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By age when summon'd to resign his breath,
Calm, and serene, he sees approaching death,
As the safe port, the peaceful silent shore,
Where he may rest, life's tedious voyage o'er:
He, and he only, is of death afraid,'
Whom his own conscience has a coward made;
Whilst he who Virtue's radiant course has run,
Descends like a serenely-setting sun,
His thoughts triumphant Heaven alone employs,
And hope anticipates his future joys.
So good, so bfest th' illustrious * Hough we find,
Whose image dwells with pleasure on my mind,
The Mitre's glory, Freedom's constant friend,
In times which ask'd a champion to defend;
Who after near an hundred virtuous years,
His senses perfect, free from pains and fears,
Replete with life, with honors, and with age,
Like an applanded actor left the stage:
Or like some victor in the Olympic games, Who, having run his course, the crown of glory
From this just contrast plainly it appears,
How conscicace can inspire both hopes and fears:
But whence proceed these hopes, or whence this
If nothing really can affect the dead?
See all things join to promise, and presage
The sure arrival of a future age!
Whate'er their lot is here the good and wise
Nor doat on life, nor peevishly despise.
An honest man, when Fortune's storms begin,
Has consolation always sure, within ;
And if she sends a more propitious gale,
He's pleas'd, but not forgetful it may fail.
Nor fear that he who sits so loose to life,
Should too much shuni its labors and its strife;
And scorning wealth, contented to be mean,
Shrink from the duties of this bustling scene;
Or, when his country's safety claims his aid,
Avoid the fight, inglorious and afraid :
Who scorns life most must surely be most brave,
And he who pow'r contenins, be least a slave:
Virtue will lead him to Ambition's ends,
And prompt him to defend his country and his
But still his merit you cannot regard, [friends.
Who thus pursues a posthumous reward;
His soul, you cry, is uncorrupt and great,
Who quite uninfluenc'd by a future state,
Embraces Virtue from a nobler sense
Of her abstracted, native excellence.
From the self-conscious joy her essence brings,
The beauty, fitness, harmony of things.
It may be so: yet he deserves applause,
Who follows where instructive Nature draws;
Aims at rewards by her indulgence giv'n,
And soars triumphant on her wings to heav'n.
Say what this venal virtuous man pursues ;
No mean rewards, no mercenary views;
Not wealth usurious, or a num'rous train,
Not fame by fraud acquir'd, or title vain!
He follows but where Nature points the road, Rising in virtue's school, till he ascends to God.
But we, th' inglorious commnon herd of Man,
Sail without compass, toil without a plan;
In Fortune's varying storms for ever tost,
Shadows pursue, that in pursuit are lost;
Mere infants all till life's extremest day,
Scrambling for toys, then to sing them away.
Who rests of Immortality assur'd
Is safe, whatever ills are here endur'd;
He hopes not vainly in a world like this,
To meet with pure uninterrupted bliss;
For good and ill in this imperfect state,
Are ever mix'd by the decrees of fate,
With Wisdom's richest harvest Folly grows,
And baleful hemlock mingles with the rose;
All things are blended, changeable, and vain,
No hope, no wish, we perfectly obtain;
God may perhaps (might human Reason's line
Pretend to fathom infinite design)
Have thus ordin'd things, that the restless mind
No happiness complete on earth may find;
And, by this friendly chastisement made wise,
To heav'n her safest best retreat may rise.
Cone then, since now in safety we have pass'd
Thro' Error's rocks, and see the port at last;
Let us review and recollect the whole.
Thus stands my argument.—The thinking soul
Cannot terrestrial or material be,
But claims by Nature Immortality;
God, who created it, can make it end,
We question not, but cannot apprehend
He will; because it is by him endued
With strong ideas of all-perfect Good;
With wond'rous pow'rs to know and calculate
Things too remote from this our earthly state!
With sure presages of a life to come;
All false and useless, if beyond the tomb
Our beings cease: we therefore can't believe
God either acts in vain, or can deceive.
