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Which gathers round the wise of every tongue,
All on whose words departed nations hung:
Still prompt to charm with many a converse sweet: Guides in the world, companions in retreat!
Tho' my thatch'd bath no rich mosaic knowsA limpid spring with unfelt current flows. Emblem of life! which still as we survey, Seems motionless, yet ever glides away! The shadowy walls record, with Attic art, The strength and beauty which its waves impart. Here Thetis, bending with a mother's fears, Dips her dear boy, whose pride restrains his tears: There Venus, rising, shrinks with sweet surprise, As her fair self, reflected, seems to rise!
Far from the joyless glare, the maddening strife, And all the dull impertinence of life,
These eyelids open to the rising ray,
And close, when Nature bids, at close of day.
Here, at the dawn, the kindling landscape glows;
There noon-day levées call from faint repose.
Here the flush'd wave flings back the parting light;
There glimmering lamps anticipate the night.
When from his classic dreams the student steals,
Amid the buzz of crowds, the whirl of wheels.
To muse unnoticed-while around him press
The meteor forms of equipage and dress;
Alone, in wonder lost, he seems to stand
A very stranger in his native land!
And (tho' perchance of current coin possest,
And modern phrase by living lips exprest)
Like those blest youths, forgive the fabling page,
Whose blameless lives deceived a twilight age,
Spent in sweet slumbers; till the miner's spade
Unclosed the cavern, and the morning play'd.
Ah, what their strange surprise, their wild delight!
New arts of life, new manners, meet their sight!
In a new world they wake, as from the dead;
Yet doubt the trance dissolved, the vision fled!
Oh come, and, rich in intellectual wealth,
Blend thought with exercise, with knowledge health;
Long in this shelter'd scene of letter'd talk,
With sober step repeat the pensive walk;
Nor scorn, when graver triflings fail to please,
The cheap amusement of a mind at ease;
Here every care in sweet oblivion cast,
And many an idle hour-not idly pass'd.
No tuneful echoes, ambush'd at my gate,
Catch the blest accents of the wise and great.
Vain of its various page, no album breathes
The sigh that friendship or the muse bequeaths.
Yet some good genii o'er my hearth preside,
Oft the far friend, with secret spell to guide;
And there I trace, when the gray evening lours,
A silent chronicle of happier hours!
When Christmas revels in a world of snow,
And bids her berries blush, her carols flow;
His spangling shower when Frost, the wizard, flings;
Or, borne in ether blue, on viewless wings,
O'er the white pane his silvery foliage weaves,
And gems with icicles the sheltering eaves;
-Thy muffled friend his nectarine-wall pursues,
What time the sun the yellow crocus woos,
Screen'd from the arrowy north; and duly hies
To meet the morning rumour as it flies;
To range the murmuring market-place, and view
The motley groups that faithful Teniers drew.
When Spring bursts forth in blossoms thro' the vale, And her wild music triumphs on the gale,
Oft with my book I muse from stile to stile;
Oft in my porch the listless noon beguile,
Framing loose numbers, till declining day
Thro' the green trellis shoots a crimson ray;
Till the west wind leads on the twilight hours,
And shakes the fragrant bells of closing flowers.
Nor boast, O Choisy, seat of soft delight,
The secret charm of thy voluptuous night.
Vain is the blaze of wealth, the pomp of power!
Lo! here attendant on the shadowy hour,
Thy closet-supper, served by hands unseen,
Sheds, like an evening star, its ray serene
To hail our coming. Not a step profane
Dares, with rude sound, the cheerful rite restrain ;
And, while the frugal banquet glows reveal'd,
Pure and unbought-the natives of my field;
While blushing fruits thro' scatter'd leaves invite,
Still clad in bloom, and veil'd in azure light;
With wine, as rich in years as Horace sings,
With water, clear as his own fountain flings,
The shifting side-board plays its humbler part,
Beyond the triumphs of a Loriot's art.
Thus, in this calm recess, so richly fraught
With mental light and luxury of thought,
My life steals on; (oh could it blend with thine !)
