« PreviousContinue »
The canvas glow'd beyond e'en Nature war.
The pregnant quarry teem'd with human fe
Till, more unfteady than the fouthern gale
Commerce on other fhores difplay'd her fail
While nought remain'd of all that riches g
But towns unmann'd, and lords without af
And late the nation found, with fruitless ski
Its former ftrength was but plethoric ill.
Yet ftill the lofs of wealth is here fuppli
By arts, the fplendid wrecks of former pric
From these the feeble heart and long-fall'n m
An eafy compenfation feem to find.
Here may be feen, in bloodlefs pomp array
The paiteboard triumph, and the cavalcade
Proceffions form'd for piety and love,
A mistress or a faint in ev'ry grove.
Such is the patriot's boaft, where'er we roam:
His first, beit country, ever is at home.
And yet, perhaps, if countries we compare,
And estimate the bleffings which they fhare,
Though patriots flatter, itill fhall wifdom find
An equal portion dealt to all mankind;
As different good, by art or nature given,
To ditterent nations, makes their bleflings even.
Nature, a mother kind alike to all,
Still grants her blifs at labour's earnest call;
With food as well the peafapt is fupplied
On Idra's cliff's as Arno's fhelvy fide;
And tho' the rocky-crefted fummits frown,
Thefe rocks by custom turn to beds of down.
From art more various are the bleffings fent;
Wealth, commerce, honour, liberty, content.
Yet thefe each other's pow'r fo ftrong conteft,By fports like thefe are all their cares beguil
That either feems deftructive of the reft. [fails;
Where wealth and freedom reign, contentment
And honourfinks where commerce longprevails.
Hence ev'ry state, to one lov'd bleffing prone,
Conforms and models life to that alone.
Each to the fav'rite happiness attends,
And fpurns the plan that aims at other ends;
Till carried to excefs in each domain,
This fav'rite good begets peculiar pain.
But let us try thefe truths with clofer eyes,
And trace them through the profpect as it lies:
Here for a while, my proper cares refign'd,
Here let me fit, in forrow for mankind;
Like you neglected fhrub at random caft,
That fhades the fleep, and fighs at ev'ry blaft.
Far to the right, where Apennine afcends,
Bright as the fummer, Italy extends;
Its uplands floping deck the nountain's fide,
Woods over woods in gay theatric pride;
While oft fome temple's mould ringtopsbetween
With venerable grandeur mark the fcene.
The fports of children fatisfy the child:
Each nobler aim, reprefs' by long controu
Now finks at laft, or feebly mans the foul
While low delights, fucceeding fait behind
In happier meannefs occupy the mind:
As in thofe domes where Cæfars once bore fw
Defac'd by time, and tott ring in decay,
There in the ruin, heedlefs of the dead,
The fhelter-feeking peafant builds his fed
And, wondering man could want the larger
Exults, and owns his cottage with a file.
My foul, turn from them-turn we to fur
Where rougher climes a nobier race difplay
Where the bleak Swifstheirftormymanfionti
And force a churlish foil for feanty breads"
No product here the barren hills aflerd
But man and steel, the foldier and his sword
No vernal blooms their to pid rocks array,
But winter ling ring chills the lap of May;
No zephyr fondly fues the mountain's breat
But meteors glare, and stormy glooms inves
Yer ftill e'en here Content can spread a char
Redrefs the clime, and all its rage difarm.
Tho' poor the peafant's hut, his feaft tho' fm:
He fees his little lot the lot of all;
Sces no contiguous palace rear its head,
To fhame the meannefs of his humble fhed;
No coftly lord the fumptuous banquet deal,
To make him loath his vegetable meal;
But calm, and bred in ignorance and toil,
Each with contracting, fits him to the foil.
Cheerful at morn he wakes from short repole
Breathes the keen air, and carols as he goes;
With patient angle trolls the finny deep,
Or drives his vent`rous ploughihare to the fteen
Or feeks the den where fhow-tracks mark th
And drags the ftruggling favage into day. [wa
night returning, ev'ry labour fed,
He tits him down the monarch of a fhed;
Smiles by his cheerful fire, and round furvey
His children's looks, that brighten at the blaz
While his lov'd partner, boaftful of her huar
Difplays her cleanly platter on the board :
And haply too fome pilgrim, thither ied,
With many a tale repays the nightly bed.
