Janet Little ( )

On Happiness

O happiness! where art thou to be found?
What bowr is blest with thy perpetual gleam?
From court, from cot, evn while they seek thy stay,
On thy soft pinions, rapid is thy flight.
Thy name, not substance, is to mortals known.

  Repulse from thee makes drunkards stand aghast,
Who nightly revel oer the flowing bowl.
In vain they seek thy progress to retard,
A guest too noble to be thus detaind.
Thy quick elopement shews their sad mistake;
Baulks hope, and certain disappointment brings.

  Misers for thee grope midst their bags of wealth,
Nor find thy residence in golden ore:
Fear, anxious care, bleak avrice, and distrust,
Forbid thy access to the grovling soul.

  Not riches, though in gorgeous pomp arrayd,
With all the dazzling splendour of the east,
Secure thee mongst the gay, fantastic train.
Pride and Ambition, vulture-like, appear,
Gain access to the oplent masters heart,
And bid defiance to thy sacred charms,
Now swiftly banishd from his sumptous seat.

  Nor even the voice of honour can recal
Thy hasty steps: thee Pleasure sues in vain;
A stranger to the gay, licentious crowd,
The giddy fluttring sons of dance and song.
Thou to the libertine dost ever prove
An airy phantom; mockst his eager grasp;
Leaves him to cruel disappointments rage,
Remorse, despair, the inmates of his soul.

  In hopes to meet thee in some distant clime,
The ardent warrior quits his native shore,
Inurd to martial toil; at danger smiles,
And unconcernd treads oer the heaps of slain:
His enmies fly before him; at his feet
Millions fall prostrate, and for mercy call:
Yet still in vain he makes his court to thee;
Thou scarce vouchsafes him one auspicious smile.

  See lovers too, in yon sequesterd grove,
Seek lonely walks, and spend their sighs in vain,
For thee! For what? for some bewitching fair,
Whose smiles they deem can boundless bliss secure:
Their views contracted would thee thus confine.

  Nor art thou found in Hymens sacred rites,
Though silken cords of sweet affection bind.
A thousand ills encompass the fond pair,
And mix their sweets with bitterness and wo.
Bent in pursuit, through many a devious track,
All seem to say, Successless is the search;
To nobler objects henceforth bend your view.

  All hail, Religion! thou celestial power!
Thy force alone can soothe the anxious breast,
And quite dispel the solitary gloom,
These sullen shades that steal upon the soul.
O let me hear thy salutary voice!
Thy sacred dictates let me still revere;
And ever prone in virtues steps to tread,
My hopes, my wishes centerd all in Him,
Whose hand omnipotent the world did frame.

  O Thou, great Source of all supreme delight!
Without reluctance may I ever prove
Submissive to thy providential sway,
To know and to observe thy laws divine,
My sole solicitude.
How mean soeer my humble station be,
Content, and calm serenity of mind,
Shall pave my paths along the rugged vale;
And when the vain delusive visions past,
Then happiness, in all its vast extent
Unmeasurable, ignorant of bounds,
Shall through eternal ages be my lot;
The lot of all whose hope is fixd on thee.

Janet Little's other poems:
  1. Upon a Young Ladys Leaving Loudoun Castle
  2. The Fickle Pair
  3. To a Lady, a Patroness of the Muses, on Her Recovery from Sickness
  4. To the Public
  5. A Poem on Contentment

Poems of another poets with the same name ( ):

  • James Thomson ( ) On Happiness ("Warm'd by the summer sun's meridian ray")

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