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Without a soil to invite the tiller's care,
Or blade that might redeem it from despair.
Yet time at length (what will not time achieve ?)
Clothes it with earth, and bids the produce live.
Once more the spiry myrtle crowns the glade,
And ruminating flocks enjoy the shade.
O bliss precarious, and unsafe retreats,
O charming Paradise of shortlived sweets!
The selfsame gale that wafts the fragrance round
Brings to the distant ear a sullen sound:
Again the mountain feels the imprison'd foe,
Again pours ruin on the vale below.
Ten thousand swains the wasted scene deplore,
That only future ages can restore.
Ye monarchs, whom the lure of honour draws, Who write in blood the merits of your cause, Who strike the blow, then plead your own defence, Glory your aim, but justice your pretence; Behold in ^Etna's emblematic fires The mischiefs your ambitious pride inspires!
Fast by the stream that bounds your just domain, And tells you where ye have a right to reign, A nation dwells, not envious of your throne, Studious of peace, their neighbour's and their own, Ill-fated race! how deeply must they rue Their only crime, vicinity to you! The trumpet sounds, your legions swarm abroad, Through the ripe harvest lies their destined road; At every step beneath their feet they tread The life of multitudes, a nation's bread!
Earth seems a garden in its loveliest dress
Yet man, laborious man, by slow degrees
Increasing commerce and reviving art Renew the quarrel on the conqueror's part; And the sad lesson must be learn'd once more, That wealth within is ruin at the door. What are ye, monarchs, laurel'd heroes, say, But iEtnas of the suffering world ye sway? Sweet Nature, stripp'd of her embroider'd robe, Deplores the wasted regions of her globe; And stands a witness at Truth's awful bar, To prove you there destroyers as ye are.
O place me in some Heaven-protected isle, Where Peace, and Equity, and Freedom smile; Where no volcano pours his fiery flood, No crested warrior dips his plume in blood;
Where Power secures what Industry has won;
THE RECEIPT OF MY MOTHER'S PICTURE
OUT OF NORFOLK, THE GIFT OF MY
O That those lips had language! Life has pass'd
0 welcome guest, though unexpected here!
1 will obey, not willingly alone,
But gladly, as the precept were her own:
Shall steep me in Elysian reverie,
A momentary dream, that thou art she.
My mother! when I learn'd that thou wast dead, Say, wast thou conscious of the tears I shed? Hover'd thy spirit o'er thy sorrowing son, Wretch even then, life's journey just begun? Perhaps thou gavest me, though unfelt, a kiss; Perhaps a tear, if souls can weep in bliss— Ah, that maternal smile! it answers—Yes. I heard the bell toll'd on thy burial day, I saw the hearse that bore thee slow away, And, turning from my nursery window, drew A long, long sigh, and wept a last adieu! But was it such ?—It was.—Where thou art gone Adieus and farewells are a sound unknown. May I but meet thee on that peaceful shore, The parting word shall pass my lips no more! Thy maidens, grieved themselves at my concern! Oft gave me promise of thy quick return. What ardently I wish'd, I long believed, And, disappointed still, was still deceived. By expectation every day beguiled, Dupe of to-morrow even from a child. Thus many a sad to-morrow came and went, Till, all my stock of infant sorrows spent, I learn'd at last submission to my lot, But, though I less deplored thee, ne'er forgot.
Where once we dwelt our name is heard no more, Children not thine have trod my nursery floor; And where the gardener Robin, day by day, Drew me to school along the public way,
Delighted with my bauble coach, and wrapp'd