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With sight of animals enjoying life,
Nor feels their happiness augment his own.
The bounding fawn, that darts across the glade
When none pursues, through mere delight of heart,
And spirits buoyant with excess of glee;
The horse as wanton, and almost as fleet,
That skims the spacious meadow at full speed,
Then stops and snorts, and, throwing high his heels,
Starts to the voluntary race again;
The very kine that gambol at high noon,
The total herd receiving first from one
That leads the dance a summons to be
Though wild their strange vagaries, and uncouth
Their efforts, yet resolv'd with one consent
To give such act and utt'rance as they may
To extasy too big to be suppress’d-
These, and a thousand images of bliss,
With which kind nature graces ev'ry scene,
Where cruel man defeats not her design,
Impart to the benevolent, who wish
All that are capable of pleasure, pleas'd,
A far superior happiness to theirs,
The comfort of a reasonable joy.
Man scarce had ris'n, obedient to his call
Who form'd him from the dust, his future grave,
When he was crown'd as never king was since.
God set the diadem upon his head,
And angel choirs attended. Wond'ring stood
The new-made monarch, while before him pass’d,
All happy, and all perfect in their kind,
The creatures, summon'd from their various haunts
To see their sov’reign, and confess his sway:
Vast was his empire, absolute his pow'r,
Or bounded only by a law whose force
'Twas his sublimest privilege to feel
And own, the law of universal love.
He ruld with meekness, they obey'd with joy;
No cruel purpose lurk’d within his heart,
And no distrust of his intent in theirs,
So Eden was a scene of harmless sport,
Where kindness on his part who rul'd the whole
Begat a tranquil confidence in all,
And fear as yet was not, nor cause for fear.
But sin marr'd all; and the revolt of man,
That source of evils, not exhausted yet,
Was punish'd with revolt of his from him.
Garden of God, how terrible the change
Thy groves and lawns then witness’d! ev'ry heart,
Each animal of ev'ry name, conceiv'd
A jealousy and an instinctive fear,
And, conscious of some danger, either Aled
Precipitate the loath'd abode of man,
Or growl'd defiance in such angry fort,
As taught him too to tremble in his turn.
Thus harmony and family accord
Were driv'n from Paradise ; and in that hour
The seeds of cruelty, that since have swell’d
To such gigantic and enormous growth,
Were sown in human nature's fruitful foil.
Hence date the persecution and the pain
That man inflicts on all inferior kinds,
Regardless of their plaints. To make him sport, ,
To gratify the frenzy of his wrath,
Or his base gluttony, are causes good
And just, in his account, why bird and beast
Should suffer torture, and the streams be dy'd
With blood of their inhabitants impal'd.
Earth groans beneath the burden of a war
Wag'd with defenceless innocence, while he,
Not satisfied to prey on all around,
Adds tenfold bitterness to death, by pangs
Needless, and first torments ere he devours.
Now happiest they that occupy the scenes
The most remote from his abhorr'd resort,
Whom once, as delegate of God on earth,
They fear'd, and, as his perfect image, lov’d.
The wilderness is theirs, with all its caves,
Its hollow glenns, its thickets, and its plains
Unvisited by man,
There they are free,
And howl and roar as likes them, uncontrould,
Nor ask his leave to Number or to play.
Woe to the tyrant, if he dare intrude
Within the confines of their wild domain :
The lion tells him-I am monarch here
And if he spare him, spares him on the terms
Of royal mercy, and through gen'rous scorn
To rend a victim trembling at his foot.
In measure, as by force of instinct drawn,
Or by necessity constrain'd, they live
Dependent upon man; those in his fields,
These at his crib, and fome beneath his roof;
They prove too often at how dear a rate
He fells protection. Witness, at his foot
The spaniel dying for some venial fault,
Under dissection of the knotted scourge ;
Witness, the patient ox, with stripes and yells
Driv'n to the slaughter, goaded, as he runs,
To madness, while the favage at his heels
Laughs at the frantic suff'rer's fury spent