Unknown those powers that raise the soul to flame,

every nerve, and vibrate through the frame.
Their level life is but a mouldering fire,
Unquench'd by want, unfann'd by strong desire ; (1)
Unfit 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 ; (2) And love's and friendship's finely-pointed dart Fall blunted from each indurated heart, Some sterner virtues o'er the mountain's breast May sit, like falcons cowering on the nest ; But all the gentler morals, such as play Through life's more cultur'd walks, and charm the way, These, far dispers’d, on timorous pinions fly, To sport and flutter in a kinder sky.

To kinder skies, where gentler manners reign,
I turn; and France 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 murmuring Loire !
Where shading elms along the margin grew,
And, freshen'd from the wave, the zephyr flew ;
And haply, though my harsh touch falt'ring still,
But mock'd all tune, and marr’d the dancer's skill ;

(1) [" Their level life is but a mouldering fire,

Not quench'd by want, nor fann'd by strong desire."-First edit.) (2) ["Unalta'd, unimproved their manners run."— Ibid.]

Yet would the village praise my wondrous power,
And dance, forgetful of the noon-tide hour.")
Alike all ages. Dames of ancient days
Have led their children through the mirthful maze,
And the gay grandsire, skill'd in gestic lore,
Has frisk'd beneath the burthen of threescore.

So blest 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 gains,
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. (e)

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

(1) [“ I had some knowledge of music,” says George Primrose, in the Vicar of Wakefield, “ with a tolerable voice, and now turned what was my amusement into a present means of subsistence. I passed among the harmless peasants of Flanders, and among such of the French as were poor enough to be very merry; for I ever found them sprightly in proportion to their wants. Whenever I approached a peasant's house towards night-fall, I played one of my most merry tunes; and that procured me not only a lodging, but subsistence for the next day."-See Life, ch. v.]

(2) [“ There is perhaps no couplet in English rhyme more perspicuously condensed than those two lines of the Traveller,' in which the author describes the at once flattering, vain, and happy character of the French." - CAMPBELL, British Poets, vol. vi. p. 262.]

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
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,
T'he firm connected bulwark seems to grow;
Spreads its long arms amidst the watery 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 rescu'd from his reign.(")

p. 276.

(1) [Speaking of the sea retiring from parts of the land, Goldsmith nearly repeats this description in his “ History of Animated Nature," vol. i.

“But we need scarce mention these, when we find that the whole kingdom of Holland seems to be a conquest on the sea, and in a manner rescued from its bosom. The surface of the earth in this country is below the level of the bed of the sea; and I remember upon approaching the coast to have looked down upon it froin the sea as into a valley.”]

Thus, while around the wave-subjected soil Impels the native to repeated toil, Industrious habits in each bosom reign, (1) And industry begets a love of gain. Hence all the good from opulence that springs, With all those ills superfluous treasure brings, Are here display'd. Their much-lov'd wealth imparts 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, Dull as their lakes that slumber in the storm.

Heavens ! how unlike their Belgic sires of old ! (2)
Rough, 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 every spray ;
Creation's mildest charms are there combin'd,
Extremes are only in the master's mind !

(1) (“Industrious habits in each breast obtain.-First edit.) (2) ["How unlike the brave peasants, their ancestors, who spread terror in either India, and always declared themselves the allies of those who drew the sword in defence of freedom!"- Introduction to History of the Seven Years' War. See vol. i. p. 468.]

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.(3)

Thine, Freedom, thine the blessings pictur'd here,
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,
All claims that bind and sweeten life unknown ;
Here by the bonds of nature feebly held, (4)
Minds combat minds, repelling and repellid:
Ferments arise, imprison'd factions roar,
Represt ambition struggles round her shore,
Till, over-wrought, the general system feels
Its motions stop, or phrenzy fire the wheels.

(1) [" I see the lords of human kind pass by,

Pride in their port, defiance in their eye."-First edit.]

(2) [“ Fierce in a native," &c.-Ibid.]

(3) (“We talked of Goldsmith's Traveller, of which Dr. Johnson spoke highly; and, while I was helping him on with his great-coat, he repeatedly quoted from it the character of the British nation; which he did with such energy, that the tear started in his eye."Boswell's Johnson, vol. v., p. 85, edit. 1835.]

(4) " See, though by circling deeps together held."-First edit.]

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