Page images

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,

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,

* Tin.

Majestic, thus she rais'd-"To Britons bear
This closing strain, and with intenser note
Loud let it sound in their awaken'd ear.

[ocr errors]

· 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-

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 be-

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;

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.

[ocr errors]

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?
O, wilt thou ne'er, in thy long period, look,
With blaze direct, on this my last retreat?

""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

[ocr errors]

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 tines, 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, unshoek'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,

[ocr errors]

And sons may tinge their fathers' cheek with shame. Should then the times arrive (which Heaven avert!)

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.

[ocr errors]

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.

[ocr errors]

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.
"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:

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.

How lavish grandeur blaz'd; the barren waste,
Astonish'd, saw the sudden palace swell,

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;

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,
Wea!: 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

*The canal of Languedoc.

* 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 hospitals for foundlings and invalids.
The academies of Science, of the Belles Lettres, and

§ Engraving.

The tapestry of the Gobelins.

The blights of envy, of those insect-clouds,
That, blasting merit, often cover courts:
Nay, should, perchance, some kind Mæcenas aid
The doubtful beamings of his prince's soul,
His wavering ardor fix, and unconfin'd
Diffuse his warm beneficence around;
Yet death, at last, and wintry tyrants come,
Each sprig of genius killing at the root.
But when with me imperial bounty joins,
Wide o'er the public blows eternal Spring:
While mingled Autumn every harvest pours
Of every land: whate'er invention, art,
Creating toil and Nature can produce."

Till moral, public, graceful action crowns
The whole. Behold! the fair contention glows,
In all that mind or body can adorn,

And form to life. Instead of barren heads,
Barbarian pedants, wrangling sons of pride,
And truth-perplexing metaphysic wits,
Men, patriots, chiefs, and citizens are form'd.
"Lo! Justice, like the liberal light of Heaven,
Unpurchas'd shines on all, and from her beam,
Appalling guilt, retire the savage crew,

That prowl amid the darkness they themselves
Have thrown around the laws. Oppression grieves:
See! how her legal furies bite the lip,

And seize swift justice through the clouds they raise.
"See! social Labor lifts his guarded head,
And men not yield to government in vain.
From the sure land is rooted ruffian force,
And, the lewd nurse of villains, idle waste; [bowl,
Lo! raz'd their haunts, down dash'd their maddening
A nation's poison! beauteous order reigns!
Manly submission, unimposing toil,

Here ceas'd the goddess; and her ardent wings, While Yorks and Talbots their deep snares detect, Dipt in the colors of the heavenly bow, Stood waving radiance round, for sudden flight Prepar'd, when thus, impatient, burst my prayer. "Oh, forming light of life! O, better Sun! Sun of mankind! by whom the cloudy north, Sublim'd, not envies Languedocian skies, That, unstain'd ether all, diffusive smile: When shall we call these ancient laurels ours? And when thy work complete?" Straight with hand,

her Trade without guile, civility that marks

Celestial red, she touch'd my darken'd eyes.
As at the touch of day the shades dissolve,
So quick, methought, the misty circle clear'd,
That dims the dawn of being here below:
The future shone disclos'd, and, in long view,
Bright rising eras instant rush'd to light.
"They come great goddess! I the times behold!
The times our fathers, in the bloody field,
Have earn'd so dear, and, not with less renown,
In the warm struggles of the Senate fight.
The times I see! whose glory to supply,
For toiling ages, commerce round the world
Has wing'd unnumber'd sails, and from each land
Materials heap'd, that, well-employ'd, with Rome
Might vie our grandeur, and with Greece our art.
Lo! princes I behold! contriving still,

[ocr errors]

And still conducting firm some brave design;
Kings! that the narrow joyless circle scorn,
Burst the blockade of false designing men,
Of treacherous smiles, of adulation fell,

And of the blinding clouds around them thrown :
Their court rejoicing millions; worth alone,
And virtue dear to them; their best delight,
In just proportion to give general joy :
Their jealous care thy kingdom to maintain;
The public glory theirs; unsparing love
Their endless treasure; and their deeds their praise.
With thee they work. Nought can resist your force:
Life feels it quickening in her dark retreats;
Strong spread the blooms of genius, science, art;
His bashful bounds disclosing merit breaks;
And, big with fruits of glory, virtue blows
Expansive o'er the land. Another race
Of generous youth, of patriot-sires, I see!
Not those vain insects fluttering in the blaze
Of court, and ball, and play; those venal souls,
Corruption's veteran unrelenting bands,
That, to their vices slaves, can ne'er be free.
"I see the fountain's purg'd; whence life derives
A clear or turbid flow; see the young mind
Not fed impure by chance, by flattery fool'd,
Or by scholastic jargon bloated proud,
But fill'd and nourish'd by the light of truth.
Then, beam'd through fancy the refining ray,
And pouring on the heart, the passions feel
At once informing light and moving flame;

From the foul herd of brutal slaves thy sons,
And fearless peace. Or should affronting war
To slow but dreadful vengeance rouse the just,
Unfailing fields of freemen I behold!
That know, with their own proper arm, to guard
Their own blest isle against a leaguing world.
Despairing Gaul her boiling youth restrains,
Dissolv'd her dream of universal sway:
The winds and seas are Britain's wide domain;
And not a sail, but by permission, spreads.

"Lo! swarming southward on rejoicing sons,
Gay colonies extend; the calm retreat
Of undeserv'd distress, the better home
Of those whom bigots chase from foreign lands,
Not built on rapine, servitude, and woe,
And in their turn some petty tyrant's prey;
But, bound by social freedom, firm they rise;
Such as, of late, an Oglethorpe has form'd,
And, crowding round, the charm'd Savannah sees.
"Horrid with want and misery, no more
Our streets the tender passenger afflict.
Nor shivering age, nor sickness without friend,
Or home, or bed to bear his burning load,
Nor agonizing infant, that ne'er earn'd
Its guiltless pangs, I see! The stores, profuse,
Which British bounty has to these assign'd,
No more the sacrilegious riot swell
Of cannibal devourers! Right applied,
No starving wretch the land of freedom stains.
If poor, employment finds; if old, demands;
If sick, if maim'd, his miserable due;
And will, if young, repay the fondest care.
Sweet sets the sun of stormy life, and sweet
The morning shines, in mercy's dews array'd.
Lo! how they rise! these families of Heaven!
That!* chief, (but why-ye bigots!-why so late?)
Where blooms and warbles glad a rising age:
What smiles of praise! and while their song ascends,
The listening seraph lays his lute aside.

"Hark! the gay Muses raise a nobler strain, With active nature, warm impassion'd truth, Engaging fable, lucid order, notes

Of various string, and heart-felt image fill'd.
Behold! I see the dread delightful school
Of temper'd passions, and of polish'd life,

* An hospital for foundlings.

« PreviousContinue »