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Poem by Nathaniel Cotton

The Fireside

Dear Chloe, while the busy crowd, 
The vain, the wealthy, and the proud,
	In follys maze advance; 
Though singularity and pride 
Be called oar choice, well step aside,
	Nor join the giddy dance.

From the gay world we 11 oft retire 
To our own family and fire,
	Where love our hours employs; 
No noisy neighbour enters here; 
Nor intermeddling stranger near,
	To spoil our heartfelt joys.

If solid happiness we prize, 
Within our breast this jewel lies;
	And they are fools who roam: 
The world has nothing to bestow; 
From our own selves our joys must flow,
	And that dear hut  our home.

Of rest was Noahs dove bereft, 
When with impatient wing she left
	That safe retreat, the ark; 
Giving her vain excursion oer, 
The disappointed bird once more
	Explored the sacred bark.

Though fools spurn Hymens gentle powers, 
We, who improve his golden hours,
	By sweet experience know, 
That marriage, rightly understood, 
Gives to the tender and the good
	A paradise below.

Our babes shall richest comforts bring; 
If tutored right, theyll prove a spring
	Whence pleasures ever rise: 
Well form their minds, with studious care, 
To all thats manly, good, and fair, 
	And train them for the skies.

While they our wisest hours engage, 
Theyll joy our youth, support our age,
	And crown our hoary hairs: 
Theyll grow in virtue every day; 
And thus our fondest loves repay,
	And recompense our cares.

No borrowed joys, theyre all our own, 
While to the world we live unknown,
	Or by the world forgot: 
Monarchs! we envy not your state; 
We look with pity on the great,
	And bless our humbler lot.

Our portion is not large, indeed;
But then how little do we need!
	For natures calls are few:
In this the art of firing lies, 
To want no more than may suffice,
	And make that little do.

Well therefore relish with content
Whateer kind providence has sent,
	Nor aim beyond our power;
For, if our stock be very small,
Tis prudence to enjoy it all,
	Nor lose the present hour.

To be resigned when ills betide,
Patient when favours are denied,
	And pleased with favours given;
Dear Chloe, this is wisdoms part; 
This is that incense of the heart, 
	Whose fragrance smells to heaven.

Well ask no long-protracted treat, 
Since winter-life is seldom sweet;
	But when our feast is oer, 
Grateful from table well arise,
Nor grudge our sons with envious eyes
	The relics of our store.

Thus, hand in hand, through life well go; 
Its checkered paths of joy and woe
	With cautious steps well tread; 
Quit its vain scenes without a tear, 
Without a trouble or a fear,
	And mingle with the dead:

While conscience, like a faithful friend, 
Shall through the gloomy vale attend,
	And cheer our dying breath; 
Shall, when all other comforts cease, 
Like a kind angel, whisper peace,
	And smooth the bed of death.

Nathaniel Cotton

Nathaniel Cotton's other poems:
  1. To a Child of Five Years old

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