« ForrigeFortsett »
Receives the morsel—flesh obscene of dog,
Or vermin, or at best of cock purloined
From his accustomed perch. Hard-faring race!
They pick their fuel out of every hedge,
Which, kindled with dry leaves, just saves un
The spark of life. The sportive wind blows wide
The houseless rovers of the sylvan world;
And, breathing wholesome air, and wandering much,
Need other physic none to heal the effects
Of loathsome diet, penury, and cold.
Blest he, though undistinguished from the crowd By wealth or dignity, who dwells secure, Where man, by nature fierce, has laid aside His fierceness, having learnt, though slow to learn, The manners and the arts of civil life. His wants indeed are many; but supply Is obvious, placed within the easy reach Of temperate wishes and industrious hands. Here virtue thrives as in her proper soil; Not rude and surly, and beset with thorns, And terrible to sight, as when she springs (If ever she spring spontaneous) in remote And barbarous climes, where violence prevails, And strength is lord of all; but gentle, kind, By culture tamed, by liberty refreshed, And all her fruits by radiant truth matured. War and the chase engross the savage whole; War followed for revenge, or to supplant The envied tenants of some happier spot: The chase for sustenance, precarious trust! His hard condition with severe constraint Binds all his faculties, forbids all growth Of wisdom, proves a school, in which he learm,
Sly circumvention, unrelenting hate, Mean self-attachment, and scarce aught beside. Thus fare the shivering natives of the north, And thus the rangers of the western world, Where it advances far into the deep, Towards the Antarctic. Even the favoured isles So lately found, although the constant sun Cheer all their seasons with a grateful smile, / Can boast but little virtue; and inert / Through plenty, lose in morals what they gain I In manners—victims of luxurious ease., v These therefore I can pity, placed remote From all, that science traces, art invents. Or inspiration teaches; and enclosed In boundless oceans never to be passed By navigators uninformed as they, Or ploughed perhaps by British bark again. But far beyond the rest, and with most cause, Thee, gentle * savage I whom no love of thee Or thine, but curiosity perhaps, Or else vain glory, prompted us to draw Forth from thy native bowers to show thee here With what superior skill we can abuse The gifts of Providence, and squander life. The dream is past; and thou hast found again