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Ode xvi. BOOK 2. IMITATED'.
The weary sailor calls for ease,
When winds turmoil the angry seas,
And not a moon or star to guide 2
His dreary course along the tide;
When half the sky in showers descends,
And wind the gilded streamer rends ;
Blessed he, within the hut, he cries,
Now bends in rest his peaceful eyes ;
? This and the following pieces from BlackLOCK's Collection, (Vol. I. pp. 117–143.) form a series of fifteen poems hitherto unappropriated, but which I have no hesitation to ascribe to Macpherson. His Verses on the Death of Marshal Keith, were inserted evidently by himself, but without his name, at the end of the volume, which was published in October 1760, when he was desirous to conceal the circumstance of his being a poet. For the same reason his unpublished verses were inserted anonymously in the same Collection ; but they are sufficiently authenticated by the recurrence of the same images and expressions in his other productions. In the second volume, published after he had left the country, his name was prefixed without scruple to such pieces of his as were collected from the Scots Magazine.
? And not a moon or star to guide.] “ No star with green trembling beam, no moon looks from the skies.” Sis Bards, vol. ii. p. 417.
Or hears the tempest idly rave;
No av'rice tempts him to the wave.
Turn to the noisy camp your eye,
There care corrodes, and starts the sigh.
Shew me the man among them all,
Who drove o'er Minden's plains the Gaul;
When Broglio's ranks at distance rise,
And cannon murmur through the skies;
But would forego the breath of fame,
And live at ease without a name.
'Tis not the sash, the gown, the robe,
These gilded baits that catch the mob;
Or tides of fatt'rers at the door,
Can paint with bliss the passing hour;
Or half the cares within controul,
And calm the tumults of the soul.
Nor can the dome or lofty wall,
Or guards that crowd the tyrant's hall,
With all their instruments of wars,
Exclude the dark, invading cares :
Around the bed of state they fly,
And dash the guilty cup of joy :.
More happy he! whose guiltless mind
Is to his native fields confined ;
Blessed with his state; and craves no more
Than heaven allowed his sires before:
Around the bed of state they fly,
And dash the guilty cup of joy.) To authenticate the poem, all that is said upon Care in the preceding or subsequent paragraphs is taken from the description of Care in MacPherson's Hunter, II. 92 115.
Unseen, but felt, oft in the balls of state
He sits, and tinges all the pompous treat;
And oft he hovers round the downy bed,
Thund'ring despair around the statesman's head.
See Death, 90.
Who sees his frugal table spread,
Beneath the roof his fathers made;
No care, by day, disturbs his breast,
He sleeps, by night, his brows in rest.
Whence all these schemes, this wild uproar,
Since life itself shall soon be o'er?
Why do we, with advent'rous eyes,
See other suns in other skies?
Or pant where Indian billows roll ?
Or freeze beneath the arctic pole ?
In vain we Ay destructive Care,
The monster in our breasts we bear 4.
Go, then; forsake your calm retreat,
Cringe at the portals of the great ;
Attend the gaudy venal train,
Throw virtue off, to raise your gain;
Or spread your canvas to the gale ;
Or court the muses in the vale;
If still in sorrow you repine,
Fly for relief to whores and wine.
In vain you fly from inbred woe:
Care climbs the vessel's painted prow:
Care haunts the palace of the great,
And hovers round the dark retreat:
Care clouds the fair one's lovely face,
And floats within the sparkling glass.
In vain we fly destructive Care,
The inonster in our breasts we bear.) And again, ver. 55.
In vain you fly from iobred woe,
Care climbs the vessel's painted prow, &c.
From the Hunter, II. 98.
In vain you fly from Care,
Sharp stings the gnawing monster every where :
To shun him sailors vainly billows cleave,
He sits incumbent on each sable wave.
In vain through rugged earth incessant roam,
Man is his prey, and every where his home.
Even round the sprightly muse it flies,
And taints the numbers as they rise.
If life you want undashed with woe,
Serene enjoy the instant now;
Nor ills you left behind deplore,
Nor eye the giant grief before ;
If Fortune shines, enjoy the ray,
And smile her very gloom away:
Let tempests sweep and billows roar,
The storm of life shall soon be o'er.
Some perish in their youthful bloom ;
With age some wither to the tomb;
Heaven, as a curse, to some supplies
The years to others it denies ;
What can the longest liver. do,
But see a greater train of woe ?
Be yours in public life to shine,
With all the glory of your line;
To rule the battle's noisy tide,
Or Britain's great concerns to guide ;
Teach virtue to a venal throng,
While senates listen to your tongue.
To me my fortune more severe,
Has only given a mind sincere;
A spark of genius to pass o'er
The tedious dulness of the hour;
A soul that can a knave despise,
And eye the great with careless eyes.
When tempests sweep and billows roll,
And winds contend along the pole ;
When o'er the deck ascends the sea,
And half the sheet is torn away;
Shew me the man among the crew,
Who would not change his place with you ;
Prefer the quiet of the plain
To all the riches of the main.
Thrice happy he! and he alone,
Who makes the golden mean his own;
Whose life is neither ebb nor flow,
Nor rises high nor siuks too low :
He prides not in the envied wall,
Nor pines in Want's deserted hall;
His careless eyes with ease behold
The star, the string, and hoarded gold.
Unlike the venal sons of power;
They rise, but rise to fall the more.
When faction rends the public air,
And Pitt shall tumble from his sphere,
In privacy secluded, you
Scarce feel which way the tempest blew.