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But small the bliss that sense alone bestows,
Whatever sweets salute the northern sky
Man seems the only growth that dwindles here.
Boldly proclaims that happiest spot his own; Though poor, luxurious; though submissive, vain;
Though grave, yet trifling; zealous, yet untrue;
And even in penance planning sins anew. The naked negro, panting at the line,
All evils here contaminate the mind, Boasts of his golden sands and palmy wine,
That opulence departed leaves behind; Basks in the glare, or stems the tepid wave,
For wealth was theirs, not far remov'd the date, And thanks his gods for all the good they gave. When commerce proudly flourish'd through the Such is the patriot's boast, where'er we roam,
At her command the palace learn'd to rise, (state; His first best country, ever is at home;
Again the long-fall’n column sought the skies; And yet, perhaps, if countries we compare,
The canvas glow'd beyond ev'n nature warm, And estimate the blessings which they share, The pregnant quarry teem'd with human form. Though patriots flatter, still shall wisdom find Till, more unsteady than the southern gale, An equal portion dealt to all mankind;
Commerce on other shores display'd her sail; As different good, by art or nature given
While nought remain’d of all that riches gave, To different nations, makes their blessings even.
But towns unmann'd, and lords without a slave: Nature, a mother kind alike to all,
And late the nation found with fruitless skill, Still grants her bliss at labour's earnest call; Its former strength was but plethoric ill. With food as well the peasant is supply'd
Yet, still the loss of wealth is here supplied
By arts, the splendid wrecks of former pride;
A mistress or a saint in every grove.
Now sinks at last, or feebly mans the soul;
While low delights, succeeding fast behind,
As in those domes, where Cæsars once bore sway,
Defac'd by time and tott'ring in decay,
And, wondering man could want the larger pile,
Exults, and owns his cottage with a smile. Like yon neglected shrub at random cast,
My soul turn from them, turn we to survey That shades the steep, and sighs at every
blast. Where rougher climes a nobler race display, Far to the right where Apennine ascends, Where the bleak Swiss their stormy mansion tread, Bright as the summer, Italy extends ;
And force a churlish soil for scanty bread; Its uplands sloping deck the mountain's side, No product here the barren hills afford, Woods over woods in gay theatric pride;
But man and steel, the soldier and his sword. While oft some temple's mould'ring tops between No vernal blooms their torpid rocks array, With venerable grandeur mark the scene.
But winter lingering chills the lap of May; Could nature's bounty satisfy the breast,
No zephyr fondly sues the mountain's breast, The sons of Italy were surely blest.
But meteors glare, and stormy glooms invest. Whatever fruits in different climes are found,
Yet still, even here, content can spread a charm, That proudly rise, or humbly court the ground; Redress the clime, and all its rage disarm. Whatever blooms in torrid tracts appear,
Though poor the peasant's hut, his feasts though
He sees his little lot the lot of all;
Sees no contiguous palace rear its head
These here disporting own the kindred soil,
And sensual bliss is all the nation knows.
Cheerful at morn, he wakes from short repose,
Contrasted faults through all his manners reign:
And drags the struggling savage into day.
Have led their children through the mirthful maze; At night returning, every labour sped,
And the gay grandsire, skilldin gestic lore, He sits him down the monarch of a shed ;
Has frisk'd beneath the burden of threescore. Smiles by his cheerful fire, and round surveys
So blest a life these thoughtless realms display, His childrens' looks, that brighten at the blaze; Thus idly busy rolls their world away: While his lov'd partner, boastful of her hoard, Theirs are those arts that mind to mind endear, Displays her cleanly platter on the board :
For honour forms the social temper here. And haply too some pilgrim, thither led,
Honour, that praise which real merit gains, With many a tale repays the nightly bed.
Or even imaginary worth obtains, Thus every good his native wilds impart,
Here passes current; paid from hand to hand, Imprints the patriot passion on his heart;
It shifts in splendid traffic round the land : And ev'n those ills, that round his mansion rise, From courts to camps, to cottages it strays, Enhance the bliss his scanty fund supplies.
And all are taught an avarice of praise ;
But while this softer art their bliss supplies,
Enfeebles all internal strength of thought;
Hence ostentation here, with tawdry art, If few their wants, their pleasures are but few; Pants for the vulgar praise which fools impart; For every want that stimulates the breast,
Here vanity assumes her pert grimace, Becomes a source of pleasure when redrest.