If ev'ry rule of equity demands,
That Vice and Virtue from the Almighty's hands
Should due rewards and punishments receive,
And this by no means happens whilst we live;
It follows, that a time must surely come,
When each shall meet their well-adjusted doom:
Then shall this scene which now to human sight
Seems so unworthy Wisdom infinite,
A system of consummate skill appear,
And ev'ry cloud dispers'd, be beautiful and clear.
Doubt we of this? What solid proof remains,
That o'er the world a wise Disposer reigus?
Whilst all creation speaks a pow'r divine,
Is it deficient in the main design?
Not so: the day shall come, (pretend not now
Presumptuous to inquire or when, or how
But) after death shall come th' important day,
When God to all his justice shall display;
Each action with impartial eyes regard,
And in a just proportion punish and reward.
DIDACTIC, DESCRIPTIVE, NARRATIVE,
1. The Traveller; or, a Prospect of Society. Inscribed to the Rev. Mr. H. Goldsmith.
Rorby the lazy Scheld, or wand'ring Po;
EMOTE, unfriended, melancholy, slow,
Lakes, forests, cities, plains, extending wide,
The pompofkings, the shepherd's humbler pride.
When thusCreation'scharms around combine,
Amidst the store should thankless pride repine?
That good which makes each humbler
Say, should the philosophic mind disdain [vain?
Or onward, where the rude Carinthian boor Let school-taught pride dissemble all it can,
Against the houseless stranger shuts the door: These little things are great to little man;
Or where Campania's plain forsaken lies, And wiser he, whose sympathetic mind
A weary waste expanding to the skies: Exults in all the good of all mankind. [crown'd;
Where'er I roam, whatever realms to see, Ye glitt'ring towns, with wealth and splendor
My heart, untravell'd, fondly turns to thee: Ye fields, where summer spreads profusion round;
Still to my brother turns, with ceaseless pain, Ye lakes, whose vessels catch the busy gale;
And drags, at each remove, a length'ning chain. Ye bending swains, that dress the flow'ry vale;
Eternal blessings crown my earliest friend, For me your tributary stores combine :
And round his dwelling guardian saints attend; Creation's heir, the world, the world is mine!
Bless'd be that spot where cheerful guests retire, As some lone miser visiting his store,
To pause from toil, and trim their evening fire; Bends at his treasure, counts, recounts it o'er;
Bless'd that abode where want and pain repair,Hoards after hoards his rising raptures fill,
And ev'ry stranger, finds a ready chair:
Bless'd be those feasts, with simple plentycrown'd,
Where all the ruddy family around
Laugh at the jest or pranks that never fail,
Or sigh with pity at some mournful tale;
press the bashful stranger to his food,
And learn the luxury of doing good!
But me, not destin'd such delights to share,
My prime of life in wand'ring spent, and care;
Impell'd, with steps unceasing to pursue
Some fleeting good that mocks me with the view;
That, like the circle bounding earth and skies,
Allures from far, yet as I follow flies;
My fortune leads to traverse realms alone,
And find no spot of all the world my own.
E'en now, where Alpine solitudes ascend,
I sit me down a pensive hour to spend ;
And plac'd on high, above the storms career,
Look downward where anhundred realmsappear;
Yet still he sighs, for hoards are wanting still:
Thus to my breast alternate passions rise, [plies:
Pleas'd with cach good that Heaven to man sup-
Yet oft a sigh prevails, and sorrows fall,
To see the hoard of human bliss so small;
And oft I wish, amidst the scene, to find
Some spot to real happiness consign'd,
Where my worn soul, each wand'ring hope at rest,
May gather bliss to see my fellows blest.
But where to find that happiest spot below,
Who can direct, when all pretend to know;
The shudd'ring tenant of the frigid zone
Boldly proclaims that happiest spot his own;
Extols the treasures of his stormy seas,
And his long nights of revelry and ease:
The naked negro, panting at the line,
Boasts of his golden sands and palmy wine;
Basks in the glare, or stems the tepid wave,
And thanks his gods for all the good they gave.
