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Nor thus he willed the creatures of his nod,
And made the mortal to unmake his God;
Breathed on the globe, and brooded o'er the wave,
And bade the wide obsequious world conceive;
Spoke into being myriads, myriads rise,
And, with young transport, gaze the novel skies:
Glance from the surge, beneath the surface scud,
Or cleave enormous the reluctant flood;
Or roll vermicular, their wanton maze,
And the bright path with wild meanders glaze;
Frisk in the vale, or o'er the mountains bound,
Or in huge gambols shake the trembling ground;
Swarm in the beam, or spread the plumy sail-
The plume creates, and then directs the gale;
While active gaiety, and aspect bright,
In each expressive, sums up all delight.
CLXVI. GILBERT WEST, 1706-1756.
INSCRIPTION IN A CELL.
Sweet bird, that sing'st on yonder spray,
Pursue unharmed thy sylvan lay;
While I, beneath this breezy shade,
In peace repose my careless head;
And joining thy enraptured song,
Instruct the world-enamoured throng,
That the contented harmless breast
In solitude itself is blest.
CLXVII. F. COVENTRY, 17**-1759.
Genius of Penshurst old!
Who saw'st the birth of each immortai oak,
Here sacred from the stroke;
And all thy tenants of yon turrets bold,
Inspir'st to arts or arms;
Where Sidney his Arcadian lanscape drew,
Genuine from thy Doric view;
And patriot Algernon unshaken rose
Above insulting foes,
And Saccharissa nursed her angel charms
O suffer me with sober tread
To enter on thy holy shade;
Bid smoothly-gliding Medway stand,
And wave his sedgy tresses bland:
A stranger let him kindly greet,
And pour his urn beneath my feet.
Nor does the heiress of these shades deny
To bend her bright majestic eye,
Where Beauty shines, and Friendship warm,
And Honour in a female form.
With them in aged groves to walk,
And lose my thoughts in artless talk,
I shun the voice of party loud,
I shun loose pleasure's idle crowd,
And monkish academic cell,
Where science only feigns to dweli,
And court, where speckled vanity
Apes her tricks in tawdry die,
And shifts each hour her tinsel hue,
Still furbelow'd in folly's new.
Here nature no distortion wears;
Old truth retains his silver hairs,
And chastity her matron step,
And purple health her rosy lip.
Ah! on the virgin's gentle brow,
How innocence delights to glow!
Unlike the town-dame's haughty air,
The scornful eye and harlot's stare;
But bending mild the bashful front,
As modest fear is ever wont:
Shepherdesses such of old,
Doric bards enamour'd told,
While the pleased Arcadian vale
Echoed the enchanting tale.
CLXVIII. HENRY FIELDING, 1707-1754.
Must it not wondrous seem to hearts like thine,
That God, to other animals benign,
Should unprovided man alone create,
And send him hither but to curse his fate?
Is this the being for whose use the earth
Sprung out of nought, and animals had birth?
This he whose bold imagination dares
Converse with heaven, and soar above the stars?
Poor reptile! wretched in an angel's form,
And wanting that which nature gives the worm.
Far other views our kind Creator knew,
When man, the image of himself, he drew.
So full the stream of nature's bounty flows,
Man feels no ill but what to man he owes.
The earth abundant furnishes a store
To sate the rich and satisfy the poor.
These would not want, if those did never hoard;
Enough for Irus falls from Dives' board,
And dost thou, common son of nature, dare
From thy own brother to withhold his share?
To vanity, pale idol, offer up
The shining dish and empty golden cup?
Or else in caverns hide the precious ore,
And to the bowels of the earth restore
What for our use she yielded up before?
Behold, and take example how the steed
Attempts not selfish to engross the mead.
See now the lowing herd and bleating flock
Promiscuous graze the valley or the rock:
Each tastes his share of nature's general good,
Nor strives from others to withhold their food.
But say, oh man, would it not strange appear
To see some beast (perhaps the meanest there)
For his repast the sweetest pastures choose,
And e'en the sourest to the rest refuse.
Wouldst thou not view with scornful wond'ring eye
The poor contented starving herd stand by?
All to one beast a servile homage pay,
And boasting think it honour to obey ?
CLXIX. NATHANIEL COTTON, 1707--1788.
Dear Chloe, while the busy crowd,
The vain, the wealthy and the proud,
In folly's maze advance;
Though singularity and pride
Be call'd our choice, we'll step aside,
Nor join the giddy dance.
From the gay world we'll oft retire
To our own family and fire,
Where love our hours employs;
No noisy neighbour enters here,
No intermeddling stranger near,
To spoil our heart-felt joys.
If solid happiness we prize,
Within our breast this jewel lies,
And they are fools who roam :
The world has nothing to bestow;
From our own selves our joy must flow,
And that dear hut our home.
Of rest was Noah's dove bereft,
When with impatient wing she left
That safe retreat the ark:
Giving her vain excursions o'er,
A disappointed bird once more
Explored the sacred bark.
Though fools spurn Hymen's gentle powers,
We, who improve his golden hours,
By sweet experience know;
That marriage rightly understood,
Gives to the tender and the good
A paradise below.
Our babes shall richest comforts bring:
If tutor❜d right, they'll prove a spring
Whence pleasures ever rise;
We'll form their minds with studious care
To all that's manly, good, and fair,
And train them for the skies.
While they our wisest hours engage,
They'll joy our youth, support our age,
And crown our hoary hairs;
They'll grow in virtue every day;
And thus our fondest love repay,
And recompense our cares.
No borrow'd joys! they're all our own,
While to the world we live unknown,
Or by the world forgot:
Monarchs! we envy not your state;
We look with pity on the great,
And bless our humble lot.
Our portion is not large indeed,
But then how little do we need,
For Nature's calls are few!
In this the art of living lies,
To want no more than may suffice,
And make that little do.
We'll therefore relish with content
Whate'er kind Providence has sent
Nor aim beyond our power;
For if our stock be very small,
'Tis prudent to enjoy it all,
Nor lose the present hour.
To be resign'd when ills betide,
Patient when favours are denied,
And pleased with favours given ;
Dear Chloe, this is wisdom's part,
This is that incense of the heart,
Whose fragrance smells to heaven.
We'll ask no long protracted treat,
(Since winter-life is seldom sweet);
But, when our feast is o'er,
Grateful from table we'll arise,
Nor grudge our sons, with envious eyes,
The relics of our store.