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Muse, hang this harp upon yon aged beech, Still murm'ring with the solemn truths I teach ; And while at intervals a cold blast sings Through the dry leaves, and pants upon the strings, My soul shall sigh in secret, and lament A nation scourg'd, yet tardy to repent. I know the warning song is sung in vain; That few will hear, and fewer heed the strain; But if a sweeter voice, and one design'd A blessing to my country and mankind, Reclaim the wand'ring thousands, and bring home A flock so scatter'd and so wont to roam, Then place it once again between my knees; The sound of truth will then be sure to please : And truth alone, where'er my life be cast, In scenes of plenty, or the pining waste, Shall be my chosen theme, my glory to the last.
doceas iter, et sacra ostia pandas.
VIRG. En. 6.
Ask what is human life-the sage replies,
As in a dance the pair that take the lead
Dangling his cane about, and taking snuff,
o'er all the past, Whose prospect shows thee a disheart'ning waste; Would age in thee resign his wintry reign, And youth invigorate that frame again, Renew'd desire would grace with other speech Joys always priz'd, when plac'd within our reach.
For lift thy palsied head, shake off the gloom, That overhangs the borders of thy tomb, See Nature gay, as when she first began With smiles alluring her admirer man ; She spreads the morning over eastern hills, Earth glitters with the drops the night distils; The Sun obedient at her call appears, To fling his glories o'er the robe she wears; Banks cloth'd with flow'rs, groves fill'd with
sprightly sounds, Thy yellow tilth, green meads, rocks, rising
grounds, Streams edg’d with osiers, fatt'ning ev'ry field, Where'er they flow, now seen and now conceal'd; From the blue rim, where skies and mountains meet, Down to the very turf beneath thy feet, Ten thousand charms, that only fools despise, Or Pride can look at with indiff'rent eyes, All speak one language, all with one sweet voice Cry to her universal realm, Rejoice! Man feels the spúr of passions and desires, And she gives largely more than he requires; Not that his hours devoted all to Care, Hollow-ey'd Abstinence, and lean Despair,
The wretch may pine, while to his smell, taste, sight,
Thus things terrestrial wear a diff'rent hue,
To rise at noon, sit slipshod and undressid,