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Yclad in fteel, and bright with burnish'd mail, He ftrain'd the bow, or tofs'd the founding fpear, Or darting on the goal outftripp'd the gale, Or wheel'd the chariot in its mid carcer, Or ftrenuous wrestled hard with many a tough compeer.
At other times he pry'd thro' nature's store, Whate'er the in th' ethereal round contains, Whate'er fhe hides beneath her verdant floor, The vegetable and the mineral reigns; [mains, Or elfe he fcann'd the globe, thofe fmall doWhere reflefs mortals fuch a turmoil keep, Its feas, its floods, its mountains, and its plains, But more he fearch'd the mind, and fous'd from fleep
Thofe moral feeds whence we heroic actions reap.
Nor would he fcorn to stoop from high pursuits Of heavenly truth, and practise what the taught. Vain is the tree of knowledge without fruits. Sometimes in hand the fpade or plough he caught, [fraught; Forth-calling all with which boon earth is Sometimes he plied the ftrong mechanic tool, Or rear'd the fabric from the finest draught; And oft he put himself to Neptune's fchicol, Fighting with winds and waves on the vex'd ocean pool.
To folace then thefe rougher toils, he tried To touch the kindling canvas into life; With nature his creating pencil vied, With nature joyous at the mimic ftrife; Or, to fuch thapes as grac'd Pygmalion's wife He hew'd the marble; or with varied fire, He rous'd the trumpet and the martial fife, Or bade the lute fweet tenderness infpire, [lyre. Or verses fram'd that well might wake Apollo's Accomplish'd thus he from the woods issued, Full of great aims, and bent on bold emprize; The work which long he in his breaft had brew'd,
Now to perform he ardent did devife; To wit, a barbarous world to civilize. Earth was till then a boundlefs foreft wild; Nought to be feen but favage wood and fkies; No cities nourished arts, no culture fmil'd, No government, no laws, no gentle manners mild.
A rugged wight, the worst of brutes, was man: On his own wretched kind he ruthless prey'd: The ftrongest ftill the weakeft over-ran; In ev'ry country mighty robbers sway'd, And guile and ruffian force were all their trade. Life was a fcene of rapine, want, and woe; Which this brave knight, in noble anger, made To fwear, he would the rafcal rout o'erthrow, For, by the pow'rs divine, it should no more be fo
It would exceed the purport of my fong,
Then Egypt, Greece, and Rome, their golden Succeffive, had; but now in ruins gray [times, They ly, to flavish floth and tyranny a prey.
To crown his toils, Sir Induftry then spread The fwelling fail, and made for Britain's coaft. A fylvan life till then the natives led,
In the brown fhades and greenwood forest lost, All careless rambling where it lik'd them most : Their wealth the wild-deer bouncing thro' the glade:
They lodg'd at large, and liv'd at nature's coft; Save fpear and bow, withouten other aid; Yet not the Roman fteel their naked breast difmay'd.
He lik'd the foil, he lik'd the clement skies, He lik'd the verdant hills and flow'ry plains. Be this my great, my chofen ifle (he cries); This, whilft my labours Liberty fuftains, This queen of ocean all affault difdains." Nor like'd he lefs the genius of the land, To freedom apt and perfevering pains: Mild to obey, and gen'rous to command, Temper'd by forming heaven with kindest firmest
Here, by degrees, his mafter-work arose, Whatever arts and industry can frame; Whatever finish'd agriculture knows, Fair queen of arts! from heaven itfelf who came, When Eden flourish'd in unfpotted fame. And ftill with her fweet innocence we find And tender peace, and joys without a name, That, while they ravifh, tranquillize the mind, Nature and art at once, delight and ufe combin'd."
Then towns he quicken'd by mechanic arts, And bade the fervent city glow with toil; Bade focial commerce raife renowned marts, Join land to land, and marry foil to foil, Unite the poles, and without bloody fpoi! Bring home of either Ind the gorgeous ftores; Or, thould defpotic rage the world embroil, Bade tyrants tremble on remoteft fhores; [roars. While o'er th' encircling deep Britannia's thunder
The drooping Mufes then he weftward call'd, From the fam'd city by Propontic fea, What time the Turk the enfeebled Grecian thrall'd; [free, Thence from their cloifter'd walks he fet them And brought them to another Caftalie, Where Ifis many a famous nourfling breeds; Or where old Cam foft paces o'er the lee in penfive mood, and tunes his Doric reeds, The whilft his flocks at large the lonely fhepherd
Yet the fine arts were what he finish'd leaft. For why they are the quinteffence of all; The growth of labouring time, and flow encreaft;
Unlefs, as feldom chances, it should fall,
And where they nothing have to do but please: | Ah! gracious God! thou know'ft they afk no other fees.
