TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE THE EARL OF CHESTERFIELD. ON HIS LATE RECOVERY FROM A DANGEROUS ILLNESS.
Sed nihil dulcius est bene quam munita tenere,
Edita doctrinâ sapientum templa serena,
Despicere unde queas alios, possimque videre
Errare atque viam palentes quaerere vita.
LUCRET. l. ii. v. 6.
1 AT length, in pity to a nation's prayer,
2 Thou liv'st, O STANHOPE, Providence's care:
3 "Life's sun, we read, when heaven a respite lends,
4 " Ten degrees back against the shade descendsx
x See the story of Hezekiah, and the dial of Ahaz, Isaiah, ch. xxxviii ver. 8.. "
5 By wisdom purify'd, by age inspir'd;
6 For twice nine years in Greenwich groves retir'd;
7 Rapt like Elijah in the aërial car,
8 Thou wisely mark'st this busy world from far:[Page 182]
9 Where Avarice and Ambition vainly run,
10 This to undo, and that to be undone. —
11 Considerate truths are now thy favourite themes;
12 Age may see visions, tho' our youth dream'd dreams:
13 Hail truly wise, and good! O happier thou
14 Than if state diadems had grac'd thy brow!
15 Like sage AENEASy
y Virgil's Aeneid IV., mantled in a cloud,
16 Unseen you see the falshood of the crowd:
17 Brother his brother cheats, and friend his friend: —
18 Life's vain wise men prove blockheads in the end. —
19 Thou seest, like ADAMz
z Paradise Lost, l. xi. v. 270. by the archangel led,
20 The many peopled earth beneath thee spread;
21 (Thy eyes much purg'd with euphrasy and ruea
a Ibid. p. 412.,
22 For even a CHESTERFIELD has much to view)
23 Thou seest like him the plagues of human strife,
24 The snares of greatness, emptiness of life,
25 Abner's sincerity, and Joab's heart,
26 Achitophel's deep schemes, and Zimrl's part;
27 Shimei's ill-nature, and (to mark the times)
28 The flattery of Og's and Doeg's rhymes.
29 O still contemplate, look thro' Reason's eye, —
30 For hours are precious ages when we die!
31 Thus, even in Pagan times, the chosen few,
32 Pomponius, Scipio, Atticus, withdrew:
33 Thus Dioclesian, with true greatness fir'd,
34 From lordly Rome to Spalatro retir'd;[Page 183]
35 Exchang'd the imperial fasces for a spade,
36 And left court sunshine for the sylvan shade;
37 Lord of himself, monarch of fields and plains,
38 By Nature call'd to rule, and crown'd by swains.