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A HERMIT (or if 'chance


That title now too trite and old)
A man, once young, who liv'd retir'd
As hermits could have well desir'd,
His hours of study clos'd at last,
And finih'd his concise repast,
Stoppled his cruise, replac'd his book
Within its customary nook,
And, staff in hand, set forth to share
The sober cordial of sweet air,
Like Isaac, with a mind applied
To serious thought at evening-tide.
Autumnal rains had made it chill,
And from the trees that fring'd his hill
Shades slanting at the clofe of day
Chilld more his else delightful way.
Distant a little mile he fpied
A western bank's still funny fide,
And right toward the favour?d place
Proceeding with his nimbleft pace,

In hope to balk a little yet,
Just reach'd it when the sun was set

Your hermit, young and jovial, Sirs!
Learns something from whate'er occurs-
And hence, he said, my mind computes
The real worth of man's pursuits.
His obje& chosen, wealth or fame,
Or other sublunary game,
Imagination to his view,
Presents it deck'd with ev'ry hue
That can seduce him not to spare
His pow'rs of best exertion there,
But youth, health, vigour, to expend
On so desirable an end.
Ere long, approach life's evening shades,
The glow that fancy gave it fades;
And, earn'd too late, it wants the grace
Which first engag'd him in the chase.

True, answer'd an angelic guide,
Attendant at the senior's side
But whether all the time it coft

the fruitless chase be lost,
Must be decided by the worth
Of that which call'd his ardour forth.
Trifles pursu'd, whate'er th' event,
Must cause hin shame or difcontent;

A vicious object still is worse,
Successful there, he wins a curse;
But he, whom even in life's last stage
Endeavours laudable engage,
Is paid, at least in peace of mind,
And sense of having well design'd;

ere he attain his end,
His fun precipitate descend,
A brighter prize than that he meant
Shall recompence his mere intent.
No virtuous wish can bear a date
Lither too early or too late.

And if,



The green-house is my summer seat;
My shrubs difplac'd from that retreat

Enjoy'd the open air ;
Two goldfinches, whose sprightly fong
Had been their mutual solace long,

Lip'd happy pris'ners there.

They fang, as blithe as finches fing
That flutter loose on golden wing,

And frolio where they list;
Strangers to liberty, 'tis true,
But that delight they never knew,

And, therefore, never miss'd.

But nature works in ev'ry breast;
Instinct is never quite suppress'd;

And Dick felt fome defires,
Which, after many an effort vain,
Instructed him at length to gain

A pass between his wires.

The open

windows seem'd to invite The freeman to a farewell flight;

But Tom was still confin'd; And Dick, although his way was clear, Was much too gen'rous and sincere

To leave his friend behind.

For, settling on his grated roof,
He chirp'd and kiss'd him, giving proof

That he desir'd no more ;
Nor would forsake his cage at last,
Till gently seiz'd, I shut him fast,

A pris'ner as before.

Oh ye, who never knew the joys
Of friendhip, satisfied with noise,

Fandango, ball, and rout!
Blush, when I tell you how a bird,
A prison, with a friend, preferr'd

To liberty without.

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