Could Nature's bounty fatisfy the breaft,
The fons of Italy were furely bleft.
Whatever fruits in different climes are found,
That proudly rife, or humbly court the ground;
Whatever blooms in torrid tracts appear,
Whofe bright fucceffion decks the varied year;
Whatever fweets falute the nothern sky
With vernal lives, that bloffom but to die:
Thefe here difporting, own the kindred foil,
Nor afk luxuriance from the planter's toil;
While fea-born gales their gelid wings expand,
To winnow fragrance round the fmiling land.
But fmall the blifs that fenfe alone bellows,
And fenfual blifs is all the nation knows.
In fiorid beauty groves and fields appear,
Man feems the only growth that dwindles here.
Contrafted faults through all his manners reign:At
Tho' peor, luxurious; tho' fubmiffive, vain;
Tho' grave, yet trifling; zealous, yet untrue;
And e'en-in penance planning fins anew.
All evils here contaminate the mind,
That opulence departed leaves behind;
For wealth was theirs, not far remov'd the date,
When commerce proudly flourish'd through the
At her con mand the palace learn'd to rife, [ftate:
Again the long-fu'n column fought the ikies:
Thus ev'ry good his native wilds impart, Imprints the patriot pation on his heart;
And e'en thofe hills that round his manfion rife, | They pleafe, are pleas'd, they give to get efteem;
Enhance the hiifs his fcanty fund fupplies.
Dar is that thed to which his foul conforms,
And dear that hill which lifts him to the ftorms;
And as a child, when fearing founds moleft,
Clings clofe and clofer to the mother's breaft;
So the loud torrent, and the whirlwind's roar,
But bind him to his native mountains more.
Sach are the charms to barren ftates affign'd:
Their wants but few, their wishes all confin'd.
Yet let them only fhare the praifes due;
If few their wants, their pleafures are but few:
For ev'ry want that fimulates the breaft,
Becomes a fource of pleasure when redreft. [flies,
Whence from fuch lands each pleafing fcience
That firft excites defire, and then fupplies;
Unknown to them, when fenfual pleatures cloy
To fill the languid paufe with finer joy;
Unknown thofe pow'rs that raife the foul toflame,
Catch ev'rynerve,and vibrate through the frame:
Their level life is but a mould'ring fire,
Unquench'd by want, unfann'd by ftrong defire;
Unit for raptures; or, if raptures cheer
On fome high feftival of once a year,
In wild excels the vulgar breaft takes fire,
Till buried in debauch the blifs expire.
But not their joys alone thus coarfely flow;
Their morals, like their pleafures, are but low:
For, as refinement ftops, from fire to fon,
Unalter'd, unimprov d, the manners run;
And love's and friendship's finely pointed dart
Fails blunted from each indurated heart.
Se ferner virtue's o'er the mountain's breaft
May fit like falcons cow'ring on the neft;
But a the gentler morals, fuch as play [way;
Tur lie's more cultur'd walks, and charm the
Thele fur difper'd, on timorous pinions fly,
To fport and fetter in a kinder fky.
To kinder kies, where gentler manners reign,
I ture-and France difplays her bright domain.
Till, feeming bleft, they grow to what they feem.
But while this fofter art their blifs fupplies,
It gives their follies alfo room to rife;AM
For praife too dearly lov'd, or warmly fought,
Enfeebles all internal ftrength of thought;
And the weak foul, within itfelf unbleft,
Leans for all pleasure on another's breaft,
Hence oftentation here, with tawdry art,
Pants for the vulgar praife which fools impart:
Here vanity affumes her pert grimace,
And trims her robes of frize with copper-lace;
Here beggar pride defrauds her daily cheer,
To boaft one fplendid banquet once a year;
The mind ftillturrs where fhifting fashiondraws,
Nor weighs the folid worth of felf-applaufe.
To men of other minds my fancy flies,
Embofom'd in the deep where Holland lies.
Methinks her patient fons before me ftand,
Where the broad @cean leans against the land;
And, fedulous to stop the coming tide,
Lift the tall rampire's artificial pride.
