Poet Thomas Parnell

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On Happiness In This Life

The morning opens very freshly gay
And life itself is in the month of May.
With green my fancy paints an arbour o'er
And flowrets with a thousand colours more;
Then falls to weaving that, and spreading these
And softly shakes them with an easy breeze,
With golden fruit adorns the bending shade,
Or trails a silver water o'er its bed.
Glide, gentle water, still more gently by
While in this summer-bower of bliss I lye
And sweetly sing of sense delighting flames,
And nymphs and shepherds soft invented names,
Or view the branches which around me twine
And praise their fruit, diffusing sprightly wine,
Or find new pleasures in the world to praise
And still with this return adorn my lays;
'Range round your gardens of eternal spring,
'Go range my senses while I sweetly sing.'

In vain, in vain alas, seduc'd by ill
And acted wildly by the force of will!
I tell my soul it will be constant May,
And Charm a season never made to stay,
My beauteous arbour will not stand a storm,
The world but promises, and can't perform:
Then fade ye leaves and wither all ye flow'rs,
I'll doat no longer in enchanted bow'rs;
But sadly mourn in melancholy song,
The vain conceits that held my soul so long.
The lusts that tempt us with delusive show,
And sin brought forth for everlasting woe.
Thus shall the notes to sorrow's object rise,
While frequent rests procure a place for sighs;
And as I moan upon the naked plain,
Be this the burthen closing ev'ry strain;
Return my senses, range no more abroad,
He'll only find his bliss, who seeks for God.

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