Imágenes de páginas

But oalm, and bred in ignorance and toil,
Each wish contracting, fits him to the soil.
Cheerful at morn he wakes from short repose, '
Breathes the keen air, and carols as he goes ;
With patient angle trolls the fipny deep,
Or drives his vent'rous plough-share to the steep; . !
Or seeks the den where snow-tracks mark the way,
And drags the struggling savage into day...
At night returning, ev'ry labour sped,
He sits him down the monarch of a shed;
Smiles by his cheerful fire, and round surveys
His children's looks, that brighten at the blaze;
While his lov'd partner, boastful of her hoard,
Displays her cleanly platter on the board ;
And haply too some pilgrim, thither led,
With many a tale repays the nightly bed.

Thus ev'ry good his native wilds impart, .
Imprints the patriot passion on his heart;
And e'en those hills that round his mansion rise,
Enhance the bliss his scanty fund supplies.
Dear is that shed to which his soul conforms,
And dear that hill which lifts him to the storms ;
And as a child, when scaring sounds molest, .
Clings close and closer to the mother's breast;
So the loud torrent, and the whirlwind's roar, .
But bind him to his native mountains more.

Such are the charms to barren states assign'd; Their wants but' few, their wishes all confin'd. Yet let them only share the praises due ; If few their wants, their pleasures are but few : . For ev'ry want that stimulates the breast, Becomes a source of pleasure when redrest. Whence from such lands each pleasing science flies, That first excites desire, and then supplies ; Unknown to them, when sensual pleasures cloy, To fill the languid pause with finer joy; ' Unknown those pow'rs that raise the soul to Aame, Catch ev'ry nerve, and vibrate through the frame. Their level life is but a mould'ring fire, Unquench'd by want, unfann'd by strong desire; Ungt for raptures ; or, if raptures cheer On some high festival of once a year, In wild excess the vulgar breast takes fire, Till buried in debauch the bliss expire.

But not their joys alone thus coarsely flow;
Their morals, like their pleasures, are but low :
For, as refinement stops, from sire to son,
Unalter'd, unimprov'd, the manners run ;
And love's and friendship's finely pointed dart
Falls blunted from each indurated heart.
Some sterner virtues o'er the mountain's breast,
May sit like falcons. cow'ring on the nest;
But all the gentler morals, such as play
Thro' life's more cultur'd walks, and charm the way ;
These, far dispers’d, on timrous pinions fly,
To sport and flutter in a kinder sky.
To kinder skies, where gentler manners reign,
I turn and Fra pe displays her bright domain.
Gay sprightly land of mirth and social ease,
Pleas'd with thyself, whom all the world can please ;
How often have I led thy sportive choir,
With tuneless pipe, beside the murm'ring Loire !
Where shading elms along the margin grew,
And, freshen’d from the wave, the zephyr flew;
And haply, tho' my harsh touch falt'ring still,
But mock'd all tune, and marr'd the dancer's skill,
Yet would the village praise my wond'rous pow'r,
And dance, forgetful of the noon-tide hour!
Alike all ages ; dames of ancient days
Have led their children thro' the mirthful maze;
And the gay grandsire, skill'd in, gestic lore,
Hag frisk'd beneath the burden of threescore.

So gay a life these thoughtless realms display;
Thus idly busy rolls their world away.
Theirs are those arts that mind to mind endear; .
For honour forms the social temper here.
Honour, that praise which real merit
Or e'en imaginary worth obtains,
Here passes current ; paid from hand to hand,
It shifts in splendid traffic round the land.
From courts to camps, to cottages, it strays,
And all are taught an avarice of praise :
They please, are pleas’d, they give to get esteem;
Till, seeming blest, they grow to what they seem.

But while this softer art their bliss supplies, It gives their follies also room to rise ; For praise too dearly loy'd or warmly sought, IT Enfeebles all internal strength of thought;

And the weak soul, within itself unblest,
Leans for all pleasure on another's breast.
Hence ostentation, here, with tawdry art,
Pants for the vulgar praise which fools impart;
Here vanity assumes her pert grimace,
And trims her robes of frieze with copper-lace;
Here beggar pride defrauds her daily cheer,
To boast one splendid banquet once a year :
The mind still turns where shifting fashion draws,
Nor weighs the solid worth of self-applause.

To men of other minds my fancy flies,
Embosom'd in the deep where Holland lies.
Methinks her patient sons before me stand,
Where the broad ocean leans against the land ;
And sedulous to stop the coming tide,
Lift the tall rampire's artificial pride.
Onward methinks, and diligently slow,
The firm connected bulwark seems to grow ;
Spreads its long arms amidst the wat’ry roar,
Scoops out an empire, and usurps the shore;
While the pent ocean, rising o'er the pile,
Sees an amphibious world beneath him smile ;
The slow canal, the yellow-blossom'd vale,
The willow-tufted bank, the gliding sail,
The crowded mart, the cultivated plain,
A new creation rescued from his reign.