But now, alas! we live too late in time:
Our patrons now even grudge that little claim, Except to fuch as fleck the foothing rhyme; And yet, forfooth, they wear Macenas' name: Poor fons of puft-up vanity, not fame. Unbroken fpirits cheer! ftill, ftill remains The eternal patron, Liberty; whofe flame, While the protects, infpires the noblest strains. The beft, and fweeteft far, are toil-created gains. Whenas the knight had fram'd in Britain-land A matchlefs form of glorious government, In which the fovereign laws alone command, Laws 'ftablish'd by the public free confent, Whofe majefty is to the fceptre lent; When this great plan, with each dependent art, Was fettled firm, and to his heart's content, Then fought he from the toilfome scene to part, And let life's vacant eve breathe quiet thro' the heart.
His days, the days of unftain'd nature, roll'd, Replete with peace and joy, like patriarchs' of old. Witnefs, ye lowing herds, who gave him milk; Witnefs, ye flocks, whofe wooly vestments far Exceed foft India's cotton, or her filk; [car, Witnefs, with autumn charg'd, the nodding That homeward came beneath fweet evening's Or of September moons the radiance mild. [star. O hide thy head, abominable war! Of crimes and ruffian idleness the child! From heaven this life yfprung, from hell thy glories wild!
An happy place where, free and unafraid, Amid the flowing brakes each coyer creature ftray'd.
Nor from his deep retirement banish'd was The amusing care of rural industry. Still, as with grateful change the feafons pafs. New fcenes arife, new landfcapes ftrike the eye, And all the enliven'd country beautify: Gay plains extend where marshes flept before; O'er recent meads the exulting ftreamlets fly; Dark frowning heaths grow bright with Ceres' ftore, [fhore. And woods embrown the steep, or wave along the As nearer to his farm you made approach, He polifh'd nature with a finer hand: Yet on her beauties durft not art encroach; 'Tis art's alone thefe beautics to expand. In graceful dance immingled, o'er the land, Pans, Pales, Flora, and Pomona play'd : Here too, brifk gales the rude wild common
But in prime vigor what can last for ay? That foul-enfeebling wizard Indolence, I whilom fung, wrought in his works decay: Spread far and wide was his curs'd influence; Of public virtue much he dull'd the fenfe, Even much of private; ate our spirit cut, And fed our rank luxurious vices; whence The land was overlaid with many a lout; Not, as old fame reports, wife, generous, bold,
A rage of pleafure madden'd ev'ry breast,
"The lacquey be more virtuous than his lord! Enjoy this fpan of life! 'tis all the gods afford." The tidings reach'd to where, in quiet hall, The good old knight enjoy'd well-earn'd repose. "Come, come, Sir Knight! thy children on "thee call;
"Come, fave us yet, ere ruin round us close; "The demon Indolence thy toil o'erthrows." On this the noble colour ftain'd his checks, Indignant, glowing thro' the whitening fnows Of venerable eld; his eye full speaks [breaks.
ardent foul, and from his couch at once he I will (he cried), fo help me, God! deftroy That villain Archimage.-- Hispage then straight He to him call'd, a fiery-footed boy, Benempt Dispatch. "My ftecd be at the gate, "My bard attend; quick, bring the net of Fate." This net was twifted by the fifters three; Which when once caft o'er harden'd wretch, too late
Repentance comes: replevy cannot be From the ftrong iron grafp of vengeful deftiny. He came, the bard, a little druid wight, Of wither'd afpcct; but his eye was keen, With fweetnefs mix'd. In ruffet brown bedight, As is his fifter in the copfes green *, He crept along, urpromifing of mien. Grofs he who judges fo. His foul was fair, Bright as the children of yon azure theen. True comelinefs, which nothing can impair, Dwells in the mind: all clfe is vanity and glare. Come (quoth the knight), a voice has reach'd
The demon Indolence threats overthrow
"As God fhall judge me, knight, we must for(The half-enraptur'd Philomelus cried) [give] "The frail good man deluded here to live, "And in these groves his mufing fancy hide. "Ah! nought is pure. It cannot be denied, "That virtue ftill fome tincture has of vice, "And vice of virtue. What should then betide, "But that our charity be not too nice? "Come, let us those we can to real blifs entice." "Ay, ficker (quoth the knight)all flesh is frail, "To pleasant fin and joyous dalliance bent; "But let not brutish vice of this avail, "And think to 'fcape deferved punishment. "Juftice were cruel weakly to relent; "From mercy's felf the got her facred glaive: "Grace be to thofe who can, and will repent; "But, penance long, and dreary, to the flave, "Who must in floods of fire his grofs foul spirit "lave."
- Thus,holding high difcourfe, they came towhere The curfed carle was at his wonted trade; Still tempting heedlefs men into his fuare,
A Gladiator, who made ufe of a net, which he threw over his adverfary,
"With brother-brutes the human race had “graz'd;
None e'er had foar'd to fame, none honour'd "been, none prais'd.
His British harp, its speaking ftrings he tried,
Thus ardent burft his ftrain-
"What is the ador'd Supreme Perfection, fay?"
