful be,
And freedom, Britain, still belongs to thee.
13 Though man's ungrateful, or though fortune frown:
Is the reward of worth a song, or crown?
Nor yet unrecompens'd are virtue's pains;
Good Allen lives, and bounteous Brunswick reigns.
On each condition disappointments wait,
Enter the hut, and force the guarded gate.
Nor dare repine, though early friendship bleed,
From love, the world, and all its cares, he's freed.
But know, adversity's the child of God:
Whom Heaven approves of most, must feel her rod.
When smooth old Ocean, and each storm's asleep,
Then ignorance may plough the watery deep;
But when the demons of the tempest rave,
Skill must conduct the vessel through the wave. 14 Sidney, what good man envies not thy blow?
Who would not wish Anytus*--for a foe?
Intrepid virtue triumphs over fate;
The good can never be unfértunate.
And be this maxim graven in thy mind;
The height of virtue is, to serve mankind.
But when old age has silver'd o'er thy head,
When memory fails, and all thy vigour's fled,
Then mayst thou seek the stillness of retreat,.
Then hear aloof the human tempest beat ;
Then will I greet thee to my woodland cave,
Allay the pangs of age, and smooth thy grave.
* One of the accusers of Socratesi,