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To save Britannia, lo! my darling son,
Than hero more, the patriot of mankind!
Immortal Nassau came. I hush'd the deep,
By demons rous'd, and bade the listed winds,*
Still shifting, as behov'd, with various breath,
Waft the deliverer to the longing shore.
See! wide alive, the foaming Channelt bright
With swelling sails, and all the pride of war.
Delightful view! when Justice draws the sword:
And, mark! diffusing ardent soul around,
And sweet contempt of death, my streaming flag.‡
Ev'n adverse navies bless'd the binding gale,
Kept down the glad acclaim, and silent joy'd.
Arriv'd, the pomp, and not the waste of arms
His progress mark'd. The faint opposing host ||
For once, in yielding, their best victory found,
And by desertion prov'd exalted faith;
While his the bloodless conquest of the heart,
Shouts without groan, and triumph without war.
Then dawn'd the period destin'd to confine
The surge of wild prerogative, to raise
A mound restraining its imperious rage,
And bid the raving deep no farther flow.
Nor were, without that fence, the swallow'd state
Better than Belgian plains without their dykes,
Sustaining weighty seas. This, often sav'd
By more than human hand, the public saw,
With starving labor pampering idle waste.
To clothe the naked, feed the hungry, wipe
The guiltless tear from lone affliction's eye;
To raise hid merit, set th' alluring light
Of virtue high to view; to nourish arts,
Direct the thunder of an injur'd state,
Make a whole glorious people sing for joy,
Bless human-kind, and through the downward depth
Of future times to spread that better sun
Which lights up British soul: for deeds like these,
The dazzling fair career unbounded lies;
While (still superior bliss!) the dark abrupt
Is kindly barr'd, the precipice of ill.
Oh, luxury divine! Oh, poor to this,
Ye giddy glories of despotic thrones!
By this, by this indeed, is imag'd Heaven,
By boundless good, without the power of ill
"And now behold! exalted as the cope
That swells immense o'er many-peopled earth
And like it free, my fabric stands complete,
The Palace of the Laws. To the four Heavens
Four gates impartial thrown, unceasing crowds,
With kings themselves the hearty peasant mix'd
Pour urgent in. And though to different ranks
Responsive place belongs, yet equal spreads
The sheltering roof o'er all; while plenty flows,
And glad contentment echoes round the whole.
And seiz'd the white-wing'd moment. Pleas'd to Ye floods, descend! ye winds, confirming, blow!
Destructive power, a wise heroic prince**
Ev'n lent his aid. Thrice happy! did they know
Their happiness, Britannia's bounded kings.
What though not theirs the boast, in dungeon glooms
To plunge bold freedom; or, to cheerless wilds,
To drive him from the cordial face of friend;
Or fierce to strike him at the midnight hour,
By mandate blind, not justice, that delights
To dare the keenest eye of open day,
What though no glory to control the laws,
And make injurious will their only rule,
They deem it! what though, tools of wanton power,
Pestiferous armies swarm not at their call!
What though they give not a relentless crew
Of civil furies, proud oppression's fangs!
To tear at pleasure the dejected land,
The Prince of Orange, in his passage to England, though his fleet had been at first dispersed by a storm, was afterwards extremely favored by several changes of wind.
† Rapin, in his History of England. "The third of November the fleet entered the Channel, and lay between Calais and Dover, to stay for the ships that were behind. Here the Prince called a council of war. It is not easy to imagine what a glorious show the fleet made. Five or six hundred ships in so narrow a channel, and both the English and French shores covered with numberless spectators, are no common sight. For my part, who was then on board the fleet, I own it struck me extremely."
The Prince placed himself in the main body, carrying a flag with English colors, and their highnesses' arms surrounded with this motto: "The Protestant Religion and the Liberties of England:" and underneath the motto of the House of Nassau, Je Maintiendrai, I will maintain.-Rapin.
§ The English fleet.
The king's army.
By the bill of rights, and the act of succession. ** William III.
Nor outward tempest, nor corrosive time,
Nought but the felon undermining hand
Of dark corruption, can its frame dissolve,
And lay the toil of ages in the dust."