"Is not the field, with lively culture green, "A joyous fight more than the green morals? "Do not the ikies, with active ether clean, "And fann'd by fprightly zephyrs, far furpafs [mafs, "The foul November-fogs, and flumb'rous "With which fad Nature veils her drooping "face? [glafs, "Does not the mountain-ftream, as clear as "Gay dancing on, the putrid pool difgrace? "The fame in all holds true, but chief in hu
"It was not by vile loitering in cafe
"For fluggard's brow the laurel never grows; "Renown is not the child of indolent repofe.
"Great Homer's fong had never fir'd the breast
"And monkih legends been their only strains:
Through the dark depth of time their vivid
"Had all been loft with fuch as have no name. "Who then had fcorn'd his ease for other's "good?
"Who then had toil'd rapacious men to tame? "Who in the public breach devoted food, "And for his country's caufe been prodigal of "blood?
"Had unambitious mortals minded nought,
"But should to fame your hearts unfeeling be,
"How beft enjoy'd this nature's wide defire.
"Who does not act is dead: abforpt entire "In miry floth, no pride, no joy he hath; "O leaden-hearted men, to be in love with death! "Ah! what avail the largest gifts of Heaven "When drooping health and fpirits go amifs? "How taftelefs then whatever can be given! "Health is the vital principle of bliss, "And exercife of health. In proof of this, "Behold the wretch, who flugs his life away, "Soon fwallow'd in difeafe's fad abyfs; "While he whom toil has, brac'd, or manly [as day. "Has light as air cach limb, cach thought as clear "O who can speak the vigorous joys of health? "Unclogg'd the body, unobfcur'd the mind; "The morning rifes gay; with pleating stealth, "The temperate evening falis ferene and kiad. In health the wifer brutes true gladness find. "See! how the younglings frisk along the "meads,
"As May comes on, and wakes the balmy wind; Rampant with life, their joy all joy exceeds: Yet what but high-ftrung health this dancing "pleafuunce breeds?
"But here, instead, is fofter'd every ill,
"Your talents here. This place is but a fhow,
"Some he will lead to courts, and fome to
"To fenates fome, and public fage debates,
"Some to the rural reign, and fofter fates; "To the fweet mufes fome, who raife the "heart:
"All glory fhall be yours, all nature and all art. "There are, I fee, who listen to my lay, "Who wretched figh for virtue, but defpair. "All may be done, (mcthinks I hear them Tay) "Even death defpis'd by generous actions fair: "All, but for thofe who to thefe bowers repair, "Their very power diffolv'd in luxury, "To quit of torpid fluggishnefs the lair, "And from the powerful arins of floth get "free, [be! 'Tis rifing from the dead-Alas!-It cannot "Would you then learn to diffipate the band "Of thefe huge threatening difficulties dire, "That in the weak man's way like lions ftand,
"His foul appal, and damp his rifing fire? Refolve, refolve, and to be men afpire. "Exert that nobleft privilege, alone "Here to mankind indulg'd: controul defire: "Let godlike Reafon, from her fovereign throne, [is done. Speak the commanding word—I will!—and it "Heavens! can you then thus wafte, in fhame"ful wife,
"Your few important days of trial here? "Heirs of eternity! yborn to rife. "Through endless ftates of being fill more
"To blifs approaching, and perfection clear; "Can you renounce a fortune fo fublime, "Such glorious hopes, your backward fteps "to fteer, [and flime "And roil, with vileft brutes, through mud "No! no!Your heaven-touch'd hearts dif"dain the fordid crime!"
"Enough! enough!" they cry'd-ftraight from
The better fort on wings of transport fly.
Th' awaken'd heaps, in ftreamlets from on high, Rous'd into action, lively leap away, Glad-warbling through the vales, in their new being gay.
Not lefs the life, the vivid joy ferene, That lighted up thefe new created men, Than that which wings th' exulting fpirit clean, When, juft deliver'd from this fleshly den, It foaring feeks its native fkies agen. How light its effence' how unclogg'd its pow'rs, Beyond the blazon of my mortal pen! Even fo we glad forfook thefe finful bowers, Even fuch enraptur'd life, fuch energy was ours.
But far the greater part, with rage enflam'd,
"Ye fous of hate! (they bitterly exclaim'd) "What brought you to this feat of peace and "love?
"While with kind nature, here amid the grove, "We pafs'd the harmlefs fabbath of our time, "What to difturb it could, fell men, emove "Your barbarous hearts? Is happiness a "crime? [fublime. "Then do the fiends of hell rule in yon heaven "Ye impious wretches," quoth the knight in wrath, "Your happiness behold!"-Then straight a
He wav'd, an anti-magic power that hath, Truth from illufive falfehood to command. Sudden, the landscape finks on ev'ry hand;' The pure quick ftreams are marfhy puddles found;
On baleful heaths the groves all blacken'd stand; And o'er the weedy foul abhorred ground, Snakes, adders, toads, each loathfome creature crawls around.
And here and there, on trees by lightning fcath'd,
Unhappy wights who loathed life yhung:
The fe. by distemper'd blood to madness stung,
The world, returning hither their fad fpirits
Meantime a moving fcene was open laid;