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Your hermit, young and jovial sirs!
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 ev'ning shades,
The glow that fancy gave it fades ;
And, earn'd too late, it wants the grace
That first engag'd him in the chase.

True, answer'd an angelick guide,
Attendant at the senior's side-
But whether all the time it cost,
To urge the fruitless chase 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 discontent:
A vicious object still is worse,
Successful there he wins a curse.
But he, whom e'en in life's last stage
Endeavours laudable engage,

Is paid, at least 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 wish can bear a date
Either too early or too late.



SHE came-she is gone-we have met-
And meet perhaps never again;
The sun of that moment is set,
And seems to have risen in vain.
Catharina has fled like a dream-
(So vanishes pleasure, alas!)
But has left a regret and esteem,
That will not so suddenly pass.

The last ev'ning ramble we made,
Catharina, Maria, and 1,
Our progress was often delay'd

By the nightingale warbling nigh.

We paus'd under many a tree,

And much she was charm'd with a tone

Less sweet to Maria and me,

Who so lately had witness'd her own.

My numbers that day she had sung,
And gave them a grace so divine,

As only her musical tongue

Could infuse into numbers of mine.

The longer I heard, I esteem'd

The work of my fancy the more,

And e'en to myself never seem'd
So tuneful a poet before.

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Though the pleasures of London exceed
In number the days of the year,
Catharina, did nothing impede,
Would feel herself happier here;
For the close-woven arches of limes
On the banks of our river, I know,
Are sweeter to her many times

Than aught that the city can show.

So it is, when the mind is endu'd
With a well-judging taste from above,
Then whether embellish'd 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 lasting, a sacred delight.

Since, then, in the rural recess
Catharina alone can rejoice,
May it still be her lot to possess

The scene of her sensible choice!

To inhabit a mansion remote

From the clatter of street-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 she prefers,
With little to hope or to fear,

And ours would be pleasant as hers,

Might we view her enjoying it here.


THE green house is my summer seat; My shrubs displac'd from that retreat Enjoy'd the open air;

Two Goldfinches, whose sprightly song,
Had been their mutual solace long,
Liv'd happy pris'ners there.

They sang as blithe as finches sing,
That flutter loose on golden wing,
And frolick where they list;
Strangers to liberty, 'tis true,
But that delight they never knew
And therefore never miss'd.

But nature works in every breast,
With force not easily suppress'd;
And Dick felt some desires,
That after many an effort vain,
Instructed him at length to gain
A pass between his wires.

The open windows seem'd t' invite
The freeman to a farewell flight:
But Tom was still confin'd:

And Dick, although his way was clear,
Was much too gen'rous and sincere,
To leave his friend behind.

So settling on his cage, by play,
And chirp, and kiss he seem'd to say,
You must not live alone-

Nor would he quit that chosen stand,
Till I, with slow and cautious hand,
Return'd him to his own.

O ye who never taste the joys
Of Friendship, satisfied with noise,
Fandango, ball, and rout!

Blush, when I tell you how a bird,
A prison with a friend preferr'd
To liberty without.



THERE is a field, through which I often pass Thick overspread with moss and silky grass, Adjoining close to Kilwick's echoing wood, Where oft the bitch fox hides her hapless brood, Reserv'd to solace many a neighb'ring squire, That he may follow them through brake and brier, Contusion, hazarding of neck, or spine, Which rural gentlemen call sport divine. A narrow brook, by rushy banks conceal'd Runs in a bottom, and divides the field; Oaks intersperse it, that had once a head, But now wear crests of oven-wood instead ; And where the land slopes to its wat'ry bourn, Wide yawns a gulf beside a ragged thorn; Bricks line the sides, but shiver'd long ago, And horrid brambles intertwine below; A hollow scoop'd, I judge, in ancient time, For baking earth, or burning rock to lime.

Not yet the hawthorn bore her berries red, With which the fieldfare, wintry guest, is fed; Nor autumn yet had brush'd from ev'ry spray, With her chill hand the mellow leaves away;

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