And trims her robe of frieze with copper lace; Whence from such lands each pleasing science fies, Here beggar pride defrauds her daily cheer, That first excites desire, and then supplies; To boast one splendid banquet once a year; Unknown to them, when sensual pleasures cloy, The mind still turns where shifting fashion draws, To fill the languid pause with finer joy ;
Nor weighs the solid worth of self-applause. Unknown those powers that raise the soul to flame, To men of other minds my fancy flies, Catch every nerve, and vibrate through the frame. Embosom'd in the deep where Holland lies. Their level life is but a mouldering fire,
Methinks her patient sons before me stand, Unquench'd by want, unfann'd by strong desire ; Where the broad ocean leans against the land, Unfit for raptures, or, if raptures cheer
And, sedulous to stop the coming tide, On some high festival of once a year,
Lift the tall rampire's artificial pride. In wild excess the vulgar breast takes fire,
Onward methinks, and diligently slow,
The firm connected bulwark seems to grow;
Spreads its long arms amidst the watery roar, Their morals, like their pleasures, are but low: Scoops out an empire, and usurps the shore: For, as refinement stops, from sire to son
While the pent ocean rising o'er the pile, Unalter'd, unimprov'd the manners run ;
Sees an amphibious world beneath him smile ; And love's and friendship’s finely pointed dart The slow canal, the yellow blossom’d vale, Falts blunted from each indurated heart.
The willow tufted bank, the gliding sail, Some sterner virtues o'er the mountain's breast The crowded mart, the cultivated plain, May sit, like falcons cowering on the nest;
A new creation rescu'd from his reign.
And industry begets a love of gain.
With all those ills superfluous treasure brings, Gay sprightly land of mirth and social ease,
Are here display'd. Their much-lov'd wealth imPleas’d with thyself, whom all the world can please,
Convenience, plenty, elegance, and arts ;
But view them closer, craft and fraud appear,
The needy sell it, and the rich man buys;
A land of tyrants, and a den of slaves;
Here wretches seek dishonourable graves,
And calmly bent, to servitude conform,
Dull as their lakes that slumber in the storm. Alike all ages. Dames of ancient days
That those who think must govern those that toil;
Heavens! how unlike their Belgic sires of old !
Hence, should one order disproportion'd grow,
Its double weight must ruin all below.
Who think it freedom when a part aspires!
When I behold a factious band agree
To call it freedom when themselves are free; Creation's mildest charms are there combin'd, Each wanton judge new penal statutes draw, Extremes are only in the master's mind !
Laws grind the poor, and rich men rule the law; Stern o'er each bosom reason holds her state, The wealth of climes, where savage nations roam, With daring aims irregularly great:
Pillag'd from slaves to purchase slaves at home; Pride in their port, defiance in their eye,
Fear, pity, justice, indignation start, I see the lords of human kind pass by;
Tear off reserve, and bare my swelling heart; Intent on high designs, a thoughtful band,
Till half a patriot, half a coward grown, By forms unfashion'd, fresh from nature's hand: I fly from petty tyrants to the throne. Fierce in their native hardiness of soul,
Yes, brother, curse with me that baleful hour, True to imagin’d right above controul,
When first ambition struck at regal power ;
Gave wealth to sway the mind with double force.
Seen all her triumphs but destruction haste,
Like flaring tapers brightning as they waste; That independence Britons prize too high,
Seen opulence, her grandeur to maintain,
And over fields where scatter'd hamlets rose,
Have we not seen at pleasure's lordly call,
Beheld the duteous son, the sire decay'd, Represt ambition struggles round her shore, The modest matron, and the blushing maid, Till over wrought, the general system feels
Forc'd from their homes, a melancholy train, Its motion stop, or frenzy fire the wheels.
To traverse climes beyond the western main; Nor this the worst. As nature's ties decay, Where wild Oswego spreads herswamps around, As duty, love, and honour fail to sway,
And Niagara stuns with thund'ring sound? Fictitious bonds, the bonds of wealth and law,
Even now, perhaps, as there some pilgrim strays
To stop too fearful, and too faint to go,
Casts a long look where England's glories shine,
Vain, very vain, my weary search to find I mean to flatter kings, or court the great;
That bliss which only centres in the mind;
Why have I stray'd, from pleasure and repose,
the agonizing wheel,
Far from my bosom drive the low desire ;
birint Luke's iron crown, and Damien's bed of steel, Princes and lords may flourish, or may fade;
To men remote from power but rarely known, A breath can make them, as a breath has made ;
When once destroy'd, can never be supply'd.
A time there was, ere England's griefs began,
For him light labour spread her wholesome store,
And his best riches, ignorance of wealth.
But times are alter'd; trade's unfeeling train
Along the lawn, where scatter'd hamlets rose,
And every want to luxury ally'd,
Those gentle hours that plenty bade to bloom,
Those calm desires that ask'd but little room,
Those healthful sports that grac'd the peaceful scene,
Sweet Auburn! parent of the blissful hour,
Thy glades forlorn confess the tyrant's power.
