THE MOST EXTENSIVE
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That which makes people dissatisfied with their condition is the chimerical idea they form of the happiness of others.
The downward sun looks out effulgent from amid the flash of broken clouds.
The fall of kings,
The rage of nations, and the crush of states,
Move not the man, who, from the world escap'd,
In still retreats, and flowery solitudes,
To Nature's voice attends, from month to month,
And day to day, through the revolving year;
Admiring, sees her in her every shape;
Feels all her sweet emotions at his heart;
Takes what she liberal gives, nor thinks of more.
The feeling heart, simplicity of life and elegance and taste.
The generous heart
Should scorn a pleasure which gives others pain.
The generous pride of virtue,
Disdains to weigh too nicely the returns
Her bounty meets with--like the liberal gods,
From her own gracious nature she bestows,
Nor stops to ask reward.
The harvest treasures all
Now gather'd in, beyond the rage of storms,
Sure to the swain; the circling fence shut up;
And instant winter's utmost rage defy'd.
While loose to festive joy, the country round
Laughs with the loud sincerity of mirth,
Shook to the wind their cares.
The kind refresher of the summer heats.
The lofty follower of the sun,
Sad when he sets, shuts up her yellow leaves,
Drooping all night; and when he warm returns,
Points her enamor'd bosom to his ray.
The pale descending year, yet pleasing still,. a gentler mood inspires; for now the leaf incessant rustles from the mournful grove, oft startling such as studious, walk below, and slowly circles through the waving air.
The rolling year is full of Thee.
The rude reproaches of the rascal herd for the selfsame actions, if successful, would be as grossly lavish in their praise.
The very dead creation from thy touch assumes a mimic life.
The whisper'd tale,
That, like the fabling Nile, no fountain knows;
Fair-faced Deceit, whose wily conscious eye
Ne'er looks direct; the tongue that licks the dust,
But, when it safely dares, as prompt to sting.
These, as they change, Almighty Father, these
Are but the varied God. The rolling year
Is full of Thee. Forth in the pleasing Spring
Thy beauty walks, thy tenderness and love.
* * * * *
Then comes Thy glory in the Summer months
With light and heat refulgent. Then Thy sun
Shoots full perfection through the swelling year;
* * * * *
Thy bounty shines in Autumn unconfined,
And spreads a common feast for all that live.
In Winter awful Thou! with clouds and storms
Around Thee thrown, tempest o'er roll'd,
Majestic darkness! on the whirlwind's wing,
Thunders the sport of those, who with the gun
And dog, impatient bounding at the shot,
Worse than the season desolate the fields.
Those tender tears that humanize the soul.
Through the lightened air a higher lustre and a clearer calm, diffusive, trembles.
'Tis done! dread winter spreads his latest glooms, and reigns tremendous o'er the conquered year.
'Tis easier for the generous to forgive,
Than for offence to ask it.
'Tis late before the brave despair.
To die, I own, is a dread passage--terrible to nature, chiefly to those who have, like me, been happy.
To pour the fresh instruction o'er the mind,
To breathe the enliv'ning spirit, and to fix
The generous purpose in the glowing breast.
True happiness (if understood)
Consists alone in doing good.
Lies in the mind, the never-yielding purpose,
Nor owns the blind award of giddy fortune.
- [Courage : Valor]
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