« AnteriorContinuar »
Here, while the courtier glitters in brocade,
There the pale artist plies the sickly trade;
Here, while the proud their long-drawn pomps display,
There the black gibbet glooms beside the way.
The dome where pleasure holds her midnight reign,
Here, richly deck'd admits the gorgeous train ;
Tumultuous grandeur crowds the blazing square,
The rattling chariots clash, the torches glare.
Sure scenes like these no troubles e'er
D Sure these denote one universal joy! Are these thy serious thoughts ? Ah, turn thine eyes Where the
роог houseless, shiv'ring female lieg.
She, once, perhaps, in village plenty blest,
Has » ept at tales of innocence distrest ;
Her modest looks the cottage might adorn,
Sweet as the primrose peeps beneath the thorn :
Noiv lost to all; her friends, her virtue fled,
Near her betrayer's door she lays her head;
And pinch'd with cold, and shrinking from the show'r
With heavy heart deplores that luckless hour,
When idly first, ambitious of the town,
She left ber wheel, and robes of country brown.
Do thine, sweet Auburn, thine, the loveliest train,
Do thy fair tribes participate her pain ?
E'en now, perhaps, by cold and hunger led,
At proud men's doors they ask a little bread!
Ah no! to distant climes, a dreary scene,
Where half the convex world intrudes between,
Through torrid tracts rith fainting steps they go,
Where wild Altama murmurs to their wo.
Far diff'rent there from all that charm'] before,
The various terrors of that horrid shore;
Those blazing suns that dart a downward
And fiercely shed intolerable day ;
Those matted woods where birds forget to sing,
But silent bats in drowsy clusters cling ;
Those pois’nous fields with rank luxuriance crown'd,
Where the dark scorpion gathers death around;
Where at each step the stranger fears to wake
The rattling terrors of the vengeful snake ;
Where crouching tigers wait their hapless prey;
And savage men, more murd'rous still than they :
While oft in wbirls the mad tornado flies,
Mingling the ravag'd landscape with the skies.
Alas! what sorrows gloom'd that parting day, That call’d them from their native walks away ; When the poor exiles, ev'ry pleasure past, Hung round the bow’rs, and fondly look'd their last, And took a long farewell, and wish'd in vain For seats like these beyond the western main ; And shudd'ring still to face the distant deep, Return'd and wept, and still return'd to weep! The good old sire the first prepar'd to go To new-found worlds, and wept for others' wo : But for himself, in conscious virtue brave, He only wish'd for worlds beyond the grave. His lovely daughter, lovelier in her tears, The fond companion of his bapless years, Silent went next, neglectful of her charms, And left a lover's for a father's arms. With louder plaints the mother spoke her woes, And bless'd the cot where ev'ry pleasure rose ; And kiss'd her thoughtless babes with many a tear, And clasp'd them close, in sorrow doubly dear ; Whilst her fond husband strove to lend relief, In all the silent inanliness of grief. O luxury! thou curst by Heav'n's decree, How ill exchang'd are things like these for thee! How do thy potiops, with insidious joy, Diffuse their pleasures only to destroy ! Kingdoms, by thee to sickly greatness grown, Boast of a florid vigour not their own. At every draught more large and large they grow, A bloated mass of rank unwieldy wo; Till sapp'd their strength, and ev'ry part unsound, Down, down they sink, and spread a ruin round.
E’en now the devastation is begun, And half the bus'ness of destruction done ; E'en now, methinks, as pondering here I stand, I see the 'rural virtues leave the land. Down where yon anch'ring vessel spreads the sail, That idly waiting flaps with ev'ry gate, Downward they move, a melancholy band, Pass from the shore, and darken all the strand. Contented toil, and hospitable care, And kind connubial tenderness, are there; And piety with wishes plac'd above, And steady loyalty, and faithful love.
And thou, sweet Poetry, thou loveliest maid,"
Still first to fly when sensual joys invade ;
Unfit in these degen’rate times of shame
To catch the heart or strike for honest fame;
Dear charming nymph, neglected and decried,
My shame in crowds, my solitary pride;
Thou source of bliss as well as source of wo,
That found'st me poor at first, and keep'st me 80;
Thou guide, by which the nobler arts excel,
Thou source of ev'ry virtue, fare thee well!
Farewell! and oh! where'er thy voice be tried,
On Torrio's cliffs, or Pambamarca's side,
Whether where equinoctial fervours glow,
the polar world in snow, Still let thy voice, prevailing over time, Redress the rigours of th' inclement clime; Aid slighted truth with thy persuasive strain, Teach erring man to spurn the rage of gain ; Teach him that states, of native strength possest, Though very poor, may still be very blest; That trade's proud empire hastes to swift decay, As ocean sweeps the labour'd mole away ; While self-dependent pow'r can time defy, As rocks resist the billows and the sky. QOLDSMITI
The Traveller; or, a prospect of society.