Onward methinks, and diligently flow,
The firm connected bulwark feems to grow;
Spreads its long arms amidft the wat'ry roar,
Scoops out an empire, and ufurps the thore;
While the pent ocean, rifing o'er the pile,
Sees an amphibious world beneath him smile;
The flow canal, the yellow-bloffom'd vale,
The willow-tufted bank, the gliding fail,
The crowded mart, the cultivated plain,
A new creation refcued from his reign.
Thus, while around the wave-fubjected foil
Impels the native to repeated toil,
Induftrious habits in each bofom reign,
And industry begets a love of gain.
Hence all the good from opulence that springs,
With all thofe ills furperfluous treasure brings,
Are here difplay'd. Their much-lov'dwealth im-
Convenience, plenty, elegance, and arts; [parts
Psd with thyfelf whom all the world can
How often have I led thy fportive choir, [pleafe,
With tunelefs pipe,belide the murm'ring Loire!
Where hading elms along the margin grew,
And freiben'd from the wave, the zephyr flew ;
And haply, tho' my harth touch falt ring ftill,
Budal tune,andmarr'd thedancer'sfkill,
Gay fprightly land of mirth and focial eafe, But view them clofer, craft and fraud appear;
E'en liberty itself is barter'd here!
At gold's fuperior charnas all freedom flies;
The needy fell it, and the rich man buys;
A land of tyrants, and a den of flaves,
Here wretches feek difhonourable graves.
And, calmly bent, to fervitude conform,
Dull as their lakes that flumber in the storm.
Ytwold the village praife mywond'rouspow'r,
And dance, forgetful of the noontide hour!
Alike al ages: dames of ancient day's
Jave led their children thro' the mirthful maze;
Heavens! how unlike their Belgie fires of old!
Rough, poor, content, ungovernably bold;
War in each breaft, and freedom on each brow;
How much unlike the fons of Britain now!
And the gay grandfire, fkill'd in geftic lore,
Thus idly bafy rolls their world away:
So bleita life thefe thoughtless realms difplay,
Fir'd at the found,my Geniusfpreadsherwing
Andflies where Britain courts the westernfpring;
Where lawns extend that fcorn Arcadian pride;
Andbrighter treatns than fam'dHydafpes glide:
Theirs are thofe arts that mind to mind endear, There all around the gentleft breezes ftray,
For bonour forms the focial temper here.
Honour, that praife which real merit gains,
Orten imaginary worth obtains,
It Gifts in fplendid traffic round the land:
ere paffes current; paid from hand to hand:
Intent on high defigns a thoughtful band,
By forms unfashion'd fresh from nature's hand;
Fierce in their native hardinefs of foul,
True to imagin'd right above controul:
While e'en the peasant boafts these rights to fcan,
And learns to venerate himself as man. fhere,
Thine, Freedom, thine the bleffings pictur'd
Thine are thofe charms, that dazzle and endear;
Too bleft indeed were fuch without alloy,
But fofter'd e'en by Freedom ills annoy.
That independance Britons prize too high,
Keeps man from man, and breaks the focial tie;
The felf-dependant lordlings ftand alone;
All claims that bind and fweeten life unknown;
Here, by the bonds of Nature feebly held,
Minds combat minds, repelling and repell'd.
Ferments arife, imprifon'd factions roar,
Reprefs'd ambition struggles round her fhore;
Till, over-wrought, the general fyftem feels
Its motions ftop, or phrenly fire the wheels.
Nor this the worst. As Nature's ties decay,
As duty, love, and honour fail to fway,
Fictitious bonds, the bonds of wealth and law,
Still gather ftrength, and force unwilling awe.
Hence all obedience bows to thefe alone,
And talents finks, and merit weeps unknown;
Till time may come, when ftripp'd of all her
The land of fcholars and the nurse of arms,
Where noble stems tranfmit the patriot flame,
Where kings have toil'd, and poets wrote for
One fink of level avarice fhall lie, [fame,
And scholars, foldiers, kings, unhonour'd die.
Yet think not thus, when Freedom's ills I ftate,
I mean to flatter kings, or court the great:
Ye pow'rs of truth that bid my foul afpire,
Far from my bofom drive the low defire!