Here, as I take my solitary rounds,
And, many a year elaps’d, return to view
Where once the cottage stood, the hawthorn grew,
In all my wand'rings round this world of care,
Amidst these humble bowers to lay me down;
To husband out life's taper at the close,
I still had hopes, for pride attends us still,
And tell of all I felt, and all I saw;
I still had hopes, my long vexations past,
O blest retirement, friend to life's decline,
A youth of labour with an age of ease;
Who quits a world where strong temptations try, And half a tillage stints thy smiling plain ;
And, since 'tis hard to combat, learns to fly! No more thy glassy brook reflects the day,
For him no wretches, born to work and
weep, But, chok'd with sedges, works its weedy way; Explore the mine, or tempt the dang'rous deep; Along thy glades, a solitary guest,
No surly porter stands in guilty state,
But on he moves to meet his latter end,
Angels around befriending virtue's friend; Sunk are thy bowers in shapeless ruin all,
Sinks to the grave with unperceiv'd decay, And the long grass o'ertops the mould'ring wall;
While resignation gently slopes the way; And, trembling, shrinking from the spoiler's hand,
And, all his prospects bright’ning to the last,
His heaven commences ere the world be past !
Sweet was the sound, when, oft at ev’ning's close,
There, as I past with careless steps and slow, Comfort came down the trembling wretch to raise,
And his last fault'ring accents whisper'd praise.
At church, with meek and unaffected grace, The sober herd that low'd to meet their young,
His looks adorn'd the venerable place; The noisy geese that gabbled o'er the pool,
Truth from his lips prevail'd with double sway, The playful children just let loose from school, And fools, who came to scoff, remain'd to pray. The watch-dog's voice that bay'd the whisp'ring
The service past, around the pious man, wind,
With ready zeal, each honest rustic ran; And the loud laugh that spoke the vacant mind;
Even children follow'd with endearing wile,
And pluck'd his gown, to share the good man's smile.
Their welfare pleas'd bim, and their cares distrest;
To them his heart, his love, his griefs were given, No busy steps the grass-grown foot-way tread,
But all his serious thoughts had rest in heaven; But all the bloomy flush of life is fled.
As some tall cliff that lifts its awful form, All but yon widow'd, solitary thing,
Swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storin, That feebly bends beside the plashy spring;
Though round its breast the rolling clouds are spread,
Eternal sunshine settles on its head.
With blossom'd furze unprofitably gay,
There, in his noisy mansion skill’d to rule, She only left of all the harmless train,
The village master taught his little school.
A man severe he was, and stern to view,
At all his jokes, for many a joke had he;
Full well the busy whisper circling round, Remote from towns he ran his godly race,
Convey'd the dismal tidings when he frown'd;
The love he bore to learning was in fault;
Lands he could measure, terms and tides presage,
; Whose beard descending swept his aged breast; While words of learned length, and thund'ring The ruin'd spendthrift, now no longer proud,
sound, Claim'd kindred there, and had his claims allow'd; Amaz’d the gazing rustics rang'd around, The broken soldier, kindly bid to stay,
And still they gaz'd, and still the wonder grew, Sat by his fire, and talk'd the night away ;
That one small head could carry all he knew. Wept o'er his wounds, or, tales of sorrow done, But past is all his fame. The very spot Shoulder'd his crutch, and show'd how fields were Where many a time he triumph’d, is forgot.
(glow, Near yonder thorn, that lifts its head on high, Pleas'd with his guests, the good man learn’d to Where once the sign-post caught the passing eye, And quite forgot their vices in their woe;
Low lies that house where nut-brown draughts inCareless their merits or their faults to scan,
spir'd, His pity gave ere charity began.
Where gray-beard mirth, and smiling toil retir'd; Thus to relieve the wretched was his pride, Where village statesmen talk’d with looks profound, And even his failings lean'd to virtue's side;
And news much older than their ale went round. But in his duty prompt at every call, He watch'd and wept, he pray'd and felt for all.
Imagination fondly stoops to trace And, as a bird each fond endearment tries,
The parlour splendours of that festive place;
The white-wash'd wall, the nicely sanded floor, To tempt its new-fledg’d offspring to the skies,
The varnish'd clock that click'd behind the door; He try'd each art, reprov'd each dull delay,
The chest contriv'd a double debt to pay,
A bed by night, a chest of drawers by day;
The pictures plac'd for ornament and use, The rev'rend champion stood. At his controul
The twelve good rules, the royal game of goose Despair and anguish fled the struggling soul;.
The hearth, except when winter chill'd the day,