Изображения страниц

That life may be more comfortable yet,
And all my joys refined, sincere, and great;
I'd choose two friends, whose company would be
A great advance to my felicity:
Well born, of humours suited to my own,

Discreet, and men as well as books have known:
Brave, generous, witty, and exactly free
From loose behaviour, or formality:

Airy and prudent; merry, but not light;
Quick in discerning, and in judging right:
Secret they should be, faithful to their trust;
In reasoning cool, strong, temperate, and just;
Obliging, open, without huffing, brave;
Brisk in gay talking, and in sober, grave;
Close in dispute, but not tenacious; try'd
By solid reason, and let that decide;
Not prone to lust, revenge, or envious hate;
Nor busy meddlers with intrigues of state;
Strangers to slander, and sworn foes to spite;
Not quarrelsome, but stout enough to fight;
Loyal, and pious, friends to Cæsar; true
As dying martyrs, to their Maker too.
In their society I could not miss
A permanent, sincere, substantial bliss.

Would bounteous Heaven once more indulge, I'd


(For who would so much satisfaction lose
As witty nymphs, in conversation, give)
Near some obliging modest fair to live:
For there's that sweetness in a female mind,
Which in a man's we cannot hope to find!
That by a secret, but a powerful art

Winds up the spring of life, and does impart
Fresh vital heat to the transported heart.

I'd have her reason all her passions sway:
Easy in company, in private gay:
Coy to a fop, to the deserving free;
Still constant to herself, and just to me.
A soul she should have for great actions fit;
Prudence and wisdom to direct her wit:
Courage to look bold danger in the face;
No fear, but only to be proud, or base;
Quick to advise, by an emergence prest,
To give good council, or to take the best.
I'd have the expression of her thoughts be such,
She might not seem reserv'd, nor talk too much
That shows a want of judgment and of sense;
More than enough is but impertinence.
Her conduct regular, her mirth refin'd;
Civil to strangers, to her neighbours kind:
Averse to vanity, revenge, and pride;
In all the methods of deceit untry'd:
So faithful to her friend, and good to all,
No censure might upon her actions fall:
Then would ev'n envy be compell'd to say,
goes the least of woman-kind astray. ·
To this fair creature I'd sometimes retire;
Her conversation would new joys inspire;
Give life an edge so keen, no surly care
Would venture to assault my soul, or dare,
Near my retreat, to hide one secret snare.
But so divine, so noble a repast
I'd seldom, and with moderation, taste,
For highest cordials all their virtue lose,

By a too frequent and too bold a use;
And what would cheer the spirits in distress,
Ruins our health, when taken to excess.

I'd be concern'd in no litigious jar, Belov'd by all, not vainly popular. Whate'er assistance I had power to bring, T'oblige my country, or to serve my king, Whene'er they call'd, I'd readily afford, My tongue, my pen, my counsel, or my sword. Law-suits I'd shun, with as much studious care, As I would dens where hungry lions are; And rather put up injuries, than be

A plague to him, who'd be a plague to me.
I value quiet at a price too great,

To give for my revenge so dear a rate:
For what do we by all our bustle gain,
But counterfeit delight, for real pain?

If Heaven a date of many years would give, Thus I'd in pleasure, ease, and plenty live. And as I near approach'd the verge of life, Some kind relation (for I'd have no wife) Should take upon him all my worldly care, Whilst I did for a better state prepare. Then I'd not be with any trouble vex'd, Nor have the evening of my days perplex'd; But by a silent and a peaceful death, Without a sigh, resign my aged breath. And when committed to the dust, I'd have Few tears, but friendly, dropped into my grave; Then would my exit so propitious be,

All men would wish to live and die like me.

Thomas Parnell.


FAR in a wild, unknown to public view,

From youth to age a reverend hermit grew;
The moss his bed, the cave his humble cell,
His food the fruits, his drink the crystal well;
Remote from men, with God he passed his days,
Prayer all his business, all his pleasure praise.

A life so sacred, such serene repose,
Seemed heaven itself, till one suggestion rose-
That vice should triumph, virtue vice obey;
This sprung some doubt of Providence's sway;
His hopes no more a certain prospect boast,
And all the tenor of his soul is lost.

So, when a smooth expanse receives impressed
Calm nature's image on its watery breast,
Down bend the banks, the trees depending grow,
And skies beneath with answering colours glow;
But, if a stone the gentle sea divide,
Swift ruffling circles curl on every side,

And glimmering fragments of a broken sun,
Banks, trees, and skies, in thick disorder run.
To clear this doubt, to know the world by sight,
To find if books, or swains, report it right
(For yet by swains alone the world he knew,
Whose feet came wandering o'er the nightly dew),
He quits his cell; the pilgrim-staff he bore,
And fixed the scallop in his hat before;
Then, with the rising sun, a journey went,
Sedate to think, and watching each event.

'The morn was wasted in the pathless grass, And long and lonesome was the wild to pass; But, when the southern sun had warmed the day, A youth came posting o'er a crossing way; His raiment decent, his complexion fair, And soft in graceful ringlets waved his hair; Then, near approaching, "Father, hail!" he cried, And, "Hail, my son !" the reverend sire replied. Words followed words, from question answer flowed, And talk, of various kind, deceived the road; Till each with other pleased, and loath to part, While in their age they differ, join in heart. Thus stands an aged elm in ivy bound, Thus youthful ivy clasps an elm around.

Now sunk the sun; the closing hour of day
Came onward, mantled o'er with sober gray;
Nature, in silence, bid the world repose,
When, near the road, a stately palace rose.
There, by the moon, through ranks of trees they pass,
Whose verdure crowned their sloping sides with grass.
It chanced the noble master of the dome
Still made his house the wandering stranger's home;
Yet still the kindness, from a thirst of praise,
Proved the vain flourish of expensive ease.
The pair arrive; the liveried servants wait;
Their lord receives them at the pompous gate;
The table groans with costly piles of food,
And all is more than hospitably good.

Then led to rest, the day's long toil they drown,
Deep sunk in sleep, and silk, and heaps of down.
At length 'tis morn, and, at the dawn of day,
Along the wide canals the zephyrs play;

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »