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THE CASTLE OF INDOLENCE.
And its false luxury;
We liv'd right jollily.
O MORTAL man, who livest here by toil,
Withouten that would come an heavier bale, Loose life, unruly passions, and diseases pale.
In lowly dale, fast by a river's side,
brown'd, A listless climate made, where, sooth to say, No living wight could work, ne cared ev'n for play.
Was nought around but images of rest :
That, as they bicker'd through the sunny glade, Though restless still themselves, a lulling murmur
Join'd to the prattle of the purling rills,
And sull a coil the grasshopper did keep;
Full in the passage of the vale, above,
And where this valley winded out, below,
But whate'er smack'd of noyance, or unrest,
The landskip such, inspiring perfect ease,
Was plac'd; and to his lute, of cruel fate,
Thither continual pilgrims crowded still,'...
And drew them ever and anon more nigh ; Till clustering round th' enchanter false they hung. Ymolten with bis syren melody; While o'er th' enfeebling lute his hand he flung, And to the trembling chords these tempting verses
| sung: “ Behold! ye pilgrims of this earth, behold! “ See all but man with unearn d pleasure gay:
See her bright robes the butterfly unfold, “ Broke from her wintery tomb in prime of May! " What youthful bride can equal her array? • Who can with her for easy pleasure vie? " From mead to mead with gentle wing to stray,
" From flower to flower on balmy gales to fly, “ Is all she has to do beneath the radiant sky.
« Behold the merry minstrels of the morn, “ The swarming songsters of the careless grove, “ Ten thousand throats! that from the flowering
" thorn, " Hymn their good God, and carol sweet of love, « Such grateful kindly raptures them emove : « They neither plough, nor sow: ne, fit for flail, “ E'er to the barn the nodding sheaves they drove;
" Yet theirs each harvest dancing in the gale, - Whatever crowns the hill, or smiles along the vale,
« Outcast of nature, man! the wretched thrall
“ Guile, violence, and murder seiz'd on man, . “ And, for soft milky streams, with blood the rivers
“ Come, ye, who still the cumberous load of life “ Push hard up hill; but as the farthest steep “ You trust to gain, and put an end to strife; ^ Down thunders back the stone with mighty sweep,
« And hurls your labours to the valley deep,
“ Your cares, your toils, will steep you in a sea « Of full delight : O come, ye weary wights, to me!
“ With me, you need not rise at early dawn, -
« Or proul in courts of law for human prey,
“ No cocks, with me, to rustic labour call, « From village on to village sounding clear : “ To tardy swain no shrill-voic'd matrons squall : « No dogs, no babes, no wives, to stun your ear; “No hammers thump ; no horrid blacksmith fear, “ Ne noisy tradesmen your sweet slumbers start, “ With sounds that are a misery to hear:
“ But all is calm, as would delight the heart “ Of Sybarite of old, all nature, and all art.
“ Here nought but candour reigns, indulgent ease, “Good-natur'd lounging, sauntering up and down: “ They who are pleas'd themselves must always please; “ On others' ways they never squint a frown, “ Nor heed what haps in hamlet or in town: « Thus, from the source of tender indolence, “ With milky blood the heart is overflown,
“ Is sooth'd and sweeten’d by the social sense ; “ For interest, envy, pride, and strife are banish'd hence.
" What, what, is virtue, but repose of mind,
“ A quicker sense of joy; as breezes stray u Across th’enliven'd skies, and make them stili more gay.
“ The best of men have ever lov'd repose;
"So Scipio, to the soft Cumæan shore
“ But if a little exercise you chuse, “Some zest for ease, 'tis not forbidden here. “ Amid the groves you may indulge the muse, “ Or tend the blooms, and deck the vernal year; “ Or softly stealing, with your watery gear, * Along the brook, the crimson spotted fry “ You may delude: the whilst, amus'd, you hear . “ Now the hoarse stream, and now the zephyr's sigh, “ Attuned to the birds, and woodland melody. " O grievous folly ! to heap up estate, “ Losing the days you see beneath the sun; “When, sudden, comes blind unrelenting fate, “ And gives th' untasted portion you have won, “ With ruthless toil, and many a wretch undone, “ To those who mock you gone to Pluto's reign, “ There with sad ghosts to pine, and shadows dun:
“ But sure it is of vanities most vain,
Or by some flood all silver'd with the gleam,