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Ah, happy hills! ah, pleasing shade!
Ah, fields belov'd in vain!
Where once my careless childhood stray'd,
I feel the gales that from ye blow
As waving fresh their gladsome wing,
Say, Father THAMES, for thou hast seen Full many a sprightly race
Disporting on thy margent green
The paths of pleasure trace;
The captive linnet which enthral?
(f) And, redolent of joy and youth.
Dryden's Fable on the Pythag. System.
While some on earnest business bent
Their murm'ring labours ply 'Gainst graver hours, that bring constraint
To sweeten liberty:
Some bold adventurers disdain
The limits of their little reign,
And unknown regions dare descry: Still as they run they look behind, They hear a voice in every wind,
And snatch a fearful joy.
Gay hope is theirs by Fancy fed,
And lively Cheer, of Vigour born; The thoughtless day, the easy night, The spirits pure, the slumbers light, That fly th' approach of morn.
Alas! regardless of their doom
No sense have they of ills to come,
Yet see, how all around 'em wait
And black Misfortune's baleful train! Ah, show them where in ambush stand, To seize their prey, the murd'rous band! Ah, tell them they are men!
These shall the fury Passions tear,
And Shame that sculks behind;
That inly gnaws the secret heart; And Envy wan, and faded Care, Grim-visag'd comfortless Despair, And Sorrow's piercing dart.
Ambition this shall tempt to rise,
And grinning Infamy.
The stings of Falsehood those shall try,
That mocks the tear it forc'd to flow;
Lo, in the Vale of Years beneath
The painful family of Death,
More hideous than their Queen:
 And hard Unkindness' alter'd
The elision here, observes Mr. Mason, is ungraceful, and hurts this otherwise beautiful line: One of the same kind in the second line of the first Ode makes the same blemish; but I think they are the only two to be found in this correct writer; and I mention them here that succeeding Poets may not look upon them as authorities. The judicious reader will not suppose that I would condemn all elisions of the genitive case, by this stricture on those which are terminated by rough consonants. Many there are which the ear readily admits, and which use has made familiar to it.
(g) And moody Madness laughing wild.
And Madness laughing in his ireful mood.
This racks the joints, this fires the veins,
Those in the deeper vitals rage:
To each his suff'rings: all are men,
The tender for another's pain,
Th' unfeeling for his own.
Yet, ah! why should they know their fate,
And happiness too swiftly flies?
[It has been well remarked by a Writer in the Gentleman's Magazine, Vol. Ixviii. p. 481. that for this beautiful and affecting Ode, we may have been indebted to the following passage in Walton's Life of Sir Henry Wotton:
"How useful was that advice of a holy monk, who persuaded his friend to perform his customary devotions in a constant place, because in that place we usually meet with those very thoughts which possessed us at our last being there; and I find it thus far experimentally true,