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My numbers that day she had fung,
And gave them a grace fo divine, As only her musical tongue
Could infuse into numbers of mine. The longer I heard, I efteemed
The work of my fancy the more, And ev'n to myself never seemed
So tuneful a poet before.
Though the pleasures of London exceed
In number the days of the year, Catharina, did nothing impedes.
Would feel herself happier here; For the clofe woven arches of limes
On the banks of our river, I know, Are fweeter to her many times
Than all that the city can show.
So it is, when the mind is endued
With a well-judging taste from above, Then, whether embellished or rude,
'Tis nature alone that we love.
The achievements of art may amuse,
May even our wonder excite,
But groves, hills, and vallies, diffuse
A lafting, a Sacred delight.
Since then in the rural recess
Catharina alone can rejoice, May it still be her lot to poffefs
The scene of her sensible choice! To inhabit a mansion remote
From the clatter of Atreet-pacing steeds, And by Philomel's annual note
To measure the life that the 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 lived retired
As hermit could have well detired,
His hours of study closed at laft,
And finished his concise repaft,
Stoppled his cruse, replaced his book
Within its customary nook,
And, staff in hand, set forth to share
The sober cordial of sweet air,
Like Isaac, 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 flanting at the close of day
Chilled more his else delightful way.
Diftant a little mile he fpied
A western bank's ftill funny fide,
And right toward the favoured place
Proceeding with his nimbleft pace,
In hope to bask a little yet,
Just reached 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 decked with every hue,
That can seduce him not to spare
His powers 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, earned too late, it wants the grace,
Which first engaged him in the chase.
True, answered an angelic guide, Attendant at the senior's fideBut whether all the time it coft To urge the fruitless chase be loft, Must be decided by the worth Of that, which called his ardour forth, Trifles pursued, whate'er the event, Muft cause him shame or discontent;
A vicious object ftill is worse,
Successful there he wins a curfe;
But he, whom ev'n in life's last stage
Endeavours laudable engage,
Is paid, at least in peace of mind,
And sense of having well designed;
And if, ere he attain his end,
His fun precipitate descend,
A brighter prize than that he meant
Shall recompense his mere intent.
No virtuous wish can bear a date
Either too early or too late.