And thou, fair Freedom, taught alike to feel
The rabble's rage, and tyrant's angry steel;
Thou tranfitory flow'r, alike undone
By proud Contempt, or Favour's foft'ring fun,
Still may thy blooms the changeful clime endure,
I only would reprefs them to fecure:
For juft experience tells, in ev'ry foil,
That thosewho think muftgovern thofe who toil;
And all that Freedom's highest aims can reach,
Is but to lay proportion'd loads on each.
Hence, fhould one order difproportion'd grow,
Its double weight must ruin all below.
O, then, how blind to all that truth requires,
Who think it freedom when a part afpires,
Calm is my foul, nor apt to rife in arms,
Except when faft approaching danger warms:
But when contending chiefs blockadethethrone,"
Contracting regal pow'r to ftretch their own;
When I behold a factious band agree
To call it freedom when themfelves are free;
Each wanton judge new penal ftatutes draw,
Laws grind the poor, and rich men rule the law;
The wealth of climes, where favage nations
Pillag'd from flaves, to purchase flaves at home;
Fear, pity, juftice, indignation ftart,
Tear off referve, and bare my fwelling heart;
[Till, half a patriot, half a coward grown,
I fly from petty tyrants to the throne.
Yes,brother, curse with me that baleful b
When first ambition struck at regal pow'r,
And thus, polluting honour in its fource,
Gave wealth to fway the mind with double fo
Have we not feen, round Britain's peopled fl
Her ufeful fons exchang'd for useless ore;
Seen all her triumphs but deftruction hafte
Like flaring tapers, bright'ning as they wa
Seen Opulence, her grandeur to maintain,
Lead ftern Depopulation in her train,
And over fields where scatter'd hamlets rof
In barren folitary pomp repofe?
Have we not feen, at Pleafure's lordly call,
The fmiling long-frequented village fall?
Beheld the duteous fon, the fire decay'd,
The modest matron, and the blushing maid
Forc'd from their homes, a melancholy trai
To traverse climes beyond the western mai
Where wild Ofwego fpreads her fwamps aro
And Niagara ftuns with thund'ring found
E'en now, perhaps, as there fome pilgrim ft
Thro' tangled forefts, and thro' dangerous w
Where beasts with man divided empire cla
And thebrown Indian marks with murd'rous
There, while above the giddy tempeft flies
And all around diftrefstul yells arife,
The penfive exile, bending with his woe,
To ftop too fearful, and too faint to go,
Cafts a long look where England's glories f
And bids his bofom fympathize with mine.
Vain, very vain, my weary fearch to find
That blifs which only centres in the mind
Why have I ftray'd from pleasure and repo
To feek a good each government beftows?
In ev'ry government, tho' terrors reign,
Though tyrant kings or tyrant laws reli
How imali, of all that human hearts endur
That part which laws or kings can cause or c
Still to ourselves in ev'ry place confign'd,
Our own felicity we make or find:
With fecret courfe, which no loud ftorms an
Glides the fmooth current of domestic joy.
The lifted ax, the agonizing wheel,
Luke's iron crown, and Damiens' bed of te
To men remote from pow'r but rarely know
Leave reason, faith, and confcience, all ourc
2. The Deferted Village. Goldfmith. SWEET Auburn! lovelieft village of the pl Where health and plenty cheer'd the labou fwain;
Where imiling fpring its earlieft vifit paid,
And parting fummer's ling ring blooms dela
Dear lovely bow'rs of innocence and ease,
Seats of my youth when ev'ry sport could ple
How often have I loiter'd o'er thy green,
Where humble happiness endear'd each icen
How often have I paus'd on ev'ry charm,
The fhelter'd cot, the cultivated farm,
The never-failing brook, the bufy mill,
The decent church that topp'd the neighb
The horn bush, with feats beneath the shade,
For akag age and whifp'ring lovers made!
How often have I blefs'd the coming day,
When toil remitting lent its turn to play;
And all the village train from labour free,
Led up their sports beneath the spreading tree;
We many a paftime circled in the fhade,
The young contending as the old furvey'd:
Aaya gambol frolick 'do'er the ground,
Anders of art and feats of strength wentround.
And, as each repeated pleasure tir'd,
Sweet Auburn! parent of the blissful hour,
Thy glades forlorn confefs'd the tyrant's pow'r.
Here, as I take my folitary rounds,
Amidst thy tangling walks, and ruin'd grounds;
And, many a year elaps'd, return to view [grew;
Where once the cottage ftood, the hawthorn
Remembrance wakes with all her busy train,
Swells at my breast, and turns the pait to pain.
