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To Mr. POYNTZ, Ambassador at the Congress of Soissons, in the Year 1728.

Written at Paris.

1 O Thou whose friendship is my joy and pride,
2 Whose virtues warm me, and whose precepts guide;
3 Thou, to whom greatness rightly understood,
4 Is but a larger power of being good;
5 Say, Poyntz, amidst the toils of anxious state,
6 Does not thy secret soul desire retreat?
7 Dost thou not wish (the task of glory done)
8 Thy busy life at length might be thy own;
9 That to thy lov'd Philosophy resign'd,
10 No care might ruffle thy unbended mind?
11 Just is the wish. For sure the happy meed,
12 To favour'd man by smiling heav'n decreed,
13 Is to reflect at ease on glorious pains,
14 And calmly to enjoy what Virtue gains.
15 Not him I praise, who from the world retir'd,
16 By no enliv'ning gen'rous passion fir'd,
17 On flow'ry couches slumbers life away,
18 And gently bids his active pow'rs decay;
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19 Who fears bright Glory's awful face to see;
20 And shuns Renown as much as Infamy:
21 But blest is he, who exercis'd in cares,
22 To private Leisure publick Virtue bears;
23 Who tranquil ends the race he nobly run,
24 And decks Repose with trophies Labour won.
25 Him Honour follows to the secret shade,
26 And crowns propitious his declining head:
27 In his retreats their harps the Muses string,
28 For him in lays unbought spontaneous sing;
29 Friendship and Truth on all his moments wait,
30 Pleas'd with Retirement better than with State;
31 And round the bow'r where humbly great he lies,
32 Fair olives bloom, or verdant laurels rise.
33 So when thy Country shall no more demand
34 The needful aid of thy sustaining hand;
35 When Peace restor'd shall on her downy wing
36 Secure Repose and careless Leisure bring;
37 Then to the shades of learned ease retir'd,
38 The world forgetting, by the world admir'd,
39 Among thy books and friends, thou shalt possess
40 Contemplative and quiet happiness;
41 Pleas'd to review a life in honour spent,
42 And painful merit paid with sweet content.
43 Yet though thy hours unclogg'd with sorrow roll,
44 Tho' wisdom calm, and science feed thy soul;
45 One dearer bliss remains to be possess'd,
46 That only can improve and crown the rest
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47 Permit thy friend this secret to reveal,
48 Which thy own heart perhaps would better tell;
49 The point to which our sweetest passions move;
50 Is to be truly lov'd, and fondly love.
51 This is the charm that sooths the troubled breast,
52 Friend to our health, and author of our rest,
53 Bids every gloomy vexing passion fly,
54 And tunes each jarring string to harmony.
55 Ev'n while I write; the name of Love inspires
56 More pleasing thoughts, and more enliv'ning fires;
57 Beneath his pow'r my raptur'd fancy glows,
58 And ev'ry tender verse more sweetly flows.
59 Dull is the privilege of living free;
60 Our hearts were never form'd for Liberty:
61 Some beauteous image well imprinted there,
62 Can best defend them from consuming care.
63 In vain to groves and gardens we retire,
64 And nature in her rural works admire;
65 Tho' grateful these, yet these but faintly charm,
66 They may Delight us, but can never Warm.
67 May some fair eyes, my friend, thy bosom fire
68 With pleasing pangs of ever gay desire;
69 And teach thee that soft science, which alone
70 Still to thy searching mind rests slightly known.
71 Thy soul, though great, is tender and refin'd,
72 To friendship sensible, to love inclin'd;
73 And therefore long thou canst not arm thy breast
74 Against the entrance of so sweet a guest.
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75 Hear what th' inspiring Muses bid me tell,
76 For Heav'n shall ratify what they reveal.
77 A chosen bride shall in thy arms be plac'd,
78 With all attractive charms of beauty grac'd;
79 Whose wit and virtue shall thy own express,
80 Distinguish'd only by their softer dress:
81 Thy greatness she, or thy retreat shall share,
82 Sweeten tranquillity, or soften care:
83 Her smiles the taste of ev'ry joy shall raise,
84 And add new pleasure to renown and praise;
85 Till charm'd you own the truth my verse would prove,
86 That Happiness is near allied to Love.


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Title (in Source Edition): To Mr. POYNTZ, Ambassador at the Congress of Soissons, in the Year 1728. Written at Paris.
Themes: retirement; contentment
Genres: heroic couplet; epistle; advice
References: DMI 18980

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Source edition

Dodsley, Robert, 1703-1764. A Collection of Poems in Six Volumes. By Several Hands. Vol. II. London: printed by J. Hughs, for R. and J. Dodsley, 1763 [1st ed. 1758], pp. 31-34. 6v.: music; 8⁰. (ESTC T131163; OTA K104099.002) (Page images digitized by the Eighteenth-Century Poetry Archive from a copy in the archive's 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.