The Contents of Part V.
The author addresses the goddess of Liberty, marking the happiness and grandeur of Great Britain, as arising from her influence. She resumes her discourse, and points out the chief virtues which are necessary to maintain her establishment there. Recommends, as its last ornament and finishing, sciences, fine arts, and public works. The encouragement of these urged from the example of France, though under a despotic government. The whole concludes with a prospect of future times, given by the goddess of Liberty: this described by the author, as it passes in vision before him.
HERE interposing, as the goddess paus'd!-
"Oh, blest Britannia! in thy presence blest,
Thou guardian of mankind! whence spring, alone,
All human grandeur, happiness, and fame:
For toil, by thee protected, feels no pain;
The poor man's lot with milk and honey flows;
And, gilded with thy rays, ev'n death looks gay.
Let other lands the potent blessings boast
Of more exalting suns. Let Asia's woods,
Untended, yield the vegetable fleece:
And let the little insect-artist form,
On higher life intent, its silken tomb.
Let wondering rocks, in radiant birth, disclose
The various-tinctur'd children of the Sun.
From the prone beam let more delicious fruits
A flavor drink, that in one piercing taste
Bids each combine. Let Gallic vineyards burst
With floods of joy; with mild balsamic juice
The Tuscan olive. Let Arabia breathe
Her spicy gales, her vital gums distil.
Turbid with gold let southern rivers flow:
Whate'er high fancy, sound judicious thought,
An ample generous heart, undrooping soul,
And firm tenacious valor, can bestow.
Great nurse of fruits, of flocks, of commerce, she!
Great nurse of men! By thee, O goddess, taught,
Her old renown I trace, disclose her source
Of wealth, of grandeur, and to Britons sing
A strain the Muses never touch'd before.
"But how shall this thy mighty kingdom stand?
On what unyielding base? how finish'd shine?"
At this her eye, collecting all its fire,
Majestic, thus she rais'd-" To Britons bear
This closing strain, and with intenser note
Loud let it sound in their awaken'd ear.
And orient floods draw soft, o'er pearls, their maze. Beam'd more than human; and her awful voice,
Let Afric vaunt her treasures; let Peru
Deep in her bowels her own ruin breed,
The yellow traitor that her bliss betray'd,-
Unequall'd bliss!—and to unequall'd rage!
Yet nor the gorgeous East, nor golden South,
Nor, in full prime, that new-discover'd world,
Where flames the falling day, in wealth and praise,
Shall with Britannia vie, while, goddess, she
Derives her praise from thee, her matchless charms,
Her hearty fruits the hand of freedom own,
And, warm with culture, her thick-clustering fields
Prolific teem. Eternal verdure crowns
Her meads; her gardens smile eternal spring.
She gives the hunter-horse, unquell'd by toil,
Ardent, to rush into the rapid chase :
She, whitening o'er her downs, diffusive, pours
Unnumber'd flocks: she weaves the fleecy robe,
That wraps the nations: she to lusty droves
The richest pasture spreads; and, hers, deep-wave
Autumnal seas of pleasing plenty round.
These her delights: and by no baneful herb,
No darting tiger, no grim lion's glare,
No fierce-descending wolf, no serpent roll'd
In spires immense progressive o'er the land,
Disturb'd. Enlivening these, add cities, full
Of wealth, of trade, of cheerful toiling crowds;
Add thriving towns; add villages and farms,
Innumerous sow'd along the lively vale,
Where bold unrivall'd peasants happy dwell:
Add ancient sects, with venerable oaks
Embosom'd high, while kindred floods below
Wind through the mead; and those of modern hand,
More pompous, add, that splendid shine afar.
Need I her limpid lakes, her rivers name,
Where swarm the finny race? Thee, chief, O
On whose each tide, glad with returning sails,
Flows in the mingled harvest of mankind?
And thee, thou Severn, whose prodigious swell,
And waves, resounding, imitate the main?
Why need I name her deep capacious ports,
That point around the world? and why her seas?
