Chearfulness

Fair as the dawning Light! auspicious Guest!
Source of all Comfort to the Human Breast!
Depriv'd of Thee in sad Despair we moan,
And tedious roll the heavy Moments on.
Though beauteous Objects all around us rise
To charm the Fancy, and delight the Eyes;
Though Art's fair Works and Nature's Gifts conspire
To please each Sense, and satiate each Desire,
'Tis joyless all — till thy enliv'ning Ray
Scatters the melancholy Gloom away.
Then opens to the Soul a heav'nly Scene,
Gladness and Peace, all spritely, all serene.
Where dost thou deign, say, in what blest Retreat,
To choose thy Mansion, and to fix thy Seat?
Thy sacred Presence how shall we explore?
Can Av'rice gain thee with her golden Store?
Can vain Ambition with her boasted Charms
Tempt thee within her wide-extended Arms?
No, with Content alone canst Thou abide,
Thy Sister, ever smiling by thy Side.
When boon Companions, void of ev'ry Care,
Crown the full Bowl and the rich Banquet share,
And give a Loose to Pleasure — art thou There?
Or when the eager Swains pursue the Chace
With active Limbs, and Health in ev'ry Face,
Is is thy Voice, that wak'ning up the Morn,
Chears the stanch Hound, and winds the jolly Horn?
Or when th'assembled Great and Fair advance
To celebrate the Mask, the Play, the Dance,
Whilst Beauty spreads its sweetest Charms around,
And Airs extatic swell their tuneful Sound,
Art thou within the pompous Circle found?
Does not thy Influence more sedately shine?
Can such tumultuous Joys as these be thine?
Surely more mild, more constant in their Course,
Thy Pleasures issue from a nobler Source,
From sweet Discretion ruling in the Breast,
From Passions temper'd, and from Lusts represt,
From Thoughts unconscious of a guilty Smart,
And the calm Transports of an honest Heart.
Thy Aid, O ever faithful, ever kind,
Thro'Life, thro' Death, attends the virtuous Mind;
Of angry Fate wards from us ev'ry Blow,
Cures ev'ry Ill, and softens ev'ry Woe.
Whatever Good our mortal State desires,
What Wisdom finds, or Innocence inspires;
From Nature's bounteous Hand whatever flows,
Whate'er our Maker's Providence bestows,
By Thee Mankind enjoys; by Thee repays
A grateful Tribute of perpetual Praise.
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