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When thou wouldit build; no quarry sent its stores
T'enrich thy walls: but thou didst hew the floods,
And make thy marble of the glassy wave.
In such a palace Ariftæus found
Cyrene, when he bore the plaintive tale
of his loft bees to her maternal ear:
In such a palace poetry might place
The armory of winter ; where his troops,
The gloomy clouds, find weapons, arrowy Neet,
Skin-piercing volley, blossom-bruising hail,
And snow that often blinds the tray'ler's course,
him in an unexpected tomb.
Silently as a dream the fabric rose;
No found of hammer or of faw was there:
Ice upon ice, the well-adjusted parts
Were soon conjoin'd ; nor other cement ask'd
Than water interfus'd to make them one.
Lamps gracefully dispos'd, and of all hues,
Illumin'd ev'ry side: a wat'ry light
Gleam'd through the clear transparency, that seem'd
Another moon new risen, or meteor fall’n
From heav'n to earth, of lambent Aame serene.
So stood the brittle prodigy; though smooth
And Nipp’ry the materials, yet froft-bound
Firm as a rock. Nor wanted aught within,
That royal residence might well befic,
For grandeur or for use. Long wavy wreaths:
Of flow'rs, that fear'd no enemy but warmth,
Blush'd on the pannels. Mirror needed none
Where all was vitreous; but in order due
Convivial table and commodious feat
(What seem'd at least commodious seat) were there;
Sofa, and couch,pand high-built throne august.
The same lubricity was found in all,
And all was moist to the warm touch; a scene
Of evanescent glory, once a stream,
And soon to slide into a stream again.
Alas! 'twas but a mortifying stroke
Of undesign'd severity, that glanc'd
(Made by a monarch) on her own estate,
On human grandeur and the courts of kings,
'Twas transient in its nature, as in show
'Twas durable ; as worthless, as it feem'd
Intrinsically precious; to the foot
Treach'rous and false ; it smil'd, and it was cold.
Great princes havegreat playthings. Some have play'd
At hewing mountains into men, and some
At building human wonders mountain-high.
Some have amus'd the dull, fad years
(Life spent in indolence, and therefore fad)
With schemes of monumental fame; and fought
By pyramids and mausolean pomp,
Short-liv'd themselves, t' immortalize their bones.
Some seek-diverfion in the tented field,
And make the sorrows of mankind their sport.
But war's a game, which, were their subjects wise,
Kings would not play at. Nations would do well
T'extort their truncheons from the puny hands
Of heroes, whose infirm and baby minds
Are gratified with mischief; and who spoil,
Because men suffer it, their toy the world.
When Babel was confounded, and the great Confed'racy of projectors wild and vain Was split into diversity of tongues, Then, as a shepherd separates his flock, These to the upland, to the valley those, God drave asunder, and assign’d their lot To all the nations. Ample was the boon He gave them, in its distribution fair And equal; and he bade them dwell in peace. Peace was awhile their care: they plough’d, and sow'd, And reap'd their plenty, without grudge or strife. But violence can never longer sleep Than human paffions please. In ev'ry heart Are fown the sparks that kindle fi'ry war ; Occasion needs but fan them, and they blaze. Cain had already shed a brother's blood; The deluge wash'd it out; but left unquench'd
The seeds of murder in the breast of man.
Soon, by a righteous judgment, in the line
Of his descending progeny was found
The firft ártificer of death; the firewd
Contriver who first sweated at the forge,
And forc'd the blunt and yèt unbloodied steel
To a keen edge, and made it bright for wat.
Him, Tubal nam'd, the Vulcan of old times,
The sword and faulchion their inventor claim;
And the first smith was the first murd'rer's son.
His art surviv'd the waters; and ete long,
When man was multiplied and spread abroad
In tribes and clans, and had begun to call
These meadows and that range of hills Kis own,
The tasted sweets of property begať
Desire of tcore ; and industry in fome,
T' improve and cultivate their just demésre,
Made others' covet what they faw so fair.
Thus war began on earth: these fought fór spoil,
And those in felf-defence. Savage at first,