All ocean is her own, and every land
To whom her ruling thunder ocean bears.
She too the mineral feeds: th' obedient lead,
The warlike iron, nor the peaceful less,
Forming of life art-civiliz'd the bond;
And what the Tyrian merchant sought of old,*
Not dreaming then of Britain's brighter fame.
She rears to freedom an undaunted race:
Compatriot, zealous, hospitable, kind,
Hers the warm Cambrian: hers the lofty Scot,
To hardship tam'd, active in arts and arms,
Fir'd with a restless, an impatient flame,
That leads him raptur'd where ambition calls:
And English merit hers; where meet, combin'd,
"On virtue can alone my kingdom stand.
On public virtue, every virtue join'd.
For, lost this social cement of mankind,
The greatest empires, by scarce-felt degrees,
Will moulder soft away, till, tottering loose,
They prone at last to total ruin rush.
Unblest by virtue, government a league
Becomes, a circling junto of the great,
To rob by law; religion mild a yoke
To tame the stooping soul, a trick of state
To mask their rapine, and to share the prey.
What are without it senates, save a face
Of consultation deep and reason free,
While the determin'd voice and heart are sold?
What boasted freedom, save a sounding name?
And what election, but a market vile
Of slaves self-barter'd? Virtue! without thee,
There is no ruling eye, no nerve, in states;
War has no vigor, and no safety peace:
Ev'n justice warps to party, laws oppress,
Wide through the land their weak protection fails,
First broke the balance, and then scorn'd the sword
Thus nations sink, society dissolves:
Rapine and guile and violence break loose,
Everting life, and turning love to gall;
Man hates the face of man, and Indian woods
And Libya's hissing sands to him are tame.
By those three virtues be the frame sustain'd
Of British Freedom: independent life;
Integrity in office; and, o'er all
Supreme, a passion for the common-weal.
"Hail! Independence, hail! Heaven's next best
To that of life and an immortal soul!
The life of life! that to the banquet high,
And sober meal, gives taste; to the bow'd roof
Fair-dream'd repose, and to the cottage charms.
Of public freedom, hail, thou secret source !
Whose streams, from every quarter confluent, form
My better Nile, that nurses human life.
By rills from thee deduc'd, irriguous, fed,
The private field looks gay, with Nature's wealth
Abundant flows, and blooms with each delight
That Nature craves. Its happy master there,
The only freeman, walks his pleasing round:
Sweet-featur'd Peace attending; fearless Truth;
Firm Resolution; Goodness, blessing all
That can rejoice; Contentment, surest friend;
And, still fresh stores from Nature's book deriv'd,
Philosophy, companion ever new.
These cheer his rural, and sustain or fire,
When into action call'd, his busy hours.
Meantime true judging moderate desires,
Economy and taste, combin'd, direct
His clear affairs, and from debauching fiends
Secure his little kingdom. Nor can those
Whom fortune heaps, without these virtues, reach
That truce with pain, that animated ease,
That self-enjoyment springing from within;
That Independence, active, or retir'd,
Which make the soundest bliss of man below:
But, lost beneath the rubbish of their means,
And drain'd by wants to nature all unknown,
A wandering, tasteless, gaily-wretched train,
Though rich, are beggars, and though noble, slaves.
Lo! damn'd to wealth, at what a gross ex-
The guardian public; every face they see,
And every friend; nay, in effect, themselves.
As in familiar life, the villain's fate
Admits no cure; so, when a desperate age
At this arrives, I the devoted race
Indignant spurn, and hopeless soar away.
But, ah, too little known to modern times!
Be not the noblest passion past unsung;
That ray peculiar, from unbounded love
Effus'd, which kindles the heroic soul:
Devotion to the public. Glorious flame!
Celestial ardor! in what unknown worlds,
Profusely scatter'd through the blue immense,
Hast thou been blessing myriads, since in Rome,
Old virtuous Rome, so many deathless names
From thee their lustre drew? since, taught by thee,
Their poverty put splendor to the blush,
Pain grew luxurious, and ev'n death delight? be-O, wilt thou ne'er, in thy long period, look, With blaze direct, on this my last retreat?