Careless my course, yet not without design.
So thro' the vales of Loire the bee-hives glide,
The light raft dropping with the silent tide;
So, till the laughing scenes are lost in night,
The busy people wing their various flight,
Culling unnumber'd sweets from nameless flowers,
That scent the vineyard in its purple hours.
Rise, ere the watch-relieving clarions play,
Caught thro' St James's groves at blush of day,
Ere its full voice the choral anthem flings
Thro' trophied tombs of heroes and of kings.
Haste to the tranquil shade of learned ease,
Tho' skill'd alike to dazzle and to please;
Tho' each gay scene be search'd with anxious eye,
Nor thy shut doors be pass'd without a sigh.
If, when this roof shall know thy friend no more,
Some, form'd like thee, should once, like thee, explore;
Invoke the Lares of his loved retreat,
And his lone walks imprint with pilgrim feet;
Then be it said, (as, vain of better days,
Some gray domestic prompts the partial praise,)
"Unknown he lived, unenvied, not unblest ;
Reason his guide, and Happiness his guest.
In the clear mirror of his moral page
We trace the manners of a purer age.
His soul, with thirst of genuine glory fraught,
Scorn'd the false lustre of licentious thought.
-One fair asylum from the world he knew,
One chosen seat, that charms with various view!
Who boasts of more (believe the serious strain)
Sighs for a home, and sighs, alas! in vain.
Thro' each he roves, the tenant of a day,
And, with the swallow, wings the year away!"
THE SELFISHNESS OF VICE.—Where there is no integrity, there can be no confidence; and where there is no confidence, there can be no unanimity. Three German robbers having acquired, by various atrocities, what amounted to a very valuable booty, they agreed to divide the spoil, and to retire from so dangerous a vocation. When the day which they had appointed for this purpose arrived, one of them was despatched to a neighbouring town, to purchase provisions for their last carousal. The other two secretly agreed to murder him on his return, that they might come in for one half of the plunder, instead of a third. They did so. But the murdered man was a closer calculator even than his assassins, for he had previously poisoned a part of the provi
sions, that he might appropriate to himself the whole of the spoil This precious triumvirate were found dead together-a signal instance that nothing is so blind and suicidal as the selfishness of vice.-COLTON.
SIR THOMAS MORE.-His country house was at Chelsea, in Middlesex, where Sir John Danvers built his house. The chimney-piece of marble, in Sir John's chamber, was the chimney-piece of Sir Thomas More's chamber, as Sir John himself told me. Where the gate is now, adorned with two noble pyramids, there stood anciently a gate-house, which was flat on the top, leaded, from whence is a most pleasant prospect of the Thames, and the fields beyond; on this place the Lord Chancellor More was wont to recreate himself and contemplate. It happened one time, that, a Tom of Bedlam came up to him, and had a mind to have thrown him from the battlements, saying, "Leap, Tom, leap." The chancellor was in his gown, and besides ancient, and not able to struggle with such a strong fellow. My lord had a little dog with him; said he, "Let us first throw the dog down, and see what sport that will be;" so the dog was thrown over. "This is very fine sport," said my lord, "fetch him up and try once more ;" while the madman was going down, my lord fastened the door, and called for help, but ever after kept the door shut.—AUBREY.
JOHNSON.-The late Alexander Earl of Eglintoune, who loved wit more than wine, and men of genius more than sycophants, had a great admiration of Johnson; but, from the remarkable elegance of his own manners, was, perhaps, too delicately sensible of the roughness which sometimes appeared in Johnson's behaviour. One evening about this time, when his lordship did me the honour to sup at my lodgings with Dr Robertson and several other men of literary distinction, he regretted that Johnson had not been educated with more refinement, and lived more in polished society. "No, no, my lord," said Signor Baretti, "do with him what you would, he would always have been a bear." 'True," answered the earl, with a smile, "but he would have been a dancing bear."
To obviate all the reflections which have gone round the