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Gay sprightly land of mirth and social easę,
Pleas'd with thyself, whom all the world can please,
How often have I led thy sportive choir,
With tuneless pipe, beside the murm'ring Loire !
Where fhading elms along the margin grew,
And, freshen'd from the wave, the zephyr flew ;
And haply, though 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's,
And dance, forgetful of the noon-tide hour!
Alike all ages. Dames of ancient days
Have led their children through the mirthful maze;
And the gay grandfire, kill'd in gestick lore,
Has frisk'd beneath the burden of threescore.
So bless’d a life these thoughtless realms display,
Thus idly bufy rolls their world away :
Theirs are those arts that mind to mind endear,
For honour forms the social temper here.
Honour, that praise which real merit gains,
Qr e'en imaginary worth obtains,
Here paffes current ; paid from hand to hand,
It shifts in splendid traffick round the land :
From courts to camps, to cottages it ftrays,
And all are taught an avarice of praise;
They please, are pleas'd, they give to get esteem,
Till, seeming bless'd, 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 loy'd, or warmly sought,
Enfeebles all internal strength of thought ;
And the weak soul, within itself unbless'd,
Leans for all pleasure on another's breast.
Hence oftentation 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 faihion draws,
Nor weighs thë folid worth of self-applause,
To men of other minds my fancy flies,
Embosom'd in the deep where Holland lies.
Methinks her patient fons before me stand,
Where the broad ocean leans against the land
And, sedulous to stop the coming tide,
Lift the tall rampire's artificial pride.
Onward methinks, and diligently flow,
The firm connected bulwark seems to grow ;
Spreads it's long arms amidst the watry roar,
Scoops out an empire, and usurps the fore,
While the pent ocean rising o'er the pile,
Sees an amphibious world beneath him smile;
The flow canal, the yellow-blossom'd vale,
The willow-tufted bank, the gliding fail,
The crouded mart, the cultivated plain,
A new creation, rescu'd from his reign."
Thus, while around the wave-fubjected foil
Impels the native to repeated toil,
Industrious habits in each bofom reign,
And industry begets a love of gain.
Hence all the good from opulence that springs,
With all thofe ills fuperfluous treasure brings,
Are here display'd. Their much-lov'd wealth imparts
Convenience, plenty, elegance, and arts ;
But view them closer, craft and fraud appear,
E'en liberty itself is barter'd here.
At gold's superior charms all freedom'fies,
The needy fell it, and the rich man buys;
A land of tyrants, and a den of slaves,
Here wretches seek dishonourable graves,
And calmly bent, to fervitude conform,
Dull as their lakes that slumber in the fform.
Heavens ! how unlike their Belgick fires of old !
C. Rough, poor, content, ungovernably bold; War in each breast, and freedoin on each brow
LO: :: How much unlike the sons of Britain now!
shilg'1112 Fir'd at the sound, my Genius spreads her wings: 2011 And flies where Britain fourts the western spring, SA Where lawns extend that scorn Arcadian pride,
And brighter streams than fam'd Hydaspis gliude:
There all around the gentlest breezes stray,
There gentle mufick melts on ev'ry spray;
Creation's mildest charms are there combin?d;
Extremes are onļy in the master's mind !
Stern o'er each bosom Reason holds her state,
With daring aims irregularly great ;
I Pride in their port, defiance in their eye,
[ 16:37 I see the lords of human-kind pass by; and 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 controul,
While e'en the peasant boasts these rights to scan,
And learns to venerate himself as man.
Thine, Freedom, thine the blessings pictur'd here,
Thine are those charms that dazzle and endear;
Too bless'd indeed were such without alloy,
But fofter'd e'en by Freedom ills annoy' ;
That independance Britons prize too high,
Keeps man from man, and breaks the social tie ;
The self-dependant 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 Atruggles round her fhore,
Till, over-wrought, the general system feels
It's motions stop, or phrenzy fire the wheels.
Nor this the worft. As Nature's ties decay,
As duty, love, and honour fail to fway,
Fi&itious bonds, the bonds of wealth and law,
Still gather frength, and force unwilling awe.
Hence all obedience bows to these alone,
And talent finks, and merit weeps unknown ;
Till time may come, when, tripp'd of all her charms,
The land of scholars, and the nurse of arms,
Where noble ftems transmit the patriot flame,
Where kings have toil'd, and poets wrote for fame,
One fink of level avarice shall lie,
And scholars, foldiers, kings, unhonour'd die.
Yet think not, thus when Freedom's ills I state,
I mean to flatter kings, or court the great:
Ye powers of truth, that bid my soul afpire,
Far from my bosom drive the low defire!
And thou, fair Freedom, taught alike to feel
The rabble's rage, and tyrant's angry steel;
Thou transitory flower, alike undone
By proud Contempt, or Favour's foft'ring fun,
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 thofe that toil ;
And all that Freedom's highest aims can reach,
Is but to lay proportion'd loads on cach.
Hence, fhould one order disproportion'd grow,
It's 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 faft-approaching danger warms:
But when contending chiefs blockade the throne,
Contracting regal power to ftretch their own,
When I behold a factious band
i'w To call it freedom when themselves are free;
Each wanton judge new penal statutes draw,
Laws grind the poor, and rich men rále the law; 10'
The wealth of elimes, where favage nations roam,
Pillag'd from slaves, to purchase flaves at home";
Fear, pity, justice, indignation start,
Tear off reserve, and bare my swelling heart;
Till half a patriot, half a coward grown,
1 Ay from petty tyrants to the throne.
Yes, brother, curse with me that baleful hour, 16 **
When first ambition struck at tegal power ;
And thus polluting honour in it's source,
Gave wealth to sway the mind with doable force. 2012
Have we not feen, round Britain's peopled shore, Ri..
Her useful fons exchanged for ufelefs ore?
Seen all her triumphs but deftruction hafte,
Like Aaring tapers, bright’ning as they waste';
Seen Opulence, her grandeur to maintain,
Lead stern Depopulation in her train,
And over fields, where scatter'd hamlets rose,
In barren, solitary pomp repose ?
Have we not seen, at Pleasure's lordly call,
The smiling long-frequented village fall ?
Beheld the duteous son, the fire decay'd,
The modest matton, and the blushing maid,
Forc'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 found?
E’en now, perhaps, as there fome pilgrim Atrays
Through tangled forests, and through dang'rous ways ;
Where beasts with man divided empire claim,
And the brown Indian marks with murd'rous aim;
There, while above the giddy teripett flies,
And all around distressful yells arise,
The pensive exile, bending with his woe,
To stop too fearful, and too faint to go,