THE MANNERS. AN ODE.
1 FArewell, for clearer ken design'd,
2 The dim-discover'd tracts of mind:
3 Truths which, from action's paths retir'd,
4 My silent search in vain requir'd!
5 No more my sail that deep explores,
6 No more I search those magic shores,
7 What regions part the world of soul,
8 Or whence thy streams, Opinion, roll:
9 If e'er I round such fairy field,
10 Some Power impart the spear and shield,
11 At which the wizzard Passions fly,
12 By which the giant Follies die!
13 Farewell the porch, whose roof is seen,
14 Arch'd with th' enlivening olive's green:
15 Where Science prank'd in tissu'd vest,
16 By Reason, Pride, and Fancy drest,
17 Comes like a bride, so trim array'd,
18 To wed with Doubt in Plato's shade!
19 Youth of the quick uncheated sight,
20 Thy walks, Observance, more invite! [Page 39]
21 O thou, who lov'st that ampler range,
22 Where life's wide prospects round thee change,
23 And, with her mingling sons allied,
24 Throw'st the prattling page aside:
25 To me in converse sweet impart,
26 To read in man the native heart,
27 To learn, where Science sure is found,
28 From Nature as she lives around:
29 And gazing oft her mirror true,
30 By turns each shifting image view!
31 Till meddling Art's officious lore
32 Reverse the lessons taught before,
33 Alluring from a safer rule,
34 To dream in her enchanted school;
35 Thou heaven, whate'er of great we boast,
36 Hast blest this social science most.
37 Retiring hence to thoughtful cell,
38 As Fancy breathes her potent spell,
39 Not vain she finds the charmful task,
40 In pageant quaint, in motley mask,
41 Behold, before her musing eyes,
42 The countless Manners round her rise;
43 While ever varying as they pass,
44 To some Contempt applies her glass:
45 With these the white-rob'd Maids combine,
46 And those the laughing Satyrs join!
47 But who is he whom now she views,
48 In robe of wild contending hues? [Page 40]
49 Thou, by the Passions nurs'd; I greet
50 The comic sock that binds thy feet!
51 O Humour, thou whose name is known
52 To Britain's favour'd isle alone;
53 Me too amidst thy band admit,
54 There where the young-ey'd healthful Wit,
55 (Whose jewels in his crisped hair
56 Are plac'd each other's beams to share,
57 Whom no delights from thee divide)
58 In laughter loos'd attends thy side!
[Page 41] 59 By old Miletusy
y Alluding to the Milesian tales, some of the earliest romances., who so long
60 Has ceas'd his love-inwoven song:
61 By all you taught the Tuscan maids,
62 In chang'd Italia's modern shades:
63 By himz
z Cervantes. whose knight's distinguish'd name
64 Refin'd a nation's lust of fame;
65 Whose tales even now, with echoes sweet,
66 Castilia's Moorish h lls repeat:
67 Or hima
a Monsieur Le Sage, author of the incomparable adventures of Gii Blas de Santillane, who died in Paris in the year 1745., whom Seine's blue nymphs deplore,
68 In watchet weeds on Gallia's shore,
69 Who drew the sad Sicilian maid,
70 By virtues in her sire betray'd:
71 O Nature boon, from proceed
72 Each forceful thought, each prompted deed;
73 If but from thee I hope to feel,
74 On all my heart imprint thy seal!
75 Let some retreating Cynic find
76 Those oft-turn'd scrolls I leave behind,
77 The Sports and I this hour agree,
78 To rove thy scene-full world with thee!