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An Imitation of the Sixteenth Ode of the Third Book of HORACE.

Inclusam DANAEN turris ahenea,
Robustaeque fores, &c.
To the Reverend Mr. STANLEY.
1 BELIEVE me, Sir, your Cost and Cares,
2 Your Dogs and Locks, your Bolts and Bars,
3 Your Palisades, and Walls of Brass,
4 Are all too weak, when Gold attacks the Place.
5 A brazen Tow'r ACRISIUS rear'd;
6 A brazen Tow'r, he thought, would guard
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7 His Daughter from the leach'rous Arms
8 Of those who nightly sought her Charms;
9 While surly Mastiffs watch'd the Dame,
10 And thund'ring, told if Lovers came:
11 These kept the Nymph from Gods and Men,
12 Not JOVE himself could enter in;
13 Till VENUS (wondrous to behold!)
14 Transform'd his Godship into Gold.
15 O STANLEY, STANLEY! Gold has Pow'r
16 The sternest Heart to move,
17 To burst the Wall, or pierce the Tow'r,
18 Impervious ev'n to JOVE.
19 Gold can the subtlest Head deceive,
20 Or Peace, or War can bring,
21 Buy Votes, raise Gallic Arms, and give
22 The Polanders a King.
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23 APOLLO knew the Force of Gold,
24 When PHILIP's Martial Fate he thus foretold:
25 "The sharpest Lance of Steel may err,
26 " So may the surest Bow;
27 "But know, O King, the Golden Spear
28 " Will vanquish ev'ry Foe. "
29 The God's Advice the Prince pursu'd;
30 He fought with Gold, and Gold subdu'd:
31 Whence some Historians say, 'twas this,
32 And not young AMMON's Father, conquer'd Greece.
33 Gold has an absolute Command;
34 It rules at Sea, as well as Land:
35 For, when two adverse Fleets engage,
36 And firy Tubes displode their Rage;
37 A Bribe can make their Thunder cease,
38 And hush the wat'ry World to Peace.
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39 Yet, notwithstanding all its Force,
40 It often brings the greatest Curse.
41 Vexatious Cares and Discontents
42 Increasing Gold attend;
43 Desires enlarge, as Wealth augments;
44 For Av'rice knows no End.
45 We labour up the golden Hill with Pain;
46 But ne'er surmount the tow'ring Alps of Gain.
47 O STANLEY, Honour of my Muse!
48 I fear, and justly fear,
49 To steer the Course Ambition shews,
50 Or soar beyond my Sphere.
51 He's poor, who always after Wealth aspires;
52 He's rich, who always curbs his own Desires.
53 I more admire an humble Seat,
54 Than all the Pomps, which vex the Great;
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55 And from their gilded Roofs retire,
56 On Isis' Banks to tune my Lyre.
57 In this Retreat I'm nobler bless'd,
58 Than CROESUS e'er could be,
59 Than if (like Misers) I possess'd
60 A wealthy Poverty.
61 While favour'd by the Best of Queens,
62 Who all my Wants supplies;
63 While fragrant Groves, and flow'ry Scenes,
64 Delight my Muse's Eyes;
65 My Fate a far superior Blessing brings,
66 Than all the Pageantry of Eastern Kings.
67 What tho' no Flocks, on Richmond Plain,
68 With Fleeces deck my Pride?
69 What tho' I seldom drink Champagne,
70 Or quaff the purple Tide?
71 If these I wanted, were your Bard to ask,
72 I know, your gen'rous Soul would send a Cask.
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73 I make my Wants and Wealth agree;
74 I pay my Debts no worse than he,
75 Who o'er the Seas extends his Reign,
76 And adds all Sicily to Spain.
77 Who covets most, is most in Need,
78 And always rides a restless Steed,
79 Which foams, and flies without Controul,
80 Still seeks, but ne'er obtains the Goal.
81 Then happy those, whom Heav'n has bless'd,
82 With what may Life sustain;
83 Nor are with pinching Want depress'd,
84 Nor curst with too much Gain:
85 For boundless Wealth ne'er fills a boundless Mind;
86 The Man who still pursues, is still behind.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): An Imitation of the Sixteenth Ode of the Third Book of HORACE.
Author: Stephen Duck
Themes: contentment
Genres: ode; imitation

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Source edition

Duck, Stephen, 1705-1756. Poems on several occasions: By Stephen Duck. London: printed for the author, 1736, pp. 305-310. xl,334,[2]p. ; 4⁰. (ESTC T90234; OTA K073280.000)

Editorial principles

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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