"Who for such perishable gaudes would put / A yoke upon his free unbroken spirit, / And gall himself with trammels and the rubs / Of this world's business; so he might stand clear / Of judgment and the tax of idleness / In that dread audit, when his mortal hours / (Which now with soft and silent stealth pace by) / Must all be counted for?"
— Crowe, William (1745-1829)
Uplifted, on this height I feel the mind
Expand itself in wider liberty.
The distant sounds break gently on my sense,
Soothing to meditation: so methinks,
Even so, sequester'd from the noisy world,
Could I wear out this transitory being
In peaceful contemplation and calm ease.
But Conscience, which still censures on our acts,
That awful voice within us, and the sense
Of an Hereafter, wake and rouse us up
From such unshaped retirement; which were else
A blest condition on this earthly stage.
For who would make his life a life of toil
For wealth, o'erbalanced with a thousand cares;
Or power, which base compliance must uphold;
Or honour, lavish'd most on courtly slaves;
Or fame, vain breath of a misjudging world;
Who for such perishable gaudes would put
A yoke upon his free unbroken spirit,
And gall himself with trammels and the rubs
Of this world's business; so he might stand clear
Of judgment and the tax of idleness
In that dread audit, when his mortal hours
(Which now with soft and silent stealth pace by)
Must all be counted for? But, for this fear,
And to remove, according to our power,
The wants and evils of our brother's state,
'Tis meet we justle with the world; content,
If by our sovereign Master we be found
At last not profitless: for worldly meed,
Given or withheld, I deem of it alike.
See Lewesdon Hill. A Poem. (Oxford: at the Clarendon Press, MDCCLXXXVIII. Sold by D. Prince and J. Cooke, Oxford: J. F. and C. Rivington, T. Cadell, and R. Faulder, London, 1788). <Link to ESTC><Link to Google Books>
Text from Lewesdon Hill, With Other Poems. By the Rev. William Crowe (London: John Murray, 1827). ["A corrected and much enlarged edition, with notes."] <Link to LION><Link to 1827 edition in Google Books>