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Of tafte unpleasant; yet from those
Pure health, with cheerful vigour, flows ;
And strength, unfeeling of decay,
Throughout the long laborious way.
Hence, as they scale that heav'nly road,
Each limb is lighten'd of its load;
From earth refining fill they go,
And leave the mortal weight below;
Then spreads the straight, the doubtful clears,
And smooth the rugged path appears ;
For custom turns fatigue to ease,
And, taught by Virtue, pain can please.
At length, the toilsome journey o'er, And near the bright celestial shore, A gulph, black, fearful and profound, Appears, of either world the bound, Through darkness leading up to light; Sense backward shrinks, and shuns the fight; For there the transitory train Of time, and form, and care, and pain, And matter's gross, incumb'ring mass, Man's late associates cannot pass; But sinking, quit th' immortal charge, And leave the wond'ring soul at large ; Lightly she wings her obvious way, And mingles with eternal day.
Thither, oh thither wing thy speed, Though pleasure charm or pain impede ! To such th’ All-bounteous Pow'r has given, For present earth, a future heaven; For trivial lufs, unmeasur'd gain; And endless bliss for transient pain.
Then fear, ah! fear, to turn thy light
Where yonder flowery fields invite:
Wide on the left the path-way bends,
And with pernicious ease descends ;
'There, sweet to fense, and fair to show,
New-planted Edens seem to blow,
Trees, that delicious poison bear;
For death is vegetable there,
Hence is the frame of health unbrac'd,
Each finew sack’ning at the taste,
The soul to passion yields her throne,
And sees with organs not her own ;
While, like the numb'rer in the night,
Pleas'd with the shadowy dream of light,
Before her alienated eyes
The scenes of fairy-land arise;
The puppet world's amusing show,
Dipt in the gaily.colourd bow ;
Sceptres, and wreaths, and glittring things,
The toys of infants and of kings,
That tempt, along the baneful plain,
The idly wise and lightly vain,
Till, verging on the gulphy shore,
Sudden they fink-and rise no more.
But lift to what thy fates declare ;
Though thou art woman, frail as fair,
If once thy Niding foot should stray,
Once quit yon heav'n-appointed way,
For thee, loft maid, for thee alone,
Nor prayers shall plead, nor tears alone;
Reproach, scorn, infamy, and hate,
On thy returning steps shall wait;
Thy form be loath'd by ev'ry eye,
And ev'ry foot thy presence fly.
Thus arm'd with words of potent found,
Like guardian angels plac'd around,
A charm, by Truth divinely caft,
Forward our young advent'rer pass'd ;
Forth from her sacred eye-lids fent,
Like morn, fore-running radiance went;
While Honour, handmaid late assigned,
Upheld her lucid train behind.
Awe-struck, the much-admiring crowd Before the virgin-vision bow'd ; Gazd with an ever-new delight, And caught fresh virtue at the fight ; For not of earth's unequal frame They deem the heav'n-compounded dame; If matter, sure the most refin'd, High-wrought, and temper'd into mind, Some darling daughter of the day, And body'd by her native ray.
Where'er the passes, thousands bend, And thousands where me moves, attend; Her ways observant eyes confess, Her steps pursuing praises bless; While to the elevated maid, Oblations, as to Heav'n, are paid.
'Twas on an ever-blithfome day, The jovial birth of rosy May, When genial warınth, no more fuppreft, New melts the frost in ev'ry breast; The cheek with secret flushing dyes, And looks kind things from chafieft eves;
The fun with healthier visage glows,
Aside his clouded kerchief throws,
And dances up th' ethereal plain,
Where late he us'd to climb with pain,
While nature, as from bonds set free,
Springs out, and gives a loose to glee.
And for momentary reit,
The Nymph her travell’d step reprefs'd,
Just turn’d, to view the stage attain'd,
And gloried in the height the gain'd.
Outstretch'd before her wide furvey
The realms of sweet perdition lay,
And pity touch'd lier soul with woe,
To see a world fo lost below;
When straight the breeze began to breathe
Airs, gently wafted from beneath,
That bore commiffion'd witchcraft thence,
And reach'd her sympathy of sense ;
No sounds of discord, that disclose
A people sunk and loft in woes,
But, as of present good possess’d,
The very triumph of the bless’d.
The maid in rapt attention hung,
While thus approaching Sirens suog :-
Hither, fairest, hither hafte,
Brightest beauty, come and taste,
What the pow'rs of bliss unfold,
Joys too mighty to be told ;
Tafte what ecftafies they give;
Dying raptures taste and live.
In thy lap, disdaining measure,
Nature empties all her treasure,
Soft desires, that sweetly languisha ;
Fierce delights, that rise to anguish;
Fairest, doft thou yet delay?
Brightest beauty, come away!
Lift not when the froward chide,
Sons of pedantry and pride,
Snarlers, to whose feeble sense
April's sunshine is offence ;
Age and Envy will advise
E'en against the joy they prize.
Comę, in Pleasure's balmy bowl
Slake the thirftings of thy foul,
Till thy raptur'd pow'rs are fainting
With enjoyment pass’d the painting :
Faireft, dost thou yeț delay?
Brightest beauty, come away!
So sung the Sirens, as of yore,
Upon the false Ausonian shore :
And oh! for that preventing chain,
That bound Ulysses on the main,
That so our Fair One might withstand
The covert ruio, now at hand.
The song her charm'd attention drew,
When now the tempters stood in view ;
Cur'ofity, with prying eyes,
And hands of busy, bold emprise ;
Like Hermes, feather'd were her feet;
And like fore-running Fancy, feet;
By search untaught, by toil untird,
To novelty she still aspir’d,
Tasteless of ev'ry good possessid,
And but in expectation bless’d.