Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO DODINGTON, by JAMES THOMSON (1700-1748)

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

TO DODINGTON, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: He's not the happy man, to whom is given
Last Line: Thine is the fortune, and the mind is thine.
Variant Title(s): The Happy Man
Subject(s): Doddington, Philip (1702-1751); Happiness; Joy; Delight

HE'S not the happy man, to whom is given
A plenteous fortune by indulgent Heaven;
Whose gilded roofs on shining columns rise,
And painted walls enchant the gazer's eyes:
Whose table flows with hospitable cheer,
And all the various bounty of the year;
Whose valleys smile, whose gardens breathe the spring,
Whose carved mountains bleat, and forests sing?
For whom the cooling shade in summer twines,
While his full cellars give their generous wines;
From whose wide fields unbounded autumn pours
A golden tide into his swelling stores:
Whose winter laughs; for whom the liberal gales
Stretch the big sheet, and toiling commerce sails;
When yielding crowds attend, and pleasure serves;
While youth, and health, and vigour string his nerves.
E'en not all these, in one rich lot combined,
Can make the happy man, without the mind:
Where judgment sits clear-sighted, and surveys
The chain of reason with unerring gaze;
Where fancy lives, and to the brightening eyes,
His fairer scenes, and bolder figures rise;
Where social love exerts her soft command,
And lays the passions with a tender hand,
Whence every virtue flows, in rival strife,
And all the moral harmony of life.
Nor canst thou, Dodington, this truth decline --
Thine is the fortune, and the mind is thine.

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