They purchase disappointment, pain, and shame,
Instead of hearty hospitable cheer.
See! how the hall with brutal riot flows;
While in the foaming flood, fermenting, steep'd,
The country maddens into party-rage.
Mark! those disgraceful piles of wood and stone;
Those parks and gardens, where, his haunts
And Nature by presumptuous art oppress'd,
The woodland genius mourns. See! the full board
That streams disgust, and bowls that give no joy :
No truth invited there, to feed the mind;
Nor wit, the wine-rejoicing reason quaffs.
Hark! how the dome with insolence resounds,
With those retain'd by vanity to scare
Repose and friends. To tyrant fashion mark
The costly worship paid, to the broad gaze
Of fools. From still delusive day to day,
Led an eternal round of lying hope,
See! self-abandon'd, how they roam adrift,
Dash'd o'er the town, a miserable wreck!
Then to adorn some warbling eunuch turn'd,
With Midas' ears they crowd; or to the buzz
Of masquerade unblushing; or, to show
Their scorn of Nature, at the tragic scene
They mirthful sit, or prove the comic true.
But, chief, behold! around the rattling board,
The civil robbers rang'd; and ev'n the fair,
The tender fair, each sweetness laid aside,
As fierce for plunder as all-licens'd troops
In some sack'd city. Thus dissolv'd their wealth,
Without one generous luxury dissolv'd,
Or quarter'd on it many a needless want,
At the throng'd levee bends the venal tribe:
With fair but faithless smiles each varnish'd o'er,
Each smooth as those that mutually deceive,
And for their falsehood each despising each;
Till shook their patron by the wintry winds,
Wide flies the wither'd shower, and leaves him bare.
O, far superior Afric's sable sons,
By merchant pilfer'd, to these willing slaves!
And, rich, as unsqueez'd favorite, to them,
Is he who can his virtue boast alone!
Britons! be firm!-nor let corruption sly
Twine round your heart indissoluble chains!
The steel of Brutus burst the grosser bonds
By Cæsar cast o'er Rome; but still remain'd
The soft-enchanting fetters of the mind,
And other Cæsars rose. Determin'd, hold
Your independence! for, that once destroy'd,
Unfounded, freedom is a morning dream,
That flits aerial from the spreading eye.
"Forbid it, Heaven! that ever I need urge
Integrity in office on my sons!
Inculcate common honor-not to rob-
And whom?-The gracious, the confiding hand,
That lavishly rewards; the toiling poor,
Whose cup with many a bitter drop is mixt;
"Tis not enough, from self right understood
| Reflected, that thy rays inflame the heart:
Though Virtue not disdains appeals to self,
Dreads not the trial: all her joys are true,
Nor is there any real joy save hers.
Far less the tepid, the declaiming race,
Foes to corruption, to its wages friends,
Or those whom private passions for a while,
Beneath my standard list can they suffice
To raise and fix the glory of my reign?
"An active flood of universal love
Must swell the breast. First, in effusion wide,
The restless spirit roves creation round,
And seizes every being stronger then
It tends to life, whate'er the kindred search
Of bliss allies: then, more collected still,
It urges human-kind: a passion grown,
At last, the central parent-public calls
Its utmost effort forth, awakes each sense,
The comely, grand, and tender. Without this,
This awful pant, shook from sublimer powers
Than those of self, this heaven-infus'd delight.
This moral gravitation, rushing prone
To press the public good, my system soon,
Traverse, to several selfish centres drawn,
Will reel to ruin: while for ever shut
Stand the bright portals of desponding Fame.
