By H. T.
1 SEEK not for Paradise with curious eye
2 In Asiatic climes, where Tigris' wave,
3 Mix'd with Euphrates in tumultuous joy,
4 Doth the broad plains of Babylonia lave.
5 'Tis gone with all its charms; and like a dream,
6 Like Babylon itself, is swept away;
7 Bestow one tear upon the mournful theme,
8 But let it not thy gentle heart dismay.
9 For know where-ever love and virtue guide,
10 They lead us to a state of heav'nly bliss,
11 Where joys unknown to guilt and shame preside,
12 And pleasures unalloy'd each hour increase.
13 Behold that grove, whose waving boughs admit,
14 Thro' the live colonade, the fruitful hill,
15 A moving prospect with fat herds replete,
16 Whose lowing voices all the valley fill.
17 There, thro' the spiry grass where glides the brook,
18 (By yon tall poplar which erects its head
19 Above the verdure of the neighb'ring oak,)
20 And gently murmurs o'er th' adjoining mead;
21 Philander and Cleora, happy pair,
22 Taste the cool breezes of the gentle wind;
23 Their breasts from guilt, their looks are free from care,
24 Sure index of a calm contented mind.
25 'Tis here in virtuous lore the studious fair
26 Informs her babes, nor scorns herself t' improve,
27 While in his smile she lives, whose pleasing care
28 Dispenses knowledge from the lips of love.
29 No wild desires can spread their poison here,
30 No discontent their peaceful hours attend;
31 False joys, nor flatt'ring hopes, nor servile fear,
32 Their gentle minds with jarring passions rend.
33 Here oft in pleasing solitude they rove,
34 Recounting o'er the deeds of former days;
35 With inward joy their well-spent time approve,
36 And feel a recompence beyond all praise.
37 Or in sweet converse thro' the grove, or near
38 The fountain's brink, or where the arbour's shade
39 Beats back the heat, fair Virtue's voice they hear,
40 More musical by sweet digressions made.
41 With calm dependence ev'ry good they taste,
42 Yet feel their neighbours' wants with kind regret,
43 Nor cheer themselves alone, (a mean repast!)
44 But deal forth blessings round their happy seat.
45 'Tis to such virtue, that the pow'r supreme
46 The choicest of his blessings hath design'd,
47 And shed them plenteous over ev'ry clime,
48 The calm delights of an untainted mind.
49 Ere yet the sad effects of foolish pride,
50 And mean ambition still employ'd in strife,
51 And luxury did o'er the world preside,
52 Deprav'd the taste, and pall'd the joys of life.
53 For such the Spring, in richest mantle clad,
54 Pours forth her beauties thro' the gay parterre;
55 And Autumn's various bosom is o'erspread
56 With all the blushing fruits that crown the year.
57 Such Summer tempts, in golden beams array'd,
58 Which o'er the fields in borrow'd lustre glow,
59 To meditate beneath the cooling shade
60 Their happy state, and whence their blessings flow.
61 E'en rugged Winter varies but their joy,
62 Painting the cheek with fresh vermilion-hue;
63 And those rough frosts which softer frames annoy
64 With vig'rous health their slack'ning nerves renew.
65 From the dark bosom of the dappled Morn
66 To Phoebus shining with meridian light,
67 Or when mild Ev'ning does the sky adorn,
68 Or the pale moon rides thro' the spangled night.
69 The varying scenes in ev'ry virtuous soul
70 Each pleasing change with various pleasures bless,
71 Raise cheerful hopes, and anxious fears controul,
72 And form a Paradise of inward peace.