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Like him, to prove a blessing to the State,
But Envy strove to blast the shepherd's fame, And blend with hateful infamy his nameThe Monarch heard-his rising fears prevailFor cunning slander thus devis’d the tale.
A place there is, unknown to public eye, Where close conceal’d, the stolen treasures lie; Of curious structure, where the artist's skill Has try'd to thwart the bold intruder's will — Oft is, he seen to ope the secret door, And look with rapture on the hidden store ; Linger, as if his soul were treasur’d there, And fondly hoard it with a miser's care.
Forth went the King the hidden store to seek, While joy and triumph flush'd the Shepherd's cheek! The secret door is open'd to their eyes, And all behold the long expected prize! No precious gold, or jewels meet their sight, 'Twas humbler treasures gave the swain delightAll they beheld—the knotty crook he bore, The tuneful pipe, the shepherd's garb he wore When first he met the royal Abbas' view, And with his music charm’d the sylvan crew;
Before he felt the force of slander's tale,
“ Take all,” he cried, “ with pleasure I restore The gifts your royal father gave before ; Such fleeting honours freely I resign, All are your own—but these are truly mine! Think on those days of innocence and joy, When you beheld me first, a shepherd boy, Rais'd by your sire, unworthy and unknown, To form his councils, and to guard his throne. Then let me to my native shades repair, And once more learn to tend my fleecy care; Tune my neglected pipe, and wear the vest, In which your father found me, truly blest; Before I knew the mis’ry to be great, The sad memorials of my happier state !
Abash'd, confounded, at the artless tale Vice stood appall’d, and slander's face grew pale ; While lynx-ey'd malice yields to virtuous fame, And hides its head in everlasting shame.
“O matchless worth!" th'indignant Abbas cried, “ Blush ev'ry child of supercilious pride! See, in this youth, fair virtue's purest fire, With which the gods immortal minds inspire !
Hence from my sight, ye persecuting race,
The monarch rais'd, in token of his grace, The prostrate shepherd, with a fond embrace; While conscious guilt in silence stole away, And virtue won the honours of the day.
If aught can check the voice of unbelief,
soul Immortal, and inform'd of heav'nly fire, Shall know a second birth, and one day rise In bright, unsullied beauty, radiant hope Assures, confirms me in the pleasing thought. Death, once the common foe of all mankind, Is now the friend--the wise, experienc'd sage Who, after all the pilgrim's toils and cares In passing thro’ this wilderness of woe, Conducts him safely to a better home. Sweet are his slumbers, peace and hope divine Rest on his pillow, and when morning beams,
He joins with nature in the gen'ral song,
How ill do riot and intemp’rate mirth Befit this solemn hour, by Heav'n design'd For holy contemplation !-For of old Our purer ancestors would silent sit On some high mountain, and with eye serene Muse on the glorious majesty of Heav'n! But now, the wretch by fraud or vengeance led, Like the gaunt prowling wolf, that leaves his den Intent on slaughter, points the murd'rous knife Against a brother-deeds of darkest hue At this defenceless, consecrated hour Receive their birth-0 Guardian of the good ! Let not thy choicest blessing, balmy sleep, That courts the peasant's pillow, but retires From gilded domes, and canopies of state, Be scar'd by frightful fears, and ghastly dreams Of dread assassins, and of midnight groans ! Chain these wolves, nor let them roam the night To murder, what they never can enjoy, The heav'nly blessings of a sweet repose.
Let vain philosophy, upheld by pride,