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To my Lord
[ed.] "HERVEY" (1782) (AH)

In the Year 1730. From Worcestershire.

Strenua nos exercet Inertia: Navibus atque
Quadrigis petimus bene Vivere: quod petis hic est;
Est Ulubris, Animus si te non deficit aequus.
[ed.] Horace, Epistles 1.11, ll. 28-30. (AH)
1 FAV'RITE of Venus and the tuneful Nine,
2 Pollio, by nature form'd in courts to shine,
3 Wilt thou once more a kind attention lend
4 To thy long absent and forgotten friend;
5 Who after seas and mountains wander'd o'er,
6 Return'd at length to his own native shore,
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7 From all that's gay retir'd, and all that's great,
8 Beneath the shades of his paternal seat
9 Has found that Happiness he sought in vain
10 On the fam'd banks of Tiber and of Scine?
11 'Tis not to view the well-proportion'd pile,
12 The charms of Titian's and of Raphael's stile;
13 At soft Italian sounds to melt away;
14 Or in the fragrant groves of myrtle stray;
15 That lulls the tumults of the soul to rest,
16 Or makes the fond possessor truly blest.
17 In our own breasts the source of Pleasure lies
18 Still open, and still flowing to the wise;
19 Not forc'd by toilsome art and wild desire
20 Beyond the bounds of nature to aspire,
21 But in its proper channels gliding fair;
22 A common benefit, which all may share,
23 Yet half mankind this easy Good disdain,
24 Nor relish happiness unbought by pain;
25 False is their taste of bliss, and thence their search is vain.
26 So idle, yet so restless are our minds,
27 We climb the Alps, and brave the raging winds,
28 Through various toils to seek Content we roam,
29 Which but with thinking right were our's at home.
30 For not the ceaseless change of shifted place
31 Can from the heart a settled grief erase;
32 Nor can the purer balm of foreign air
33 Heal the distemper'd mind of aching care.
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34 The wretch by wild impatience driv'n to rove,
35 Vex'd with the pangs of ill-requited love,
36 From pole to pole the fatal arrow bears,
37 Whose rooted point his bleeding bosom tears,
38 With equal pain each diff'rent clime he tries,
39 And is himself that torment which he flies.
40 For how shou'd ills, that from our passions flow,
41 Be chang'd by Afric's heat, or Russia's snow?
42 Or how can aught but pow'rful Reason cure,
43 What from unthinking Folly we endure?
44 Happy is He, and He alone, who knows
45 His heart's uneasy discord to compose;
46 In gen'rous love of others' good to find
47 The sweetest pleasures of the social mind;
48 To bound his wishes in their proper sphere;
49 To nourish pleasing hope, and conquer anxious fear,
50 This was the wisdom ancient Sages taught,
51 This was the sov'reign good they justly sought;
52 This to no place or climate is confin'd,
53 But the free native produce of the mind.
54 Nor think, my Lord, that Courts to you deny
55 The useful practice of Philosophy:
56 Horace, the wisest of the tuneful choir,
57 Not always chose from Greatness to retire,
58 But in the palace of Augustus knew
59 The same unnerring maxims to pursue,
60 Which in the Sabine or the Velian shade
61 His study and his happiness he made.
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62 May you, my friend, by his example taught,
63 View all the giddy scene with sober thought;
64 Undazzled every glittering folly see,
65 And in the midst of slavish forms be free;
66 In its own center keep your steddy mind;
67 Let Prudence guide you, but let Honour bind;
68 In show, in manners, act the Courtier's part,
69 But be a Country-gentleman at heart.


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    About this text

    Title (in Source Edition): To my Lord — In the Year 1730. From Worcestershire.
    Themes: travel; contentment
    Genres: heroic couplet; epistle
    References: DMI 22311

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    Source edition

    A Collection of Poems in Six Volumes. By Several Hands. Vol. II. London: printed by J. Hughs, for R. and J. Dodsley, 1763 [1st ed. 1758], pp. 38-41. 6v.: music; 8⁰. (ESTC T131163)

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    The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.