Such is the patriot's boast, where'er we roam :
His first, best country, ever is at home.
And yet, perhaps, if countries we compare,
And estimate the blessings which they share,
Though patriots flatter, still shall wisdom find
An equal portion dealt to all mankind;
As different good, by art or nature given,
To different nations, makes their blessings even.
Nature, a mother kind alike to all,
Still grants her bliss at labor's earnest call;
With food as well the peasant is supplied
On Idra's cliffs as Arno's shelvy side;
And tho' the rocky-crested summits frown,
These rocks by custom turn to beds of down.
From art more various are the blessings sent ;
Wealth, commerce, honor, liberty, content.
Yet these each other's pow'r so strong contest,
That either seems destructive of the rest. [fails;
Where wealth and freedom reign, contentment
And honor sinks where commerce long prevails.
Hence ev'ry state, to one lov'd blessing prone,
Conforms and models life to that alone.
Each to the fav'rite happiness attends,
And spurns the plan that aims at other ends;
Till carried to excess in each domain,
This fav'rite good begets peculiar pain.
But let us try these truths with closer eyes, And trace them through the prospect as it lies: Here for a while, my proper cares resign'd, Here let me sit, in sorrow for mankind;
yon neglected shrub at random cast,
That shades the steep, and sighs at ev'ry blast.
Far to the right, where Apennine ascends,
Bright as the summer, Italy extends;
Its uplands sloping deck the mountain's side,
Woods over woods in gay theatric pride;
While oft some temple's mould'ring tops between
With venerable grandeur mark the scene.
Could Nature's bounty satisfy the breast,
The sons of Italy were surely blest.
Whatever fruits in different climes are found,
That proudly rise, or humbly court the ground;
Whatever blooms in torrid tracts appear,
Whose bright succession decks the varied year;
Whatever sweets salute the northern sky
With vernal lives, that blossom but to die :
These here disporting, own the kindred soil,
Nor ask luxuriance from the planter's toil;
While sea-born gales their gelid wings expand,
To winnow fragrance round the smiling land.
But small the bliss that sense alone bestows,
And sensual bliss is all the nation knows.
In florid beauty groves and fields appear,
Man seems the only growth that dwindles here.
Contrasted faults through all his manners reigu:
Tho' poor, luxurious; tho' submissive, vain;
Tho' grave, yet trifling; zealous, yet untrue;
And e'en in penance planning sins 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 command the palace learn'd to rise, [state:
Again the long-fall'n column sought the skies:
The canvas glow'd beyond e'en Nature warm: The pregnant quarry teem'd with human form ; Till, more unsteady than the southern gale, Commerce on other shores display'd her sail; While nought remain'd of all that riches gave, But towns unmann'd, and lords without a slave: And late the nation found, with fruitless skill, Its former strength was but plethoric ill.
Yet still the loss of wealth is here supplied By arts, the splendid wrecks of former pride; From these the feeble heart and long-fall'n mind An easy compensation seem to find. Here may be seen, in bloodless pomp array'd, The pasteboard triumph, and the cavalcade; Processions form'd for piety and love, A mistress or a saint in ev'ry grove. By sports like these are all their cares beguil'd, The sports of children satisfy the child: Each nobler aim, repress'd by long control, Now sinks at last, or feebly mans the soul; While low delights, succeeding fast behind, In happier meanness occupy the mind: As in those domes where Caesars once bore sway, Defac'd by time, and tott'ring in decay, There in the ruin, heedless of the dead, The shelter-secking peasant builds his shed; And, wondering man could want the larger pile, Exults, and owns his cottage with a smile.
