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Spontaneous joys, where Nature has its play,
With all the freaks of wanton wealth array'd,
In these, ere triflers half their wish obtain,
The heart distrusting asks, if this be joy?
Ye friends to truth, ye statesmen who survey The rich man's joys increase, the poor's decay, 'Tis your's to judge, how wide the limits stand Between a splendid and a happy land.
Proud swells the tide with loads of freighted ore,
And shouting Folly hails them from her shore; Hoards e'en beyond the miser's wish abound,
And rich men flock from all the world around.
Yet count our gains. This wealth is but a name That leaves our useful products still the same.
Not so the loss. The man of wealth and pride
His seat, where solitary sports are seen,
While thus the land adorn'd for pleasure, all
In barren splendour feebly waits the fall.
As some fair female unadorn’d and plain,
Secure to please while youth confirms her reign,
In all the glaring impotence of dress:
Thus fares the land, by luxury betray'd,
In nature's simplest charms at first array'd;
And while he sinks, without one arm to save,
The country blooms....a garden and a grave,
Where then, ah, where shall poverty reside, To 'scape the pressure of contiguous pride? If to some common's fenceless limits stray'd, He drives his flock to pick the scanty blade, Those fenceless fields the sons of wealth divide,
And e'en the bare-worn common is deny'd.
If to the city sped....what waits him there?
To sec profusion that he must not share;
To pamper luxury, and thin mankind;
To see each joy the sons of pleasure know,
Extorted from his fellow-creatures' woe.
Here, while the courtier glitters in brocade,
Where the poor houseless shiv'ring female lies.
With heavy heart deplores that luckless hour,
When idly first, ambitious of the town,
Do thine, sweet AUBURN, thine, the loveliest train,
perhaps, by cold and hunger led, At proud men's doors they ask a little bread!
Ah, no! To distant climes, a dreary scene,
Where half the convex world intrudes between,
Through torrid tracts with fainting steps they go,
Where wild Altama murmurs to their woe.
Far different there from all that charm'd before,
The various terrors of that horrid shore;
Those blazing suns that dart a downward ray,
And fiercely shed intolerable day;
But silent bats in drowsy clusters cling;