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Necessary knowledge easily attained.
Our needful knowledge, like our needful food,
Unhedg'd lies open in life's common field;
And bids all welcome to the vital feast.
Disappointment lurks in many a prize,
As bees in flow'rs, and stings us with success.
The mind that would be happy, must be great;
Great in its wishes; great in its surveys.
Extended views a narrow mind extend.
Natural and fanciful life.
Who lives to nature, rarely can be poor;
Who lives to fancy, never can be rich.
In faith and hope the world will disagree;
But all mankind's concern is charity.
What nothing earthly gives, or can destroy,
The soul's calm sunshine, and the heart-felt joy,
Is Virtue's prize.
Sense and modesty connected.
Distrustful sense with modest caution speaks;
It still looks home, and short excursions makes;
But rattling nonsense in full volleys breaks.
Moral discipline salutary.
Heav'n gives us friends to bless the present scene;
Resumes them to prepare us for the next.
All evils natural are moral goods;
All discipline, indulgence on the whole.
Present blessings undervalued.
Like birds, whose beauties languish, half-conceal'd, Till, mounted on the wing, their glossy plumes
Expanded shine with azure, green, and gold, How blessings brighten as they take their flight!
Hope, of all passions most befriends us here ;
Passions of prouder name befriend us less.
Joy has her tears, and transport has her death;
Hope, like a cordial, innocent, though strong,
Man's heart, at once, inspirits and serenes.
Happiness modest and tranquil.
-Never man was truly blest,
But it compos'd, and gave him such a cast
As folly might mistake for want of joy;
A cast unlike the triumph of the proud;
A modest aspect, and a smile at heart.
Who noble ends, by noble means obtains,
Or failing, smiles in exile or in chains,
Like good Aurelius let him reign, or bleed
Like Socrates, that man is great indeed.
The tear of sympathy.
No radiant pearl, which crested fortune wears,
No gem, that twinkling hangs from beauty's ears,
Nor the bright stars, which night's blue arch adorn,
Nor rising suns that gild the vernal morn,
Shine with such lustre, as the tear that breaks,
For others' wo, down Virtue's manly cheeks.
Verses in which the lines are of different length.
Bliss of celestial origin.
RESTLESS mortals toil for nought;
Bliss in vain from earth is sought ;
Bliss, a native of the sky,
The passions are a num'rous crowd,
Imperious, positive, and loud.
Curb these licentious sons of strife;
Hence chiefly rise the storms of life:
If they grow mutinous, and rave,
They are thy masters, thou their slave.
Trust in Providence recommended.
"Tis Providence alone secures,
In ev'ry change, both mine and yours.
Safety consists not in escape
From dangers of a frightful shape:
An Earthquake may be bid to spare
The man that's strangled by a hair.
Fate steals along with silent tread,
Found oft'nest in what least we dread;
Frowns in the storm with angry brow,
But in the sunshine strikes the blow.
How lov'd, how valu'd once, avails thee not,
To whom related, or by whom begot:
A Keap of dust alone remains of thee;
'Tis all thou art, and all the proud shall be.
All fame is foreign, but of true desert ;
Plays round the head but comes not to the heart.
One self-approving hour, whole years outweighs
Of stupid starers, and of loud huzzas ;
And more true joy Marcellus exil'd feels,
Than Cæsar with a senate at his heels.
Virtue the guardian of youth.
Down the smooth stream of life the stripling darts,
Gay as the morn; bright glows the vernal sky,
Hope swells his sails, and passion steers his course.
Safe glides his little bark along the shore,
Where Virtue takes her stand: but if too far
He launches forth beyond discretion's mark,
Sudden the tempest scowls, the surges roar,
Biot his fair day, and plunge him in the deep.
But yonder comes the pow'rful king of day,
Rejoicing in the east. The less'ning cloud,
The kindling azure, and the mountain's brow,
Illum'd with fluid gold, his near approach
Betoken glad. Lo, now, apparent all
Aslant the dew-bright earth, and colour'd air,
He looks in boundless majesty abroad;
And sheds the shining day, that burnish'd plays
On rocks, and hills, and tow'rs, and wand'ring streams,
High gleaming from afar.
May I govern my passions with absolute sway;
And grow wiser and better as life wears away.
On a mountain, stretch'd beneath a hoary willow, Lay a shepherd swain, and view'd the rolling billow.
Verses containing Exclamations, Interrogations, and
A COMPETENCE is all we can enjoy:
Oh! be content, where Heav'n can give no more!
Reflection essential to happiness.
Much joy not only speaks small happiness,
But happiness that shortly must expire..
Can joy unbottom'd in reflection, stand?
And, in a tempest, can reflection live?
Can gold gain friendship? Impudence of hope!
As well mere man an angel might beget.
Love, and love only, is the loan for love.
Lorenzo! pride repress; nor hope to find
A friend, but what has found a friend in thee.
All like the purchase; few the price will pay :
And this makes friends such miracles below.
Beware of desp'rate steps. The darkest day (Live till to-morrow) will have pass'd away.
Bane of elated life, of affluent states,
What dreary change, what ruin is not thine!
How doth thy bowl intoxicate the mind!
To the soft entrance of thy rosy cave,
How dost thou lure the fortunate and great!
Seize, mortals! seize the transient hour;
Improve each moment as it flies:
Life's a short summer-man a flow'r;
He dies-Alas!-how soon he dies!
Reason's whole pleasure, all the joys of sense,
Lie in three words, health, peace, and competence
But health consists with temperance alone;
And peace, O virtue! peace is all thy own.