My soul, turn from them-turn we to survey Where rougher climes a nobler race display; Where the bleakSwiss their stormymansiontread, And force a churlish soil for scanty bread : No product here the barren hills afford But man and steel, the soldier and his sword. No vernal blooms their' torpid rocks array, But winter ling'ring chills the lap of May; No zephyr fondly sucs the mountain's breast, But meteors glare, and storiny glooms invest:
Yet still e'en here Content can spread a charm,
Redress the clime, and all its rage disarm.
'Tho' poor the peasant's hut, his feast tho' small,
He sees his little lot the lot of all;
Sees no contiguous palace rear its head,
To shame the meanness of his humble shed:
No costly lord the sumptuous banquet deal,
To make him loath his vegetable meal;
But calm, and bred in ignorance and toil,
Each wish contracting, fits him to the soil.
Cheerful at morn he wakes from short repose,
Breathes the keen air, and carols as he goes;
With patient angle trolls the finny deep,
Or drives his vent'rous ploughshare to the steep;
Or seeks the den where snow-tracks mark the
And drags the struggling savage into day. [way,
At night returning, ev'ry labor sped,.
He sits him down the monarch of a shed;
Smiles by his cheerful fire, and round surveys
His children's looks, that brighten at the blaze;
While his lov'd partner, boastful of her hoard,
Displays lier cleanly platter on the board:
And haply too some pilgrim, thither led,
With many a tale repays the nightly bed.
Thus ev'ry good his native wilds impart,
Imprints the patriot passion on his heart;
And e'en those hills that round his mansion rise,
Enhance the bliss his scanty fund supplies.
Dear, is that shed to which his soul conforms,
And dear that hill which lifts him to the storms;
And as a child; when scaring sounds molest,
Clings close and closer to the mother's breast;
So the loud torrent, and the whirlwind's roar,
But bind him to his native mountains more.
Such are the charins to barren states assign'd:
Their wants but few, their wishes all confin'd.
Yet let them only share the praises due;
If few their wants, their pleasures are but few:
For ev'ry want that stimulates the breast,
Becomes a source of pleasure when redrest. [flies,
Whence from such lands each pleasing science
That first excites desire, and then supplies;
Unknown to them, when sensual pleasures cloy,
To fill the languid pause with finer joy;
Unknown those pow'rs that raise the soul toflame,
Catch ev'ry nerve, and vibrate through the frame.
Their level life is but a mould'ring fire,
Unquench'd by want, unfann'd by strong desire;
Unfit for raptures; or, if raptures cheer
On some high festival of once a-year,
In wild excess the vulgar breast takes fire,
Till buried in debauch the bliss expire.
But not their joys alone thus coarsely flow;
Their morals, like their pleasures, are but low:
For, as refinement stops, from şire to son,
Unalter'd, unimprov'd, the manners run;
And love's and friendship's finely pointed dart
Falls blunted from each indurated heart.
Some sterner virtues o'er the mountain's breast
May sit like falcons cow'ring on the nest ;
But all the gentler morals, such as play [way;
Thro' life's more cultur'd walks, and charm the
These far dispers'd, or timorous pinions fly,
To sport and flutter in a kinder sky.
To kinder skies, where gentler manners reign,
I turn, and France displays her bright domain.
Gay sprightly land of mirth and social ease,
Pleas'd with thyself whom all the world can
How often have I led thy sportive choir, [please,
With tuneless pipe, beside the murm'ring Loire!
Where shading elms along the margin grew,
And freshen'd from the wave, the zephyr flew;
And haply, tho' my harsh touch falt ring still,
But mock'd all tune, and marr'd the dancer's skill,
Yet would the village praise my wond'rous pow'r,
And dance, forgetful of the noontide hour!
Alike all ages: dames of antient days
Have led their children thro' the mirthful nraze;
And the gay grandsire, skill'd in gestic lore,
Has frisk'd beneath the burden of threescore.
So blest a life these thoughtless realms display,
Thus idly busy rolls their world
Theirs are those arts that mind to mind endear,
For honor forms the social temper here.
