HOW great a comfort must it be,
To have a qui't retreat?
One's absence from a hurried life,
They never should regret.

Diversions now I really hate,
In which I took delight;
My inclination's quite averse;
I think on such with spite.

Some my conduct misrepresent,
And say, I'm much to blame;
"Retreat!" say they, "'tis not like you!
"It ne'er can raise your fame!

The spiteful world I despise;
Their censures can't me hurt:
I think that solitude's a scene,
Where one may be instruct.

And why should any one me blame?
Will they find fault with me,
To take the nearest way I can,
That I may happy be?

Do men think that one should be asham'd
Of what he hath made choice?
So far from that, if they think right,
My state they won't despise.

A peaceful and unruffled mind,
In Solitude I'll nurse,
Like ocean unmov'd by wind,
Nor blown by tempests fierce.

Ambitious swellings shall subside,
That storm shall roar no more;
All passion's hush'd, and still unheard,
That did prevail before.

O solitude! I must thee praise!
Without thee I'm still toss'd!
To ev'ry wind and furious storm,
I always am expos'd.

My course lies 'mongst quick-sands and rocks;
Perils surround me still:
By jeopardies I'm threat'ned much,
And fierce destruction's swell.

Intem'prance so destructive is,
It's streams they run so mad;
It's pois'nous stuff I've swallow'd down
With haste, yet not afraid.

I with my passion was so toss'd,
Like ships in tempests great;
By them I hurri'd on so fast,
And ne'er did meditate.

Could I in honour have it spoke
That virtue I pursu'd,
And, like to the unbending oak,
It's roots had well secur'd!

Could I look forward in this life,
And say, vice has no pow'r
To tempt; its darts I all defy;
They ne'er shall me allure!

Had I, upon the stage of life,
Preserv'd a virt'ous mind;
Or had I Wisdom chosen first,
To walk in paths divine!

But Oh! alas! my soul may blush,
When to remembrance brought,
The scenes I have delighted in--
Remorse me now has caught!

For safety then, as a strong tow'r,
I'll fly to solitude;
In it's employs, that pious are,
I'll there find joy that's good.


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