From sordid self shoot up no shining deeds, None of those ancient lights, that gladden Earth. Give grace to being, and arouse the brave To just ambition, virtue's quickening fire! Life tedious grows, an idly-bustling round, Fill'd up with actions animal and mean, A dull gazette! Th' impatient reader scorns The poor historic page; till kindly comes Oblivion, and redeems a people's shame. Not so the times, when, emulation-stung, Greece shone in genius, science, and in arts, And Rome in virtues dreadful to be told! To live was glory then! and charm'd mankind Through the deep periods of devolving time, Those, raptur'd, copy! these, astonish'd, read. True, a corrupted state, with every vice And every meanness foul, this passion damps Who can, unshock'd, behold the cruel eye? The pale inveigling smile? the ruffian front? The wretch abandon'd to relentless self, Equally vile if miser or profuse? Powers not of God, assiduous to corrupt? The fell deputed tyrant, who devours
The poor and weak, at distance from redress?*
Delirious faction bellowing loud my name?
The false fair-seeming patriot's hollow boast?
A race resolv'd on bondage, fierce for chains,
My sacred rights a merchandise alone
Esteeming, and to work their feeder's will
By deeds, a horror to mankind, prepar'd,
As were the dregs of Romulus of old?
Who these indeed can undetesting see!—
But who unpitying? To the generous eye
Distress is virtue! and, though self-betray'd,
A people struggling with their fate must rouse
The hero's throb. Nor can a land, at once,
Be lost to virtue quite. How glorious then!
Fit luxury for gods! to save the good,
Protect the feeble, dash bold vice aside,
Depress the wicked, and restore the frail.
Posterity, besides, the young, are pure,
And sons may tinge their fathers' cheek with shame.
"Should then the times arrive (which Heaven
That Britons bend unnerv'd, not by the force
Of arms, more generous, and more manly, quell'd,
But by corruption's soul-dejecting arts,
Arts impudent! and gross! by their own gold,
In part bestow'd, to bribe them to give all.
With party raging, or immers'd in sloth,
Should they Britannia's well-fought laurels yield
To slily-conquering Gaul; ev'n from her brow
Let her own naval oak be basely torn,
By such as tremble at the stiffening gale,
And nerveless sink while others sing rejoic'd.
Or (darker prospect! scarce one gleam behind
Disclosing) should the broad corruptive plague
Breathe from the city to the farthest hut,
That sits serene within the forest shade;
The fever'd people fire, inflame their wants,
And their luxurious thirst, so gathering rage,
That, were a buyer found, they stand prepar'd
To sell their birthright for a cooling draught.
Should shameless pens for plain corruption plead;
The hir'd assassins of the commonweal!
Deem'd the declaiming rant of Greece and Rome,
Should public virtue grow the public scoff,
Till private, failing, staggers through the land:
Till round the city loose mechanic want,
Dire-prowling nightly, makes the cheerful haunts
Of men more hideous than Numidian wilds.
Nor from its fury sleeps the vale in peace;
And murders, horrors, perjuries abound:
Nay, till to lowest deeds the highest stoop;
The rich, like starving wretches, thirst for gold;
And those, on whom the vernal showers of Heaven
All-bounteous fall, and that prime lot bestow,
A power to live to Nature and themselves,
In sick attendance wear their anxious days,
With fortune, joyless, and with honors, mean.
Meantime, perhaps, profusion flows around,
The waste of war, without the works of peace;
No mark of millions, in the gulf absorpt
of uncreating vice, none but the rage
Of rous'd corruption still demanding more.
That very portion, which (by faithful skill
* Lord Molesworth, in his account of Denmark, says: "It is observed, that in limited monarchies and common. wealths, a neighborhood to the seat of the government is advantageous to the subjects; while the distant provinces are less thriving, and more liable to oppression."
Employ'd) might make the smiling public rear Her ornamented head, drill'd through the hands Of mercenary tools, serves but to nurse A locust band within, and in the bud Leaves starv'd each work of dignity and use. "I paint the worst. But should these times arrive,
If any nobler passion yet remain,
Let all my sons all parties fling aside,
Despise their nonsense, and together join;
Let worth and virtue, scorning low despair,
Exerted full, from every quiver shine,
Commix'd in heighten'd blaze. Light flash'd to
Moral, or intellectual, more intense
By giving glows. As on pure Winter's eve,
Gradual, the stars effulge; fainter, at first,
They, straggling, rise; but when the radiant host,
In thick profusion pour'd, shine out immense,
Each casting vivid influence on each,
From pole to pole a glittering deluge plays,
And worlds above rejoice, and men below.
