1764
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Contentment.

Christian's Magazine; or, A Treasury of Divine Knowledge 5 (March 1764) 138.

Rev. Joseph Warton


An uncollected retirement ode by Joseph Warton in seven stanzas, one in the manner of Milton's L'Allegro: "Come, conscious Virtue, fill my breast, | And bring Content, thy daughter, drest | In ever-smiling charms. | Let sacred Friendship too attend" The measure is that used by William Collins in his Ode to Pity. The attribution is by the Christian's Magazine, edited by William Dodd, where several of Warton's acknowledged poems appear.



Farewel, aspiring thoughts, no more
My soul shall leave the peaceful shore,
To sail ambition's main.
Fallacious as the harlot's kiss,
You promise me uncertain bliss,
But give me certain pain.

A beauteous prospect first you shew,
Which, ere survey'd, you paint anew,
And paint it wondrous pleasant:
This, in a third, is quickly lost,
Thus future good we covet most,
But ne'er enjoy the present.

Deluded on, from scene to scene,
We never end, but still begin,
By flatt'ring hope betray'd;
I'm weary of the painful chace,
Let others run this endless race,
To catch a flying shade.

Let others boast their useless wealth;
Have I not honesty and health?
Which riches cannot give:
Let others to preferment soar,
And, changing liberty for pow'r,
In golden shackles live.

'Tis time at length I should be wise,
'Tis time to seek substantial joys,
Joys out of fortune's pow'r:
Wealth, honours, dignities, and fame
Are joys the blind, capricious dame
Takes from us ev'ry hour.

Come, conscious Virtue! warm my breast,
And bring Content, thy daughter, drest
In ever-smiling charms:
Let sacred Friendship too attend,
A friendship worthy of my friend,
Such as my LAELIUS warms.

With these I'll in my bosom make
A bulwark Fortune cannot shake,
Tho' all her storms arise;
Look down and pity gilded slaves,
Despise ambition's giddy knaves,
And wish the fools were wise.

[p. 138]