A QUERY

AFTER

HAPPINESS.

WHENE'ER we see the blooming Youth,
With vigour and with strength,
Ride with his splendid retinue,
And crownedwith great wealth;

When he's caress'd by all that's great,
And lov'd by all that's fair,
We will not hesitate to say,
That happiness dwells there:

But happiness' foundation is
More stable than its' seat,
Than opulence of circumstance,
Or favours of the Great.

They, like the Rainbow, do appear
Right splendid at a distance;
But towards it, though we advance,
We meet with no resistance:

It still at the same distance is,
As formerly it was;
By this, we see, we can't fix bounds
For perfect happiness.

Can one say, "I have gain'd my point;
" Here I will take my rest:
" I have got happiness complete,
" And now I'm fully blest;

" And nothing more I do expect,
" And nothing more I wish?"
No - surely, while on Earth we stay,
It cannot be the case.

Some may perhaps say, " 'Tis in vain;
" And foolish our pretence,
" Since that it cannot be attain'd,
" By ease in circumstance. "

No - it is sure our bus'ness still
To do all for the best;
And though our disappointment's great,
From duty ne'er desist.

Since happiness can't be complete,
But it may need addition,
Our miseries are likewise so,
While in this middle station.

The fact is indisputable,
Than none here can enjoy
Such happiness as in heav'n,
Or feel hell's misery.

But are we all eau'lly happy here?
Is what we need not ask:
To prove that, none would undertake;
It is too hard a task.

How var'ous are men's motives all?
How var'ous are the ways,
In which man happiness pursues,
Yet not successful is?

Undoubtedly each man does think
He takes the nearest way,
To fix himself in happiness,
Though Fate against him say,

" It is not there: you entertain
" Wrong notions where it lies:
" You run too fast in quest of it,
" And so you miss the prize."

Another may object, and say,
" Each man should take his mind;
" His judgement surely will him lead
" To where he bliss may find.

" Though he shall so unlucky be
" As it not to attain,
" His fancy still produces more
" That he'll pursue most keen."

But may not man be much surpris'd,
That, when he often thinks
He will it grasp, and hold it fast,
Yet still from him it jinks?

Which plainly shews, we're quite mista'en
Of both the means and end
Of what we wish'd for to obtain,
Though it we should have kenn'd.

On wealth and honour, idle toys!
Men build their hopes of bliss;
Without their aid, they vainly think
They'll ne'er get happiness:

But when these envi'd things they've got,
They then expect full joy:
But Ah! they find 'tis all a cheat,
And mix'd with much alloy!

Ask you the Learn'd where's happiness,
Alas! he cannot tell!
He owns of that he's ignorant;
He feels some wants himsell!

The Miser thinks he will it find
In coffers full of riches;
With these he can't be satisfi'd,
But still for more he itches:

The dread of losing what he has
Heap'd up with so much care,
Torments him sore; for I conclude,
No happiness is there.

The Lover, who successful is,
Thinks that a few days mair
Will bring his Charmer to his arms,
And banish all his care:

But when that happy day is come,
And her he does possess,
He must confess, he has not got
What's perfect happiness.

But still the question's unresolved;
What then brings happiness?
Or, where is it for to be found?
Ye Wits come tell me this.

He that his duty understands,
And does it still practice;
Who loves his neighbour as himself,
And strives his GOD to please;

Who truth doth cherish and adore,
Who falsehood hates as Hell;
Who's kind and friendly to the poor,
And of no man speaks ill;

Who's free of all ambitious views,
And proof against temptation;
Who's free of envy, spite and care,
Contented with his station-

Such is the man, if such there be,
Who happiness can get;
Yet after all, while in this life,
We'll be with cares beset.

Yet in the next, I hope we shall
Eternal joy possess;
All our desires be gratifi'd
And live in endless bliss!

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