Inscribed to the Author's Brother.
Remote, unfriended, melancholys slow,
Or by the lazy Scheld, or wand'ring Po;
Or onward, where the rude Carinthian boor,
Against the houseless stranger shuts the door ;
Or where Campania's plain forsaken lies,
A weary waste, expanding to the skies;
Where'er I roam, whatever realms to see,
My heart untravell’d, fondly turns to thee;
Still to my brother turns, with ceaseless pain,
And drags at each remove a length’ning chain.
Perpetual blessings crown my earliest friend,
And round his dwelling guardian saints attend !
Bless'd be that spot where cheerful guests retire,
To pause from toil, and trim their ev'ning fire :
Bless’d that abode where want and pain repair,
And ev'ry stranger finds a ready chair :
Bless'd be those feasts, with simple plenty crown'd,
Where all the ruddy family around
Laugh at the jests or pranks that never fail,
Or sigh with pity at some mournful tale;
Or press the bashful stranger to his food,
And learn the luxury of doing good!
But me, not destin'd sach delights to share,
My prime of life in wand'ring spent, and care ;
Impelld, with steps unceasing, to pursue
Some feeting good that mocks me with the view;
That, like the circle bounding earth and skies,
Allures from far, yet as I follow flies;
Me fortune leads to traverse realms alone,
And find no spot of all the world my own.
E'en now, where Alpine solitudes ascend,
I sit me down a pensive hour to spend ;
And plac'd on high, above the storm's career,
Look downward where an hundred realms
Lakes, forests, cities, plains, extending wide,
The pomp of kings, the shepherd's humbler pride.
When thus creation's charms around combine, Amidst the store, should thankless pride repine ? Say, should the philosophic mind disdain That good which makes each humbler bosom vain? Let school-taught pride dissemble all it can, These little things are great to little man ; And wiser he, whose sympathetic mind Exults in all the good of all mankind. Ye glitt’ring towns, with wealth and splendour crown'd. Ye fields, where summer spreads profusion round; Ye lakes, whose vessels catch the busy gale ; Ye bending swains that dress the flow'ry vale ; For me your tributary stores combine
; Creation's heir ! the world, the world is mine!
As some lone miser, visiting his store,
Bends at his treasure, counts, recounts it o’er ;
Hoards after hoards his rising raptures fill,
Yet still he sighs, for hoards are wanting still ;
Thus to my breast alternate passions rise,
Pleas'd with each good that Heav'n to mun supplies ;
Yet oft a sigh prevails, and sorrows fall,
To see the board of human bliss so small;
Anå oft I wish, amidst the scene, to find
Some spot to real happiness consign'd;
Where my worn soul, each wand'ring hope at rest,
May gather bliss to see my fellows blest.
But where to find that happiest spot below,
Who can direct when all pretend to know?
The shudd'ring-tenant of the frigid zone
Boldly proclaims that happiest spot his own;
Extols the treasures of his stormy seas,
And his long nights of revelry and ease ;
The naked negro, panting at the line,
Boasts of his golden sands and palmy wine ;
Basks in the glare, or stems the tepid wave,
And thanks his gods for all the good they gave.
Such is the patriot's boast, where'er we roam;
His first, best country, ever is at home.
And yet, perhaps, if countries we compare,
And estimate the blessings which they share,
Though patriots flatter, still shall wisdom find
An equal portion dealt to all mankind ;
As diff'rent good, by art or nature giv'n,
To diff'rent nations, makes their blessings ev'n.
Nature, a mother kind alike to all,
Still grants her bliss at labour's earnest call.
With food as well the peasant is supplied
On Idra's chiffs, as Arno's shelvy side ;
And tho’ the rocky-crested summits frown,
These rocks by custom tum to beds of down.
From art more various are the blessings sent,
Wealth, commerce, honour, liberty, content ;
Yet these each other's pow'r so strong contest,'
That either seems destructive of the rest.
Where wealth and freedom reign, contentment fails ;
And honour sinks where commerce long prevails.
Hence ev'ry state, to one lov'd blessing prone,
Conforms and models life to that alone.
Each to the fav’rite happiness attends
And spurns the plan that aims at other ends ;
Till carried to excess in each domain,
This fav’rite good begets peculiar pain.
But let us try these truths with closer eyes,
And trace them through the prospect as it lies :