I. How vain a thought is bliss below!
'Tis all an airy dream!
How empty are the joys that flow
On pleasure's smiling stream!
II. Now gayly-painted bubbles rise
With varied colours bright;
They break, the short amusement flies—
Can this be call'd delight?
III. Transparent now, and all serene
The gentle current flows:
While fancy draws the flatt'ring scene,
How fair the landskip shows!
IV. But soon its transient charms decay,
When ruffling tempests blow;
The soft delusions fleet away,
And pleasure ends in woe.
V. Why do I here expect repose?
Or seek for bliss in vain?
Since every pleasure earth bestows,
Is but dissembled pain.
VI. O let my nobler wishes soar
Beyond these seats of night;
In heav'n substantial bliss explore,
And permanent delight!
VII. There pleasure flows forever clear;
And rising to the view
Such dazling scenes of joy appear,
As fancy never drew.
VIII. No fleeting landskip cheats the gaze,
Nor airy form beguiles;
But everlasting bliss displays
Her undissembled smiles.
IX. Adieu to all below the skies,
Celestial guardian come!
On thy kind wing my soul would rise
To her eternal home.
Source: Poems on Subjects Chiefly Devotional, Vol. 2 #55