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Behold, ye fair, your lovely Queen!
VIRTUE AND PLEASURE.
BY THE SAME.
INFORM me, VIRTUE! is it true!
Does Pleasure really dwell with you?
They say, that all who mind your rules
They say, and openly maintain,
That your rewards are care and pain ;
At best 'tis but a phantom fair,
The soul is mortal, melts in air,
And heav'n shall never reach.
Or tell me, PLEASURE! what you feel;
PLEASURE, Sweet power, to Nature dear!
I never wish to be austere;
I seek the happiest state.
PLEASURE replies with modest smile, "Let not a name thy heart beguile;
My name the sons of sense
Have oft assum'd: but, trust me, they From happiness are far astray;
'Tis all a mere pretence.
"To me they boast alliance near;
Meanwhile they are of CIRCE's crew,
"CIRCE, my rival, harlot base!
Her blinded followers she betrays;
"Mine is a purer, nobler rise,
VIRTUE, my parent, from the skies Came down to bless the earth. With me, the child she bore to LovE; A beauteous happy pair above,
And here of highest worth!
"VIRTUE, I grant, is often tried By sickness, sorrow, envy, pride; Nor is asham'd to mourn.
But trial strengthens: conscience cheers, Of death and woe prevents the fears: Assaults to vict'ry turn.
"Of active life the hard turmoils,
Of friendship, sympathy, the pains,
"But who can paint the heartfelt glow
Faith's firm repose, hope's vision bright,
"Nor deem such bliss an empty form; 'Tis solid, will defy the storm,
And keep the breast serene; When all the merriment of Vice, A low-born vapour sudden flies, And leaves a void within.
"An aching void where nought can come,
Let braggart sinners loudly boast:
"They dare not face rich Folly's frown; saucy Greatness they bow down.
Held fast in Passion's chain
They talk of liberty: 'tis prate.
The slaves of appetite and fate,
"Lest Death their trembling souls should seize, Their blood with mortal horrors freeze,
And all their prospects end.
At that inevitable hour,
My parent, VIRTUE, proves her power,
"In life, in death, I follow her;
She, she alone, can joys confer,
To fill the human heart:
From heav'n together first we came :
And never, never part!"
BY DR. JOHNSON.
STERN Winter now, by Spring repress'd,
And Nature, on her naked breast,
Now o'er the rural kingdom roves
And Vegetation plants the plain..
Unhappy! whom to beds of pain
Whom smiling Nature courts in vain,
Though Rapture sings and Beauty shines.
Yet though my limbs disease invades,
Here stop, my soul, thy rapid flight,