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What makes the sea retreat, and what advance
"(Varieties too regular for chance);"
What drives the chariot on of winter's light,
And stops the lazy waggon of the night.
But, if my dull and frozen blood deny
To send forth spirits, that raise a soul so high,
In the next place, let woods and rivers be
My quiet, though inglorious, destiny.
In life's cool vale let my low scene be laid;
Cover me, gods, with Tempe's thickest shade.
Happy the man, I grant, thrice happy, he,
Who can through gross effects their causes see;
Whose courage from the deeps of knowledge springSj
Nor vainly fears inevitable things;
But does his walk of virtue calmly go
Through all th' alarms of death and hell below.
Happy! but, next such conquerors, happy they,
Whose humble life lies not in fortune's way.
They unconcern'd, from their safe distant seat,.
Behold the rods and sceptres of the great;
The quarrels of the mighty without fear,
And the descent of foreign troops, they hear;
Nor can ev'n Rome their steady course misguide,
With all the lustre of her perishing pride.
Them never yet did strife or avarice draw
Into the noisy markets of the law,
The camps of gowned war; nor do they live
By rules or forms, that many madmen give.
Duty for nature's bounty they repay,
And her sole laws religiously obey..
Some with bold labour plow the faithless main, Some rougher storms in princes' courts sustain: Some swell up their slight sails with popular fame, Charm'd with the foolish whistlings of a name: Some their vain wealth to earth again commit; With endless cares some brooding o'er it sit: Country and friends are by some wretches sold, To lie on Tyrian beds, and drink in gold; No price too high for profit can be shown; Not brothers' blood, nor hazards of their own: Around the world in search of it they roam, It makes ev'n their antipodes their home; Meanwhile, the prudent husbandman is found, In mutual duties striving with his ground, And half the year he care of that does take, That half the year grateful returns does make. Each fertile month does some new gifts present, And with new work his industry content. This the young lamb, that the soft fleece, doth yield; This loads with hay, and that with corn, the field; All sorts of fruit crown the rich autumn's pride: And on a swelling hill's warm stony side, The powerful princely purple of the vine, Twice dy'd with the redoubled sun, does shine. In th' evening to a fair ensuing day, With joy he sees.his flocks and kids to play: And loaded kine about his cottage stand, Inviting with known sound the milker's hand; And when from wholesome labour he doth come, With wishes to be there, and wish'd-for home,
He meets at door the softest human blisses,
HAPPY the man, whom bounteous gods allow With his own hands paternal grounds to plough! Like the first golden mortals happy, he, From business and the cares of money free! No human storms break off at land his sleep; No loud alarms of Nature, on the deep: From all the cheats of law he lives secure, Nor does th' affronts of palaces endure. Sometimes the beauteous, marriageable vine He to the lusty bridegroom elm does join; Sometimes he lops the barren trees around, And grafts new life into the fruitful wound; Sometimes he shears his flock, and sometimes he Stores up the golden treasures of the bee. He sees his lowing herds walk o'er the plain, Whilst neighbouring hills low back to them again; And when the season, rich as well as gay, All her autumnal bounty does display, How is he pleas'd th' increasing use to see Of his well-trusted labours bend the tree! Of which large shares, on the glad sacred days, He gives to friends, and to the gods repays. With how much joy does he, beneath some shade By aged trees' reverend embraces made, His careless head on the fresh green recline, His head uncharg'd with fear or with design!
By him a river constantly complains,