To a LADY of QUALITY,
Fitting up her LIBRARY, 1738.
1 AH! what is Science, what is Art,
2 Or what the pleasure these impart?
3 Ye trophies which the Learn'd pursue
4 Through endless fruitless toils, adieu!
5 What can the tedious tomes bestow,
6 To soothe the miseries they show?
7 What, like the bliss for him decreed,
8 Who tends his flock, and tunes his reed!
9 Say, wretched Fancy! thus refin'd
10 From all that glads the simplest hind,
11 How rare that object, which supplies
12 A charm for too discerning eyes!
13 The polish'd bard, of genius vain,
14 Endures a deeper sense of pain:
15 As each invading blast devours
16 The richest fruits, the fairest flow'rs.
17 Sages, with irksome waste of time,
18 The steep ascent of Knowledge climb:
19 Then, from the tow'ring heights they scale,
20 Behold Contentment range — the vale.
21 Yet why, Asteria, tell us why
22 We scorn the crowd, when you are nigh:
23 Why then does reason seem so fair,
24 Why learning then, deserve our care?
25 Who can unpleas'd your shelves behold,
26 While you so fair a proof unfold
27 What force the brightest genius draws
28 From polish'd Wisdom's written laws?
29 Where are our humbler tenets flown?
30 What strange perfection bids us own
31 That Bliss with toilsome Science dwells,
32 And happiest he, who most excels?
About this text
Title (in Source Edition): To a LADY of QUALITY, Fitting up her LIBRARY, 1738.
Author: William Shenstone
Themes: books; science
References: DMI 27225
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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.
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