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Soldiers and citizens, à seemly train !
And lawyers and physicians, sought her cell, With many a schoolman-But their search was
vain : Few can the residence of Fortune tell.
Where the wretch Avarice was wont to hide
His gold, his emeralds, and rubies rare; 'Twas rumour'd that dame Fortune did reside,
And Jove's ambassadors were posted there.
Meagre and wan, in tatter'd garments dress'd,
A feeble porter at the gate they found : Doubled with wretchedness—with age distressd,
And on his wrinkled forehead Famine frown'd.
• Mortals, avaunt (the trembling spectre cries), Ere
you invade those sacred haunts, beware! To guard Lord Avarice from rude surprise
I am the sentinel-my name is Care.
Doubts, Disappointments, Anarchy of mind,
These are the soldiers that surround his hall; And every Fury that can lash mankind,
Rage, Rancour, and Revenge attend his call. • Fortune's gone forth, you seek a wandering dame,
A settled residence the harlot scorns: Curse on such visitants, she never came
But with a cruel hand she scatter'd thorns!
• To the green vale, yon sheltering hills surround,
Go forward, you'll arrive at Wisdom's cell: Would you be taught where Fortune may be found, None can direct your
anxious search so well.'
Forward they went o'er many a dreary spot
(Rough was the road, as if untrod before), Till from the casement of a low-roof'd cot
Wisdom perceived them, and unbarr'd her door. Wisdom (she knew of Fortune but the name)
Gave to their questions a serene reply: • Hither (she said), if e'er that goddess came,
I saw her not-she pass'd unnoticed by. • Abroad with Contemplation oft I roam,
And leave to Poverty my humble cell: She's
my domestic, never stirs from home, If Fortune has been here, 'tis she can tell. • The matron eyes us from yon mantling shade, And see her sober footsteps this way
bent! Mark by her side a little rose-lipp'd maid, [tent.'
'Tis my young daughter, and her name's ConAs Poverty advanced with lenient grace,
• Fortune (she cried) hath never yet been here: But Hope, a gentle neighbour of this place,
Tells me, her highness may in time appear. · Felicity, no doubt, adorns their lot,
On whom her golden bounty beams divine! Yet though she never reach our rustic cot,
Patience will visit us—we sha’n’t repine.' After a vast but unavailing round,
The messengers returning in despair, On a high hill a fairy mansion found,
And hoped the goddess Fortune might be there. The dome, so glittering, it amazed the sight
('Twas adamant, with gems encrusted o’er), Had not a casement to admit the light,
Nor could Jove's deputies descry the door.
But eager to conclude a tedious chase,
And anxious to return from whence they came, Thrice they invoked the Genius of the place,
Thrice utter'd, awfully, Jove's sacred name. As Echo from the hill announced high Jove,
Illusion and her fairy dome withdrew (Like the light mists by early sunbeams drove):
And Fortune stood reveal'd to public view. Oft for that happiness high courts denied,
To this receptacle dame Fortune ran: When harass'd, it was here she used to hide
From the wild suits of discontented Man. Prostrate, the delegates their charge declare,
(Happy the courtier that salutes her feet !) Fortune received them with a flattering air, And join'd them till they reach'd Jove's judg
ment șeat. Men of all ranks at that illustrious place Were gather'd; though from different motives
keen: Many—to see dame Fortune's radiant face,
Many-by radiant Fortune to be seen. Jove smiled, as on a favourite he esteems, He
gave her, near his own, a golden seat: Fair Fortune's an adventurer, it seems,
The deities themselves are glad to greet. • Daughter (says Jupiter), you're sore accused !
Clamour incessantly reviles your name! If by the rancour of that wretch abused,
Be confident, and vindicate your fame.
• Though pester'd daily with complaints from Man,
Through this conviction I record them notLet my kind providence do all it can,
None of that species ever liked his lot. • But the poor quadruped that now appeals!
Can wanton cruelty the weak pursue? Large is the catalogue of woes he feels,
And all his wretchedness he lays to you.' Ask him, high Jupiter! (replied the dame)
In what he has excell’d his long-ear'd class? Is Fortune, a divinity, to blame That she descends not to regard
-an Ass? Fame enter'd in her rolls the sage reply;
The dame defendant was discharged with grace. Go—(to the plaintiff, said the sire) and try
By merit to surmount your low-born race. • Learn from the Lion to be just and brave,
Take from the Elephant instruction wise; With gracious breeding like the Horse behave,
Nor the sagacity of Hounds despise. • These useful qualities with care imbibe,
For which some quadrupeds are justly prized : Attain those talents that adorn each tribe,
And you'll no longer be a wretch despised.'
SHELTER'D from the bright ambition,
Fatal to the pride of rank, See me in my low condition,
Laughing on the tufted bank.
On my robes (for emulation)
No variety's impress’d: Suited to an humble station,
Mine's an unembroider'd vest.
Modest though the maids declare me,
May in her fantastic train, When Pastora deigns to wear me,
Ha’n't a floweret half so vain,
As pendent o'er the limpid stream
I bow'd my snowy pride,
For what the Fates denied;
With such an angel air,
And loved the rival fair.
Ye fates, no longer let me pine,
A self admiring sweet,
To kiss the fair one's feet:
My fragrance should admire,
In sister sweets expire.