[Page 33]


1 Pleasure, hail, thou welcome theme,
2 Chief pursuit of mortal race,
3 Pleasing phantom, fairy dream,
4 Lead me to thy dwelling place.
5 There in festive mirth and joy
6 Smoothly glide the sportive hours;
7 There no cares, no griefs annoy,
8 Where thou strew'st thy golden showers.
9 Long thy suppliant sought in vain
10 To descry this blissful seat,
11 Oft I've view'd thy smiling train
12 Beckon to thy soft retreat.
[Page 34]
13 But when near the mountain top,
14 Where thine airy castle stands,
15 Down the beauteous pile would drop,
16 Mould'ring into barren sands.
17 Quick the sunshine disappears,
18 Sudden storms and tempests roar,
19 Sorrow leads her train in tears,
20 Wrecks bestrew th' affrighted shore.
21 Take, oh take me from the sight,
22 Lest my heart with grief should break;
23 In yon vale I spy a light,
24 Let me to that cottage make.
25 Oft I've read, in humble life
26 Pleasure with Content doth dwell,
27 Grandeur leads to pain and strife,
28 Joy reigns in the lowly cell.
[Page 35]
29 There in Virtue's lap reclin'd,
30 Let me seek at least for rest,
31 Tis not in this world design'd
32 Man should be completely blest.
33 Happiest when he scorns to woo
34 Pleasures, which, at length obtain'd,
35 Reason's calmer joys subdue,
36 Quick t' escape, tho' slowly gain'd.
37 Teach me then, thou power benign,
38 Who can'st lasting bliss dispense,
39 How to reach those joys divine,
40 Blest reward of innocence.
41 Teach me in my present state
42 Cheerfully to bear each ill,
43 With submission calmly wait
44 Th' appointment of thy heav'nly will.
[Page 36]
45 Then when transient pleasures cease,
46 And pain and grief alike are o'er,
47 Receive me to these realms of peace,
48 Where Pleasure dwells for ever more.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): ON PLEASURE.
Genres: allegory

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Source edition

Alcock [née Cumberland], Mary, 1741?–1798. Poems, &c. &c. by the Late Mrs. Mary Alcock [poems only]. London: Printed for C. Dilly, Poultry, 1799, pp. 33-36. vii,[25],183,[1]p. (ESTC T86344) (Page images digitized by University of Michigan Library.)

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Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. 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.

Other works by Mary Alcock (née Cumberland)