Honor, that praise which real merit gains,
Or c'en imaginary worth obtains,
Here passes current; paid from hand to hand:
It shifts in splendid traffic round the land:
From courts to camps, to cottages, it strays,
And all are taught an avarice of praise :
They please, are pleas'd, they give to get esteem;
Till, seeming blest, they grow to what they seem.
But while this softer art their bliss supplies,
It gives their follies also room to rise;
For praise too dearly lov'd, or warmly sought,
Enfeebles all internal strength of thought;
And the weak soul, within itself unblest,
Leans for all pleasure on another's breast,
Hence ostentation here, with tawdry art,
Pants for the vulgar praise which fools impart :
Here vanity assumes her pert grimace,
And trims her robes of frize with copper-lace;
Here beggar pride defrauds her daily cheer,
To boast one splendid banquet once a-year;
The mind still turns where shifting fashion draws,
Nor weighs the solid worth of self-applause.
To men of other minds my fancy flies,
Embosou'd in the deep where Holland lies.
Methinks her patient sons before me stand,
Where the broad occan leans against the land;
And, sedulous to stop the coming tide,
Lift the tall rampire's artificial pride.
Onward methinks, and diligently slow,
The firm connected bulwark seems to grow ;
Spreads its long arms amidst the wat'ry roar,
Scoops out an empire, and usurps the shore;
While the pent ocean, rising o'er the pile,
Sees an amphibious world beneath him smile;
The slow canal, the yellow-blossom'd vale,
The willow-tufted bank, the gliding sail,
The crowded mart, the cultivated plain,
A new creation rescued from his reign.
Thus, while around the wave-subjected soil
Impels the native to repeated toil,
Industrious habits in each bosom reign,
And industry begets a love of gain.
Hence all the good from opulence that springs,
With all those ills superfluous treasure brings,
Are heredisplay'd. Their much-lov'd wealth im.
Convenience, plenty, elegance, and arts; [parts
But view them closer, craft and fraud appear ;
E'en liberty itself is barter'd here!
At gold's superior charms all freedom flies;
The needy sell it, and the rich man buys;
A land of tyrants, and a den of slaves,
Here wretches seek dishonorable graves.
And calmnly bent, to servitude conform,
Dull as their lakes that slumber in the storm.
Heavens! how unlike their Belgic sires of old!
Rough, poor, content, ungovernably bold;
War in each breast, and freedom on each brow;
How much unlike the sons of Britain now!
Fir'd at the sound, my Genius spreads herwing,
And flies where Britain courts the western spring;
Where lawns extend that scorn Arcadian pride;
And brighter streams than fam'd Hydaspes glide:
There all around the gentlest breezes stray,
There gentle music melts on ev'ry spray;
Creation's mildest charms are there combin'd;
Extremes are only in the master's mind!
Stern o'er each bosom Reason Holds her state,
With daring aims irregularly great:
Pride in their port, defiance in their eye,
I see the lords of human kind pass by;
Intent on high designs a thoughtful band,
By forms unfashion'd fresh from nature's hand;
Fierce in their native hardiness of soul,
True to imagin'd right above control:
While c'en the peasant boasts these rights to scan,
And learns to venerate himself as man.
Thine, Freedom, thine the blessings pictur'd
Thine are those charms, that dazzle and endear;
Too blest indeed were such without alloy,
But foster'd e'en by Freedom ills annoy.
That independence Britons prize too high,
Keeps man from man, and breaks the social tie;
The self-dependent lordlings stand alone;
All claims that bind and sweeten life unknown;
Here, by the bonds of Nature feebly held,
Minds combat minds, repelling and repell'd.
Ferments arise, imprison'd factions roar,
Repress'd ambition struggles round her shore;
Till, over-wrought, the general system feels
Its motions stop, or phrenzy fire the wheels.
Nor this the worst. As Nature's ties decay,
As duty, love, and honor fail to sway,
Fictitious bonds, the bonds of wealth and law,
Still gather strength, and force unwilling awe.
