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He does not scorn it, who imprison’d long
In some unwholesome dungeon, and a prey
To fallow sickness, which the vapors dank
And clammy of his dark abode have bred,
Escapes at last to liberty and light.
His cheek recovers soon its healthful hue,
His eye relumines its extinguish'd fires,
He walks, he leaps, he runs—is wing’d with joy,
And riots in the sweets of ev'ry breeze.
He does not scorn it, who has long endur'd
A fever's agonies, and fed on drugs.
Nor yet the mariner, his blood infamed
With acrid salts ; his very heart athirst
To gaze at Nature in her green array.
Upon the ship’s tall side he stands, postess’d
With visions prompted by intense desire ;
Fair fields appear below, such as he left
Far distant, such as he would die to find
He seeks them headlong, and is seen no more.
The spleen is feldom felt where Flora reigns ; The low'ring eye, the petulance, the frown, And sullen sadness that o'ershade, distort, And mar the face of beauty, when no cause For such immeasurable woe appears, These Flora banishes, and gives the fair Sweet smiles and bloom less transient than her own. It is the constant revolution ftale And tasteless, of the same repeated joys, That palls and satiates, and makes languid life A pedlar's pack, that bows the bearer down. Health suffers, and the spirits ebb; the heart Recoils from its own choice at the full feast Is famish'd-finds no music in the song, No smartness in the jest, and wonders why. Yet thousands still desire to journey on, Though halt and weary of the path they tread. The paralytic who can hold her cards But cannot play them, borrows a friend's hand To deal and shuffle, to divide and sort
Her mingled suits and sequences, and fits
Spe&tatress both and spectacle, a sad
And filent cypher, while her proxy plays.
Others are dragg’d into the crowded room
Between supporters ; and once feated, fit
Through downright inability to rise,
'Till the stout bearers lift the corpse again.
These speak a loud memento. Yet ev’n these
Themselves love life, and cling to it, as he
That overhangs a torrent, to a twig. . .
They love it, and yet loath it ; fear to die,
Yet scorn the purposes for which they live.
Then wherefore not renounce them ? No-the dread,
The Ravish dread of folitude, that breeds
Reflection and remorse, the fear of shame,
And their invet'rate habits, all forbid.
Whom call we gay? That honor has been long The boast of mere pretenders to the name. The innocent are gay—the lark is gay
That dries his feathers saturate with dew
Beneath the rosy cloud, while yet the beams
Of day-spring overshoot his humble nest.
The peasant too, a witness of his song,
Himself a songster, is as gay as he.
But save me from the gaiety of those
Whose head-achs nail them to a noon-day bed ; .
And save me too from theirs whose haggard eyes
Flash desperation, and betray their pangs
For property stripp'd off by cruel chance ;
From gaiety that fills the bones with pain,
The mouth with blasphemy, the heart with woe.
The earth was made so various, that the mind Of desultory man, ftudious of change, And pleas’d with novelty, might be indulged. Prospects however lovely may be seen 'Till half their beauties fade ; the weary sight, Too well acquainted with their smiles, Nides off Fastidious, seeking less familiar scenes.
Then fnug inclosures in the shelter'd vale,
Where frequent hedges intercept the eye,
Delight us, happy to renounce a while,
Not senseless of its charms, what still we love,
That such short absence may endear it more.
Then forests, or the favage rock may please,
That hides the sea-mew in his hollow clefts
Above the reach of man: his hoary head
Conspicuous many a league, the mariner
Bound homeward, and in hope already there,
Greets with three cheers exulting. At his waist
A girdle of half-wither'd shrubs he shows,
And at his feet the baffled billows die.
The common overgrown with fern, and rough
With prickly gofs, that shapeless and deform:
And dang’rous to the touch, has yet its bloom
And decks itself with ornaments of gold,
Yields no unpleasing ramble ; there the turf
Smells freih, and rich in odorif'rous herbs