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THE TA S K.

BOOK III.

HET

ARGUMENT OF THE THIRD BOOK

hapmany of th of my cerampert phibed by oth

Self-recollection and reproof.--Address to dome

happiness.-Some account of myself.The vah of many of their pursuits who are reputed wife. Juftification of my cenfures.-- Divine illuminati , necessary to the most expert philosopher.--The que tion, What is truth? answered by other question

Domestic happiness addressed again. - Fer lovers of the country.My tame hare.-Occupa iz tions of a retired gentleman in his garden.Prun ing.Framing.Greenhouse.- Sowing of flower.org feeds.The country preferable to the town even in the winter.-Reasons why it is deserted at that. season.Ruinous effects of gaming and of expenfive improvement.--Book concludes with an apoftrophe to the metropolis.

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As one, who long in thickets and in brakes
Entangled winds now this way and now that
His devious course uncertain, seeking home;
Or, having long in miry ways been foiled
And fore discomfited, from sough to flough
Plunging and half despairing of escape;
If chance at length he find a greensward smooth
And faithful to the foot, his spirits rise,
He chirrups brisk his ear-erecting steed,
And winds his way with pleasure and with ease;
So I, designing other themes, and called
To adorn the Sofa with eulogium due,
To tell its flumbers, and to paint its dreams,

Have rambled wide. In country, city, feat
Of academic fame (howe'er deserved),
Long held, and scarcely disengaged at laft.
But now with pleasant pace a cleanlier road
I mean to tread. I feel myself at large,
Courageous and refreshed for future toil,
If toil await me, or if dangers new.

Since pulpits fail, and founding boards reflect Most part an empty ineffectual sound, What chance that I to fame so little known, Nor conversant with men or manners much, Should speak to purpose, or with better hope Crack the satiric thong? 'Twere wiser far For me, enamoured of sequestered scenes, And charmed with rural beauty, to repose, Where chance may throw me, beneath elm or vine, My languid limbs, when summer sears the plains; Or, when rough winter rages, on the foft And sheltered Sofa, while the nitrous air Feeds a blue flame, and makes a cheerful hearth; There, undisturbed by folly, and apprized How great the danger of disturbing her, To muse in silence, or at least confine

Remarks, that gall so many, to the few
My partners in retreat. Difgust concealed
Is oft-times proof of wisdom, when the fault
Is obstinate, and cure beyond our reach.

Domestic happiness, thou only bliss Of Paradise, that haft survived the fall! Though few now taste thee unimpaired and pure, Or tasting long enjoy thee! too infirm, Or too incautious, to preserve thy sweets Unmixt with drops of bitter, which neglect Or temper sheds into thy crystal cup; Thou art the nurse of virtue, in thine arms She smiles, appearing, as in truth The is, Heaven-born, and destined to the Skies again. Thou art not known where pleasure is adored, That reeling goddess with the zoneless waist And wandering eyes, still leaning on the arm Of novelty, her fickle frail support; For thou art meek and constant, hating change, And finding in the calm of truth-tried love Joys, that her stormy raptures never yield. Forsaking thee what shipwreck have we made. Of honour, dignity, and fair renown!

VOL, 11.

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