Hence all obedience bows to these alone,
And talents sinks, and merit weeps unknown;
Till time may come, when stripp'd of all her
The land of scholars and the nurse of arms,
Where noble stems transmit the patriot flame,
Where kings have toil'd, and poets wrote for
One sink of level avarice shall lie, [fame,
And scholars, soldiers, kings, unhonor'd die.
Yet think not thus, when Freedom's ills I state,
I mean to flatter kings, or court the great :
Ye pow'rs of truth that bid my soul aspire,
Far from my bosom drive the low desire!
And thou fair Freedom, taught alike to feel
The rabble's rage, and tyrant's angry steel ;
Thou transitory flow'r, alike undone
By proud Contempt, or Favor's fost'ring sun,
Still may thy blooms the changeful clime endure,
I only would repress them to secure :
For just experience tells, in ev'ry soil,
That those who think must govern those who toil;
And all that Freedom's highest aims can reach,
Is but to lay proportion'd loads on each.
Hence, should one order disproportion'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 aspires,
Calm is my soul, nor apt to rise in arms,
Except when fast approaching danger warms:
But when contending chiefs blockade the throne,
Contracting regal pow'r to stretch their own;
When I behold a factious band agree
I fly from petty tyrants to the throne. Till, half a patriot, half a coward grown,
Yes, brother, curse with me that baleful hour; When first ambition struck at regal pow'r, And thus, polluting honor in its source, Gave wealth to sway the mind with double force. Have we not seen, round Britain's peopled shoré, Seen all her triumphs but destruction haste, Her useful sous exchang'd for useless ore; Like flaring tapers, bright'ning as they waste; Seen Opulence, her grandeur to maintain, And over fields, where scatter'd hamlets rose, Lead stern Depopulation in her train, Have we not seen at Pleasure's lordly call, In barren solitary pomp repose? The smiling long-frequented village fall? Beheld the dutcous son, the sire decay'd, The modest matron, and the blushing maid, Fore'd from their homes, a melancholy train, To traverse climes beyond the western main; Where wild Oswego spreads her swamps around And Niagara stuns with thund'ring sound? Thro' tangled forests, and thro' dangerous ways'; E'en now, perhaps, as there some pilgrim strays Where beasts with man divided empire claim, There, while above the giddy tempest flies, And the brown Indian marks with murd' rousaiui, And all around distressful yells arise, The pensive exile, bending with his woe, To stop too fearful, and too faint to go, And bids his bosom sympathize with mine. Casts a long look where England's glories shine
To call it freedom when themselves are free; Each wanton judge new penal statutes draw, Laws grind the poor, and rich men rule the law; The wealth of climes, where satage nations
Pillag'd from slaves, to purchase slaves at home;
Fear, pity, justice, indignation start,
Tear off reserve, and bare my swelling heart;
Vain, very vain, my weary search to find
That bliss which only centres in the mind?
Why have I stray'd from pleasure and repose,
To seek a good each government bestows?
In ev'ry government, tho' terrors reign,
Though tyrant kings or tyrant laws restrain,
How sinall, of all that human hearts endure,
That part which laws or kings can cause or cure!
Still to ourselves in ev'ry place consign'd,
With secret course, which no loud storms annoy,
Our own felicity we make or find:
Glides the smooth current of domestic joy.
Luke's iron crown, and Dainiens' bed of steel,
The lifted ax, the agonizing wheel,
To men remote from pow'r but rarely known,
Leave reason, faith, and conscience, all our own.
Where smiling spring its earliest visit paid,
And parting summer's ling'ring blooms delay'd;
Dear lovely bow'rs of innocence and ease,
Scats of my youth when ev'ry sport could please,
How often have I loiter'd o'er thy green,
Where humble happiness endear'd each scene!
How often have I pans'd on ev'ry charm,
The shelter'd cot, the cultivated farm,
The never-failing brook, the busy mill, [hill,
The decent church that topp'd the neighb'ring