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Where then, ah! where shall poverty reside,
To 'scape the pressure of contiguous pride?
If to some common's fenceless limits stray'd,
He drives his flock to pick the scanty blade,
Those fenceless fields the sons of wealth divide,
And ev❜n the bare-worn common is deny'd.
If to the city sped, what waits him there? To see profusion that he must not share ; To see ten thousand baneful arts combin'd To pamper luxury, and thin mankind; To see each joy the sons of pleasure know, Extorted from his fellow-creature's woe. Here, while the courtier glitters in brocade, There the pale artist plies the sickly trade; Here, while the proud their long-drawn pomp
There the black gibbet glooms beside the way.
The dome where pleasure holds her midnight reign,
Here, richly deck'd, admits the gorgeous train;
'Tumultuous grandeur crowds the blazing square,
The rattling chariots clash, the torches glare:
Sure scenes like these no troubles e'er annoy!
Sure these denote one universal joy!
Are these thy serious thoughts?-Ah, turn thine
Where the poor, houseless, shivering female lies.
She once, perhaps, in village plenty blest,
Has wept at tales of innocence distrest;
Her modest looks the cottage might adorn,
Sweet as the primrose peeps beneath the thorn:
Now lost to all; her friends, her virtue fled,
Near her betrayer's door she lays her head,
And, pinch'd with cold, and shrinking from the
With heavy heart deplores that luckless hour
When idly first, ambitious of the town,
She left her wheel and robes of country brown.
Do thine, fair Auburn, thine, the loveliest train, Do thy fair tribes participate her pain?
Ev'n now, perhaps, by cold and hunger led,
poor men's doors they ask a little bread!
Ah! no. To distant climes, a dreary scene, Where half the convex world intrudes between, To torrid tracks with fainting steps they go, Where wild Altama murmurs to their woe. Far diff'rent there from all that charm'd before, The various terrors of that horrid shore. Those blazing suns that dart a downward ray, And fiercely shed intolerable day;
Those matted woods where birds forget to sing, But silent bats in drowsy clusters cling;
Those pois nous fields with rank luxuriance crown'd,
Where the dark scorpion gathers death around:
Where at each step the stranger fears to wake
The rattling terrors of the vengeful snake;
Where crouching tygers wait their hapless prey,
And savage men more murd'rous still than they;
While oft in whirls the mad tornado flies,
Mingling the ravag'd landscape with the skies.
Far diff'rent these from ev'ry former scene,
The cooling brook, the grassy vested green,
The breezy covert of the warbling grove,
That only shelter'd thefts of harmless love.
Good Heav'n! what sorrows gloom'd that part-
That call'd them from their native walks
When the poor exiles, ev'ry pleasure past,
Hung round their bow'rs, and fondly look'd their last,
And took a long farewel, and wish'd in vain
For seats like these beyond the western main,
And shudd'ring still to face the distant deep,
Return'd and wept, and still return'd to weep:
The good old sire, that first prepar❜d to go
To new-found worlds, and wept for other's woe;
But for himself, in conscious virtue brave,
He only wish'd for worlds beyond the grave.
His lovely daughter, lovelier in her tears,
The fond companion of his helpless years,
Silent went next, neglectful of her charms,
And left a lover's for her father's arms.
With louder plaints the mother spoke her woes,
And blest the cot where ev'ry pleasure rose;
And kiss'd her thoughtless babes with many a tear,
And clasp'd them close, in sorrow doubly dear:
Whilst her fond husband strove to lend relief
In all the decent manliness of grief.
O Luxury thou curst by heaven's decree,
How ill exchang'd are things like these for thee!
How do thy potions with insidious joy
Diffuse their pleasures only to destroy!
Kingdoms by thee, to sickly greatness grown,
Boast of a florid vigour not their own.
At ev'ry draught more large and large they grow,
A bloated mass of rank unwieldy woe:
Till sapp'd their strength, and ev'ry part unsound,
Down, down they sink, and spread a ruin round.
Ev'n now the devastation is begun,
And half the bus'ness of destruction done:
Ev'n now, methinks, as pond'ring here I stand,
I see the rural virtues leave the land.
Down where yon anch'ring vessels spread the sail,
That idly waiting flaps with every gale,
Downward they move, a melancholy band,
Pass from the shore, and darken all the strand.
Contented toil, and hospitable care,
And kind connubial tenderness are there;
And piety with wishes plac'd above,
And steady loyalty, and faithful love.
And thou, sweet Poetry, thou loveliest maid,
Still first to fly where sensual joys invade;
Unfit in these degen'rate times of shame,
To catch the heart, or strike for honest fame;
Dear charming nymph, neglected and decry'd,
My shame in crowds, my solitary pride;
Thou source of all my bliss, and all my woe,
Thou found'st me poor at first, and keep'st me so;
Thou guide, by which the nobler arts excel,
Thou nurse of ev'ry virtue, fare thee well.
Farewel; and O! where'er thy voice be try'd,
On Torno's cliffs, or Pambamarca's side,
Whether where equinoctial fervors glow,
Or winter wraps the polar world in snow,
Still let thy voice prevailing over time,
Redress the rigors of th' inclement clime;
And slighted truth, with thy persuasive strain,
Teach erring man to spurn the rage of gain:
Teach him that states of native strength possest,
Though very poor, may still be very blest;
That trade's proud empire hastes to swift decay,
As ocean sweeps the labour'd mole away:
While self-dependent power can time defy,
As rocks resist the billows and the sky.