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46

'What, what is virtue, but repose of mind, A pure, ethereal calm, that knows no storm, Above the reach of wild ambition's wind, Above the passions that this world deform, And torture man, a proud malignant worm? But here, instead, soft gales of passion play, And gently stir the heart, thereby to form A quicker sense of joy; as breezes stray Across th' enliven'd skies, and make them still more

gay.

The best of men have ever lov'd repose : They hate to mingle in the filthy fray; Where the soul sours, and gradual rancor grows, Embitter'd more from peevish day to day. Ev'n those whom Fame has lent her fairest ray. The most renown'd of worthy wights of yore, From a base world at last have stol'n away: So Scipio, to the soft Cumean shore Retiring, tasted joy he never knew before.

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Then would a splendid city rise to view,
With carts, and cars, and coaches, roaring all:
Wide pour'd abroad behold the giddy crew;
See how they dash along from wall to wall!
At every door, hark how they thundering call!
Good Lord! what can this giddy rout excite ?
Why, on each other with fell tooth to fall;
A neighbor's fortune, fame, or peace to blight,
And make new tiresome parties for the coming
night.

Of all the gentle tenants of the place,
There was a man of special grave remark:
A certain tender gloom o'erspread his face,
Pensive, not sad, in thought involv'd, not dark;
As soot this man could sing as morning-lark,
And teach the noblest morals of the heart:
But these his talents were yburied stark;
Of the fine stores he nothing would impart,
Which or boon Nature gave, or Nature-painting
Art.

Than forth they various rush in mighty fret;
When, lo! push'd up to power, and crown'd their

cares,

In comes another set, and kicketh them down

stairs.

To noontide shades incontinent he ran,
Where purls the brook with sleep-inviting sound
Or when Dan Sol to slope his wheels began,
Amid the broom he bask'd him on the ground,
Where the wild thyme and camomile are found:
There would he linger, till the latest ray
Of light sat trembling on the welkin's bound;
Then homeward through the twilight shadows
stray,
Sauntering and slow. So had he passed many a day!

Yet not in thoughtless slumber were they past:
For oft the heavenly fire, that lay conceal'd
Beneath the sleeping embers, mounted fast,
And all its native light anew reveal'd:
Oft as he travers'd the cerulean field,

And markt the clouds that drove before the wind,
Ten thousand glorious systems would he build,
Ten thousand great ideas fill'd his mind;

But with the clouds they fled, and left no traco
behind.

The puzzling sons of party next appear'd,
In dark cabals and nightly juntoes met;

With him was sometimes join'd, in silent walk,
(Profoundly silent, for they never spoke,)
One shyer still, who quite detested talk:
Oft, stung by spleen, at once away he broke,
To groves of pine, and broad o'ershadowing oak;
There, inly thrill'd, he wander'd all alone,
And on himself his pensive fury wroke,
Ne ever utter'd word, save when first shone

And now they whisper'd close, now shrugging
rear'd

Th' important shoulder; then, as if to get

New light, their twinkling eyes were inward set. The glittering star of eve-"Thank Heaven! the day is done." No sooner Lucifer recalls affairs,

Here lurk'd a wretch, who had not crept abroad
For forty years, ne face of mortal seen;
In chamber brooding like a lothely toad:
And sure his linen was not very clean.

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