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Thus oft, reclin'd at ease, I lose an hour
In such a world, so thorny, and where none Finds happiness unblighted, or, if found, Without some thistly sorrow at its side, It seems the part of wisdom, and no sin Against the law of love, to measare lots With less distinguish'd than ourselves; that thus We may with patience bear our mod’rate ills, And sympathise with others suff'ring more. Ill fares the trav’ller now, and he that stalks In pond'rous boots beside his reeking team. The wain goes heavily, impeded sore By congregrated loads adhering close To the clogg'd wheels; and in its sluggish pace Noiseless appears a moving hill of snow. The toiling steeds expand the nostril wide, While ev'ry breath, by respiration strong Forc'd downward, is consolidated soon Upon their jutting chests. He, form’d to bear The pelting brunt of the tempestuous night, With half-shut eyes, and puckerd cheeks, and teeth Presented bare against the storm, plods on. One hand secures his hat, save when with both He brandishes his pliant length of whip, Resounding oft, and never heard in vain. O happy ; and in my account denied That sensibility of pain, with which Refinement is endued, thrice happy thou ! Thy frame, robust and hardy, feels indeed The piercing cold, but feels it unimpair’d. The learned finger never need explore Thy vig’rous pulse; and the unhealthful easty
That breathes the spleen, and searches ev'ry bone
Poor, yet industrious, modest, quiet, neat,
Sleep seems their only refuge: for alas, Where penury is felt the thought is chain'd, And sweet colloquial pleasures are but few. With all this thrift they thrive not. All the care Ingenious Parsimony takes, but just Saves the small inventory, bed, and stool, Skillet, and old carv'd chest, from publick sale. They live, and live without extorted alms From grudging hands; but other boast have none, To soothe their honest pride, that scorns to beg, Nor comfort else, but in their mutual love. I praise you much, ye meek and patient pair, For ye are worthy ; choosing rather far A dry but independent crust, hard earn'd, And eaten with a sigh, than to endure The rugged frowns and insolent rebuffs Of knaves in office, partial in the work Of distribution ; lib'ral of their aid To clam'rous Importunity in rags, But ofttimes deaf to suppliants, who would blusha To wear a tatter'd garb however coarse, Whom famine cannot reconcile to filth: These ask with painful shyness, and, refus'd Because deserving, silently retire! But be ye of good courage! Time itself Shall much befriend you. Time shall give increase ; And all your num'rous progeny, well-train'd But helpless, in few years shall find their hands, And labour too. Meanwhile ye shall not want What, conscious of your virtues, we can spare, Nor what a wealthier than ourselves may send.
mean the man, who, when the distant poor Need help, denies them nothing but his name.
But poverty with most, who whimper forth Their long complaints, is self-inflicted wo; The effect of laziness or sottish waste. Now goes the nightly thief prowling abroad For plunder ; much solicitous how best He may compensate for a day of sloth By works of darkness and nocturnal wrong. Wo to the gard'ner's pale, the farmer's hedge, Plash'd neatly, and secur’d with driv'n stakes Deep in the loamy bank. Uptorn by strength, Resistless in so bad a cause, but lame To better deeds, he bundles up the spoil, An ass's burthen, and, when laden most And heaviest, light of foot steals fast away. Nor does the boarded hovel better guard The well-stack'd pile of riven logs and roots From his pernicious force. Nor will he leave Unwrench'd the door, however well securd, Where Chanticleer amidst his haram sleeps In unsuspecting pomp. Twitch'd from the perch He gives the princely bird, with all his wives, To his voracious bag, struggling in vain, And loudly wond’ring at the sudden change. Nor this to feed his own. Twere some excuse, Did pity of their suff'rings warp aside His principle, and tempt him into sin For their support, so destitule. But they Neglected pine at home; themselves, as more Expos'd than others, with less scruple made His victims, robb’d of their defenceless all.