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O Pallas! queen of ev'ry art

"That glads the sense, or mends the heart,"

Blest source of purer joys:
In ev'ry form of beauty bright,
That captivates the mental sight
With pleasure and surprise!
To thy unspotted shrine I bow:
Assist thy modest suppliant's vow,

That breathes no wild desires;
But, taught by thy unerring rules
To shun the fruitless wish of fools,
To nobler views aspires.

Not Fortune's Gem, Ambition's plume,
Nor Cytherea's fading bloom,
Be objects of my pray'r:
Let Av'rice, Vanity, and Pride,
These glitt'ring envy'd toys divide,
The dull rewards of care.

To me thy better gifts impart,
Each moral beauty of the heart

By studious thought refin'd:

For Wealth, the smiles of glad content,
For Pow'r, its amplest, best extent,

An empire o’er my mind.

Wher Fortune drops her gay parade,
When Pleasure's transient roses fade,
And wither in the tomb:

Unchang'd is thy immortal prize,
Thy ever-verdant laurels rise
In undecaying bloom.

By thee protected I defy
The coxcomb's sneer, the stupid lie
Of ignorance and spite:

Alike contemn the leaden fool,

And all the pointed ridicule
Of undiscerning wit.

From envy, hurry, noise and strife,
The dull impertinence of life,

In thy retreat I rest:
Pursue thee to the peaceful groves,
Where Plato's sacred spirit roves
In all thy graces drest.

He bid Ilyssus' tuneful stream
Convey thy philosophic theme

Of perfect, fair, and good: Attentive Athens caught the sound, And all her list'ning sons around, In awful silence stood.

Reclaim'd her wild licentious youth, Confest the potent voice of truth,

And felt its just controul:

The passions ceas'd their loud alarms, And Virtue's soft persuasive charms O'er all their senses stole.

Thy breath inspires the poet's song,
The patriot's free unbiass'd tongue,

The hero's gen'rous strife;
Thine are retirement's silent joys,
And all the sweet endearing ties
Of still, domestic life.

No more to fabled names confin'd, To thee! supreme, all-perfect mind,

My thoughts direct their flight : Wisdom's thy gift, and all her force From thee deriv'd, unchanging source Of intellectual light!

O send her sure, her steady ray
To regulate my doubtful way,

Thro' life's perplexing road:
The mists of error to controul,
And thro' its gloom direct my soul
To happiness and good.

Beneath her clear discerning eye,
The visionary shadows fly
Of Folly's painted show:

She sees, thro' ev'ry fair disguise,
That all, but Virtue's solid joys,
Is vanity and woe.



To the Foregoing

Now see my Goddess, earthly born,

With smiling looks, and sparkling eyes, And with a bloom that shames the morn New risen in the eastern skies!

Furnish'd from Nature's boundless store,

A nymph of pleasure's laughing train, Stranger to all the wise explore,

She proves all far-sought knowledge vain,

Untaught as Venus, when she found
Herself first floating on the sea,
And laughing begg'd the Tritons round
For shame to look some other way:

And unaccomplish'd all as Eve

In the first morning of her life, When Adam blush'd, and ask'd her leave To take her hand, and call her Wife.

Yet there is something in her face,
Tho' she's unread in Plato's lore,
Might bring even Plato to disgrace,
For leaving precepts taught before:

And there is magic in her eye,

Tho' she's unskill'd to conjure down The pale moon from th' affrighted sky, Would draw Endymion from the moon :

And there are words that she can speak,
Most easy to be understood,
More sweet than all the heathen Greek
By Helen talk'd, when Paris woo'd:

And she has raptures in her power,
More worth than all the flattering claim
Of learning's unsubstantial dower,
In present praise, or future fame.

Let me but kiss her soft warm hand,
And let me whisper in her ear
What Knowledge would not understand,
And Wisdom would disdain to hear.

And let her listen to my tale,

And let one smiling blush arise, Best omen that my vows prevail ! I'll scorn the scorn of all the wise.

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