"But why to Britons this superfluous strain ?— Good-nature, honest truth ev'n somewhat blunt, Of crooked baseness an indignant scorn, A zeal unyielding in their country's cause, And ready bounty, wont to dwell with themNor only wont-Wide o'er the land diffus'd, In many a blest retirement still they dwell.
"To softer prospect turn we now the view, To laurel'd science, arts, and public works, That lend my finish'd fabric comely pride, Grandeur, and grace. Of sullen genius he! Curs'd by the Muses! by the Graces loth'd! Who deems beneath the public's high regard These last enlivening touches of my reign. However puff'd with power, and gorg'd with wealth, A nation be; let trade enormous rise, Let East and South their mingled treasure pour, Till, swell'd impetuous, the corrupting flood Burst o'er the city, and devour the land: Yet these neglected, these recording arts, Wealth rots, a nuisance; and, oblivious sunk, That nation must another Carthage lie. If not by them, on monumental brass, On sculptur'd marble, on the deathless page, Imprest, renown had left no trace behind: In vain, to future times, the sage had thought, The legislator plann'd, the hero found A beauteous death, the patriot toil'd in vain. Th' awarders they of Fame's immortal wreath, They rouse ambition, they the mind exalt, Give great ideas, lovely forms infuse, Delight the general eye, and, drest by them, The moral Venus glows with double charms.
"Science, my close associate, still attends Where'er I go. Sometimes, in simple guise, She walks the furrow with the consul swain, Whispering unletter'd wisdom to the heart, Direct; or, sometimes, in the pompous robe Of fancy drest, she charms Athenian wits, And a whole sapient city round her burns. Then o'er her brow Minerva's terrors nod; With Xenophon, sometimes, in dire extremes, She breathes deliberate soul, and makes retreatt Unequall'd glory; with the Theban sage, Epaminondas, first and best of men!
†The famous retreat of the Ten Thousand was chiefly conducted by Xenophon.
Sometimes she bids the deep-embattled host,
Above the vulgar reach, resistless form'd,
March to sure conquest-never gain'd before!*
Nor on the treacherous seas of giddy state
Unskilful she when the triumphant tide
Of high-swoln empire wears one boundless smile,
And the gale tempts to new pursuits of fame,
Sometimes, with Scipio, she collects her sail,
And seeks the blissful shore of rural ease,
Where, but th' Aonian maids, no syrens sing;
Or should the deep-brew'd tempest muttering rise,
While rocks and shoals perfidious lurk around,
With Tully she her wide-reviving light
To senates holds, a Catiline confounds,
And saves awhile from Cæsar sinking Rome.
Such the kind power, whose piercing eye dissolves
Each mental fetter, and sets reason free;
For me inspiring an enlighten'd zeal,
The more tenacious as the more convinc'd
How happy freemen, and how wretched slaves.
To Britons not unknown, to Britons full
The goddess spreads her stores, the secret soul
That quickens trade, the breath unseen that wafts
To them the treasures of a balanc'd world.
But finer arts (save what the Muse has sung
In daring flight, above all modern wing)
Neglected droop the head; and public works,
Broke by corruption into private gain,
Not ornament, disgrace; not serve, destroy.
How lavish grandeur blaz'd; the barren waste,
Astonish'd, saw the sudden palace swell,
"Shall Britons, by their own joint wisdom rul'd
Beneath one royal head, whose vital power
Connects, enlivens, and exerts the whole;
In finer arts, and public works, shall they
To Gallia yield? yield to a land that bends,
Deprest, and broke, beneath the will of one?
Of one who, should th' unkingly thirst of gold,
Of tyrant passions, or ambition, prompt,
Calls locust armies o'er the blasted land:
Drains from its thirsty bounds the springs of wealth, And fountains spout amid its arid shades.
