Plagu’d with dependance on the great,
To raise me from my humble state;
With paying court to faithless friends,
Who disappointed all my ends;
With wasting all my blooming years, 5
In endless toils, and hopes, and fears;
How fondly longs my soul to gain
The calm, uncrowded rural scene!
To fly the man, whose treach’rous art
Deludes the undesigning heart. 10
No calumny, no pale-cheek’d care,
No envy shall attend me there.
There seated near a gliding stream,
Intent on some inspiring theme,
Or wand’ring o’er the flow’ry vale, 15
Imbibing joy from every gale,
I strive that blissful state to gain,
So fondly sought, so sought in vain.
Vain are our fondest hopes of bliss,
From such a faithless world as this. 20
Where vice in every form appears,
In wanton’d youth and palsy’d years.
Where villainy exalted shines,
And merit unregarded pines;
Angelic probity’s unpriz’d, 25
And heav’n-descended truth despised:
Where friendship’s name conceals a knave,
Subtle and studious to deceive;
(A Corvus, who with great success,
At once can murder and caress;) 30
Where triumps self-adoring pride,
Where virtue’s scorn’d, and God defy’d.
Too long deceiv’d, I strove to know
Felicity in things below;
But now, O pow’r supreme, I see, 35
True happiness resides with thee.
With thee, whose wisdom guides on high
The worlds of light that gild the sky,
And made this earth, a place of pain,
A mix’d unsatisfying scene. 40
Let wealth have wings, and friends profest
Stab the sincere unguarded breast;
Preferment’s golden show’r be shed
On Clodio’s undeserving head.
Or Calumny’s envenom’d dart 45
Transfix me in the tend’rest part;
Since no distress in time or place,
Can make eternal goodness cease,
In God alone my raptur’d mind
Unmix’d felicity shall find. 50
11 calumny “False charge, slander” (OED).
15 vale “A dale or valley” (OED).
16 gale “A song; merriment” (OED).
22 palsy’d “Affected with palsy, trembling, tottering” (OED).
25 probity “Moral integrity, decency” (OED).
29 Corvus Latin for raven. May also refer to a raven in Greek mythology known as a trickster and thief.
44 Clodio Unable to trace.
Source: The Magazine of Magazines, vol. 8 (July, 1754), p. 82. [Google Books]
Edited by Keli Landowski