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Up yon green flope a length of terrace lies,
Whence gradual landfcapes fade in diftant skies.
Now the blue lake reflected heaven displays;
Now darkens, regularly-wild, the maze.
Urns, obelisks, fanes, ftatues intervene ;
Now centre, now commence, or end the scene.
Lo, proud alcoves! lo, foft fequester'd bowers!
Retreats of focial, or of ftudious hours!
Rank above rank here shapely greens ascend;
There others natively-grotefque depend.
The rude, the delicate, immingled tell
How Art would Nature, Nature Art excel;
And how, while these their rival charms impart,
Art brightens Nature, Nature brightens Art;
Thus, in the various, yet harmonious space,
Blend order, fymmetry, and force, and grace.
When these from Public Spirit fmile, we see
Free-opening gates, and bowery pleasures free ;
For fure great fouls one truth can never miss,
Blifs not communicated is not blifs.
Thus Public Spirit, liberty, and peace,
Carve, build, and plant, and give the land increase ;
From peasant hands imperial works arife,
And British hence with Roman grandeur vies;
Not grandeur that in pompous whim appears,
That levels hills, that vales to mountains rears;
That alters nature's regulated grace,
Meaning to deck, but destin’d to deface.
Though no proud gates, with China's taught to vie, 85 Magnificently useless ftrike the eye;
(Ufelefs, where rocks a furer barrier lend,
Where seas encircle, and where fleets defend ;)
What though no arch of triumph is affign'd
To laurel'd pride, whofe fword has thinn'd mankind; 90
Though no vaft wall extends from coast to coaft,
No pyramid afpires, fublimely loft;
Yet the fafe road through rocks fhall winding tend,
And the firm causeway o'er the clays afcend.
Lo! ftately freets, lo! ample squares invite
The falutary gale, that breathes delight.
Lo! ftructures mark the charitable foil
For cafual ill, maim'd valour, feeble toil
Worn out with care, infirmity, and age;
The life here entering, quitting there the stage:
The babe of lawless birth, doom'd elfe to moan,
To ftarve or bleed for errors not his own!
Let the frail mother 'fcape the fame defil'd,
If from the murdering mother 'scape the child!
Oh, guard his youth from fin's alluring voice;
From deeds of dire neceffity, not choice!
His grateful hand, thus never harmful known,
Shall on the public welfare build his own.
Thus worthy crafts, which low-born life divide, Give towns their opulence, and courts their pride. 110 Sacred to pleasure structures rife elate,
To that ftill worthy of the wife and great.
Sacred to pleasure then shall piles ascend ?
They fhall-when pleasure and inftruction blend,
Let theatres from Public Spirit shine!
Such theatres, as, Athens, once were thine!
See! the gay Mufe of pointed wit poffeft,
Who makes the virtuous laugh, the decent jeft:
What though the mock, fhe mocks with honest aim,
And laughs each favorite folly into shame,
With liberal light the tragic charms the age :
In folemn-training robes the fills the stage;
There human nature, mark'd in different lines,
Alive in character diftinctly fhines.
Quick paffions change alternate on her face;
Her diction mufic, as her action grace.
Inftant we catch her terror-giving cares,
Pathetic fighs, and pity-moving tears;
Inftant we catch her generous glow of foul,
Till one great striking moral crowns the whole.
Hence in warm youth, by scenes of virtue taught,
Honour exalts, and love expands the thought;
Hence pity, to peculiar grief affign'd,
Grows wide benevolence to all mankind.
Where various edifice the land renowns,
There Public Spirit plans, exalts, and crowns.
She chears the mansion with the spacious hall,
Bids painting live along the ftoried wall;
Seated, the fmiling eyes th' unclofing door,
And much the welcomes all, but most the poor; 140
She turns the pillar, or the arch fhe bends,
The choir she lengthens, or the choir extends ;
She rears the tower, whose height the heavens admire ;
She rears, she rounds, she points the leffening spire;
At her command the college-roofs ascend
(For Public Spirit ftill is learning's friend).
Stupendous piles, which useful pomp compleats,
Thus rife Religion's, and thus Learning's seats:
There moral truth and holy science spring,
And give the fage to teach, the bard to fing,
There fome draw health from herbs and mineral veins, Some fearch the fyftems of the heavenly plains;
Some call from history past times to view,
And others trace old laws, and sketch out new ;
Thence faving rights by legiflators plann'd,
And guardian patriots thence infpire the land.
Now grant, ye powers, one great, one fond defire,
And, granting, bid a new Whitehall aspire!
Far let it lead, by well-pleas'd Thames furvey'd,
The fwelling arch, and stately colonnade;
Bid courts of juftice, fenate-chambers join,
Till various all in one proud work combine!
But now be all the generous Goddess feen,
When moft diffus'd the fhines, and most benign!
Ye fons of mifery, attract her view!
Ye fallow, hollow-eyed, and meagre crew!
Such high perfection have our arts attain'd,
That now few fons of toil our arts demand?
Then to the public, to itself, we fear,
Ev'n willing industry grows useless here,
Are we too populous at length confefs'd,
From confluent ftrangers refug'd and redress'd?
Has war fo long withdrawn his barbarous train,
That peace o'erftocks us with the fons of men?
So long has plague left pure the ambient air,
That want must prey on those disease would spare?
Hence beauteous wretches (beauty's foul difgrace!)
Though born the pride, the shame of human race;
Fair wretches hence, who nightly streets annoy,
Live but themselves and others to destroy.
Hence robbers rife, to theft, to murder prone,
First driven by want, from habit desperate grown.;
Hence for ow'd trifles oft our jails contain
(Torn from mankind) a miserable train;
Torn from, in fpite of nature's tendereft cries,
Parental, filial, and connubial ties :
The trader, when on every fide distrest,
Hence flies to what expedient frauds suggest;
To prop his question'd credit's tottering state,
Others he first involves to fhare his fate;
Then for mean refuge must self-exil'd roam,
Never to hope a friend, nor find a home,
This Public Spirit fees, the fees and feels!
Her breaft the throb, her eye the tear reveals;
(The patriot throb that beats, the tear that flows 195
For others welfare, and for others woes)—
And what can I (fhe faid) to cure their grief?
Shall I or point out death, or point relief?
Forth fhall I lead them to fome happier soil,
To conqueft lead them, and enrich with spoil?
Bid them convulfe a world, make nature groan,
And spill, in shedding others blood, their own ?
No, no-fuch wars do thou, Ambition, wage!
Go fterilize the fertile with thy rage!
Whole nations to depopulate is thine;
To people, culture, and protect, be mine!