His own insatiate reservoir to fill:
To the lone desert patriot merit frowns,
Or into dungeons arts, when they, their chains,
Indignant, bursting, for their nobler works
All other license scorn but Truth's and mine.
Oh, shame to think! shall Britons, in the field
Unconquer'd still, the better laurel lose?
Ev'n in that monarch'st reign, who vainly dreamt,
By giddy power betray'd, and flatter'd pride,
To grasp unbounded sway; while, swarming round,
His armies dar'd all Europe to the field;
To hostile hands while treasure flow'd profuse,
And, that great source of treasure, subjects' blood,
Inhuman squander'd, sicken'd every land;
From Britain, chief, while my superior sons,
In vengeance rushing, dash'd his idle hopes,
And bade his agonizing heart be low:
Ev'n then, as in the golden calm of peace!
What public works at home! what arts arose !
What various science shone! what genius glow'd!
""Tis not for me to paint, diffusive shot
O'er fair extents of land, the shining road;
The flood-compelling arch; the long canal,*
Through mountains piercing, and uniting seas;
The dome resounding sweet with infant joy,†
From famine sav'd, or cruel-handed shame,
And that where valor counts his noble scars;
The land where social pleasure loves to dwell,
Of the fierce demon, Gothic duel, freed;
The robber from his farthest forest chas'd;
The turbid city clear'd, and, by degrees,
Into sure peace the best police refin'd,
Magnificence, and grace, and decent joy.
Let Gallic bards record, how honor'd arts,
And science, by despotic bounty bless'd,
At distance flourish'd from my parent-eye,
Restoring ancient taste, how Boileau rose,
How the big Roman soul shook, in Corneille,
The trembling stage. In elegant Racine,
How the more powerful, though more humble voice
Of nature-painting Greece, resistless, breath'd
The whole awaken'd heart. How Moliere's scene
Chastis'd and regular, with well-judg'd wit,
Not scatter'd wild, and native humor, grac'd,
Was life itself. To public honors rais'd,
How learning in warm seminaries spread ;+
And, more for glory than the small reward,
How emulation strove. How their pure tongue
Almost obtain'd what was denied their arms.
From Rome, awhile, how Painting, courted long,
With Poussin came: ancient design, that lifts
A fairer front, and looks another soul.
How the kind art, that, of unvalued price,
The fam'd and only picture, easy, gives,
Refin'd her touch, and, through the shadow'd piece,
All the live spirit of the painter pour'd.
Coyest of arts, how Sculpture northward deign'd
A look, and bade her Girardon arise.
For leagues, bright vistas opening to the view,
How forests in majestic gardens smil'd.
How menial arts, by their gay sisters taught,
Wove the deep flow'r, the blooming foliage train'd
In joyous figures o'er the silky lawn,
The palace cheer'd, illum'd the storied wall,
And with the pencil vied the glowing loom.]
"These laurels, Louis, by the droppings rais'd Of thy profusion, its dishonor'd shade,
And, green through future times, shall bind thy brow;,
While the vain honors of perfidious war
Wither abhorr'd, or in oblivion lost.
With what prevailing vigor had they shot,
And stole a deeper root, by the full tide
Of war-sunk millions fed? Superior still,
How had they branch'd luxuriant to the skies,
In Britain planted, by the potent juice
Of freedom swell'd? Forc'd is the bloom of arts,
A false uncertain spring, when bounty gives,
Weak without me, a transitory gleam.
Fair shine the slippery days, enticing skies
Of favor smile, and courtly breezes blow;
Till arts, betray'd, trust to the flattering air
Their tender blossom: then malignant rise
* Epaminondas, after having beat the Lacedæmonians and their allies, in the battle of Leuctra, made an incursion at the head of a powerful army into Laconia. It was now six hundred years since the Dorians had possessed this country, and in all that time the face of an enemy had not been seen within their territories.-Plu- of Painting. tarch in Agesilaus.
† Lewis XIV.
The tapestry of the Gobelins.
*The canal of Languedoc.
†The hospitals for foundlings and invalids.
The academies of Science, of the Belles Lettres, and