In all my wand'rings round this world of care,
In all my grief, and God has given my share-
I ftill had hopes, my latest hours to crown,
gports the mirthful band infpir'd Amidft thefe humble bow'rs to lay me down;
Tag pair that fimply fought renown.; To hufband out life's taper at the close,
3- Ang out to tire each other down; And keep the flame from wafting my repose:
Ts miftruftlefs of his fmutted face, I ftill had hopes, for pride attends us ftill,
Wecret laughter titter'd round the place; Amidft the fwains to fhew my book-learn'd skill,
tal virgin's fide-long looks of love, Around my fire, an evening group to draw,
tron's glance that would those looks re- And tell of all I felt, and all I faw;
[thefe, And, as a hare, whom hounds and horns pursue,
The were thy charms, fweet village! fports like Pants to the place from whence at first he flew,
palat fucceffion taught e'en toil to please; I still had hopes, my long vexations past,
Taround thy bow'rs their cheerful influence Here to return, and die at home at laft.
[are fled, O bleft retirement, friend to life's decline,
Retreat from care, that never must be mine!
How bleft is he, who crowns,in fhades like these,
A youth of labour with an age of eafe;
Whoquits a world where strong temptations try,
And, fince 'tis hard to combat, learns to fly!
For him no wretches, born to work and weep,
Explore the mine, or tempt the dang'rous deep;
No furly porter stands in guilty state,
To fpurn imploring famine from the gate;
But on he moves to meet his latter end,
Angels around; befriending virtue's friend;
Sinks to the grave with unperceiv'd decay,
While refignation gently flopes the way;
And, all his profpects bright'ning to the laft,
His heaven commences ere the world be past!
Sweet was the found, when oft at evening's
fred, Twere thy charms-but all thefe charms miling village, lovelieft of the lawn, Tatarefied,andall thy charms withdrawn, ay bow'rs the tyrant's hand is feen, tion faddens all thy green: after grafps the whole domain, tillage tints thy fmiling plain; ety glaffy brook reflects the day, ad with fedges, works its weedy way; glades, a folitary gueft,
ounding bittern guards its neft; defert walks the lapwing flies, eir echoes with unvaried cries. bow'rs in fhapelets ruin all, grafs o'ertops themould'ring wall; gfhrinkingfromthe fpoiler's hand, y thy children leave the land. the land, to haft ning ills a prey, Auth accumulates, and men decay: ad Lords may flourish or may fade; make them as a breath has made: pantry, their country's pride, e destroyd, can never be fupplied. there was, ere England's griefs began, yrood of ground maintain'd its man; tlabour Ipread her whole fome store; what life requir'd, but gave no more: companions, innocence and health; eft riches, ignorance of wealth. tres are alter'd: trade's unfeeling train he land, and difpoffefs the fwain; lawn, were fcatter'd hamlets rofe, wealth and cumb'rous pomp repofe; y want to luxury allied,
pang that folly pays to pride.
e hours that plenty bade to bloom,
defres that afk'd but little room,
thal fports that grac'd the peaceful
Up yonder hill the village murmur rofe;
There as I pafs'd, with carelefs fteps and flow,
The mingling notes came foften'd from below;
The fwain refponfive as the milk-maid fung,
The fober herd that low'd to meet their young,
The noily geefe that gabbled o'er the pool,
The playful children juft let loose from school,
The watch-dog's voice that bay'd the whifp'ring
And the loud laugh that spoke the vacant mind;
Thefe all in fweet confufion fought the shade,
And fill'd each paufe the nightingale had made.
But now the founds of population fail,
No cheerful murmurs fluctuate in the gale,
No bufy fteps the grafs-grown footway tread,
But all the bloomy fluth of life is filed:
All but yon widow'd, folitary thing,
That feebly bend befide the plashy spring;
She, wretched matron! forc'd in age for bread,
To ftrip the brook with mantling creffes
To pick her wint'ry faggot from the thorn, donlook, and brighten'd all the green; To feek her nightly fhed, and weep till morn;
er departing, feek a kinder fhore,
Andrej mirth and manners are no more.
She only left, of all the harmless train,
The fad hiftorian of the penfive plain.