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In simple manners all the secret lies:
An Allegorical Poem.
The Castle hight of Indolence,
And its false luxury; Where for a little time, alas! * We liv'd right jollily,
Mortal man, who livest here by toil,
Do not complain of this thy hard estate:
In lowly dale, fast by a river's side,
brown'd, A listless climate made, where, sooth to say, No living wight could work, ne cared even for play.
Was nought around but iniages of rest :
That, as they bicker'd thro' the sunny glade,
Join'd to the prattle of the purling rills Were heard the lowing herds along the vale, And flocks loud-bleating from the distant hills, And vacant shepherds piping in the dale; And now and then sweet Philomel would wail, Or stock-doves 'plain amid the forest deep, That drowsy rustled to the sighing gale; And still a coil the grasshopper did keep : Yet all these sounds yblent inclined all to sleep.
Full in the passage of the vale above, A sable, silent, solemn forest stood; . Where nought but shadowy forms was seen to move, As Idless fancied in her dreaming mood : And up the hills on either side a wood Of blackening pines, ay waving to and fro, Sent forth a sleepy horror thro' the blood; And where this valley winded out below, The murmuring main was heard, and scarcely
beard, to flow.
A pleasing land of drowsy head it was,
But whate'er smack'd of noyance, or unrest, Was far, far off expelld from this delicious nest.
The landscape such, inspiring perfect ease, Where Indolence (for so the wizard hight) Close hid his castle 'mid embow'ring trees, That half shut out the beams of Phoebus bright, And made a kind of checquer'd day and night: Meanwhile, unceasing at the massy gate, Beneath a spacious palm, the wicked wight Was plac'd ; and, to his lute, of cruel fate And labour harsh complain'd, lamenting man's estate, Thither continual pilgrims crowded still, From all the roads of earth that pass thereby : For, as they chanc'd to breathe on neighb'ring hill, The freshness of this valley smote their eye, And drew them ever and abon more nigh; Till clustering round th' enchanter false they hung, Ymolten with his syren melody; While o'er th' enfeebliog lute his hand he flung, And to the trembling chords those tempting verses
sung : • Behold! ye pilgrims of this earth, behold!
See all but man with unearn'd pleasure gay : • See her bright robes the butterfly unfold, • Broke from her wintry tomb in prime of May! • What youthful bride can equal her array? • Who can with her for easy pleasure vie ?
From mead to mead with gentle wing to stray, * From flow'r to flow'r on balmy gales to fly, • Is all she hath to do beneath the radiant sky.
• Behold the merry minstrels of the morn, · The swarming songsters of the careless grove, . Ten thousand throats! that from the flowering
thorn ' Hymn their good God, and carol sweet of love, . Such grateful kindly raptures them emove : * They neither plough nor sow; ne, fit for flail,
E'er to the barn the nodding-sheaves they drove; " Yet theirs each harvest dancing in the gale, • Whatever crowns the hill, or smiles along the vale.
• Outcast of nature, man! the wretched thrall
That all proceed from savage thirst of gain :
For when hard-hearted interest first began • To poison earth, Astræa left the plain ; • Guile, violence, and murder seiz'd on man, And for soft milky streams, with blood the rivers ran.
« Come, ye who still the cumbrous load of life • Push hard up hill; but, as the farthest steep • You trust to gain, and put an end to strife, • Down thunders back the stone with mighty sweep, ' And hurls your labours to the valley deep,
For ever vain; come, and withouten fee • I in oblivion will your sorrows steep,
" Your cares, your toils; will steep you in a sea · Of full delight: oh come, ye weary wights, to me!
• With me you need not rise at early dawn, • To pass the joyless day in various sounds; • Or, louting low, on upstart fortune fawn, * And sell fair honour for some paltry pounds:
Or thro' the city take your dirty rounds, "To cheat, and dun, and lye, and visit pay, Now flattering base, now giving secret wounds;
Or proul in courts of law for human prey, ' In venal senate thieve, or rob on broad highway.
• No cocks with me to rustic labour call, * From village on to village sounding clear; • To tardy swains no shrill-voic'd matrons squall; • No dogs, no babes, no wives, to stun your ear; • No hammers thump; no horrid blacksmith fear; * No noisy tradesmen your sweet slumbers start, • With sounds that are a misery to hear :
But all is calm, as would delight the heart Of Sybarite of old, all nature, and all art.
Here nought but candour reigns, indulgent ease, Good-natur'd lounging, saunt'ring up and down. • They who are pleas'd themselves must always
please; On others ways they never squint a frown, Nor heed what haps in hamlet or in town. Thus, from the source of tender indolence, • With milky blood the heart is overflown, . Is sooth'd and sweeten'd by the social sense;. "For intrest,envy,pride,and strife are banish'd hence.