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For wealth, be fmiling peace my share !
With friendship's generous love;
And, loft to each ambitious care,
Be mine the flowery grove !
T'here ftudious thought would wear the day,
In each instructive page;
Or happier speed the hours away,
In converfe with the fage.
Taught by the awful voice of Truth,
Life's fyren fnares to fly,
By Reason's card conduct my youth,
And like my Sophron die!
N gayer hours, when high my fancy ran,
Blefs'd be the Baftard's birth! thro' wond'rous ways,
He fhines excentrick, like a comet's blaze!
No fickly fruit of faint compliance He!
He! ftamp'd in Nature's mint of extasy!
He lives to build, not boast a generous race;
No tenth transmitter of a foolish face.
His daring hope no fire's example bounds;
His firft-born lights no prejudice confounds,
He, kindling from within, requires no flame';
He glories in a Baftard's glowing name.
• Born to himself, by no poffeffion led,
In freedom fofter'd, and by Fortune fed;
• Nor guides, nor rules, his fov'reign choice controul, His body independent as his foul.
Loos'd to the world's wide range; enjoin'd no aim; • Prefcrib'd no duty, and affign'd no name:
Nature's unbounded fon, he ftands alone,
• His heart unbiass'd, and his mind his own!
O Mother, yet no mother! 'tis to you,
My thanks for fuch diftinguish'd claims are due.
You, unenflav'd to Nature's narrow laws,
• Warm championefs for Freedom's facred cause,
From all the dry devoirs of blood and line,
From ties maternal, moral and divine,
Discharg'd my grasping foul, push'd me from shore,
And launch'd me into life without an oar.
• What had I loft, if conjugally kind,
< By nature hating, yet by vows confin'd,
Untaught the matrimonial bounds to flight,
⚫ And coldly conscious of a husband's right,
You had faint-drawn me with a form alone,
A lawful lump of life by force your own!
Then, while your backward will retrench'd defire,
And unconcurring spirits lent no fire,
← I had been born your dull, domestick heir;
• Load of your life, and motive of your care:
Perhaps been poorly rich, and meanly great;
The flave of pomp, a cypher in the ftate;
Lordly neglectful of a worth unknown,
And flumb'ring in a feat-by chance my own.
• Far nobler bleffings wait the Bastard's lot; • Conceived in rapture, and with fire begot! 6 Strong as Neceffity, he ftarts away,
• Climbs against wrongs, and brightens into day!"
Thus, unprophetick, lately misinfpir'd,
I fung; gay flutt'ring Hope my fancy fir'd;
Inly fecure, thro' conscious fcorn of ill,
Nor taught by Wisdom how to balance will,
Rafhly deceiv'd, I faw no pits to fhun;
But thought, to purpose, and to act, were one;
Heedlefs what pointed cares pervert his way,
Whom caution arms not, and whom woes betray:
But now expos'd, and fhrinking from diftress,
I fly to fhelter, while the tempefts prefs;
My Mufe to grief refigns the varying tone,
The raptures languish, and the numbers groan!
O Memory! thou foul of joy and pain!
Thou actor of our paffions o'er again!
Why dost thou aggravate the wretch's woe?
Why add continuous smart to every blow ?
Few are my joys; alas! how foon forgot!
On that kind quarter thou invad'ft me not;
While sharp and numberless my forrows fall,
Yet thou repeat'ft and multiply'ft 'em all!
Is chance a guilt; that my difaft'rous heart,
For mischief never meant, muft ever smart?
Can felf-defence be fin?-Ah, plead no more!
What tho' no purpos'd malice ftain'd thee o'er;
Had Heav'n befriended thy unhappy fide,
Thou had'ft not been provok'd-or, thou had'ft died.
Far be the guilt of homeshed blood from all,
On whom, unfought, embroiling dangers fall!
Still the pale dead revives, and lives to me;
To me thro' Pity's eye condemn'd to fee.
Remembrance veils his rage, but fwells his fate;
Griev'd I forgive, and am grown cool too late.
Young, and unthoughtful then; who knows, one day,
What ripening virtues might have made their way!
He might have liv'd, till Folly died in shame,
Till kindling Wisdom felt a thirst for fame.
He might perhaps his country's friend have prov'd;
Both happy, gen'rous, candid, and belov'd:
He might have fav'd fome worth, now doom'd to fall;
And I, perchance, in him, have murder'd all.