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All my ambition is, I own,
To profit and to please unknown;
Like streams supplied from springs below,
Which scatter blessings as they go.
Be mine that silent calm repast,
A conscience cheerful to the last:
That tree which bears immortal fruit,
Without a canker at the root;
That friend which never fails the just,
When other friends desert their trust.
Though fools spurn Hymen's gentle pow'rs,
We who improve his golden hours,
By sweet experience know,
That marriage, rightly understood,
Gives to the tender and the good
A paradise below.
'Tis reason's part
To govern and to guard the heart,
To lull the wayward soul to rest,
When hopes and fears distract the breast;
Reason may calm this doubtful strife,
And steer thy bark through various life.
Yet still we hug the dear deceit.
If solid happiness we prize,
Within our breast this jewel lies,
And they are fools who roam;
The world has nothing to bestow,
From our own selves our bliss must flow,
And that dear hut,--our home.
- The Fireside [Happiness]
We'll therefore relish with content,
Whate'er kind providence has sent,
Nor aim beyond our pow'r;
For, if our stock be very small,
'Tis prudent to enjoy it all,
Nor lose the present hour.
- The Fireside (st. 10) [Contentment]
To be resign'd when ills betide,
Patient when favours are denied,
And pleased with favours given;--
Dear Chloe, this is wisdom's part,
That is that incense of the heart
Whose fragrance smells to heaven.
- The Fireside (st. 11) [Resignation]
To-morrow, didst thou say?
Methought I heard Horatio say, To-morrow!
Go to--I will not hear it. To-morrow!
'Tis a sharper--who stakes his penury
Against thy plenty--takes thy ready cash,
And pays thee naught but wishes, hopes, and promises,
The currency of idiots--injurious bankrupt,
That gulls the easy creditor!
- To-morrow [Tomorrow]
Hold the fleet angel fast until he bless thee.
- To-morrow (l. 36) [Angels]
I stew all night in my own grease.
- Virgil Travestie (p. 35), (ed. 1807)