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To inhabit a manfion remote
From the clatter of Atreet-pacing steeds, And by Philomel's annual note
To measure the life that she leads.
With her book, and her voice, and her lyre,
To wing all her moments at home,
And with scenes that new rapture inspire
As oft as it suits her to roam,
She will have just the life the prefers,
With little to wish or to fear,
And ours will be pleasant as hers,
Might we view her enjoying it here.
A HERMIT (or if 'chance you hold
That title now too trite and old)
A man, once young, who liv'd retired
As hermits could have well desired,
His hours of study closed at last,
And finish'd his concise repaft,
Stoppled his crufe, replac'd his book
Within its customary nook,
And, staff in hand, set forth to share
The sober cordial of sweet air,
Like lsaac, with a mind applied
To serious thought at evening-tide.
Autumnal rains had made it chill,
And from the trees that fringed his hill
Shades Nanting at the close of day
Chili'd more his else delightful way.
Distant a little mile he spied
A western bank's still funny lide,
And right toward the favour'd place
Proceeding with his nimblest pace,
In hope to bask a little yet,
Just reach'd it when the sun was set.
Your hermit, young and jovial firs!
Learns something from whate'er occurs
And hence, he said, my mind computes
The real worth of man's pursuits.
His object chosen, wealth or fame,
or other sublunary game,
Imagination to his view
Presents it deck'd with ev'ry hue
That can seduce him not to spare
His pow'rs of best exertion there,
But youth, health, vigour, to expend
On so desirable an end.
Ere long, approach life's evening shades,
The glow that fancy gave it fades;
And, earn’d too late, it wants the grace
Which first engag'd him in the chase.
True, answer'd an angelic guide,
Attendant at the senior's side-
But whether all the time it cost
To urge the fruitless chafe be lost,
Must be decided by the worth
Of that which call'd his ardour forth.
Trifles pursu'd, whate'er th' event,
Must cause him shame or discontents
A vicious object still is worse,
Successful there, he wins a curse;
But he, whom ev'n in life's last stage
Endeavours laudable engage,
Is paid, at leait in peace of mind,
And sense of having well design'd;
And if, ere he attain his end, .
His sun precipitate descend,
A brighter prize than that he meant
Shall recompense his mere intent.
No virtuous will ean bear a date
Either too early or too late.
The green-house is my summer seat;
My ihrubs displac'd from that retreat
Enjoy'd the open air;
Two goldfinches, whose sprightly song
Had been their mutual folace long,
Liv'd happy pris'ners there.
They sang, as blithe as finches fing
That flutter loose on golden wing,
And frolic where they lift;
Strangers to liberty, 'tis true,
But that delight they never knew,
And, therefore, never miss'd.
But nature works in ev'ry breast;
Instinct is never quite suppress’d;
And Dick felt some desires,
Which, after many an effort vain,
Instructed him at length to gain
A pass between his wires.