Thus while around the waye-subjected soil
Impels the native to repeated toil,
Industrious habits in each bosom reign,
And industry begets a love of gain. "
Hence all the good from Gpulence that springs,
With all those ills, superfluous treasure brings,
Are here display'd, Their much-lov'd wealth imparto
Convenience, plenty, elegance, and arts;
But, view them closer, craft and fraud appear;
E'en liberty itself is barter'd here.
At gold's superior charms all freedom flies;
The needy sell it, and the rich man buys :
A land of tyrants, and a den of slaves,
Here wretches seek dishonourable graves
And, calmly bent, to servitude conform,
Dnll as their lakes that slumber in the storm.
0! how unlike their Belgic sires of old;
Roagh, poor, content, ungovernably bold :

War in each breast, and freedom on each brow;
How much unlike the sons of Britain now!.

Fir'd at the sound, my Genius spreads her wing,
And flies where Britain Courts the western spring;
Where lawns extend that scorn Arcadian pride,
And brighter streams than fam'd Hydaspes glide..
There all around the gentlest breezes stray,
There gentle music melts on ev'ry spray;
Creation's mildest charms are there combin'd;
Extremes are only in the master's mind !
Stern o'er each bosom reason holds her state,
With daring aims irregularly great :
Pride in their port, defiance in their eye,
I see the lords of human-kind pass by ;
Intent on high designs, a thoughtful band ; .!
By forms unfashion'd, fresh from nature's hand; .
Fierce in their native hardiness of soul,
True to imagin'd right, above control;
While e'en the peasant boasts these rights to scan,
And learns to venerate himself as man.
Thine, freedom, thine the blessings pictur'd bere,'.
Thine are those charms that dazzle and endear: -
Too blest indeed were such without alloy,
But foster'd e'en by freedom ills annoy.
That independence Britons prize too high,
Keeps man from man, and breaks the social tie;
The self-dependent lordlings stand alone ; .
AN claims that bind and sweeten life unknown.
Here, by the bonds of nature feebly held,
Minds combat minds, repelling and repellid;
Ferments arise, imprison's factions roar,
Repress'd ambition struggles round her shore;
Till, over-wrought, the gen'ral system feels
Its actions stop, or phrenzy fires the wheels.
Nor this the worst. As nature's ties decay,
As duty. love, and honour fail to sway,
Fictitious bonds, the bonds of wealth and land,
Still gather strength, and force unwilling awe. .
Hence all obedience bows to these alone,
And talents sink, and merit weeps unknown ;
Till time may come, when, stripp'd of all her charms
The land of scholars, and the nurse of arms, *
Where noble stems transmit the patriot flame,
Where kings have toil'd, and poets wrote for fame,

One sink of level avarice shall lie,
And scholars, soldiers, kings, unhonour'd die.

Yet think not thus, when freedom's ills I state,
I mean to flatter kings, or court the great.
Ye pow'rs of truth, that bid my soul aspire,
Far from my bosom drive the low desire !
And thou, fair freedom, taught alike to feel
The rabble's rage, and tyrants angry steel ;
Thou transitory fow'r alike undone
By proud contempt, or favour's fostring sun,
Still may thy blooms. the changeful clime endure,
I only would repress them, to secure :
For just experience tells, in ev'ry soil,
That those who think must govern those who toil: ...
And all that freedom's bighest aims can reach,
Is but to lay proportion'd loads on each :
Hence, should one order disproportion'd grow,
Its double weight must ruin all below.
O then, how blind to all that truth requires,
Who think it freedom when a part aspires !
Calm is my soul, nor apt to rise in arms,
Except when fast approaching danger, warms:
But when contending, chiefs blockade the throne,
Contracting regal pow'r to stretch their own; ...
When I be hold a factious band agree
To call it freedom when themselves are free ;
Each wanton judge new penal statutes draw,
Laws grind the poor, and rich men rule the law; .
The wealth of climes, where savage nations roam, ja
Pillag'd from slaves, to purchase slaves at home; ... in
Fear, pity, justice, indignation start,

w Tear off reserve, and bare my swelling heart ;*..!, Till, half a patriot, half a coward grown, ohne I fly from petty tyrants, to the throne. Ah, brother ! how disastrous was that hour, When first ambition struck at regal pow'r ; And thus, polluting honour in its source, Gave wealth to sway the mind with double force! Have we not seen, round Britain's peopled shore, Her useful sons exchang'd for useless, ore;,. Seen all her triumphs but destruction haste, ; Like flaring tapers brightning as they waste; ...? Seen opulence, her grandeur to maintain, Lead stern depopulation in her train ; , . ., ...

« AnteriorContinuar »