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BOOK II. ODE X. RECEIVE, dear friend, the truths I teach, So shalt thou live beyond the reach
Of adverse Fortune's power:
Along the treacherous shore.
The little and the great,
Imbittering all his state.
Comes heaviest to the ground;
And spread the ruin round.
And hopes in spite of pain: If Winter bellow from the north, Soon the sweet Spring comes dancing forth,
And Nature laughs again:
Expect a brighter sky.
And lays his arrows by.
If hinderances obstruct thy ways
And let thy strength be seen;
Take half thy canvass in.
ON THE FOREGOING ODE. AND is this all? Can Reason do no more Than bid me shun the deep and dread the shore; Sweet moralist! afloat on life's rough sea, The Christian has an art unknown to thee. He holds no parley with unmanly fears; Where duty bids he confidently steers, Faces a thousand dangers at her call, And, trusting in his God, surmounts them all.
THE ROSE. Therose had been wash'd, just wash'd in a shower,
Which Mary to Anna convey'd, The plentiful moisture encumber'd the flower,
And weigh'd down its beautiful head. The cup was all fill’d, and the leaves were all wet,
And it seem'd, to a fanciful view, Το weep
for the buds it had left with regret On the flourishing bush where it grew. I hastily seized it, unfit as it was
For a nosegay, so dripping and drown'd, And swinging it rudely, too rudely, alas !
I snapp'd it, it fell to the ground, VOL. I.
And such, I exclaim'd, is the pitiless part
Some act by the delicate mind,
Already to sorrow resign'd.
Might have bloom’d with its owner awhile; And the tear that is wiped with a little address,
May be follow'd perhaps by a smile.
THE WINTER NOSEGAY. What Nature, alas! has denied
To the delicate growth of our isle, Art has in a measure supplied,
And Winter is deck'd with a smile. See, Mary, what beauties I bring
From the shelter of that sunny shed, Where the flowers have the charms of the spring,
Though abroad they are frozen and dead. 'Tis a bower of Arcadian sweets,
Where Flora is still in her prime, A fortress to which she retreats
From the cruel assaults of the clime. While Earth wears a mantle of snow,
These pinks are as fresh and as gay As the fairest and sweetest that blow
On the beautiful bosom of May. See how they have safely survived
The frowns of a sky so severe; Such Mary's true love, that has lived
Through many a turbulent year.
The charms of the late-blowing rose
Seem graced with a livelier hue, And the winter of sorrow best shows
The truth of a friend such as you.
TO THE NIGHTINGALE
From yonder wither'd spray,
The melody of May?
Of such a favour shown,
To witness it alone?
For that I also long
Though not like thee in song?
Of some divine command,
Of happier days at hand?
Beneath a wintry sky.
Who only need’st to sing,
And every season Spring.
THE POPLAR FIELD. The poplars are fell’d, farewell to the shade, And the whispering sound of the cool colonnade: The winds play no longer and sing in the leaves, Nor Ouse in his bosom their image receives. Twelve years have elapsed since I last took a
[grew; Of my favourite field, and the bank where they And now in the grass behold they are laid, And the tree is my seat, that once lent me a shade. The blackbird has fled to another retreat, Where the hazels afford him a screen from the heat, And the scene where his melody charm'd me
before, Resounds with his sweet-flowing ditty no more. My fugitive years are all hasting away, And I must ere long lie as lowly as they, With a turf on my breast, and a stone at my head, Ere another such grove shall arise in its stead. The change both my heart and my fancy employs, I reflect on the frailty of man and his joys; Shortlived as we are, yet our pleasures, we see, Have a still shorter date, and die sooner than we.
WRITTEN IN A TIME OF AFFLICTION. Oh happy shades—to me unbless'd!
Friendly to peace, but not to me! How ill the scene that offers rest,
And heart that cannot rest, agree!