[Page 197]

TO Thomas Gunston Esq

Happy Solitude.

Casimire Book 4. Ode 12. Imitated.Quid me latentem, &c.
1 THE noisy World complains of me
2 That I should shun their Sight, and flee
3 Visits, and Crowds and Company.
[Page 198]
4 GUNSTON, the Lark dwells in her Nest
5 Until she mount the Skies;
6 And in my Closet I could rest
7 Till to the Heavens I rise.
8 Yet they will urge, "This private Life
9 " Can never make you Blest,
10 "And twenty Doors are still at Strife
11 " T' engage you for a Guest?
12 Friend, should you see the Louvre, or Whitehall
13 Open their Royal Gates, and call,
14 And wait for WATTS to come,
15 He has no Business there at all
16 Who finds so much at Home.
17 When I within my self retreat,
18 I shut my Doors against the Great;
19 My busy Eyeballs inward roll,
20 And there with large survey I see
21 All the wide Theatre of Me,
22 And view the various Scenes of my retiring Soul;
23 There I walk o're the Mazes I have trod,
[Page 199]
24 While Hope and Fear are in a doubtful Strife
25 Whether this Opera of Life
26 Be acted well to gain the Plaudit of my God.
27 There's a Day hastning, ('tis an Awful Day)
28 When the great Sovereign shall at large review
29 All that we speak and all we do,
30 The several Parts we act on this wide Stage of Clay:
31 These he approves, and those he blames,
32 And Crowns perhaps a Porter, and a Prince he Damns
33 O if the Judge from his tremendous Seat
34 Shall not condemn what I have done,
35 I shall be Happy tho' unknown,
36 Nor need the gazing Rabble, nor the shouting Street.
37 I hate the Glory, Friend, that springs
38 From Vulgar Breath and empty Sound;
39 Fame mounts her upward with a Flatt'ring Gale
40 Upon her Airy Wings
41 Till Envy Shoots, and Fame receives the Wound;
42 Then her flagging Pinions fail,
[Page 200]
43 Down Glory falls and strikes the Ground
44 And breaks her batter'd Limbs.
45 Rather let me be quite conceal'd from Fame;
46 How happy I should lye
47 In Sweet Obscurity,
48 Nor the Loud World pronounce my little Name!
49 Here I could live and dye alone;
50 Or if Society be due
51 To keep our Tast of Pleasure new,
52 GVNSTON, I'de live and die with you,
53 For both our Souls are one.
54 Here we could sit and pass the pleasing Hour,
55 And Pity Kingdoms and their Kings,
56 And smile at all their shining Things,
57 Their Toys of State, and Images of Power;
58 Vertue should dwell within our Seat,
59 Vertue alone could make it sweet,
60 Nor is her self secure but in a close Retreat.
61 While she withdraws from publick Praise
62 Envy perhaps would cease to rail,
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63 Envy it self may innocently gaze
64 At Beauty in a Vail.
65 But if she once advance to Light,
66 Her Charms are lost in Envy's Sight,
67 And Vertue is the Mark of Universal Spight.


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Title (in Source Edition): TO Thomas Gunston Esq
Author: Isaac Watts
Genres: address; ode

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Watts, Isaac, 1674-1748. Horæ lyricæ: Poems, chiefly of the lyric kind. In two books. ... By I. Watts. London: Printed by S. and D. Bridge, for John Lawrence at the Sign of the Angel in the Poultrey. MDCCVI., 1706, pp. 197-201. [20],267,[1]p.; 8⁰. (ESTC T82397; OTA K067329.000) (Page images digitized from a copy in the Princeton Theological Seminary Library.)

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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

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