Page images


He fears no human force, nor savage beast;
Impenetrable courage steels his manly breast.

Thus, late within the Sabine grove,
While free from care, and full of love,
I raise my tuneful voice, and stray
Regardless of myself and way,

A grizly wolf, with glaring eye,
View'd me unarm’d, yet pass d unhurtful by.
A fiercer monster ne'er, in quest of food,

Apulian forests did moleft;
Numidia never saw a more prodigious beast;
Numidia, mother of the yellow brood,

40 Where the stern lion !hakes his knotted mane, And roars aloud for prey, and scours the spacious plain.

Place me where no soft breeze of summer wind

Did e'er the stiffen'd soil unbind,
Where no refreshing warmth e'er durst invade,
But Winter holds his unmolested seat,

In all his hoary robes array’d,
And rattling storms of hail, and noisy tempests beat.

Place me beneath the scorching blaze
Of the fierce Tun's immediate rays,

Where house or cottage ne'er were feen,
Nor rooted plant or tree, nor springing green;
Yet, lovely Lalage, my generous flame
Shall ne'er expire ; I'll boldly sing of thee,

Charm'd with the music of thy name, 55 And guarded by the gods of Love and Poetry.



H 3

[blocks in formation]

INDULGENT Quiet! power ferene,

Mother of Peace, and Joy, and Love !
O fay, thou calm propitious queen,

Say, in what solitary grove,
Within what hollow rock, or winding cell, 5

By human eyes unseen,
Like some retreated Druid dost thou dwell?

And why, illufive goddess ! why,

When we thy manfion would surround,
Why doft thou lead us through inchanted ground,
To mock our vain research, and from our wishes fly?

The wandering failors, pale with fear,

For thee the gods implore,
When the tempestuous sea runs high,
And when, through all the dark benighted fky, 1 g



No friendly moon or ftars appear
To guide their steerage to the shore :
For thee the weary soldier prays ;

Furious in fight the sons of Thrace,
And Medes, that wear majestic by their side

A full-charg'd quiver's decent pride,
Gladly with thee would pass inglorious days,

Renounce the warrior's tempting praise,

And buy thee, if thou might'st be sold, With gems, and purple vests, and Itores of plunderd gold.

25 III. But neither boundless wealth, nor guards that wait

Around the consul's honour'd gate,

Nor anti-chambers with attendants fillid, The mind's unhappy tumults can abate, Or banish sullen cares, that fly

30 Across the gilded rooms of state,

And their foul nests, like swallows, build
Close to the palace-roofs, and towers that pierce the sky.
Much less will Nature's modest wants supply ;
And happier lives the homely fwain,

Who, in some cottage, far from noise,
His few paternal goods enjoys,
Nor knows the fordid luft of gain,

Nor with Fear's tormenting pain
His hovering sleeps destroys.


[ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

Vain man ! that in a narrow space
At endless game projects the daring spear!

For Mort is life's uncertain race ;
Then why, capricious mortal ! why
Dost thou for happiness repair

45 To distant climates, and a foreign air !

Fool! from thyself thou canst not fly,

Thyself, the source of all thy care.
So fies the wounded Itag, provok'd with pain,

Bounds o'er the spacious downs in vain ;
The feather’d torment sticks within his fide,

And from the smarting wound a purple tide
Marks all his way with blood, and dyes the grassy plain.

But swifter far is execrable Care

Than ftags, or winds that through the skies 55 Thick-driving snows and gather'd tempefts bear; Pursuing Care the failing lip out-flies,

Climbs the tall vessel's painted sides;
Nor leaves arm’d squadrons in the field,

But with the marching horsemen rides, 60 And dwells alike in courts and camps, and makes all places yield.

Then, since no ftate 's compleatly blest,

Let's learn the bitter to allay
· With gentle mirth, and wisely gay
Enjoy at least the present day,

65 And leave to fate the rest.


[ocr errors]


Nor with vain fear of ills to come
Anticipate th' appointed doom.
Soon did Achilles quit the stage,

The hero fell by sudden death ;
While Tithon to a tedious wasting age

Drew his protracted breath.
And thus old partial Time, my friend,
Perhaps unalk'd to worthless me
Those hours of lengthen'd life may lend, 75
Which he'll refuse to thee,

Thee fining wealth and plenteous joys surround,

And, all thy fruitful fields around,
Unnumber'd herds of cattle stray.
Thy harness'd steeds with sprightly voice 80

Make neighbouring vales and hills rejoice, While finoothly thy gay chariot flies o'er the swift

measur'd way.
To me the stars, with less profusion kind,

An humble Fortune have assign'd,
And no untuneful Lyric vein,

But a sincere contented mind,
That can tlre vile malignant crowd disdain.




« PreviousContinue »