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John Cunningham (Джон Каннингем)



TO travel far as the wide world extends,
 Seeking for objects that deserv'd their care,
Virtue set forth, with two selected friends,
 Talent refin'd, and Reputation fair.

As they went on, in their intended round,
 Talent first spoke:—"My gentle comrades, say,
Where each of you may probably be found,
 Should Accident divide us on the way.

If torn (she added) from my lov'd allies,
 A friendly patronage I hope to find
Where the fine Arts from cultivation rise,
 And the sweet Muse hath harmoniz'd mankind."

Says, Virtue, "Did Sincerity appear,
 Or meek-ey'd Charity among the great;
Could I find courtiers from corruption clear,
 'Tis among these I'd seek for my retreat.

Could I find patriots for the public weal
 Assiduous, and without their selfish views;
Could I find priests of undissembled zeal,
 'Tis among those my residence I'd chuse.

In glittering domes let Luxury reside;
 I must be found in some sequester'd cell,
Far from the paths of Avarice or Pride,
 Where home-bred Happiness delights to dwell."

"Ye may be trac'd, my gentle friends, 'tis true,
 But who (says Reputation) can explore
My slippery steps?—Keep, keep me in your view,
 If I'm once lost, you'll never find me more."

John Cunningham's other poems:
  1. A Landscape
  2. Anacreon: Ode 58
  3. The Respite
  4. Stanzas Addressed to Miss S--
  5. Fanny of the Dell

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