« AnteriorContinuar »
Dlest be the man (and blest he is) whoe'èr
(Plac'd far out of the roads of hope and fear)
A little field and little garden , feeds :.
The field gives all that frugal nature needs;
The wealthy garden liberally bestows
All she can ask, when she luxurious grows.
The specious inconveniences, that wait
Upon a life of business and of state,
He sees (nor does the sight disturb his rest).
By fools desir'd , by wicked men possest.
Thus, thus (and this deserv'd great Virgil's praise).
The old Curycian yeoman pass'd his days;
Thus his wise life Abdolonymus spent;
Th'ambassadors, which the great emperor sent
To offer him a crown , with wonder found
The rev'rend gardener hoeing of his ground;
Unwillingly, and slow, and discontent,
From his lov'd cottage to a throne he went;
And oft he stopt , in his triumphant way,
And oft look?d back, and oft was heard to say,
Not without sighs , Alas! I there forsake
A happier kingdom than I go to take!. '
Thus Aglaüs (a inan unknown to men,
But the gods knew, and therefore lov'd him then)
Thus liv'd obscurely then without a name,
A glaüs , now consign'd t'éternal fame.
For Gyges, the rich king, wicked and great,
Presun'd at wise Apollo's Delphic-seat
Presum'd to ask: Oh thou, the whole world's eye,
See'st thou a man that happier is than I?
The god, who scorns to flatter man, reply'd,
Aglaüs happier is. ButGyges cry'd,
In a proud rage, Who can that Aglaüs be?
We have heard, as yet, of no such king as he.
And true it was, through the whole earth around
No king of such a name was to be found.
Is some old hero of that name alive,
Who his high race does from the gods derive?
Is it some mighty general that has done
Wonders in fight, and god-like honours won?
Is it some man of endless wealth ? said he.
None, none of these. Who can this Aglaüs be?
After long search, and vain enquiries past,
In an obscure Arcadian vale at last
(Th’ Arcadian life has always shady been)
Near Sopho's town (which he but once had seen)
This Aglaüs, who monarch's envy drew,
Whose happiness the gods stood witness to ,
This mighty Aglaüs , was labouring found,
With his own hands, in his own little ground.
So, gracious God! (if it may lawful be,
Among those foolish gods to mention thee)
So let ine act on such a private stage,
The last dull scenes of my declining age;
After long toils and voyages in vain ,
This quiet port let my tost vessel gain;
Of heavenly rest, this earnest to me lend,
Let my life sleep, and learn to love her end.
W ow early shepherds o'er the meadow pass,
And print long footsteps in the glitt'ring grass ;
The cows neglectful of their pasture stand,
By turns obsequious to the milker's hand.
"When Damon softly trod the shaven lawn,
Damon, a youth from city cares withdrawn;
Long was the pleasing walk he wander'd through,
A cover'd arbour closd the distant view;
There rest the youth , and while the feather'd
Raise their wild music, thus contrives a song..
Here wafted o'er by mild Etesian air,
Thou, country, goddess, beauteous Health! repair;
Here let my breast thro' quiv'ring trees inhale.
Thy rosy blessings with the morning gale.
What are the fields, or flow'rs, or all I see?
Ah! tasteless all, if not enjoy'd with thee.
· Joy to my soul! I feel the goddess nigh,
The face of Nature cheers as well as I;
O'er the flat green refreshing breezes run,
The smiling daisies blow beneath the sun,
The brooks run purling down with silver waves,
The planted lanes rejoice with dancing leaves,
The chirping birds from all the compass rove,
To tempt the tuneful echoes of the grove;
High sunny summits , deeply shaded dales,
Thick mossy banks, and flow'ry winding vales .
With various prospect gratify the sight,
And scatter fix'd attention in delight. .
Oh come, thou goddess of my rural song!
And bring thy daughter calm Content, along,
Dame of the ruddy cheek and laughing eye,
From whose bright presence clouds of sorrow fly:-
For her I mow my walks, I plat my bow'rs,
Clip low my hedges, and support my flow'rs;
To welcome her this summer seat I drest,
And here I court her when she comes to rest;
When she from exercise to learned ease
Shall change again, and teach the change to please.
Now friends conversing my soft hours refine,
And Tully's Tusculum revives in mine :
Now to grave books I bid the mind retreat, ingre And such as make me rather good than great;:
Or o'er the works of easy Fancy rove,
Where flutes and innocence amuse the grove:: plate The native bard that on Sicilian plains
First sung the lowly manners of the swains,
Or Maro's Muse, that in the fairest light
Paints rural prospects and the charms of sight;
These soft amusements bring content along,
And fancy, void of sorrow, turns to song,
Here, beauteous Health ! for all the year remain,
When the next comes, I'll charm thee thus again..
f all the causes which conspire to blind Man's erring judgment, and misguide the mind, What the weak head with strongest bias rules, Is Pride, the never-failing vice of fools. Whatever Nature has in worth deny'd, She gives in large recruits of needless pride!' For, as in bodies, thus in souls, we find What wants in blood and spirits, swellid with
wind. Pride, where wit fails, steps into our defence, And fills up all the mighty void of sense. If once right Reason drives that cloud away, Truth breaks upon us with resistless day. Trust not yourself; but, your defects to knoty, Make use of ev'ry friend and ev'ry foe. A little learning is a dang'rous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring : There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain! And drinking largely. sobers us again. Fir'd at first sight with what the Muse imparts, In fearless youth we tempt the heights of arts, While, from the bounded level of our mind, Short views we take , nor see the lengths behind; But, more advanc'd, behold with strange surprise, New distant scenes of endless science rise! So pleas'd at first the tow'ring Alps we try, Mount o'er the vales , and seem to tread the sky; Th' eternal snows appear already past, And the first clouds and mountains seem the last :: But, those attain'd, we tremble to survey The growing labours of the lengthen’d way; Th' increasing prospect tires our wand'ring eyes; Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise.