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Nor Ortalans, nor Godwics, nor the rest
Of costly Names that glorify a Feast,
Are at a Prince's Table better Cheer,
Ah Prince! hadīt thou but known the Joys which dwell
With humble Fortunes, thou would'st curse thy Royalty.
Had Fate allocted us some obscure Village,
Where with Life’s Necessaries blest alone,
We might have pass’d in Peace our happy Days,
Free from the Cares which Crowns and Empire bring :
No wicked Statesmen would with impious Arts
Have striv'n to wrest from us our small Inheritance,
Or stir the fimple Hinds to noisy Faction. Row. Amb. Steps
Oh happy, if he knew his happy State,
The Swain, who free from Bus'ness and Debate,
Receives his easy Food from Nature's Hand,
And just Returns of cultivated Land.
No Palace with a lofty Gate he wants,
T'admit the Tides of early Vifitants,
With eager Eyes devouring as they pass
The breathing Figures of Corinthian Brass :
No Statues threaten from high Pedestals ;
No Persian Arras hides his homely Walls
With ancick Vests, which thro' their shady Fold,
Betray the Streaks of ill-dissembled Gold.
He boasts no Wool, whose native White is dy'd
With purple Poyson of Allyrian Pride.
No costly Drugs of Araby defile
With foreign Scents the Sweetness of his Oil.
But easy Quier, a secure Retreat,
A harmless Life, that knows not how to cheat,
With home-bred Plenty the rich Owner bless,
And rural Pleasures crown his Happiness.
Unvex'd with Quarrels, undisturb'd with Noise,
The Country King his peaceful Realm enjoys:
Cool Grors and living Lakes, the flow'ry Pride
Of Meads, and Streams that thro’the Valley glide,
And shady Groves that easy Sleep invite,
And after toilsom Days a soft Repose at Night.
Wild Beasts of Nature in his Woods abound;
And Youth of Labour patient plough the Ground,
Inur'd to Hardship and to homely Fare;
Nor venerable Age is wanting there,
In great Exames to the youthful Train,
Nor are the Gods ador'd with Rites profane.
From hence Astrea took her Flight, and here
The Prints of her departing Steps appear.
Ye sacred Muses! with whose Beauty fir’d,
My Soul is ravish'd, and my Brain inspir'd,
Whose Priest I am, whose holy Fillers wear,
Would you your Poet's first Petition hear!
Give me the Ways of wand'ring Stars to know,
The Depths of Heav'n above and Earth below :
Teach me the various Labours of the Moon,
And whence proceed th'Eclipses of the Sun;
Why flowing Tides prevail upon the Main,
And in what dark Recess they shrink again ;
What shakes the solid Earth, what Cause delays
The Summer Nights, and shortens Winter Days.
But if my heavy Blood restrain the Flight
Of my free Soul, aspiring to the Height
Of Nature, and unclouded Fields of Light ;
My next Desire is, void of Care and Strife,
To lead a soft, secure, inglorious Life.
A Country Cottage, near a Crystal Flood,
A winding Valley and a lofty Wood.
Some God conduct me to the sacred Shades,
Where Bacchanals are sung by Spartan Maids;
Or lift me high to. Hæmus hilly Crown,
Or in the Plains of Tempe lay me down ;
Or lead me to some solitary Place,
And cover my Retreat from human Race.
Happy the Man, who studying Nature's Laws,
Thro' known Effects can trace the secret Cause :
His Mind possessing in a quiec State,
Fearless of Fortune, and resign'd to Fate.
And happy too is he who decks the Bow'rs
Of Sylvans, and adores the rural Pow'rs:
Whose Mind, unmoy'd, the Bribes of Courts can see,
Their glitt'ring Baits and purple Slavery ;
Nor hopes the People's Praise, nor fears their Frown;
Nor when contending Kindred tear the Crown,
Will set up one or pull another down.
Without Concern he hears, but hears from far,
Of Tumults, and Defcents, and distant War:
Nor with a superstitious Fear is aw'd
For what befalls at home or what abroad ;
Nor envies he the Rich cheir heapy Store,
Nor his own Peace disturbs with Pity for the Poor.
He feeds on Fruits which, of their own Accord,
The willing Ground and laden Trees afford.
From his lov'd Home no Lucre çan bim draw,
The Senate's mad Decrees he never saw,
Nor heard at bawling Bars corrupted Law.
Some to the Seas and some to Camps resort,
And some with Impudence invade the Court.
In foreign Countsies others seek Renown,
With Wars and Taxes others wafte their own;
And Houses burn and Houshold-Gods deface,
To drink in Bowls which glitt'ring Gems enchale
To loll on Couches rich with Citron Steds,
And lay their guilty Limbs in Tyrian Beds.
This Wretch in Earth intombs his golden Ore,
Hov'ring and brooding on his bury'd Store.
Some Patriot Fools to pop'lar Praise afpire,
or publick Speeches, which worse Fools admire ;
While from both Benches with redoubled Sounds,
Th Applause of Lerds and Commoners abounds.
Some thro' Ambition, or thro' Thirst of Gold,
Have fain their Brothers or their Country fold;
And leaving their sweet Homes, in Exile run
To Lands that lie beneath another Sun.
The Peasant, innocent of all these Ills,
With crooked Ploughs the fertile Fallows tills,
And the round Year with daily Labour fills.
From hence the Country Markets are fupply'd,
Enough remains for houfhold Charge belide,
His Wife and tender Children to sustain,
And gratefully to feed his dumb deserving Train:
Nor cease his Labours till the yellow Field
A full Return of bearded Harvest yield ;
A Crop fo plenteous, as the Land to load,
O'ercome the crowded Barn, and lodgeon Ricks abroad.
Thus ev'ry sev'ral Season is employ'd,
Some spent in Tội), and some in Eafe enjoy'd.
The yeaning Ews prevent the springing Year,
The loaded Boughs their Fruit in Autumn bear;
'Tis then the Vine her liquid Harveft yields,
Bak'd in the Sun-fhine of ascending Fields.
The Winter comes, and then the falling Mait
For greedy Swine provides a full Repaft:
Then Olives ground in Mills their Fatness boast,
And Winter Fruits are mellow'd by the Frost.
His Cares are eas'd with Intervals of Bliss ;
His little Children, climbing for a Kiss,
Welcome their Father's late Return at Night;
His faithful Bed is crown'd with chaste Delight:
His Kine with swelling Udders ready ftand,
And lowing for the Pail invite the Milker's Hand.
His wanton Kids, with budding Horns prepar’d,
Fight harmless Battles in his homely Yard. ?
Himself in rustick Pomp, on Holy-days,
To rural Pow'rs a just Oblation pays;
And on the Green his careless Limbs displays.
The Hearth is in the midit ; the Herdsmen round
The chearful Fire, provoke his Health in Goblets crown'd.
He calls on Bacchus, and propounds the Prize:
The Groom, his Fellow-Groom, at Buts defies,
Or stript for Wrestling, smears his Limbs with Oil,
And watches, with a Trip, his Foe to foil.
Such was the Life the frugal Sabines led :
So Remus and his Brother God were bred ;
From whom th'auftere Etrurian Virtue rose :
And this rude Life our homely Fathers chose,
Old Rome from such a Race deriv'd her Birth,
(The Seat of Empire, and the conquer'd Earth)
Which now on Sey'n high Hills triumphant reigns,
And in that Compass all the World contains.
E'er Saturn's rebel Son usurp'd the Skies,
When-Beasts were only slain for Sacrifice.
While peaceful Crete enjoy'd her antient Lord,
E'er founding Hammers forg'd th'inhuman Sword,
E'er hollow Drums were beat, before the Breath
Of brazen Trumpets rung the Peal of Death;
The good old God his Hunger did afswage,
With Roots and Herbs; and gave the Golden Age. Dryd.Virg.
A clownish Mien, a Voice with rustick Sound,
And ftupid Eyes that ever lov'd the Ground,
The ruling Rod, the Father's forming Care,
Were exercis'd in vain, on Wit's Despair ;,
The more inform'd, the less he understood,
And deeper sunk by flound'ring in the Mud.
His Corn and Cattle were his only Care,
And his supreme Delight a Country Fair :
His Quarter-Staff, which he could ne'er forsake,
Hung half before, and half behind his Back
He crudg’d along, unknowing what he fought,
And whistled as he went for want of Thought. Dryd. Cym.
How happy is the harmless Country-Maid,
Who, rich by Nature, fcorns fuperfluous Aid.
Whose modeft Cloaths no wanton Eyes invite,
But like her Soul, preserve the native White.
Whose little Store her well-taught Mind does please ;
Not pinch'd with Want, nor cloy'd with wanton Ease.
Who, free from Storms which on the Great ones fall,
Makes but few Wishes, and enjoys them all.
No Care, but Love, can discompose her Breaft,
Love, of all Cares, the sweetest and the best.
While on sweet Grass her bleating Charge does lie,
One happy Lover feeds upon her Eye.
Not one, whom on her Gods or Men impose,
But one whom Love has for this Lover chose.
Under some Fav'rite Myrtle's shady Boughs,
They speak their Passions with repeated Vows.
And whilst a Blush confesses how ihe burns,
His faithful Heart makes as sincere Returns.
Thus in the Arms of Love and Peace they lie:
And whilst they live, their Flames can never dye. Roscom
In Eafter Term,
My young Master's Worship comes to Town;
From Pedagogue and Mother just set free,
The hopeful Heir of a great Family;
That with strong Beer and Beef the Country rules,
And ever since the Conquest have been Fools.
And still with careful Profpe&t to maintain
Thar Chara&er, lest crossing of the Strain
Should Mend the Booby-Breed, his Friends provide
A Cousin of his own to be his Bride.
And thus set out
With an Estate, no Wit, and a young Wife,
The folid Comforts of a Coxcomb's Life;
Dunghil and Pease forsook, he comes to Town,
Turns Spark, learns to be lewd, and is undone.
The greatest Proof of Courage we can give,
Is then to die, when we have Pow'r to live. Hoxe. Ind. Queen.
But when true Courage is of Force berefe, Patience, the only Fortitude, is left. Dryd. Cong. of Gran.
Conguest pursues where Courage leads the way. Gar.
But ah! what use of Valour can be made, When Heav'ns propitious Pow'rs refuse their Aid ? Dryd. Virg.
* God-like his Gourage seem'd; whom no Delight Could soften, nor the face of Death affright.
Wal. All desperate Hazards Courage do create, :, As he plays frankly, who has least Eftate; Presence of Mind, and Courage in Distress, Are more than Armies to procure Success. Dryd. Aurer.
Their Courage dwells not in a troubled Flood Of mounting Spirits, and fermenting Blood ;