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ODE TO THE HON. JOHN YORK.

IMITATED FROM HORACE, BOOK II. ODE XVI.

1 FOR quiet, on Newmarket's plain,
2 The shivering curate prays in vain,
3 When wintery showers are falling,
4 And stumbling steed, and whistling wind,
5 Quite banish from his anxious mind
6 The duties of his calling.
7 With thoughts engross'd by routs and plays,
8 The gallant soph for quiet prays,
9 Confuted and confuting;
10 And quiet is alike desir'd
11 Ev'n by the king's professor, tir'd
12 With wrangling and disputing.
13 In crowded senate, on the chair
14 Of our vice-chancellor sits Care,
15 Undaunted by the Mace;
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16 Care climbs the yatcht, when adverse gales
17 Detain or tear our patron's sails,
18 And ruffles ev'n his Grace.
19 How blest is he whose annual toil
20 With well-rang'd trees improves a soil
21 For ages yet unborn!
22 Such as at humble
g Dr. Herring, late lord archbishop of Canterbury, was some time rector of Barley, a village near Barkway in Hertfordshire.
Barley, plann'd
23 By mitred Herring's youthful hand,
24 The cultur'd glebe adorn.
25 From place to place we still pursue
26 Content, and hope in each to view
27 The visionary guest;
28 Vainly we fly intruding care,
29 Not all, like you, the joys can share
30 Of Wimple and of Wrest.
31 Then let us snatch, while in our power,
32 The present transitory hour,
33 And leave to Heaven the morrow;
34 Youth has its griefs; a friend may die,
35 Or nymph deceive; for none can fly
36 The giant hand of sorrow.
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37 His country's hope, and parent's pride,
38 In bloom of life young Blandford died:
39 His godlike father's eyes
40 Were dimm'd with age and helpless tears;
41 And Heaven to me may grant the years
42 Which it to you denies.
43 Your rising virtues soon will claim
44 A portion of your brother's fame;
45 And catch congenial fire;
46 They shine in embassy and war,
47 They grace the senate and the bar,
48 And emulate their sire.
49 Invested with the sacred gown,
50 You soon, to rival their renown,
51 The glorious task shall join;
52 And while they guard Britannia's laws,
53 You, steady to Religion's cause,
54 Shall guard the laws divine.

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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): ODE TO THE HON. JOHN YORK. IMITATED FROM HORACE, BOOK II. ODE XVI.
Author: John Duncombe
Themes: retirement; hopelessness; vanity of life; happiness; contentment; virtue; vice
Genres: imitation; translation; paraphrase
References: DMI 25541

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Source edition

A collection of poems in four volumes. By several hands. Vol. IV. [The second edition]. London: printed for G. Pearch, 1770, pp. 202-204. 4v. ; 8⁰. (ESTC T116245; DMI 1137; OTA K093079.004)

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