"But when the Practice comes; when our fond Passions, / Pleasure and Pride and Self-Indulgence throw / Their magic Dust around, the Prospect roughens: / Then dreadful Passes, craggy Mountains rise, / Cliffs to be scal'd, and Torrents to be stem'd."
— Thomson, James (1700-1748)
Ah, my Tancred,
Nothing so easy as in Speculation,
And at a distance seen, the Course of Honour,
A fair delightful Champian strew'd with Flowers.
But when the Practice comes; when our fond Passions,
Pleasure and Pride and Self-Indulgence throw
Their magic Dust around, the Prospect roughens:
Then dreadful Passes, craggy Mountains rise,
Cliffs to be scal'd, and Torrents to be stem'd:
Then Toil ensues, and Perseverance stern;
And endless Combats with our grosser Sense,
Oft lost, and oft renew'd; and generous Pain
For others felt; and, harder Lesson still!
Our honest Bliss for others sacrific'd;
And all the rugged Task of Virtue quails
The stoutest Heart of common Resolution.
Few get above this turbid Scene of Strife,
Few gain the Summit, breathe that purest Air,
That heavenly Ether, which untroubled sees
The Storm of Vice and Passion rage below.
(I.iv, ll. 162-182)
See Tancred and Sigismunda. A Tragedy. As it is Acted at the Theatre-Royal In Drury-Lane, By His Majesty's Servants. By James Thomson (London: Printed for A. Millar, 1745). <Link to ECCO>