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Unknown those powers that raise the soul to flame,
every nerve, and vibrate through the frame.
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,
(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,
So blest a life these thoughtless realms display,
But while this softer art their bliss supplies,
(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,
To men of other minds my fancy flies,
(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)
Fir'd at the sound, my genius spreads her wing,
(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,
Thine, Freedom, thine the blessings pictur'd here,
(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.]